#Bangkok and the God of Modernity

Bangkok is where I first encountered the God of Modernity. It’s an effigy that offers its past for the sake of the future.

The city thrives with a sense of ironic juxtaposition: a bustling metropolis commercialized by remnants of history. I cross not only the spiritual abyss but a roadside and couple of tuktuks.

IMG_9638My trip last November 2012 made evident my fascination with how progress and preservation can co-exist. I’m both amazed and afraid of this symbiotic relationship.


Here is a curator who encloses Buddha behind velvet ropes.

IMG_1708It is where visitors kneel down, not to pray, but to take pictures with SLR cameras and iPhones.

I see monks quietly passing by, donning white earphones that drape across their orange robes.


Around me is a metropolis residing at the footsteps of the temple with roadside altars that are conveniently placed by street corners and shopping malls.


I know that everything has a tradeoff: What do we give up in order to move forward? Conversely, how do we hold on without feeling backwards? Overall, how do we retain authenticity in the end?


What was once a remote Chinese trading port has flourished into a flytrap of tourists seeking for escape and adventure. Back then it was the merchant who commoditized the city. Now, it is I, the traveler who brokers experience. I reform history with my iPhone.

Part 1 of my Bangkok Series. Photos by Maica Facundo

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