After reading on the brouhaha caused by a negative description of Manila in a novel written by a popular author, I decided to look for some recent photos I took while en route to a meeting in Manila. We were going to the Philippine National Railways (PNR) office in Tutuban for a meeting and I couldn’t help but take a few photos along Tayuman and Dagupan Streets, trying to find “proof” of the “hell” that is supposed to be Manila. While I have some comments myself, I will leave it to my readers what they see from the photos and make their own comments.
View of the PNR tracks from along Tayuman Street
Intersection of Tayuman Street and Dagupan Street – the intersection has traffic lights but it can be confusing with pedicabs generally not following the signals.
Dagupan Street is a 4-lane road that serves a predominantly residential area across from the PNR station and depot in Tutuban. And where there are residential areas in Manila, there are pedicabs, or non-motorized 3-wheelers like the ones shown with the motor tricycle (center) in the photo.
The two shoulder lanes are occupied by parked vehicles; effectively reducing the capacity of the street for traffic. In addition to the on-street parking, motorists would have to deal with the pedicabs whose drivers will not give way and seem not to care about their impeding the flow of traffic. It seems the area had or were having their fiesta when we passed by and with the May elections, many politicians took advantage by illegally placing banners and other campaign material with the fiesta banderitas.
Side streets along Dagupan Street are all narrow and many appear to be one-way streets given that half of the carriageways are occupied by parked vehicles.
Some side streets appear to have dead ends like this one with a house in the middle of the road. In some cases, there are basketball courts or tents set-up for wakes in the middle of the streets. More illegal campaign materials by local politicians running for office in Manila are shown in the photo.
Another side street but with less vehicles parked along the road. Many residents are affluent enough to own vehicles but have no garages. The city tolerates on-street parking but not just for local roads like this one but even along major thoroughfares!
There’s not a few eateries, stores and other establishments along this street. Most if not all of these establishments take up road space for tables and supplies (like the soft drink cases in the photo). Among their customers are workers and pedicab drivers who park their vehicles on the road.
Along this street, some residents have allotted space for makeshift garages or extensions of their buildings. These can be in the form of tents or steel partitions that act to secure a vehicle.
A look at the PNR tracks from Tayuman Street downstream is in the general direction of Caloocan (part of what was Main Line North). The building on the right is a TESDA facility.
Coming soon: the streets of Intramuros.