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The Colors and Textures of Manila

Anna’s Introduction

Meet @denikv, I stumbled across Dennis’s feed and the glorious colors and textures made my jaw drop. The way he captures everyday objects is absolutely fantastic. As I scrolled through his feed I was treated to a cacophony of diverse subjects. He has posted series after series of abandoned objects, homeless, and signage that gives the viewer a poignant look into the Philippines. Every photo is flawless and you come away with a feeling you just walked down a back street in Dennis’s city. I do hope you will enjoy the view through this lens as much as I have in the last weeks.

A:  Anna  D:  Dennis (Italics in Tagalog – One of many dialects in the Philippines)

A: Tell me about yourself outside IG.

D:  I’m Dennis C. Villanueva. I live in Manila, Philippines. During the day, I work as a creative director in an advertising agency: Gallardo and Associates.  I am married with one daughter who is 3 and a half years old. I have 3 Siamese cats. I love going mountain biking and sport fishing.  I get fascinated a lot too with the design of chairs, architecture, and mid-century design and furniture.

I’m Dennis C. Villanueva. I live in Manila, Philippines. Nagtratrabaho ako sa isang advertising agency, Gallardo and Associates, as a creative director.  I am married with one daughter who is 3 and a half years old.  I have 3 Siamese cats. Mahilig ako mag-mountain biking at sport fishing.  Na-fa-fascinate rin ako sa design ng chairs, architecture, and mid-century design and furniture.

A: When did you begin snapping with your iPhone?

D:  I got my iPhone December of last year (2011) and that’s when I discovered instagram. Since then, I was hooked!

Nagka-iPhone ako nung December last year, tapos na-discover ko ang Instagram.  Mula noon, hooked na ako!

A: What motivates you to shoot?

D:  Well, there are a lot of beautiful things that’s just around us that we really don’t notice. I guess we just have to “LOOK” and appreciate the simple, little things that we take for granted.  Capturing these things in a different perspective are what make taking pictures a lot of fun.

Well, maraming mga magagandang bagay sa paligid natin na hindi natin talaga napapansin.  Siguro, dapat lang tayo tumingin nang mabuti para ma-appreciate yung mga simpleng bagay na we take for granted.  Pag kinukunan ko ang mga ito sa ibang perspective, nakaka-aliw ang pagkuha ng letrato.

A: The Philippines seems like such a fantastic place to shoot. How have the Philippines influenced your work?

D:  The Philippines is a tropical island country with a very colorful and mixed history and culture that offer a lot of interesting things to see.  My snaps document all of the things neglected, rusty, worn out that I find interesting and beautiful. You will just see it all around here. It may not be beautiful to others, but as long as I find it pretty and beautiful, everything else doesn’t matter.

Tropical island country ang Pilipinas.  Very colorful and mixed ang history at kultura namin kaya maraming interesting na makikita dito.  Kinukunan ko ng pictures yung mga hindi pinapansin, kinakalawang, laspag na na sa tingin ko interesting at maganda.  Makikita mo lahat yan dito.  Pwedeng hindi maganda yun para sa iba, pero basta maganda para sa akin, bali wala na ang iba.

And I’m proud to say that the Philippines is a very beautiful country and we are very rich in natural resources. A lot of beautiful scenery, beaches, mountains and the most beautiful of all are the Filipino people. Come visit us sometime and I will show you around and you will understand what I’m talking about. The Philippines is progressive, booming, teeming with life! Everything is fast paced. And Manila is very cosmopolitan.  As what they say in one of our tourism tagline: “It’s more fun in the Philippines”! And I can say hell yeah!!!

At proud ako to say na maganda talaga ang Pilipinas, at mayaman sa natural resources.  Maraming beautiful scenery, mga beach, bundok, at pinakamaganda sa lahat yung mga Pilipino.  Come visit us sometime tapos ipapakita ko sa inyo yung mga sinasabi ko.  Progressive ang Pilipinas, booming and teeming with life!  Everything is fast paced.  And Manila is very cosmopolitan.  Tulad ng sabi ng tourism tagline namin, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”. Talaga naman! 

