We normally think of cyberpunk cities as highly-densified, neon-lit East Asian metropolises in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

But today, I want to introduce the world to the lost cyberpunk megalopolis of Metro Manila. It has high-tech, low-life, and even the aesthetics to boot. From glowing megacorporate skyscrapers to the dark arcades of the city’s underbelly, Manila makes for a perfect cyberpunk setting.

Growing up, I’ve always been obsessed with futuristic settings in sci-fi movies and video games, especially in the cyberpunk sub-genre. There’s just something about neon lights and noir environments that made me fall in love with the aesthetic. One year ago, I decided to teach myself photography and started the Instagram account @led.noir.manila as a worldbuilding project based around the idea of experiencing my hometown as a cyberpunk city.

It’s been a long journey so far. I still haven’t explored much of Metro Manila, but there will be many more photoshoots in the future.

Here are some of my best and favorite pictures from the past year.

More info: Instagram

#1. Glowing skyscrapers of Makati CBD, as viewed from the pedestrian overpass.

#2. Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at street level. The city of the future.

#3. Rockwell Center’s neon nights during the Christmas season.


#4. Alabang Terminal during a typhoon. Reminds me of Blade Runner.


#5. Stormy monsoon night in downtown Binondo.

#6. Neon lights of Gateway Mall in Araneta City.

#7. Benilde HiFi Campus in Malate looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

#8. More sci-fi architecture at Conrad Manila Hotel in MOA Complex, Pasay City.


#9. The Podium at Ortigas, with a façade combining wall gardens and neon lights.

#10. Speaking of Ortigas, here’s some futuristic vibes at the elevated plaza.


#11. EDSA is my favorite place to shoot. Here’s the typical evening rush hour at Muñoz.

#12. North EDSA concrete jungle. It’s no secret that this highway is notorious for traffic.

#13. Guadalupe, the billboard capital of the Philippines.


#14. Rush hour at Aurora, with commuters lining up to hail jeepney rides.

#15. University Belt? More like Condominium Belt. España Boulevard in Sampaloc.

#16. Ermita in the rain. Those lights produce some beautiful reflections on the streets.

#17. Cubao’s red light district with motels and “massage” services.


#18. Dapitan Street in Sampaloc. Condos, coffee shops, and co-working spaces.

#19. The neon-lit dining and entertainment district of Tomas Morato.

#20. Nightclubs and restaurants in the nightlife district of Timog Avenue.

#21. Muntinlupa Public Market, also known as Alabang Palengke.

#22. Dystopian scenery at Arayat, Cubao.

#23. Carriedo street markets during a rainy night.

#24. A street food stall at Avenida (Rizal Avenue).

#25. Garment shops and carinderias (eateries) along the sidewalks of Aurora.


#26. The hidden overpass in Shaw Boulevard Station, Mandaluyong.

#27. The seedy neon-lit underbelly of Recto and Quezon Boulevard. Japan and Hong Kong may have alleys with neon signs, but Manila has these arcaded walkways.

#28. After a bit of exploring further, here’s a dark corridor in Avenida. Gritty noir vibes right here.

#29. A dirty alley in Quiapo after the street markets have closed for the night.

#30. Arcades and alleys in Project 7, more commonly known as Muñoz.