Coloong- the rural city

Biking into Coloong, Valenzuela today I thought for a second I'd accidentally left Metro Manila. There are two roads Coloong 1 and Coloong 2 which divide a narrow stretch of land nestled in a series of fish ponds. 

I was there at noon time when parents were dropping their kids off at school after lunch at home. Everyone is using large carriage-type pedicabs to cart around their families. Big beach umbrellas shelter everyone from the sun. The scene of mothers, fathers, grandparents biking their students to school seems like a scene out of Copenhagen. I am excitedly taking photos outside the school when I realize I am a foreigner, wearing a face mask creeping outside an elementary school taking photos of children. 

I sat with some fishermen who biked from Malabon to catch tilapia in one of the ponds. I finally got to use my binoculars and saw heron, ducks, and some small bright blue bird that swooped to the water and disappearing into some brush in the middle of the pond.  

Three boys Emman, JC, and Dapan followed me the majority of my ride. Dapan wanted me to take a photo of his school. JC showed me his house.  

I saw vacant lots and I hope future development won't eat up the fish ponds- it's a unique environment that has been largely pushed out of the city. Wonderful if we could figure out how to plan with the ponds and restore more in other areas.   

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Rhonel, a fisherman from Malabon who bikes to Coloong to catch tilapia for his family. 

Rhonel, a fisherman from Malabon who bikes to Coloong to catch tilapia for his family. 

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My bodyguards and tour guides for the afternoon- JP, Emman, and Dapan 

My bodyguards and tour guides for the afternoon- JP, Emman, and Dapan 

Bike Packing: First Half

I finished half of Metro Manila from Feb. 8-13. The first two days I over extended myself covering a lot of ground quickly; the next few days were better paced. Aside from the first night at SOGO motel, I stayed with family and friends. It has been difficult to keep up with navigating, taking photos, and keeping up with the experience. The documentation aspect is challenging and I feel like I'm not able to capture as much as I want to. This trip is supposed to be an ocular of sorts, so I know I can return to those places which need more time and further research. 

My main observations so far: 

  • everyone is biking! everywhere I go people are biking to work, school, market, for recreation, for exercise, for fun. the demand is there. 
  • pollution sucks. the roads might be fine, not too much traffic, but it takes just one truck, jeepney, or tricycle to come by and spew exhaust all over the place to completely ruin everything. 
  • the barangay is key. so many decisions about planning space are made at the very local barangay level. we need to be working more closely with these 1,706 neighborhoods and not just at the Mayoral, City Hall level. 
  • outside of the CBDs density quickly drops and there are underutilized lands, especially on the waterfronts which can be potential new areas of growth 
  • there are many assets in Metro Manila- from the talented people (guys making low rider bikes in Las Pinas) to the unique landscapes (Manggahan Floodway, Coloong fish ponds) to the untapped potential (water culture) which need to be better connected and considered as a network of places at the Metro Manila level. 

I start the next half of my journey Feb. 16-Feb. 21. 

Geotagged photos from the first half of my journey. 

Geotagged photos from the first half of my journey. 

From Day 1:

While young couples check into a motel for the Sunday night 3 hour special, I check in alone for the full 12 with my bike. It's typical of the Philippines that no one bats an eye about unmarried couples checking in with membership cards but everyone is worried about the single, foreign older woman staying there alone. 

I got distracted on my first day and didn't start looking for a place to stay until 5:30pm. I had to backtrack a bit towards Monumento where I thought Id have more options. I tried small alleys around the circle looking for lady bed spacer dorms. I found a few but they wouldn't admit me for only on night. A helpful neighborhood guy knocked on a few doors of people he knew had rooms to rent but it was Sunday and everyone was out. Other people looked at me bizarrely when i asked for only one night and asked if I would be alone, which I later realized was because of the nature of the hotels in the area.

I ended up surveying hotels around Monumento. Note: promo deals are Mon-Thurs only, so avail of the 295-400 peso deals during the week but be prepared to spend 620-800 for a full night the rest of the week. Unless you are one of the many couples checking in with me Sunday night for the 2-3 hour specials.  

I stayed at a SOGO. It was clean, had hot water, wifi, and TV. I negotiated a discount because I had a bike (?)...I think just ask for a discount nicely and they might grant it. They also have membership cards for regulars.

