Sunday, September 30, 2007


"“Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Part of a wall going inside the dungeon, interesting how these adobe stones attract the mosses.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Dungeons used to be the storage vaults and powder magazine. Because of dampness caused by the humid weather and the nearness of the vaults to the Pasig River, the Spaniards decided to build a new vault. The vaults were converted into prison cells and storerooms.

The photos shows the stairs/pathway to these vaults, but most of these passageway is closed to the public. You may find it suffocating but it's actually a bit cold in these areas.

Friday, September 28, 2007

nickname: pepe

I know I should have posted this before doing the Rizal Shrine series, sorry I forgot that not all who happen to visit this blog knows Jose Rizal that much. I’m not going to give you his biography here but you can check out this official website and wikipedia’s entry here that will give you an insight on his remarkable life.

This is the closeup photo of Jose Rizal's status at the Plaza Armas, which you've already seen in this post.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

old and new

I just cant resist taking this photo from the Rizal Shrine's second floor... it's like the merging of old and new. From this photo you'd think that the fort and the ruins are side by side with these modern buildings but they're actually separated by the Pasig River which i previously posted here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

mi ultimo adios

Rizal Shrine's second floor... it has three rooms: 1) souvenir shop; 2) glass cases showing Jose Rizal's suits/clothes and other stuff; and 3) a room with just writings on the floors and the walls (didn't read those stuff so please dont ask me what are they, this room also shows the lampara (alcohol lamp) and the kusinilya (small stove) in this photo. (If you take a closer look, you'll see my reflection in the glass).

Background why this stove is very important and such is the title of this post.
Rizal's attack on the Spanish occupation is non-violent but his writings/novels irked the Spanish government and friars which led to his arrest and execution. The day before his execution, his mother and sisters visited him in the cell and as they were about to leave, Rizal told them that there is something in the stove. Jose Rizal wrote the poem Mi Ultimo Adios (Huling Paalam in Tagalog), which expresses his love for his native land and hid it in this tiny stove. From this stove his family recovered a folded paper with this poem of 14 five-line stanzas, unsigned and untitled. This poem was circulated to his friends and was known to be his last testament and it was Marciano Ponce who gave the title to the poem.

This is the first stanza of the poem as translated in English: My Last Farewell. To read the whole poem click here.

Farewell, beloved Country, treasured region of the sun,
Pearl of the sea of the Orient, our vanquished Eden!
To you I gladly surrender this melancholy life;
And were it brighter, fresher, gaudier,
Even then I’d give it to you, to you alone would then I give.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Staircase going up to the 2nd level of the Rizal Shrine museum in Fort Santiago. Nothing out of the ordinary here and very simple compared to the Pambansang Museo staircase but i just always see photos of stairs in magazines and decided to give it a shot. The painting you see below is Jose Rizal's portrait. But if you'd notice, this staircase is very typical of those old houses, when i was a kid i used to think most of the houses, specially the old ones, looked the same. I did love playing slide in shiny balustrades... what about you?

PS. photo still grainy since i'm not using flash so as not to attract the guard's attention.

Monday, September 24, 2007

rizal shrine

"The Rizal Shrine is a modern museum built in 1953 and house the memorabilia of Jose Rizal. Our national hero's cell was in the former Cuarto de Repuesto or storage area and pantry. A model of the cell during his imprisonment is one of the main attractions of the shrine. In 1996, the shrine was renovated as part of the centennial celebration of Rizal's martyrdom and the Philippine Revolution."

Here's what the museum looks inside, this is the ground floor exhibiting Jose Rizal's photos, letters, and other memorabilia. The thin sheets of metal that looks like columns supporting the ceiling actually list down his writings. Sorry for the grainy picture and no photo of the main attraction because the place was so dark and besides i was only sneaking to take photos. After this shot, the guard noticed and approached me and reminded me that i should not take photos to which i responded ok but with no intention of doing so. I dunno why museums forbid picture taking inside. Would you know why?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

brick ruins

"The brick ruins are part of the oldest building in Fort Santiago. Built in 1593, the structure was a barracks building for Spanish soldiers. During the American period, army officers and their families lived here. The building was eventually destroyed during World War II."

This area is off limits now to the public because of the danger of falling bricks, but there are still people like me who wants to wander in these beautiful ruins... yeah i'm kinda hard headed. Besides, i really love this area, this had been a setting for numerous old films about the Spanish colonization.