A: I fell in love with the colors and textures on your feed. Tell me about some of the series on your IG feed. I adore how you shoot 5 or more in a row your feed flows so well. It is a feast of numbers, colors or textures.

D:   Right now I have 15 different series going on. I started with my “Cola Loca” series – these are Coke signs that I see all around Metro Manila.

Sa ngayon,may 15 different series ako.  Nagsimula ako sa “Cola Loca” series.  These are Coke signs na nakikita ko all around Metro Manila.

      And the others are:

      1) “Cola Loca” – Coke signage

      2) “Electric Meter” – Electric meters around the city

      3) “Art through Vandalism” – Graffiti’s around the city

      4) “Number Fever” – All about numbers

      5) “What’s your Type?” – Anything typography related images

      6) “Beautiful rim job” – these are the colorful rims of jeepneys  around metro manila

      7) “Knock! Knock!” – Doors galore!

      8) “Chain Reaction” – beautiful rusty chains

      9) “Roughing it out” – Anything with texture I put here

      10) “Petty Pets” – Filipinos love pets. These are the cats and dogs that roam around the city.

      11) “Just Sittin Around” – I love chairs! Anything about neglected old chairs, couch and sofa.

      12) “Keyhole Peephole” – These are keyholes with colors and texture

      13) “Between the lines” – All about lines and shapes

      14) “Sleepyhead” – These are people that I see sleeping around the city

      15) “Pick a lock” – is about beautiful rusty padlocks

A: Which out of the series are your favorites? Will you tell me a little more about them?

D:  My favorite amongst the series that I’m doing currently are the “Cola Loca,” “Number Fever,” “What’s your Type,” “Just Sittin’ Around” and “Chain Reaction.”

Favorite ko sa series na ginagawa ko ngayon yung “Cola Loca,” “Number Fever,” “What’s Your Type,” “Just Sittin’ Around” and “Chain Reaction.”

 ”Cola Loca” is my very first series. Everyone in the Philippines loves drinking soda! It’s funny because you find the signs all around even in the most obscure places. Coke Philippines did a great job in doing that. It’s like Coke is ubiquitous. I also love the texture of the paint and the wall together. It creates a nice “look” to it that makes it really interesting.

Unang series ko yung “Cola Loca.”  Mahilig ang Pilipino sa soft drinks!  Nakakatuwa kasi nakikita ang signs all around, kahit sa mga obscure na lugar.  Coke Philippines did a great job in doing that.  It’s like Coke is ubiquitous.  Gusto ko rin yung texture ng pagkakapinta at ng mga wall.  Nagkakaroon ng magandang look na interesting.

 ”Number Fever” and “What’s Your Type” go together. It’s basically all around us. I like discovering weathered, peeled, textured, and rusted typography and numbers. There’s a certain charm and magic in each and every one of them. I guess I just generally love typography and numbers.

Bagay magkasama ang “Number Fever” and “What’s Your Type.”  It’s basically all around us.  Natutuwa ako pag nakakakita ako ng mga typography at numbers na pinagdaanan na ng panahon, yung mga kumukupas na, kinakalawang na.  May magic at charm yung mga yon.  Baka gusto ko lang talaga ang typography and numbers.

 ”Just Sittin Around” – because I love chairs! I love all the Bauhaus and mid-century chair designs. I love Marcel Breuer, Giancarlo Piretti, Le Corbusier, Hans Wegner, Jean Prouve, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, George Nelson and the list goes on. And I really find a lonely, forgotten, neglected chair just sitting around sad. It is very interesting to shoot specially if it’s really worn out and weathered and peeling and you just “feel” the love that that chair gave to whoever owns it and used it.  Things are going to get old, tired, weak and eventually lonely, especially if you don’t take care of it. Again, there’s a certain magic and feeling in capturing those chairs. It gives me some pleasure and excitement that I can’t really explain why when I find one just sitting around. Happy and sad I guess.

