The work of Mykel Rose affords you the opportunity to travel with him and see the world through his vision.
Located on Manila Bay, Tondo is a neighborhood where the city deposits its waste recycling. Once the recyclables have been sorted out, the remainder, which is mostly plastics, is collected on the riverfront where children scavenge through the refuse in search of anything of value they can sell.
The Tondo green roofed basketball hall and adjacent playground is at the hub of community activity. Here tone always can find something going on.
Nelson DeSousa is a resident of Tondo. He was our escort through the neighborhood that day. Along with the occasional temporary jobs, Nelson also works as a neighborhood policeman for the community. As a local, he knows all the people on the beat and only carries a pocket knife and walkie-talkie for protection.
One of the first things I noticed on my urban tour that day was the multitude of roosters that were caged or tethered to posts in front of many homes. These I learned, were fighting cocks that people raised for added income and if the bird was a good fighter, a bit of status.
Basketball is the Philippines national sport. Because the game requires little in the way of equipment or space, it appeals to a vast number of impoverished youth who play it on their neighborhood streets.
For many, basketball provides a diversion from the daily grind of poverty. If one excels in the sport, there is an outside chance to be drafted into a professional team, with the possibility of escape from their circumstances.
Much of the social life in Tondo revolves around the church, which is either Catholic or a form of Christian fundamentalism. Here a group of women with their young children gathers to plan an upcoming religious festival.
The ingenuity of people adapting to their circumstances by creating something functional out of limited materials is here on display as I watched these youths extending the height of a backboard.
A pair of trainers can be a luxury many cannot afford. All of the boys here were playing barefoot while the small boy pictured here with the ball, proudly wears one flip-flop during the entire game.
On the street parallel to the bay, I watched this giant of a boy gracefully shooting baskets seemly unbothered by the acrid smell of waste that was filling my senses.
The simple game is still the order of the day in Tondo. These boys were playing dodgeball.
These children were playing tag around an abandoned metal box on the street.
A concrete sewer pipes waiting for instillation acted as a sanctuary for this group of kids..
At times durning my shoot I was taken by the sheer poverty that many of these children endure. This young boy walked past carrying a plastic toy that I later was told , he had found in the garbage.
-Boys at play in the street rolling tires,
A relative out front of a mortuary watching over the open casket of a family member. Tondo,
Cats, like dogs, freely roam the streets, a large number of which are feral. Here a small kitten watches me as I take it’s picture.
A collection of toys for sale, most of which were picked from the garbage.
And these two boys stopped to look at this collect of toys on the ground.
People set up all types of businesses based upon the refuge that the city deposits in the neighborhood. Here a man sells scrap metal salvaged from the waste.
An traveling carnival ride sets the stage for this portrait of my tour guard Nelson.
A young boy peers out a gated shop door.
Father and sons, Tondo, Manila
-He eyed me suspiciously, never moving a muscle or making a sound, Metro Manila-