Jan 022012

Let's say it straight away, the Philippines have been our best human experience so far. Filipinos are extremely friendly and charming people. Life is not easy here for most of the population but it doesn't prevent people to smile most of the time. Being easily identified as foreigners, we'd be greeted by many people in the streets. Always polite and welcoming, never invasive or with after-thoughts. I can't recall how many times I was wished Merry Christmas or Happy New Year while walking in the streets, it even got exhaustive after a few hours.

The Philippines are not a mass tourism destination yet. So we were glad to discover a lot of authentic places and see Filipinos evolve in their daily life. Obviously, this is a country of high contrasts : Manila vs small villages, poverty vs extremely wealthiness, and tradition vs Westernization. We only visited the Northern part of the country, leaving aside the wonderful beaches of the Southern Island. Another time I hope.

As for street photography, let's say that my candid rate was probably the lowest of the trip so far. Impossible not to get spotted. At the same time, a vast majority of Filipinos like to be portrayed, even asking spontaneously to be pictured at times. I have not had a single bad look or rejection word which is definitely a change compared to some of the other countries visited. In the end, not getting many candids was ok, because depicting Filipinos can only be done with their full smiles (see series below)

Finally, a huge thanks to street photographer Enrico Gutierrez and his wife Sheila. Not only they made us discover parts of Manila, but also invited us to their house to celebrate the New Year. And believe me, they definitely celebrate big time in this country !

Good-bye Philippines, what a wonderful stay.   (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph.


  12 Responses to “Good-bye Philippines”

  1. Happy to hear that yo had a great time in the Philippines. :) I had friends from Germany and France visit me the past two years and the itinerary we suggested to them was Banaue-Sagada-Ilocos in the north and Coron or Puerto Princesa or El Nido in the South with a weekend trip to Tagaytay. Come back again soon! 

    • This is a candid and honest description from a first time visitor which is indeed very true and different from the way we are depicted by our very own local media.Thank you for taking your time and giving a positive feedback on your stay in our country.

    • Thanks May Tan, it might be in a very long time but I hope I’ll visit Southern Philippines one day. Cheers, Yanick

  2. The pleasure was ours Yanick and Natalia. Loking forward to your images as I'm sure you guys will enjoy the other countries as well. Be safe. Cheers

  3. Hi Yanidel! Nice to stumble upon a fellow street photographer's site. :) Thanks for visiting the Philippines. Indeed, it can sometimes be difficult to take candids here, especially if you're a foreigner. I hope you could visit the Philippines again and I'd be happy to shoot with you! :)

  4. Hi Yanidel,
    I stumbled on your site when I was googling M8, M9, and Leica lenses. What a beautiful site! I really loved those pictures.  I am studying all of them so that next time on vacation, I will be able to bring good home better images.
    By the way, I noticed that those photos with m8 with summilux 35 have almost  dreamy look to them…not sure what that is…perhaps the color? At first I thought maybe they are not clinically sharp..but then when I looked in high resolution, they are as sharp as they can be!   They all look 3-D as well.  Is that a characteristic of the lens or the camera? or some special post processing that you do? I just LOVE the looks. That look is what attracts me to the Leica cameras.
    I noticed pictures on other site with M9 and M8 have those dreamy look as well…pictures from Nikon or Fuji x100 or X10, Sony Nex 5n, 7 even with leica lenses don't have it….
    Do you think the 35mm Summilux 1.4 is the only one that can achieve this look ? Can 35mm Summicron 2.0 do the same?
    Sorry for so many questions…I was up half the night looking through all your pictures on my ipad! Couldn't stop…I appreciate your work in sharing wonderful images from the world!

    • Hi Mickey, thanks for your message.

      I’ll be short since I am writing an article on the 35mm Lux Asph to come in a few days. So stay tuned, a lot of your questions will be answered there. Nevertheless, I’d answer that yes, the M8/9 + 35mm Lux are a big part of the look (with some processing too) of my pictures. You simply cannot find such high sharpness and quality in other systems. The Summicron will get you a similar look, but not the F1.4 which is very special.

      Cheers, Yanic

  5. I'm only 14 y/o and I just started reading your blog today. What you do is so amazing, I'm kinda jealous. Thanks to your blog and others, I'm very fascinated with street photography now. Kinda bummed that you've left Manila already, though. I was sort of hoping to maybe bump into you or something.

    • Thanks. If you are only 14 years old … don’t worry you have more than enough time to improve and surpasse me significantly ;) Cheers.

  6. Hi,

    I just recently stumbled upon your blog. I’m from the Philippines and a hobbyist photographer. Thank you for capturing the beauty of the Philippines, our people, and our culture. Yes, we are indeed a city of smiles and many people aren’t shy to pose for pictures!

    If you do drop by again, I would be honored to do a photo walk with you.

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