“Just Sittin’ Around”–because I love chairs!  Gustong gusto ko ang mga Bauhaus at mid-century chair design.  I love Marcel Breuer, Giancarlo Piretti, Le Corbusier, Hans Wegner, Jean Prouve, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, George Nelson and the list goes on.  Pag nakakakita ako ng mga lumang upuan na nakakalat lang, parang nakakalungkot.  Interesting sila kunan ng letrato lalo na pag sobrang worn-out and weathered, kasi nararamdaman mo yung pinagdaanan nung upuan.  Pag hindi inaalagaan, maluluma lang at masisira ang mga bagay.   Again, there’s a certain magic and feeling in capturing those chairs.  Natutuwa ako at na-e-excite pag nakakakita ako ng isang nakasalampak lang.  Happy and sad I guess.

 ”Chain Reaction” – It’s the texture, shape and form that interest me when I shoot chains. Even if it’s all weathered and rusty, it still gives you the feel of “strength” especially when they are all linked together and being “one”.

“Chain Reaction”– pag nagkukuha ako ng letrato ng mga kadena, interesado ako sa texture at shape nila.  Kahit kinalawang na at luma, parang may tibay pa rin, lalo na pag linked together at iisa.

Thank you for chatting with me Dennis and thank you so much for sharing with us! I can’t wait to see what your next series. 

To find out more about Dennis:

Instagram: denikv

Twitter: Ski43210


  1. What a great work he has done. Dennis is surely an asset to the Philippine Advertising industry. Would love to see more of his works.

    • Thanks Sis! =)

  2. Thank you, Anna! I’m so happy to be introduced to this stunning body of work.

    I can’t wait to go visit your photostream, Dennis. You do your country very proud. I hope to see this vibrant place for myself someday soon…

    - r

    • Thanks Rachel =)

  3. You nail it bro. Proud of you, keep doing what you love to do and share it with us.
    I suggest you compile it and sell it. 

    • Maraming salamat bro! =)

  4. I am proud of you Dennis. I was amaze of your talent and work. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you Tita Raquel =) I guess Chinky told you guys about this one. Hehe =) Thanks!

  5. Great interview and wonderful photos!

    • Thank you Susan! =)


    • Thanks Dad! =) Thank you for checkint it out =)

      • Sweet! :-)

  7. Great article – congrats Dennis, well deserved!

    • Thank you very much Lee! I really appreciate it =)

  8. Great work kuya dennis! I was so impressed to see your work…

    • Thank you Cuz!!! =)

  9. Great job, Den! Keep it up. :-)

    • Thanks Nette! =)

  10. Wow! Fantastic work! Great talent! I agree with toto’s suggestion… Compile and publish it! You make us proud Dens!

    • Tnak you! Thank You! =)

  11. Great to see someone working in multiple series. I feel like I can’t stop making pictures of lights because there’s really no end to it, but I want to start something new also (@dplblog). This is encouraging, thanks. Nice work too – love the dog in front of the two matching chairs. What an amazing shot.

    • Go start somethin new! It’s always fun to do new things! =) Thank you man! =)

  12. Congratulations Dennis!

  13. Congratulations Dennis looking forward to see more of your works.

    • Thanks! Thanks! =)

  14. We are all so proud of you Dennis!!!! Put your projects together and I will stand as your agent here in the US, not kidding… You will go along way baby…. Vet creative and fantastic work
    We love you!!!!!!
    Tita Joy and Tito Ernani

    • Thank you very much tita for checking this out! I guess Chinky told you about it. =) Miss you all guys! Love you too! Regards to the whole family! =)

  15. Some amazing creation of art. !!.made us really proud of you. . .

    • Thank you very much! =)

  16. Dennis, you surely have an artistic eye. Fantastic snaps. All this with an iPhone? Even more impressive.

    Maiko and Jen

    • Hey Maiko and Jenny! Good to hear from you guys! Yup! Im just using my iphone for my pics. Thanks Man! Regards to the whole family! =)

  17. WoWowee!! Great Job Den :)

  18. Nice Work Sir Dennis !

  19. Nice work! Eh Dennis pa!