Saturday, June 30, 2007

cemetery battleground

This is the 19th century chapel inside the La Loma cemetery. I really wanted to know what’s inside this beautiful church but it is closed and is no longer used…. a newer chapel was erected near the cemeteries entrance. And would you believe that this chapel is dedicated to St. Pancratius as well?

When I visited the Paco Park and found out that the patron of the cemetery’s church is St. Pancratius I immediately thought of this chapel inside the La Loma Cemetery. I wonder if St. Pancratius is the patron of cemeteries. I’ve searched about him and here’s what I found out : Born as a roman citizen who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for his faith at the age of 14 in the year 304. Anyone knows why he guards the chapels inside the cemeteries?

I guess I’m really odd because most people find cemeteries eerie and disturbing but not me… I have always been fascinated with cemeteries, I love looking at those beautiful mausoleums and old tombs, heck I even enjoy reading epitaphs. But I guess you’d love cemeteries as well if you’ve been inside the La Loma and Chinese Cemeteries. The mausoleums inside the cemeteries are exquisite and I believe it has been a tourist attraction already.

When I was a kid I often wonder why is there a cannon inside the cemetery, that cannon serves as our landmark, and when I searched the net I found out that the La Loma cemetery became a battleground in 1899, just before the turn of the century. Guess a lot of people didn’t know the historical significance of the cemetery because there are no historical markers about that battle. Read the battle story here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

paco park

Paco Park was once a cemetery during the Spanish period and was constructed in the late 18th century and was used to inter victims of the cholera epidemic which ravaged Manila in 1822. The cemetery stopped interment and burial in 1912 (don’t know why) and in 1966 it was converted into a national park.. This beautiful chapel was built inside the walls of the Paco Park and it was dedicated to St. Pancratius.

The cemetery is circular in shape with an inner circular fort that was the original cemetery and with the niches (three level of built-in-vaults) that were placed or located within the hollow walls. Originally the niches cost Php 20 for a 3-year renewable lease (no one was allowed to own the niches). The remains of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was interred here after his execution at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park) on December 30, 1896.

During the WWII, Japanese forces used Paco Park as a central supply and ammunition depot. The high thick adobe walls around the park was ideal for defensive positions of the Japanese. Paco Park’s grandeur was slowly restored after the war and since then has remained as a public park and promenade for many teen age sweethearts who could spend quiet moments along the park’s benches and private alcoves.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

pambansang museo

National Museum of the Philippines is located at Padre Burgos Street, Ermita and it was established on October 4, 1901. The museum proper shares its space with the courts and jail of Manila and the Senate of the Republic. The person responsible for the growth and expansion of the museum was an American who fell in love with the archipelago while serving in the US Navy during World War II. The foundations of its ethnographic collection date back to the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904.

Sorry if the the image is blurry coz this photo was taken using my cellphone's camera. Took it from inside the LRT, the train got some technical problems and it stopped midstation to UN station. I have a confession to make, i still haven't visited this museum. I know i ought to visit this place, but i always find some lame excuse not to. Have you visited a museum lately?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

MacArthur bridge

Still at the MacArthur Bridge. Of the 8 major bridges that spans Manila, this bridge is my favorite.

Photo below was taken at the center of the bridge, with LRT1 and the Pasig River ferry.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

i shall return

Gen. Douglas MacArthur famous quote, his statement after leaving the Philippines in 1942 during the World War II and he did return two years later. This statue depicts his return. This statue can be found at the foot of MacArthur Bridge (from Ermita to Sta. Cruz)

Trivia: This statue used to be at the grounds of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, just right at the entrance... when i was in freshman i used to wonder why does MacAthur have a statue in my school? Then on my senior year, the statue "walked" to its rightful place.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

436th araw ng maynila

Today is the 436th foundation anniversary of the City of Manila. Let me share with you the anthem of the Manila called "Awit sa Maynila"... as a student of Manila, we were required to memorize this song.

Tanging Lungsod naming mahal/ Tampok ng Silanganan/ Patungo sa kaunlaran/ At kaligayahan./ Nasa kanya ang pangarap/ Dunong, lakas, pag-unlad/ Ang Maynila'y tanging Perlas Ng Bayan ngayo't bukas./ MAYNILA, O, MAYNILA/ Dalhin mo ang Bandila/ MAYNILA, O, MAYNILA/ At itanghal itong Bansa.

Photo: MacArthur Bridge (from Sta. Cruz to Ermita)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the met

This is the Metropolitan Theatre on P. Burgos Street near the Manila Central Post Office Building. This art deco building was completed in 1935 by the design of Filipino architect Juan Arellano. This was once the main venue of operas and plays in Manila, but the building was destroyed during the Liberation of Manila in 1945. Reconstructions were made but as time goes by the building fell into desrepair in the 1960s, maybe because plays no longer holds the interest of the Filipinos at that time.

But even in its present state, the building still looks magnificent and the city of Manila is doing renovation to keep this beautiful architecture standing. If you would click on the image for a larger view, you would see men in red shirts at the roof working...changing the roof, and they're almost finished now.

