July 24, 2009. Manila. Philippines. Smiles, so many smiles. Young people for the most, don't know where the plantation is, but there's a plenty here !
That makes such a contrast with the Manila grey walls, this gives the city a bitter-sweet flavour. Maybe the climate is the cause, it's famous that misery is less painfull under the sun. I remember a few weeks in the countryside or seaside here in Philippines, there you can find many more smiles than in the capital. Even more beautiful because the wood replace concrete, the green, the grey, we see more "tricycles" than polluting jeepneys. Yes, no doubt, life here is softer, but untill I left it, I must patiently endure the megalopole.
Some say the most reputated city for its smiles in the land of smiles is Bacolod, Negros island, center of the archipel. A chart have been made, it put this city top of the best place to live in Philippines. I remember a similar classification in France that putted Angers no the top of the list... I've got nothing against Angers, nice and peacefull city center of France, but I would prefer places like Biarritz, Montpellier or Calvi. Surely those charts have criterias I don't know like living cost or population density.... What I mean is I really look forward to visit this city (Bacolod, not Angers) that planting of smiles to have a visual idea, and take there many instants. Keep posted !
A beach. A typic filipino resort. Joy, smiles are brighter than elsewhere, childish, lights, enjoying recreation times. Most of vacationers wear t-shirts, even in the water, the fear of the sun that render skin so black... Maybe some modesty ? My opinion is not so sure about that.
I rethink of those male people, flaunting their stomach, often pot-bellied, to make breathe the body stifling by the heat. No modesy to show of their navel....
Brighten smiles, refreshing water, with whom we play, in whom we dive. On it reflects those playfull faces, want to put down the camera and join them in this youthness bath.
Receipe of smiles... Don't know if it can be found in Bacolod or elsewhere in Philippines or in other islands, other regions (I even found some in France !). I'm of course telling about real smiles, not those faking ones supposed to express a real pleasure, that can hide an inadequate sincerity. Stop telling about this. Maybe some idea of life is required to make grow this special culture. Maybe it's easier where simplicity exists. A free mind may be more inclined to let express a natural joy...
Here am I so, in this warm country, scrutinizing streets seeking instants of joy, searching in the nature of people the key of happyness. As springs of smile, I can tell for now the sun and the simplicity, but I feel something more important is missing, maybe a secret of mother nature still deeply buried, to discover,. Keep searching....
View the gallery Smiles