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20 April 2007

Travel to Manila, day 3:
The Philippines under the bridge

Quiapo Under the Quezon Bridge
The handicrafts market under the Quezon Bridge in Quiapo, Manila.

THE SCRAWNY pedicab driver must have lost ten more kilos of his weight driving the three of us on narrow alleys from Divisoria to Quiapo. He asked for sixty pesos for the journey; we gave him a hundred for his tenacity and bravery. For Bembem and Neha, the pedicab ride was an adventurous experience worth the extra fare.

The pedicab that took us bravely to Quiapo from Divisoria
The pedicab that took us bravely from Quiapo to Divisoria.

Capiz!” yelped Neha as we dismounted the pedicab. There, under the Quiapo Bridge, stood shops full of capiz ware from chandeliers and wall décor to adornments and dining accessories. But there is much more. The hard-edged area—urbanites gorgeously call it “Ille de Tulle”after “ilalim ng tulay (under the bridge)”—is a permanent market for handicrafts nationwide. It is a virtual tourist map of the Philippines. Some of the stuff is cheaper here than in Divisoria. While bargaining is imperative, tourists would find enough ethnic and “wow” value in the merchandise that they would settle easily for the price tags!

Bembem and Neha ended up with shopping bags full of capiz and other stuff. Soon, their Indian homes will become repositories of Philippine craftsmanship!

Handicrafts extravaganza
Handicrafts extravaganza.

More handicrafts

And much more handicrafts

Past Post: Divine Divisoria
Next Post: Walking by the Baywalk

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