Photos of BASECO on Manila Bay

In September of 2007, my friend Bob Barton and I went to  BASECO with our friend André and nuns from the Missionaries of Charity. I think Bob’s photos show the friendliness and resiliency I have often observed among the poor.

The community is on a stretch of reclaimed swampland bordered by Manila Bay and the Pasig River. It’s called BASECO for the shipyard, Bataan Shipping and Engineering Company, which has abandoned it.

After turning off a main road, the van passed through a better-looking housing development and then stopped not far from the water’s edge.

About 12,000 of Manila’s poorest … Read More

Seize the Moment!

While talking with Andrew G. Contreras I was reminded of a beginning sculpture class I took years ago. During the first class students had to walk slowly around someone’s piece and observe it from this place and that place, from above and below. Part of what I got from the exercise was seeing the countless number of two-dimensional views we could get of a three-dimensional object, some definitely more interesting than others.

Andrew and I talked at my home in Quezon City. Please check out his page. (Link)  Many thanks to Andrew for the photographs. (Click on photos Read More

Hanging Out in Tagaytay


An hour’s drive from Metro Manila will take you to a cool place. In fact, in my beginning Tagalog textbook it shows up often in connection with coolness, as in, “Alin ang mas maginaw, ang Tagaytay o ang Baguio?” (Which is colder, Tagaytay or Baguio?) Both are mountainous areas known for providing relief from the summer heat. Both have terrific views. From many parts of Tagaytay, you can see the Taal Lake its volcanic crater, as well as the mountain ridges and forests where revolutionaries hid out during the 1896 the war against Spanish rule. Tagaytay is … Read More

A Photo Tour of Bulguk Temple

On January 11, I posted a photo essay of a winter walk up the Namsan, a mountain south of Kyongju. This post will be a tour of Bulguksa (Buddhist Land Temple) southeast of Kyongju, using photos I took during my many visits. We’ll start at the main gate and move slowly toward the back of the temple complex.

Bulguksa is the country’s number-one historic and cultural site and a masterpiece of Shilla (Silla) Dynasty art and architecture. The current temple was built from 751-774 on the site of a previous temple. This was under the direction of King Gyeongdeok’s Prime … Read More

A Winter Walk up Gyoungju’s South Mountain

Gyoungju–also spelled Gyeongju, Kyongju–is the seat of the ancienet Shilla 0r Silla dynasty (57 BC to 945 AD), Because there are so many sights worth seeing outdoors, the town is called “the museum without walls.” It’s my favorite vacation spot in South Korea.

At least it isn’t raining. You sit on the bus watching town and countryside pass by. When you let your eyelids droop, you can almost feel your body sink into the quilts on your heated floor back at the Hanjin Yǒgwan. Hot water pipes under the floor, what a cozy way to heat a room.

Gyoungju … Read More