3 Instagrammable spots in Manila no one knows about (In partnership with Uber & Canon) – ANITH
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3 Instagrammable spots in Manila no one knows about (In partnership with Uber & Canon)

3 Instagrammable spots in Manila no one knows about (In partnership with Uber & Canon)

For a place like Manila, change is the only constant. With its infamously chaotic traffic and many densely populated enclaves, the city can be somewhat intimidating to navigate. However, underneath all the urban expansion and robust human activity, Manila has a unique persona that’s equal parts enthralling and peaceful.

It might be hard to imagine, but for a sprawling city with over 12 million residents, there’s a surprising number of places in Manila that receives scarcely any foot traffic. And, Uber is on a mission to bring these uncharted territories some long overdue adulation. After analyzing internal transportation data, the company was able to pinpoint the places that received the least drop-off requests on the app. Scouting trips were then made to each location to access their aesthetic merit. Three locations with interesting backgrounds and beautiful scenery were eventually selected.

To fully bring the beauty of these underrated spots to light, Uber teamed up with Canon to invite three local photographers to explore them with Canon’s EOS M mirrorless cameras. The influencers walked away with not only amazing photos, but an opportunity to rediscover their home city as well. These images are shared on Uber and Canon’s Instagram feeds under the hashtags #CanonxUber#whereto and #hiddencities, imploring followers to embark on a similar journey of discovery in their own cities.

Read on find out the stories behind Manila’s most under-appreciated gems and the best way to capture their beauty.


432 A. Bautista, Quiapo, Maynila, 1001 Kalakhang Maynila

0 Uber Drop-Offs in 2017


“Every single part of my city is influenced by so many cultures, both Eastern and Western,” says Ramos. “Our country has grown so much since the 1990s — and yet much of it still remains the same.” This couldn’t be a more befitting description for Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, a stately mansion owned by political revolutionaries that dates back to 1914.

Despite its traditional Filipino architecture, the interiors are outfitted with furniture pieces and fixtures inspired by the Vienna Succession, an art movement hailing from Austria in the early 20th century. The decorating style features geometric motifs, hardwood materials, and sleek silhouettes. These elements all create a stunning interplay of light and shadows in a photograph, and the contrast is even more prominent in black-and-white.

Photo by: @aieos with Canon EOS M5


“I always try to look for light: It gives depth and establishes dimension,” says Aaron Quinto, an architect and photographer who participated in the collaboration. “I like playing with the scale of the elements present in the location and looking for interesting objects that define the character of a place.”

After a catastrophic earthquake in 1880, houses in Manila were designed to stand strong against the natural disaster, and this building was no exception. The meticulous wooden framework that supports the upper floor of the house creates a beamed ceiling on the ground floor that makes for a visually striking photograph.

Photo by @benjlramos with Canon EOS M6

Manila Central Post Office

Liwasang Bonifacio, Magallanes Dr, Intramuros, Maynila, Kalakhang Maynila

5 Uber Drop-Offs in 2017

Before email

This imposing post office used to be packed all day long, back when mailing letters was still the primary form of communication. As technology continues to revolutionize how messages are spread, the number of visitors has waned, making it one of the least-visited spots according to Uber.

“The magnitude of an abandoned place feels greater without people in it: It feels both menacing and lonely at the same time,” says Aaron Quinto. “Discovering these little-known spaces on your own is already a reward in itself.”

Photo by @benjlramos with Canon EOS M6

Puerta Real Gardens

62 Gen. Luna St. Intramuros, Manil, Manila, 1002 Metro

3 Uber Drop-Offs in 2017

Raw and unfiltered

“I feel like hidden spots give so much more insight into the culture and history of a place,” says Kryz Uy, a style and travel blogger who spent several years as a student in Manila. “You learn about a city from a much more raw and unfiltered perspective — without all the commercial and touristy ‘noise’.”

The forts within the garden are built in traditional Spanish military style, and offer two very exciting opportunity for photos: The top of the fort is a great vantage point to view the skyscrapers in Makati, the city’s business center, while the historic stone passage that sits on the foundation resembles a time tunnel.

Photo by @benjlramos with Canon EOS M6

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Anith Gopal
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