Actually this building is my personal favorite not only because of its beauty but because this is where our high school graduation took place. This is where my friends and I said our goodbyes… a silent witness to the tears that we shed in farewell to our wonderful high school life.

Update (09/24/07): Mayor Alfredo Lim is spearheading the renovation of this theater back to its old grandeur. And that the Manila government is willing to ask big companies to to lend financial support in the restoration. Good news indeed!

Hotel reservations in Manila

Friday, June 22, 2007

manila central post office

The beautiful post office building at night... and at broad daylight.

The post office is located at Liwasang Bonifacio (formerly Plaza Lawton), just in case you want to send snail mails.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Welcome to chinatown...I know you've seen this arch a thousand times already but it would be remiss of me not to post this... and its guardian.

The ongpin street... the place to find authentic chinese cuisine, medicine, and of course gold jewelries!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

by calesa or by foot?

When i took this photo i didnt realized that there was a man in front of me because i was so intent in capturing the calesa passing by, but the man made my photo more beautiful i think... it looked like the calesa and the man were on a race.

I have always been fascinated with calesas, and i really love riding them. Maybe its because they are so scarce now a days that you only get to see them at escolta, binondo, divisoria, and at intramuros. Let me share with you this beautiful calesa song that we used to sing during elementary days.

Kalesa'y may pang-akit na taglay
Maginhawa't di maalinsangan
Nakahahalina kung pagmasdan
Kalesa ay pambayang sasakyan

Kabayo ay di natin problema
Pulot at damo lang ay tama na
Matulin din sa kalsada
Tumatakbong maginhawa
Wala pang gasolina

Kalesa ay panghatid tuwina
Nung panahon nina maria clara
Mga bayani nitong bayan
Sa kalesa'y dinuduyan

Kalesa'y nakaaaliw
Lalo na pag gumagabi
At kung kasama ko ang aking giliw
Mangangalesa na rin kami

Matulin din sa kalsada
Tumatakbong maginhawa
Wala pang gasolina

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

regina building

This is one of the old buildings at Escolta, a history still standing at the corner of Burke and Escolta streets. I intentionally shot the building at this angle because i cant find a way to capture the whole lot without the power cable lines hanging.

Escolta was once the place to be, the center of commerce (plush shopping) during the pre-WWII period, as what my mother used to tell me... but today, the glory of this place is gone. I'm not sure if the proposed plan of Mayor Atienza to transform Escolta into an IT center pushed through.

Monday, June 18, 2007

an ordinary day

An ordinary day in the life of an ordinary person in a not so ordinary place.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

plaza sta. cruz

Saturday, June 16, 2007


The busy street of avenida, under the LRT Carriedo station.

During the olden days, this street was once the bustling shopping center along with Escolta, however the construction of the LRT1 leave the stretch of Avenida dark and what modernization sometimes brings. In this advent many establishments were forced to close their shops due to lack of patrons.

A few years back, Mayor Atienza had this project of "Buhayin ang Maynila" and the Avenida/Carriedo was rehabilitated into a pedestrian shopping center. This decision was received with mixed feelings, anger from hte transport group and a welcome relief for the pedestrian and vendors. I personally liked this project and i hope that Mayor Lim will not open this section to traffic again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

the second coming

Meet the legendary mayor... Alfredo S. Lim... the "Dirty Harry" of the Philippines. This poster now lined up manila streets, "Get ready for a crime and drug free Manila", a stern warning indeed! I really like this guy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

manila's hibiscus

Yesterday, I showed you the view from the top of LRT, today i am giving you what it looks like down under. As you can see, the LRT pillars are adorned with gumamela (hibiscus) which is the favorite flower of the former Mayor Atienza. He really loves that flower, that in all his public appearances he wears a flowery polo/shirt... and whenever i see a gumamela, i always immediately think of Mayor Atienza.

I have to take this photo and show it to you now, cause i am not sure if the hibiscus drawings will still be around since we already have a new Mayor, and i know that Mayor Lim is not a flower person. I actually missed seeing the Manila City Hall's employees wearing their flowery shirts during their monday mornings flag ceremony… they are just wearing plain white or red shirts now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

my train

Taken from the R.Papa LRT station going southbound.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

independence day

The Philippines is celebrating its 109 years of independence from Spain today, so it is only fitting that I post Lapulapu’s monument (Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom) on this special day.

Lapu Lapu is known as the leader who defeated the Spanish conquistador, Ferdinand Magellan in April 1521, becoming the first Filipino hero. The 50-feet tall bronze statue depicts Lapu Lapu, not in battle, but standing guard, holding his kampilan (concealed in its scabbard) firmly planted on the ground. His face conveys strength and determination, but with kindness and a stance that exudes power and vigilance. The statue is located at Agrafina Circle, Luneta (what used to be the skating rink), just in front of the Department of Tourism Building.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Another photo from the happy land of the children's playground at luneta park.

Have a great weekend everyone. I wont be able to post for the next few days, i'll be having a vacation at Batangas. See y'all on tuesday!

Friday, June 08, 2007


Sorry i dont know what is the name of this dinosaur but i find him cute (i have to ask my nephews, they know a lot more about dinosaurs than me)... anyways this is still inside the children's playground at Luneta, as i have said in my previous post here this playground is different from your usual playground. I actually use my nephews so that i can go inside this happy land :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

jungle in manila?