It's good that I had a folding bikebecause they would have made me lock it in the garage otherwise . 

Near an LRT stop and at the cross roads for jeep and bus routes Monumento has several hotels including Astrotel, SOGO, Nice Hotel, Chill Hotel, and some others. They are all in similar price range. I find it interesting that there weren't more bed spacer places or dormitories. It doesn't seem to be a hub for students and transient workers despite it's prime location. Apparently it's more popular for one-nighters. 

 

Chill Hotel cross promotes with the KTV Disco next door called Soul Mate.  

Chill Hotel cross promotes with the KTV Disco next door called Soul Mate.  

Soul Mate KTV bar co-located with a motel that offers 2-3 hour specials. This pairing is common across Manila. Many offer free snacks and bottles of water to keep things energized. This is where we should be stocking condoms.  

Soul Mate KTV bar co-located with a motel that offers 2-3 hour specials. This pairing is common across Manila. Many offer free snacks and bottles of water to keep things energized. This is where we should be stocking condoms.  

My room at the SOGO for 620 pesos/night.  

My room at the SOGO for 620 pesos/night.  

I think it's going to be a busy Valentines Day for the Monumento area hotels  

I think it's going to be a busy Valentines Day for the Monumento area hotels  

I stayed two nights in QC at my family house in Project 3. I wanted the photo with me and my Uncle outside the house where my Lolo used to sit and tell stories. Lolo was a doctor and the house served also as his office. My Uncle recently restored this area in front of the house and welcomes people to hang out and spend time. Imagine if every private home offered a public space like this...streets would automatically be friendly environments for pedestrians. Areas such as Maginhawa especially could benefit from such a design. 

I stayed two nights in QC at my family house in Project 3. I wanted the photo with me and my Uncle outside the house where my Lolo used to sit and tell stories. Lolo was a doctor and the house served also as his office. My Uncle recently restored this area in front of the house and welcomes people to hang out and spend time. Imagine if every private home offered a public space like this...streets would automatically be friendly environments for pedestrians. Areas such as Maginhawa especially could benefit from such a design. 

Thank you Marikina City for my room at the Marikina Hotel! Nice, clean place to stay the night in the center of town. I'm always a fan of towel animals. 

Thank you Marikina City for my room at the Marikina Hotel! Nice, clean place to stay the night in the center of town. I'm always a fan of towel animals. 

A few things that are making more journey more comfortable: Doppleganger Hub PH gloves, a front light, and an iphone mount for navigating and easy access to the phone for taking pictures. 

A few things that are making more journey more comfortable: Doppleganger Hub PH gloves, a front light, and an iphone mount for navigating and easy access to the phone for taking pictures. 

The gloves also come with lights on them for extra safe night riding. 

The gloves also come with lights on them for extra safe night riding. 

Needed a bit of TLC when a screw came loose. I stopped into a car mechanic shop and the guy fixed it right up, no charge. 

Needed a bit of TLC when a screw came loose. I stopped into a car mechanic shop and the guy fixed it right up, no charge. 

Eating on the road has been challenging. Carinderias or fast food chains are the usual choices. Tayo (soy bean) with syrup and tapioca balls is one breakfast I know I can count on. I even found this vendor in the back roads of Valenzuela City in an alley of factories. 

Eating on the road has been challenging. Carinderias or fast food chains are the usual choices. Tayo (soy bean) with syrup and tapioca balls is one breakfast I know I can count on. I even found this vendor in the back roads of Valenzuela City in an alley of factories. 

Buko is another staple. The coconut gives at least 4 glasses of water and the meat is a hardy snack. This vendor, Francis, wears a shirt with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle logo. The coconut shell itself is already a natural packaging and it makes me cringe when I see the vendors using plastic bags and cups to serve the water and meat. 

Buko is another staple. The coconut gives at least 4 glasses of water and the meat is a hardy snack. This vendor, Francis, wears a shirt with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle logo. The coconut shell itself is already a natural packaging and it makes me cringe when I see the vendors using plastic bags and cups to serve the water and meat. 

Water

We are an island country and our cities are no exception. Rivers, bays, esteros, fishponds- uncharted potential awaits. 

