“More loneliness than any man could bear.” [Holy Week 2013]

People who know me have always been familiar with my… fascination with the idea of a deserted metropolis. Whether it’s because of the stark post-apocalyptic imagery of Joe Pintauro’s Kites at Empty Airports, the empty shell of Macondo in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude, or something I encountered sooner in life, I’ve always been strangely thrilled by seeing the city almost abandoned by everyone else.

For a few years now (the earliest being 2010 if I recall it right) I’ve gone around nearby parts of the metro during Holy Week, usually on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. While not exactly the traditional penance, my sun-torched face in the mirror argues that it is hardly pleasant — and the side bonus of the city’s silence makes it good reflecting time too.

This year I started things off walking, stopping by Greenhills. (Two security guards approached me at Greenhills asking if I had a permit from Ortigas and Co. to take photos of their deserted mall. Oops!) Then I took a cab to Makati for a brief look at the Ayala Avenue area, then on the way back took a detour along the Ortigas Complex, and then off to UP Diliman, which I also visited last year. Still can’t get enough of the place after all these years — beautiful landscape, with a real-world edge both good and bad. (The CASAA side street was particularly eerie.)

One nice benefit of revisiting the University was that I got to retake my crappy 2012 pictures with a higher-resolution camera and an iPod equipped with Microsoft Photosynth, a great free panoramic-shot app. It’s hardly perfect (in some of these you can see where the program stitches the images together) but it’s pretty nice. All told, this turned into a second installment of half a deserted metro pictorial and half a “good times, good times” walk. UP just isn’t as deserted as one might expect, not with joggers and bikers and family picnics. There was a pretty jogger I chickened out of talking to then never saw again, but she’s not in any of these.

Gallery below, in some semblance of order (WordPress is being difficult).  Click for ginormity. Enjoy!


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