A good friend of mine, Amiel Lapuebla put up a small collection of photos that he took in a photography workshop in Quiapo, Manila. There are some pretty striking images there that I felt would be great inspiration for anyone looking to run a game set in Manila.
This is probably my favorite of the lot, showing a host of tiny medallions, all of which have been blessed or imbued with some sort of blessing or other. Merchants near the Quiapo Church sell these, purporting that they can do a host of things from protecting someone from illness, warding away curses, and getting someone to love you. The fact that these guys sell this stuff so close to the Catholic church just plays up the strange paradox of belief that people here have, with an acceptance of both the Catholic faith and witchcraft / sorcery.
These next two are an interesting study in the themes of Poverty vs. Faith. The first image with the stooped over lady and a statue of Jesus without hands tells a tragic story, and is an interesting symbol for how people sometimes feel that Faith has done nothing for them. The second one isn’t actually any more optimistic, but the play of light over the homeless man at the bottom of a stairwell can both be a symbol of hope, or another paradox as he’s too mired in poverty to see it.
Of course, as always the art of photography involves the ability to tell a story in a single image. Manila is a place of highs and lows, but I chose these three as a representation of what a Manila might be like in the World of Darkness. Hope you guys liked it!