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I'm Fatz. I'm working for ChinaBusiness-Philippines magazine and for our April 2008 issue we will be writing an article about piracy in the Philippines. I would just like to ask if I can use high resolution version of the photos in this page, free of charge? Can I just cite your name as the photographer? We can make the photo blurred so as not to show the faces of the people selling pirated CDs and DVDs.

Please email if me you allow us to use the photos.

Thank you,


the pirates sometimes sell rare art films and classics of all genres from all over the world, which the legit stores won't be selling, titles you'd have a hard time looking for even in the internet.


as always Sidney, your guts simply blows me away!

dodong flores

That's a funny comment by RennyBA, Hahaha!!!

The guy in the "Blue Carribbean" T-shirt is proud to pose for his wares. How did you do it? :D

I haven't been to Quiapo as intensively as you do and didn't see this kind of scene yet. It's a shame I'm a Filipino yet ignorant about this kind of thing.


Amazing structure. Very colourful and mystical. Love it!


"Taking pictures here is definitely not recommended! It is quite tricky if not plain dangerous. I tried it and it was met with anger. One shop owner started shouting at me and soon a little mob assembled. I didn’t understand what they were saying but I moved on as quickly as I could… I guess they thought I was working for the FBI. ;-)"

My thoughts exactly! LOL

Nice undercover photojournalist shots!


for one thing, people here are paranoid. there's always a raid. some of them claim that the police surprises them but I beg to differ as most of them are protected by the authority. leaks of having raid get to them before the police can get anything from them. once, i even encountered someone selling empty boxes of DVDs, when I asked, she said she's protecting her goods when raids happen. but these people always come back after a supposed to be "successful raid". protecting their goods is their next best instinct so I can understand why some of these people see you as someone from the NBI. ;-) but i was happy to know that you survived the hardest ordeal. i am really amazed by your courage. i know won't have the guts.


So you even risk your life for showing us this black market - well done and how well the problem are documented. Its a pity they abuse the copy right.

Ashish Sidapara

Bill Gates would get an heart attack here ;-) Fun series!!


Thanks for your visit. I have been living in Africa for 32 years. Enjoy viewing my site...


Early this year, I also tried to take a picture of the place but a man stared at me and told me to stop. DVD! DVD kayo diyan! :)


Looks like big business!


They must have though you were collecting evidence to bust their video rental/selling business.


What are you gonna do. I'm glad these folks are making a living, or I hope they are.


terrifically colourful shots. i wonder if they got upset because you were taking photos of them, not that they were worried about the police...many muslims have a thing about having photos taken (something to do with the forbidding of images of Allah) - i was once chased in morocco for taking photos - after all, you say you had no problems in the non-muslim area.


Before reading your whole description, I looked at the photos and was like "A couple of those people look mad!"

Good story. I like the images!


There a laws against piracy but it still is happening. I guess there are no ways to really eliminate piracy from the market.

It's hard to get pirated discs in Malaysia nowadays. The designated place has a lot of on-going raids. Gotta find nook and crannies to get pirated discs.


sino umaway sayo? hehehe.

only 15pesos? really?!
even in mrt stations, you'll see pirated dvd's. you would not believe that there's a law against piracy


wow great guts to try and photograph the DVD sellers, good thing you were able to get away!


glad to know you got away safely! =)


yes, insecure , even in very poor areas is really rare and people are so pleased to be photographied- you know a lot about the country, and i want to go this w-end back to kiapo to see this moske i didin t vist- just tell if some festifal for this w-end -in quezon naval festival?? interesting?- mail if you want-thks :-)

Chris Vallancourt

Thankfully you were not hurt..I guess one can understant the sensitivity.


Very interesting story, but I'm not surprized ...

Photo Cache

they are out in the open? i thought the govt is cracking down on illegal sale of pirated dvds?


On sent bien à travers tes photos dignes d'un détecticve, que certains vendeurs ne souhaitent pas être pris en photo.
Ce ne sont pas les mêmes sourires que les vendeurs de légumes ou autres bibelots.
Mais je vois que les risques étaient bien calculés.
Sacré Sherlock :)

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