Dont you just love this doorway? Makes you feel like you're back in that bygone era and any moment Maria Clara would appear with her umbrella wiping her brows. I know, i have an overactive imagination. =)

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This ruins is adjacent to the cell of Jose Rizal, that's his statue in the Plaza Armas. Tomorrow, i'll post something about the brick building you see in the foreground.

This is the building where Jose Rizal cell was, you would notice there are several "rooms", from what i read from peeking outside (because this area is close to the public now) some of these rooms where used by the guardia civil who were guarding Rizal. The orange building afar is the Palacio del Governador, i still have yet to do a post about that building.

Friday, September 21, 2007

pasig river

This is the view from Fort Santiago overlooking the Pasig River. The buildings lining on the left side is the Escolta area (what used to be Manila's center of commerce)... and further down the river, you'll see the magnificent post office building which i already posted here before.

Pasig river (25 km stretch) used to be an important route before and during the Spanish occupation. Unfortunately, because of negligence and progress, the river has become very polluted. I like to believe that the government is serious in trying to make the Pasig River alive again.

EDIT: sorry for confusing you earlier, i really have a problem identifying which is left and right. honestly before i typed in "right" i even looked at my hands to make sure i got it correctly, but then again i was wrong. that is why i seldom refer to my photos what you see in the left or right because it's really a challenge for me to describe my photos with reference to direction. thanks for spotting it Sidney and bertn :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

postern of our lady of solitude

"Postigo de la Nuestra Señora Del Soledad. The fort occupants used this gate as a passage to the Pasig River. In 1762, Lieutenant Governor-General Simon de Anda escaped here with part of the city's treasury and official documents as British soldiers captured the city. He fled to Pampanga where he established himself as Governor-General of the Philippines while leading a resistance movement until the end of the British occupation in 1764."

I guess that governor-general is really good to be able to escape, coz from the fort you could see all vessel leaving and approaching. Knowing that this is a passage and someone escaped through this tunnel just tickle my imagination! I wonder how many have escaped here, and if i lived during those times what would my life be (probably one of the guerillas). I really have this fascination on all things old and i really wish i was born during those times.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

jose rizal

This is a statue of Jose Rizal in his cell, notice that the statue is binded... this statue depict him on his last day, on his way to martyrdom. This is where the yesterday's shoeprints starts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


When you enter the fort you'll immediately notice these shoeprints. You'd see people flocking the entrance trying to trace it... while others try to count the steps. These shoeprints depict the steps where Jose Rizal (our national hero) passed on his way from his cell in Fort Santiago to Luneta to meet his death through firing squad in the early hours of December 30, 1896 which made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. I tried counting the steps before but i gave up, how about you, were you successful? So how many steps?

Monday, September 17, 2007

fort santiago

"One of the oldest fortifications in Manila. Built in 1571, on the site of the native settlement of Rajah Soliman. First fort was palisaded structure of logs and earth. Destroyed in the Limahong attack in 1574. Stone fort built between 1589 and 1592. Damaged in the 1645 earthquake. Repaired and strengthened from 1658 to 1663. Became the headquarters of the British occupation army from 1762 to 1764. Repaired and renovated in 1778. Former headquarters of the Philippine Division of the U.S. Army. Occupied by the Japanese military in 1942 where hundreds of civilians and guerillas were imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Destroyed in the Battle of Manila in 1945. Used as depot of the U.S. transportation Corps before turnover to the Philippine Government in 1946. Declared Shrine of Freedom in 1950. Restoration and maintenance of the fort began in 1951."

Such history these walls have... a silent witness of the passing times. Join me as i tour you inside this fort. By the way, i realized that i am superwoman and i learned how to fly here. Check out the flying cat photos here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

kilometer zero

I’d been remiss for not posting this famous manila landmark, so I’m just presenting you now... Jose Rizal’s monument. As most of you know this monument is located at the heart of manila, at Rizal Park to be exact. The park was called Bagumbayan (new town) before then became Luneta (as what i still call this place) then named Rizal Park as a tribute to the national hero. The monument also serves as the point of origin or kilometer zero to all other cities in the Philippines.

It has been a must before to have your photo taken in front of this monument, i guess it still remains true with tourists, local or not. And it is almost protocol for visiting dignitaries to lay a wreath at the monument. This monument also serves as mausoleum that houses Jose Rizal's remains. And i think this is the only monument that is guarded 24/7 by soldiers. We used to shout and do antics just to grab those soldiers' attention to see if they would at least move a fraction but still haven't succeeded to this date.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


“Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The most loved and most recognized mascot by the Filipino kids. This bee surely has captured our hearts. Jollibee started out as a two-branch ice cream parlor in 1975 and has been successful since then as the most patronized fast food store in the Philippines.

