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2014 Chinese New Year Photowalk with Litratista sa Daan and XPPH MNL

This January 31, 2014, the Chinese New Year, I joined a photowalk with my friends from Litratista sa Daan and XPPH MNL (X Photographers Philippines Manila).

The rendezvous was at the fountain in front of Plaza Sta. Cruz at 7 a.m. but I arrived there almost 7:50 a.m.  The group that I supposed to meet started already the photowalk. While at the fountain, a popular landmark and meeting place, I saw friends from the Street Photography and other photography groups. It was nice to see friends from Usapang Kalye, FSP, Rangefinder Philippines, BMSD, Grupong Pikons, GP, Fantastic Philippines, All About Photowalk, Prima Camera Club, and other groups.  Chinese New Year is one of the celebrations that are loved by photographers in Manila.

After just a block, I saw the XPPH and the Daan group just finished their group photo.

The group photo I missed (photo credits to Rommel)

I joined them and walk towards Escolta. I saw a blogger friend Rence Chan who was conducting a guided tour. I joined him before with his Postal and Old Manila Tour. I just said hello to him and his group.

Rence Chan with a guided group at Escolta, Manila

 I joined the photowalkers immediately and we headed towards to Binondo church taking photos along the way. We were also joined by other members who arrived earlier and also friends from other groups.

Luis Liwanag, Rommel Bundalian, Teni Sta. Ines

Rommel Bundalian, the Travel and Street Photography ambassador of Fujifilm Philippines was also road testing the new Fujifilm X-T1, the weather sealed mirrorless top of the line camera of Fujifilms.

Rommel demonstrating some of the features of the new X-T1

After reaching Binondo Church, I went solo to have a chance to take some photos. However, there were so many photography enthusiasts that I keep bumping to photography Facebook friends from different groups. I say hello, chat a bit to catch up, and then move again to take more photos.

After a salvo of lion and dragon dances, and some street performers. The group decided to visit a couple of temples.  On of the is the Manila Buddha Temple.

Entrance to the Manila Buddha Temple

We spent quite some time at the temple because they were quite accommodating and even served us some “miswa soup” (vermicelli soup) with tea.  The group enjoyed taking photos because it was quite picturesque as well.

Inside the Manila Buddha Temple

Group photo at the temple (photo credits to Rommel)

After the Manila Buddha Temple, we head towards Divisoria to visit another temple, the Seng Guan Temple.

We spent also quite some time there. I went out to see the busy entrance littered with vendors of birds. One of the Chinese tradition that I discovered that photowalk is that they buy some birds and release them near the temple. Some even I think whisper or wish to the bird before they release it.

Everyone was hungry so we headed to Lucky Chinatown Mall to have some lunch. While walking on the connecting bridge, I took this photo of the Chinese Lanterns.

 After having lunch, which took quite some time because of the queues, the group split up to end the official photowalk.

I stayed with the Mataro brothers Joel and Jayvee to do more photowalk.

After the photowalk, another food trip. We stopped by to drink some sugar cane juice at Ongpin but ended up with a snack of siopao and mami at Mamon Luk at Quezon Blvd / Raon.

After the meals we split up and went home. It was a long day, tiring but enjoyable to meet photography friends, enjoying our common passion of photography!

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