Crossing the Navotas River on the C-4 bridge. Both sides of the river have wide easements and are easy to bike. There are only two bridges connecting Navotas and Malabon, the C-4 bridge and the Estrella bridge. Fishing boats are abundant and it's possible to pay them for crossing, but I did not see commuter boats which could bring you the length of the river from one city to another. This requires further investigation. 

Crossing the Navotas River on the C-4 bridge. Both sides of the river have wide easements and are easy to bike. There are only two bridges connecting Navotas and Malabon, the C-4 bridge and the Estrella bridge. Fishing boats are abundant and it's possible to pay them for crossing, but I did not see commuter boats which could bring you the length of the river from one city to another. This requires further investigation. 

Murals in Navotas show the local connection to water. 

Murals in Navotas show the local connection to water. 

A man shows me the estero behind the Maypajo Market in Caloocan (South). The estero is lined with informal settlements that have been barricaded behind concrete walls. As we stand there I see an invisible hand throw a bag of trash from a house into the river.  

A man shows me the estero behind the Maypajo Market in Caloocan (South). The estero is lined with informal settlements that have been barricaded behind concrete walls. As we stand there I see an invisible hand throw a bag of trash from a house into the river.  

Fishing boats line the entrance of the Bangkulasi River where it connects to Manila Bay and the Navotas River. 

Fishing boats line the entrance of the Bangkulasi River where it connects to Manila Bay and the Navotas River. 

Fishermen repair nets on a hot afternoon along the Navotas River. 

Fishermen repair nets on a hot afternoon along the Navotas River. 

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Fish ponds at the Dampa de Paseo in Malabon. Fish ponds are now a rare sight in the city of Malabon which used to be the fish farm center. 

Fish ponds at the Dampa de Paseo in Malabon. Fish ponds are now a rare sight in the city of Malabon which used to be the fish farm center. 

Estero lined on one side by informal houses and another by industrial use. The metropolis would have automatic thoroughfares if all waterfront were connected through public space and uninterrupted access. 

Estero lined on one side by informal houses and another by industrial use. The metropolis would have automatic thoroughfares if all waterfront were connected through public space and uninterrupted access. 

Estero in Valenzuela City. There seems to be an attempt at the left to create an easement. By law, 3meter development easements are required from any water or roadway, but this law is often not enforced. 

Estero in Valenzuela City. There seems to be an attempt at the left to create an easement. By law, 3meter development easements are required from any water or roadway, but this law is often not enforced. 

Entrance

There are 1,706 barangays in Metro  Manila. Multiply this by various neighorhoods in each barangay and there are a lot of communities existing in the metropolis, each representing their boundaries in different ways. I have been taking notice of the ways communities represent their space through grottos, banderitas, and signage. 

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Sunday

Certain activities happen only or mainly on Sundays. These happenings activate space for one day, a pop-up culture without the hype.  We often think of spaces having different uses at different times of day, but not necessarily different days of the week. When planning in the Philippines, I think we need to consider what people do on Sundays and how this could influence design. 

 

On a Sunday along the train tracks in Navotas, men congregate from surrounding neighborhoods for an informal cockfight, locally called tupada. 

On a Sunday along the train tracks in Navotas, men congregate from surrounding neighborhoods for an informal cockfight, locally called tupada. 

As I biked by, I saw activity halfway down the track and decided to see what was going on. Asking along the way, people told me it was a tupada, or cockfight. Naturally, I decided to walk the 10 minutes down the tracks to check it out up close. 

As I biked by, I saw activity halfway down the track and decided to see what was going on. Asking along the way, people told me it was a tupada, or cockfight. Naturally, I decided to walk the 10 minutes down the tracks to check it out up close. 

Often tupadas are just a couple of guys and their birds in an alley or the middle of the street. Here, there is a makeshift arena with corrugated iron sheets and a few bamboo poles. Wooden benches become perches for bystanders. 

Often tupadas are just a couple of guys and their birds in an alley or the middle of the street. Here, there is a makeshift arena with corrugated iron sheets and a few bamboo poles. Wooden benches become perches for bystanders. 

The men hoist me up and over the iron sheets into the pit. Someone else offers me his place on a piece of under a tree. 

The men hoist me up and over the iron sheets into the pit. Someone else offers me his place on a piece of under a tree. 