Nah, just looks like a jungle to me... this is inside the children's playground at Luneta. Notice the big globe near the elephant? That is the globe that used to be in the center of the skating rink in Luneta, if i remeber it correctly there used to be a fountain with this globe, i'll check it with Señor Enrique.

Sad note: This photo was taken before typhoon Milenyo hit Manila last September , that's why there are still lots of trees in here. If you'll visit the place now, few trees are left standing.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

fountain of hands

Give me water said the hands lifting up into the sky...and so the fountain exist. This is at Luneta and the mural "talked" to me so i have to indulge its whim and photograph it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

bask in the sun

A typical morning scene at Luneta... kids enjoying the glorious early morning sunshine. Well, according to old folks the morning sun rays are good for the skin, hence my nephew is naked in this photo, basking in the sun. You would also notice in the photo a father and a son jogging, Luneta is the best place to jog i think, if you're into exercise thingy.

Monday, June 04, 2007

swimming through life

This is one of the arts displayed at the Kanlungan ng Sining (Artists' Haven) at Luneta. The Kanlungan ng Sining became the venue and common workplace of exhibits belonging to diverse disciplines. It is home to the Arts Association of the Philippines which holds monthly exhibits throughout the year. Kanlungan ng Sining is dedicated to the Filipino artists and to every Filipino who is an artist at heart.

What draws me to this piece is the way how people seem to move, its like these people are swimming through life... not with ease but still swimming. A reflection of how we live our daily lives, dont you think?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

paluang palayok

Paluang palayok is one of the parlor games played during fiesta celebration... played by children but some adults also play this for fun. The rule of the game is similar to that of piñata, except that instead of a piñata, you have to break the clay pot or the palayok.

The palayok is usually filled with candies, coins, and flour. Why include flour?... it serves as an addition to fun because the player who cracks the pot get showered by the flour and instantly turn into a "ghost". A contestant is blindfolded and a guide will direct the player on the direction and how high is the pot. No limit of contestants here as long as the pot is not broken, kids can line up to have the chance in breaking the pot. Coaching is allowed but sometimes you just have to trust your feet and your instincts because some of the "coach" actually mislead the player. Once the pot is broken, kids immediately try to grab some candies and coins, and the winner gets his prize.

The kid in the photo is my nephew and he just smashed that pot right after this shot to the amazement of everybody. We we're so proud of him cause he hit the pot even though there were about 10 or more kids bigger than him that tried.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


This is my answer to all those who were curious as to what is the "white paper" seen from my room from yesterdays post ... olivier was correct in guessing that it has soemthing to do about a festival. Actually those white pieces stringed is not a paper but plastic, a common material we used in making the banderitas (small flags) to decorate our streets during the fiesta celebration.

Fiesta is a spanish word, but is considered as a filipino term in celebrating the feast of the patron saint in each town or barangay... and fiesta is part of the filipino lifestyle, a part and parcel of the filipino culture. Through good times and bad times, the fiesta must go on.

The usual preparation for the feast starts about a week before the actual day, all the residents including children help in preparing these banderitas/small flags weeks before, then the men of the town helped in putting up the banderitas and lights in the street. Why a week? Cause usually there is an "amateur" contest... a stage set up in the center of town and every night conduct a sing and dance contest. You can watch it for free since the prizes to be given were already solicited prior to the event.

On the fiesta day itself, there would be bands stolling the streets performing for the the people. And lots of parlor games are in store for the kids, in our area there is an anual 100km bike race. The celebration varies from town to town but all are colorful and gay... but the highlight of the event is the procession of the patron saint at night.

Ok, you're wondering what is the "girl" doing in the picture... all fiestas have ati atihan performers aside from the bands and this gay person performs as a fire eater in exchange for a few pesos. Here's the list of the famous festivals throughout the Philippines.

Friday, June 01, 2007

june 1st theme day

1st day of the month and it only means one thing... the DP theme day. This month's theme is a view from my room. Check out other DP blogs participating:

Seattle (WA), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Toruń, Poland - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Madison (WI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Omaha (NE), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stockholm, Sweden - Grenoble, France - Lubbock (TX), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Hyde, UK - Joplin (MO), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Kansas City (MO), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Manila, Philippines - Sydney, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - London, UK - Chandler (AZ), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore - Hamburg, Germany - Sydney, Australia - Tenerife, Spain - Moscow, Russia - Lyon, France - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Evry, France - Hayle, UK - Mumbai, India - Kitakami, Japan - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - La Antigua, Guatemala - Paderborn, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Madrid, Spain - Lyon, France - Selma (AL), USA - Shanghai, China - Baziège, France - Cologne (NRW), Germany - North Bay (ON), Canada - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Stayton (OR), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Hong Kong, China - Trier, Germany - Joensuu, Finland - Paris, France - Greenville (SC), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Cork, Ireland - Bastia, France - Vancouver, Canada - Brookville (OH), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Mainz, Germany - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Torino, Italy - Montréal (QC), Canada
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