Monday, September 10, 2007

blind justice

This Lady Justice’s statue is in front of the Supreme Court (of yesterdays photo), its just weird to see that the scales of justice is tilted… it gives you an impression that ______.

Well, anyways, I checked the internet why is this lady always seen in courtrooms and here’s what I found: “Lady Justice is an allegorical personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system. The statue dates it origins from ancient Greek and Roman times as the lady represented is Themis, the goddess of justice and law. Well known for her clear sightedness, she typically holds a sword in one hand and scales in the other. Lady Justice is often depicted wearing a blindfold. This is done in order to indicate that justice is meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of the identity or power. The scales that she holds represent the impartiality with which justice is served and the sword signifies the power that is held by those making the decision.”

Sunday, September 09, 2007

korte suprema

Friday, September 07, 2007

bonifacio shrine

Located across Manila City Hall. The sculpture shows the selected period of Bonifacio's life and history.

Andres Bonifacio was a revolutionary leader of the Philippine Revolution against spanish colonial rule in the late 19th century. He was the founder of the Katipunan which aimed to start an independence movement against Spain.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

bahay kubo

Bahay kubo or nipa hut, built using wood, bamboo, and other native materials. It just saddens me that this truly pinoy architecture is fading away. I seldom see bahay kubo , even in rural areas.

I guess it is safe to say that most filipinos knows this song, taught to us at a very young age. Come on sing with me now. "Bahay kubo, kahit munti. Ang halaman doon ay sari-sari. Singkamas at talong. Sigarilyas at mani. Sitaw, bataw, patani. Kundol, patola, upo't kalabasa at saka meron pang Labanos, mustasa. Sibuyas, kamatis. Bawang at luya. Sa paligid ligid ay puno ng linga."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The Philippines largest government hospital is celebrating its centennial year this 2007. It occupies 10 hectares of prime Manila real estate, 45 buildings, and 125,000 square meters of floor area; consists of 19 clinical departments distributed in the in- and outpatient sections, 1500 patient beds (1000 charity, 500 pay and special units); and includes modernized and upgraded emergency room and radiodiagnostic complexes, and the National Eye Referral Center (Sentro Oftalmologico Jose Rizal) and the soon-to-open Medical Arts Building, among many service facilities.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Dunno what do you call this vehicle but it surely did call my attention, a colorful contrast to the whiteness of the city hall's building. If you'd notice, it still bears the former mayor's name, wonder how long before they replace it. Of course, i had my picture taken inside the vehicle :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

yesterday's answer

Sidney was so close in guessing where the lines of yesterday's photo can be found... its the front yard of the Manila City Hall. This is where the city hall's employees hold their monday mornings flag ceremony and where the mayor usually give his speech/announcement. Aren't the lines fabulous? I always find it fascinating whenever i passed by it and looking down from the LRT.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


To my local readers, can you guess where can you find these lines?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

september theme day

So here we go again, the 1st day of the month which means the DP family theme day. September's theme is about street lights and signs. I've decided to go with this street lamp beside the Manila City Hall. Yes, that white building in the background is the city hall. I just like how these white lamps look like balloons, and i like the way it still stood out in the white background. I assure you that they really look great in the evening i just didnt have the time to shoot it at night. See my yesterday's photo of this lamp showing its beautiful post.

Here's the list of 108 blogs around the world that participated in this month's theme day... please take the time to visit them. Seattle (WA), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - Boston (MA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Evry, France - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Nottingham, UK - Toulouse, France - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Manila, Philippines - Mumbai, India - Montpellier, France - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Moscow, Russia - Paris, France - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Lyon, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Hyde, UK - Hong Kong, China - Joplin (MO), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Chandler (AZ), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - San Diego (CA), USA - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Nelson, New Zealand - Quincy (MA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Bend (OR), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - New Orleans (LA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Detroit (MI), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Selma (AL), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Arradon, France - Sheki, Azerbaijan - New York City (NY), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Tenerife, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Forks (WA), USA - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Chateaubriant, France - Madison (WI), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Ajaccio, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Budapest, Hungary - Lyon, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Le Guilvinec, France - River Falls (WI), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Naples (FL), USA - London, UK - La Antigua, Guatemala - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Trujillo, Peru - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Oslo, Norway - Grenoble, France - Shanghai, China - Toronto (ON), Canada - Durban, South Africa - Zurich, Switzerland - Cape Town, South Africa - Singapore, Singapore - Torino, Italy
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