Nerves of steel. That’s what I can say to the one who made this video.
At first, it may look like, “Yeah cool, Manila at night, lights, towers, skyline, whatever…”
But wait until you reach the middle of the video when you see someone stand on the side of a building, jump across one to the other, and do all those stunts.
I bet you’d be at the edge of your seat then.
Here’s the video below:
The video was made by Benjo, a member of the Black Lotus Parkour Team and co-owner of Ninja Academy, a Parkour gym in the Philippines. He strapped a GoPro on his chest, climbed buildings, and took shots of Metro Manila. According to him, it is a year’s worth of climbing, shooting, and editing.
We had a quick chat with him to learn more about the video and Parkour.
WIM: How long have you been doing parkour?
Benjo: Been practicing for 5 years already and don’t think I’ll be stopping anytime soon.
WIM: What made you do parkour?
Benjo: I watched the movie, Casino Royale, and the chase scene in the beginning, where this very athletic man was trying to escape James Bond, really caught my attention. After the movie, I went online and searched “cat like movement in casino royale” hahaha and eventually saw that it was Parkour.
WIM: What’s the inspiration behind the video?
Benjo: Urban Exploration (URBEX) – for us, is finding Beautiful things amidst its Unappealing environment, to see what others cannot and to discover what lies behind the veils of society. I really just wanted to inspire people that they can DO MORE and BE MORE!
WIM: From the video, it feels that Parkour is dangerous, is it really the case? If so, how do you ensure safety?
Benjo: Did you know that everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING, we do in life is a risk? Walking down the street is a risk. Getting inside a cab is a risk. Talking to someone on the internet is a risk. Getting your first coffee of the day is a risk. Buying that item online because it’s on sale, it’s a risk! The only thing that lets us do these is because our mind is telling us WE CAN and WE’VE ACCEPTED the consequences to these actions (more often than not) haha.
WIM: Did you make it alone or with your group?
Benjo: Most of the climbs I did alone and other times, my friends are with me. Sometimes it gets lonely up there, especially when you’ve meditated on a lot of things already.
WIM: What is the most challenging part you’ve encountered in creating the video?
Benjo: Not having enough “space” to fill the song I used with the Footages I have. The music I used was Chasing Reverie by Earthmover – a post rock band based here in the Philippines. It’s soooo so very beautiful!!!!!
WIM: What is video’s main purpose?
Benjo: To show the Beautiful Side of Metro Manila. I mean, come on, all that pollution, corruption, traffic, sketchy pavements, manholes, irregular roads, garbage ~ I can go on and on haha ~ is a sight you always see everyday. I wanted to show that, with a little perspective change, Metro Manila is actually pretty badass!
WIM: What are your advice to people who also would like to learn parkour?
Benjo: Get out and do it! Don’t think that your body’s only functions are to eat, sit, shop, text, drink and smoke. Go out and Explore! 🙂
There are a lot of Parkour groups out there that are more than happy to help! These include Parkour Philippines and Philippine Parkour Freerunning Association, and there is a Parkour Gym of course, Ninja Academy.
Anyone here also doing Parkour? Where’s your favorite spot in Manila to do it? Anyone interested in trying it out?