As the birds fight the crowd pushes further and further in and I'm almost knocked off my stand by the pressure of dozens of men straining for a view of the final moment. 

As the birds fight the crowd pushes further and further in and I'm almost knocked off my stand by the pressure of dozens of men straining for a view of the final moment. 

This guy wins, but not everyone is as happy. 

This guy wins, but not everyone is as happy. 

On this street in Navotas, a tent is erected every Sunday to shade a statue of Nazarene so people can worship it in the street. 

On this street in Navotas, a tent is erected every Sunday to shade a statue of Nazarene so people can worship it in the street. 

At the side of one of the basketballs courts on Bangus St, Navotas, a tent is erected to host a baptism. As I travel around on Sunday, I notice tent are a popular business. People rent tents for special events likely because their homes are too small to accommodate guests, but possibly because they are also public events. 

At the side of one of the basketballs courts on Bangus St, Navotas, a tent is erected to host a baptism. As I travel around on Sunday, I notice tent are a popular business. People rent tents for special events likely because their homes are too small to accommodate guests, but possibly because they are also public events. 

I was invited inside and offered food from the buffet and a chance to sing karaoke with guests for this baby's baptism celebration. 

I was invited inside and offered food from the buffet and a chance to sing karaoke with guests for this baby's baptism celebration. 

On both sides of the Navotas River the riverfront easement is wide and ideal for biking. Biking from the C-4 bridge to the Estrella bridge (where you can cross into Malabon) on the Navotas side I came across other tented events. 

On both sides of the Navotas River the riverfront easement is wide and ideal for biking. Biking from the C-4 bridge to the Estrella bridge (where you can cross into Malabon) on the Navotas side I came across other tented events. 

A wake in the Philippines lasts several days; families keep the spirit company until it passes to the afterlife. Here the wake is held along the river. 

A wake in the Philippines lasts several days; families keep the spirit company until it passes to the afterlife. Here the wake is held along the river. 

Another tent is installed by the basketball court a few meters from the wake. 

Another tent is installed by the basketball court a few meters from the wake. 

It's the birthday party of this girl. 

It's the birthday party of this girl. 

Here's her grandmother, godmother, and cousin bringing food and dishes to and from their house nearby. 

Here's her grandmother, godmother, and cousin bringing food and dishes to and from their house nearby. 

Cultural Malabon

Riding into Malabon traffic directs me to General Luna St., which is the main street in the city. Along this stretch I found a culturally rich area. I have lived in nearby Manila for years and felt silly that I've never explored this city until this trip. Malabon feels slightly provincial, friendly, and easy to navigate. It's a perfect day trip and as the city develops its tourism, it should consider marketing to bikers and integrating bike infrastructure to its plans. 

San Bartolome Church

San Bartolome Church

Plaza outside San Bartolome

Plaza outside San Bartolome

A large grotto at the side of the church 

A large grotto at the side of the church 

Heritage homes like this one are found along General Luna street. Most appear to be abandoned. The caretaker here said there are no rooms for rent here. Of course I tried to see if I could stay a night! 

Heritage homes like this one are found along General Luna street. Most appear to be abandoned. The caretaker here said there are no rooms for rent here. Of course I tried to see if I could stay a night! 

The iron work! The balcony! The wood details! Who's house is this and can you please open it to the public?! 

The iron work! The balcony! The wood details! Who's house is this and can you please open it to the public?! 

Don't mind me, I'm tired and sweaty here, but was happy to find Cupes and Cones, a coffee shop along General Luna. I was craving a real coffee and something sweet. I happened to also catch the owner, Ronald who is an architect. He told me about the initiatives to revive General Luna street which include certificates or stickers issued by the City for designated tourist spots and plaques for the heritage structures. 

Don't mind me, I'm tired and sweaty here, but was happy to find Cupes and Cones, a coffee shop along General Luna. I was craving a real coffee and something sweet. I happened to also catch the owner, Ronald who is an architect. He told me about the initiatives to revive General Luna street which include certificates or stickers issued by the City for designated tourist spots and plaques for the heritage structures. 

The Church of the Immaculate Conception 

The Church of the Immaculate Conception 

Another heritage home on General Luna St. This one seems to be well preserved. I will have to come back to see what stores are on the first floor. If tourism takes hold here the ground floor shops would make great souvenir shops since it is across the street from the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Next store is the Barangay hall and a basketball court. The two lane streets are already quite bikable, but the city could think about putting in bike racks in this area since there is a cluster of uses. 

