[nMage Manila by Night] Inspirational Imagery

Posted: July 17, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

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!

  1. Tentaclese says:

    LOL! Nice write up. I’ve used some of these elements in my game though not as effective a I wanted them to be.

    In my mage game, I had some guy wearing an anting-anting that prevented people from being shot. I got the idea from this ex-NPA guy who worked for my dad. He survived a number of fire fights and he attributed his anting-anting to it. Reality does give good ideas for games.

  2. […] on this setting on and off for a while now (Considering that I’ve got a few articles on it in several places on this blog.) I have to admit that I’m a little amazed that people would go for the […]

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