Red Santos met me at my hotel, the Grand Prix (see photo below) at around noon and we set out for Obando, a suburb about one and a half hours away from here to see and photograph Obando's famous Fertility Festival. (please note: if you're coming on the photo tour, don't worry, we'll be staying at the Hyatt down the street rather than the Grand Prix!).
Manila's traffic is legendary, so Red and I used a combination of cabs, taxis, moto-cabs and Jeepnies in an attempt to get to Obando as quicky as possible.
Red knows his way around town, and with his expert guidance, in no time, we were standing on the platform of Manila's intercity rail system. The ultra modern, comfortable, air conditioned cars are clean, economical and efficient.
photo by Red Santos
We took the rail system as far as we could and then caught a local Jeepnie for the last leg of our journey to Obando.
On the ride there, Red spoke to the locals, asking some specifics about the location and activities surrounding the Fertility Festival. One man in the Jeepnie was a wealth of information!
After about an hour and a half we arrived in Obando, and headed to the large church where the parade and mass takes place. Locals told us that there was a mass at 5:00 followed by a procession at 6:00. With time to kill Red and I wandered around making pictures in the area. We decided not to wait around until the procession, choosing rather, to visit one of Manila's largest flower markets.
With amazing color and a mix of fragrances, the flower market was fantastic! If we end up doing a photo tour in the Philippines, this will be on our list of shoots.
As the afternoon went on, my jetlag started kicking in, so Red grabbed a Jeepnie back home, and I, took a cab back to my hotel.
Quite an amazing first day here in Manila. This Philippines photo tour is looking like a good idea!
Traveling to the far corners of the world to tell compelling picture stories, award-winning humanitarian photojournalist Karl Grobl reveals the human side of issues faced by people across the globe. His images highlight those basic human elements that comprise the fabric binding all cultures together in our rapidly homogenizing, yet sometimes divided, global community.
Peering well beyond the surface of unfolding stories, Karl's photographs reveal the heart, and sometimes, heart-wrenching truth. His images offer viewers intimate glimpses into the lives of ordinary people all over the world and provide an opportunity for us to reflect upon, and understand their personal struggles and triumphs. For more information see my website www.karlgrobl.com