Another heritage home on General Luna St. This one seems to be well preserved. I will have to come back to see what stores are on the first floor. If tourism takes hold here the ground floor shops would make great souvenir shops since it is across the street from the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Next store is the Barangay hall and a basketball court. The two lane streets are already quite bikable, but the city could think about putting in bike racks in this area since there is a cluster of uses. 

A floating restaurant at the Dampa sa Paseo, a private "island" in the Paseo de San Antonio area of Malabon. 

A floating restaurant at the Dampa sa Paseo, a private "island" in the Paseo de San Antonio area of Malabon. 

The fish ponds at Dampa sa Paseo are one of the last in Malabon in an area which used to be filled with them. They have since been filled in for development and the fish pond industry has moved further from the city center. Dampa de Paseo rents boats and charges a fee for fishing at the pond. Here a girl, Isabella spends her birthday with her friends fishing. 

The fish ponds at Dampa sa Paseo are one of the last in Malabon in an area which used to be filled with them. They have since been filled in for development and the fish pond industry has moved further from the city center. Dampa de Paseo rents boats and charges a fee for fishing at the pond. Here a girl, Isabella spends her birthday with her friends fishing. 

Biking up Gov. Pascual street I stumbled across the Malabon Zoo. For 150 pesos I got to walk around some questionable animal cages. This is the only photo I wanted to show from that experience- large river fish. The zoo has a bear, several tigers, monkeys, birds, deer, snakes, and crocodiles. 

Biking up Gov. Pascual street I stumbled across the Malabon Zoo. For 150 pesos I got to walk around some questionable animal cages. This is the only photo I wanted to show from that experience- large river fish. The zoo has a bear, several tigers, monkeys, birds, deer, snakes, and crocodiles. 

Bangus St

When I set out on this trip I wasn't sure what I was looking for, and I figured I'd just stop when something stuck out. This happened to me on Bangus St in a barangay of Navotas called North Bay Boulevard Barangay. On one long street, there are three community spaces, which include a barangay hall that doubles as a multi-purpose space and other facilities that provide public space for the surrounding residents. These little nodes are a promising model for other barangays. The houses and shops surround basketball courts and day care centers creating a center for each community. I hope to return to this barangay to interview officials about how this developed. 

From left to right: barangay hall, tricycle association office, basketball court, day care center 

From left to right: barangay hall, tricycle association office, basketball court, day care center 

From left to right: barangay hall, basketball court, playground, general open space 

From left to right: barangay hall, basketball court, playground, general open space 

From left to right: barangay hall, basketball court, open space, local shops 

From left to right: barangay hall, basketball court, open space, local shops 

Caloocan South, Navotas, Malabon

 

Front row in a cock fight, invited to a eat at a baptism, and watched tigers doing it...yes tigers.

I think Sunday must be the most public day in Metro Manila. People are relaxing outside, playing, throwing celebrations. Street space takes on different uses on a Sunday when pop-up functions are found tucked into side streets- funerals, baptisms, karaoke, drinking, birthday parties, worship. 

Although we already know this to be true I am reminded how every object, space in Manila has multiple uses. Mobile, flexible, adaptable. 

I also see that there is a certain level of clustering of uses resulting in many tiny "centers" all over the city. This is important not just socially but also because there is an opportunity to recognize these clusters and consider ways of linking them. Today I hardly saw jeepneys; instead even though I was on main roads they were mostly occupied with pedicabs, motorcycles, and bikers. Few private cars were seen through my trip today likely because it is Sunday and people may stay home but this might also mean that people commute within their areas except when they go to work which could be outside their area. This has to be studied but it might be possible then to have mini networks linking smaller centers to medium regional areas, such as markets, that link to larger ones such as a central business district. Jeepneys help meet this need already but I don't think we have a thorough understanding of where, how, and why people are  moving around the city.

In Navotas and Malabon there are only a few bridges connecting the two cities even though they share a long waterfront. River transportation should be more developed here; it would relieve traffic on the main roads leading to the few bridges. 

