Lanterns everywhere hung on wooden structures.

Navotas is located along the fringes of the North of Metro Manila. Its elongated land area lines the Manila Bay on one side. It is dubbed as the "Fishing Capital of the Philippines" since many of its residents derive their livelihood directly or indirectly from fishing and related industries. 
The city boasts of a modern container port, city hospital and city hall. Businesses, modern warehouses, container terminals, and container parks dot the area. Unlike bustling cities with towering buildings in the Metro, Navotas with its roadside stores and commuters in bicycles and decorated tricycles have a character and charm uniquely its own.
That said however, what left a lasting impression on me is the residents living in extreme poverty. Poverty encompasses age, sex, and physical appearance. In Metro Manila, the urban poor live in idle or neglected property (both private and public), streets, embankments, and under bridges. They are referred to as informal settlers or squatters. Normally, I'm used to the nicer side of the Metro even if I do see these communities behind a car's windshield. Seeing them up close and really observing even for a moment however, can still put one in silent disbelief. 
Here's an impromptu shoot of what I've witnessed during a trip to the area for a meeting. It was a dreary overcast day.​​​​​​​

Uber cheap rides.

Lady reading sheets of paper.

House chores.

Probably a newly demolished informal community where residents enjoy (not really) their commute.

Child with probably his dad collecting and hauling scrap wood.

Spinning around in their playground.

This is home for now. Soon moved to a government housing.

These kids were running in the middle of a busy national road. One of them excitedly took a half empty drink from a driver.

Back to Top