Sunday was a good day to start this trip. I was spoiled by the empty, slow streets. There was hardly any traffic except near markets and churches. 

Other observations...we need more shade! We've completely forgotten shade when it comes to street and infrastructure design. We know we have strong sun yet we don't plan for it and instead people tie tarps or other erect makeshift extenders. Of all the things I packed I forgot sunblock. I know how a sweet tshirt tan. We have to design shade into street plans to encourage more walking and biking.

No surprise really but we know every neighborhood has a wet market and each district has a large wet market. The waste management and public services in these markets are lacking. The market should be THE most beautiful public area in every   neighborhood. It's the easiest way to make everyone's life better- majority of people shop here and the rest will smell it even if they don't. 

I saw some great Barangay design on a street called Bangus St in Navotas in Brgy NBBS and I saw good public set backs along the Navotas River. 

My overall impression from today is that we have to plan at the Barangay level; better Barangay design will have immense impact and large scale changes for the metropolis. 

Start of the day

Start of the day

End of the day- can you see my tan lines?  Bought sunscreen for tomorrow 

End of the day- can you see my tan lines?  Bought sunscreen for tomorrow 

Shade

When it's not raining it's sunny and both conditions require the same thing- shade/cover. People are finding their own fixes but this is one aspect we can improve that would improve livability and encourage people to walk and bike more. 

Noel de Jesus and his family attach tarps across the street to create shade for the street stall outside their house. They let me rest there for a while to escape the hot sun. 

Noel de Jesus and his family attach tarps across the street to create shade for the street stall outside their house. They let me rest there for a while to escape the hot sun. 

This family has a pop up tent usually rented for events but they uses theirs as a shade for parking and hanging out. Earlier they were having family dinner outside but my phone was dead and by the time I charged and came back they were done. They have a large house and even though they have space to eat inside, they prefer to still have some meals on the street.  

This family has a pop up tent usually rented for events but they uses theirs as a shade for parking and hanging out. Earlier they were having family dinner outside but my phone was dead and by the time I charged and came back they were done. They have a large house and even though they have space to eat inside, they prefer to still have some meals on the street.  

Street space is converted to a pool hall when shaded. 

Street space is converted to a pool hall when shaded. 

Another shaded sidewalk pool table  

Another shaded sidewalk pool table  

Laundry area needs shade and open air drying.  

Laundry area needs shade and open air drying.  

We can look at historical architecture for design guidance.  

Adjustable window shades are found on heritage homes such as this one in Navotas.  

Adjustable window shades are found on heritage homes such as this one in Navotas.  

Although this is actually a narrow arcade it still Illustrates an early design technique used in early Philippine-Spanish colonial houses. Imagine a block full of houses like this and it creates a shaded, covered passage ideal for pedestrian use at high noon and during rain. This heritage house is located in General Luna, St in Malabon. 

Although this is actually a narrow arcade it still Illustrates an early design technique used in early Philippine-Spanish colonial houses. Imagine a block full of houses like this and it creates a shaded, covered passage ideal for pedestrian use at high noon and during rain. This heritage house is located in General Luna, St in Malabon. 

Basketball

Basketball is a beloved national sport and past time, so it's no surprise that I find courts everywhere on my journey. Whether as a formal covered area, movable hoops and courts, or just rings tacked onto any surface, basketball is a clear central focus of street life and has to be considered when planning any urban neighborhood, new or existing. 

Temporary basketball court in action in Navotas. 

Temporary basketball court in action in Navotas. 

Court with a view and a breeze at the end of Navotas. I've seen courts along the Pasig River before as well. This a good public use of space- it provides recreation outlet for residents and prevents people from occupying these areas. When it floods there is nothing to destroy.  

Court with a view and a breeze at the end of Navotas. I've seen courts along the Pasig River before as well. This a good public use of space- it provides recreation outlet for residents and prevents people from occupying these areas. When it floods there is nothing to destroy.  

Here the houses are oriented to open onto the public square which accommodates basketball as one of the functions in Valenzuela. 

Here the houses are oriented to open onto the public square which accommodates basketball as one of the functions in Valenzuela. 

Saying hi to a group of players on a side street in Navotas. 

Saying hi to a group of players on a side street in Navotas. 

   A net around telephone posts turns a corner into a basketball court. It's simple and could be applied elsewhere for a number of uses. I like that it's transparent and people can see the use inside. 

 

A net around telephone posts turns a corner into a basketball court. It's simple and could be applied elsewhere for a number of uses. I like that it's transparent and people can see the use inside. 

Mobile basketball hoops can be taken down or put up when people want to play. This allows multiple uses on one street depending on time of day, rather than fixed designs which limit activities. 

Mobile basketball hoops can be taken down or put up when people want to play. This allows multiple uses on one street depending on time of day, rather than fixed designs which limit activities. 

The basketball court outlines are painted on the street. All the players need to do is move the net into place. This frees the street space up when basketball is not being played. 

The basketball court outlines are painted on the street. All the players need to do is move the net into place. This frees the street space up when basketball is not being played. 

Expedition Prep

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This is Joey Alvero of Doppelgänger Hub Ph who hooked me up with this handsome folding bike (can't even tell it's a foldie, right?!) check out DHP on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to get in touch with Joey reach him at 09175357535

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Aside from clothes, I'm packing things I think I'll need. Aside from the usual stuff I have:  clear glasses for non-sunny day biking; post-its for making immediate notes in the atlas; a poncho in case of rain; binoculars because there might be birds or other things far away that I need to see; a silk sleep pouch to protect again bed bugs, lice, and other unwanted creatures; epic bars- organic meat and nut bars I bought in the US; of course... a face mask. 

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I'm taking a compact atlas instead of these maps, which inspired my trip. The one of the left is an MMDA map with identified secondary roads which might serve well for protected bike lanes. The one of the right I bought at the National Bookstore, which has the district level labels which prompted me to think about visiting these various areas. 

Panoramic Narratives

I had lunch last week with Gina Lim,  a lecturer and associate at the Joint Center for Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University to talk about visual anthropology. She is encouraging me to use panoramas for data collection on this trip. Rather than photograph the subject of interest she photographs the entire scene so we can evaluate why the space is used as such rather than just showing that the use exists. 

   Here's one example of a pop-up stall along Quirino extension located between two primary roads on an open empty lot. 

 

Here's one example of a pop-up stall along Quirino extension located between two primary roads on an open empty lot. 

Tryon bike shop on a Friday night. Between a water purification station and an Egg Supplier the bikers waiting to be assisted by one of Tryon's veteran mechanics spill into the sidewalk. This block could be transformed to a street cafe as a biker hang out. I'm surprised mobile vendors haven't picked up on this area to sell fish balls and bbq. On JP Rizal, I also noticed many bikers using it as a transport corridor; not just recreational bikers, but construction workers, families transporting kids from school, and other commuters. This would be an ideal street for a protected bike lane, because it is 4 lanes wide and goes in the same direction for a majority of JP Rizal. I think this is why bikers use this street, because even though they share the space with cars, they are able to take over at least one lane. 

Tryon bike shop on a Friday night. Between a water purification station and an Egg Supplier the bikers waiting to be assisted by one of Tryon's veteran mechanics spill into the sidewalk. This block could be transformed to a street cafe as a biker hang out. I'm surprised mobile vendors haven't picked up on this area to sell fish balls and bbq. On JP Rizal, I also noticed many bikers using it as a transport corridor; not just recreational bikers, but construction workers, families transporting kids from school, and other commuters. This would be an ideal street for a protected bike lane, because it is 4 lanes wide and goes in the same direction for a majority of JP Rizal. I think this is why bikers use this street, because even though they share the space with cars, they are able to take over at least one lane. 

   Kids hang out on a bar of scaffolding by a construction site. Seems the construction blocks traffic and the street end becomes a small plaza space where people can gather.

 

Kids hang out on a bar of scaffolding by a construction site. Seems the construction blocks traffic and the street end becomes a small plaza space where people can gather.

Students and neighborhood kids gather at this spot daily to practice dance routines and can still be found here at midnight. Different groups practice at different times, and I wonder how they arrange the use of this space. Often the scene attracts others who hang out on the fire trucks, side walk, or on their bikes. 

Students and neighborhood kids gather at this spot daily to practice dance routines and can still be found here at midnight. Different groups practice at different times, and I wonder how they arrange the use of this space. Often the scene attracts others who hang out on the fire trucks, side walk, or on their bikes.