Feb 28, 2012

Manila Diary: San Agustin Church

The San Agustin Church is located inside Intramuros. It is the oldest stone church in the Philippines and was built in 1589. It is also one of the four Baroque churches of the Philippines designated by the Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The tomb of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the first Spanish governor of the Philippines and who ordered the construction of Intramuros, is located in the chapel.

I have been inside the San Agustin Church before but I cant remember any of the architecture of works inside the church. Unfortunately, there was a shooting inside the church so we were not able to go in.
But just look at the details in one of the church doors and am sure you will be amazed at how magnificent the inside is. This is a favorite venue for weddings so there must be something special about this church!
I will try and visit (and take photos) of the interior of the San Agustin Church in my next visit, as part of my continuing Manila Diary.

Feb 27, 2012

The "Weekly" Challenge

Must.Do.This. Must.Do.This.Must.Do.This.Must.Do.This.Must.Do.This.

Have started this today and so far, I am on track. Have finished lunch and have not eaten any meat. Hope I can continue this until dinner and then the week. I really need something to jump start my diet so as not to waste my daily 5-6k run.

The 2012 Oscars Winners!

Live via Twitter, here are the full list of winners of the 2012 Oscars or the 84th Annual Academy Awards:

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Documentary Short Subject: Saving Face
Best Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Live Action Short Film: The Shore
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Original Song: The Muppets
Best Original Score: The Artist
Best Actor on a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Visual Effects: Hugo
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Documentary Feature: Undefeated
Best in Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Best Actress on a Supporting Role: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)
Best Makeup: The Iron Lady
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: Hugo
Best in Sound Mixing: Hugo
Best Sound Editing: Hugo

Feb 26, 2012

Drainage Repair along Aurora Blvd.

I took a photo of this drainage while we were gassing up along Aurora Blvd last week. This is just after the UERMMC hospital and the CCP school. The drainage construction along Aurora Blvd has been going on for some time now and I was surprised when I saw that the drainage was filled with debris. You remember that it has been raining for several days already.
Now I wonder if all those drainage repairs are just a waste of money. Maybe they will take out the debris when they are ready to cover it but in the meantime, and just like last time when it rained, some of it will already fill the drainage! Is there a government agency supposed to look at how the construction company who bid for these projects see if they actually do a good job? I have been passing by Aurora Blvd for some years now and I have seen projects that uses taxpayers money but are either useless or substandard. Those same drainage have been repaired already some years back, and yet there is still flooding in the area. And now I know why. Oh well, maybe its because we let them get away with it?

Feb 22, 2012

Mom! Dad? True Story!

I found this post on 9gag.com and cant help laughing because this is so true! Just last night, my kids were studying and my husband was just sitting at the sofa while I was preparing dinner. Each one of my three kids has a question for me, who was busy cooking, while my husband was just watching TV! And when I stepped out to get something, I hear at least one of them asking their dad where I went! Ha ha, true story!

Of course, in fairness to my husband, he is willing to step up once I call his attention. Since I was cooking, he helped Danniel look for pictures of Philippine folk dances and even showed Drexelle how to dance the Manlalatik. I also remember him doing something about the cheap computer desks that we used to have and which now fits the living room nicely. But I dont know why but my kids really have this habit of asking me first about anything before I point them to their dad. While it is funny most of the time, there are times when it is not funny, especially when you are already tired and still has a lot of things to do. But hey, it comes with the territory :-)

Feb 20, 2012

Manila Diary: Palacio del Gobernador

Palacio del Gobernador is located infront of the Plaza de Roma in Intramuros. It currently house the offices of the Intramuros administration, Comelec and other agencies. Comelec used to occupy the next building when I was working here in late 1990's and when I visited last February 1, that space was just a vacant lot.
It was the residence and office of the governor general, way back in the 17th century, long before MalacaƱang housed the executive. For more on the history of Palacio del Gobernador, check this entry.

Feb 16, 2012

Manila Diary: Aduana, Intramuros

This is the Aduana in Intramuros. It was built in the 1820's and used to be the Custom's House. There is a marker there, right at the back of the man talking on his phone that reads:
Here stands the Aduana (Customs House). Designed by Tomas Cortes and built from 1823 to 1829. Damaged in the 1763 earthquake. Demolished in 1872.
New building erected from 1874 to 1876. Housed the Customs offices, the Intendencia General de Hacienda (Central Administration), the Treasury, as well as the new Casa de Moneda (Mint).
Building left to the Intendencia and the Treasury after Customs moved to Port Area. Damaged by Japanese bombs in 1941 and American artillery in 1945. Become offices of the Central Bank of the Philippines, the National Treasury and the Commission on Elections successively. Destroyed by fire in 1979. Partly restored by the National Archives in 1998.
And just nearby is this huge sign that says "Reconstruction of Almacenas Curtain Wall and Baluarte de Herrerias." I just hope that this restoration, which I think was started in 2008 sees the light of day.
If you look at this map, the Aduana is referred to as the Intendencia ruins. You can also peruse that map to check out the whole walled city.

Feb 15, 2012

Manila Diary: Manila Cathedral and Plaza de Roma

This is the Manila Cathedral located within Intramuros in Manila. It is formally known as Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, and honors Virgin Mary as its patroness. I used to work in Intramuros some 15 years ago, just block away from the church, but I never had any fascination towards the church back then, other than to attend the occasional mass and ogle celebrity weddings. However, just this week, it was reported that the church will be closed to the public for a year, for repair. For more on the history of the Manila Cathedral, check this out.

This is Plaza de Roma which is a park, just infront of the Manila Cathedral. Just one of the historical places that people like me ignore. The monument is of Carlos IV of Spain, which is a tribute for the introduction of the small pox vaccine in the Philippines (according to the marker).
The marker reads:
Plaza de Roma
Formerly called Plaza Mayor. Converted into a park in 1797. Renamed Plaza McKinley after US President William McKInley in 1901. Renamed Plaza de Roma in 1961 to honor Sacred College of Cardinals in Rome following elevation of first Filipino Cardinal, Rufino J. Santos.

Bronze monument to Carlos IV of Spain erected in 1824 as a tribute for the introduction of the smallpox vaccine in the Philippines. Statue replaced by Gomburza monument in 1960s. Statue returned in 1981.

Feb 9, 2012

Manila Diary: Fort Santiago

This is the Fort Santiago in Manila. To get there, with your back to Plaza de Roma, the street facing the Manila Cathedral will lead you directly to Fort Santiago. Since this was just a chance to take pictures of the tourist sites in Manila, we didnt go inside and just took a photo with the marker.Admission fee is P50 for students and children and P75 for adults. The park hours is 8am to 6pm daily while the Rizal Shrine opens at 1pm-5pm on Mondays and 9am to 6pm for the rest of the week.
For more information about the history of Fort Santiago, check out another tourist account here.

Feb 6, 2012

Manila Diary: Luneta Park

For my 35th birthday, I decided to do a two-hour tour of Manila, hence the Manila Diary. On the way home from Baclaran after hearing mass, I had a photo taken at the KM 1 marker, and then at Luneta Park. I felt like a tourist while doing this just for the fun of it!

While I have been to Luneta countless of times, I have never been there like a tourist, hi hi hi. Its either I am a mom accompanying her kid on a field trip at the Diorama of the Martyrdom of Rizal, or just there for a picnic and some exercise. So for my birthday, I wanted to see some sites as though I am from another place. And it was fun and exciting, and thrilling! We wanted to see as much of Manila as we can, while on a motorccyle! It was fun, and I wanna do it again!

For more info on Luneta Park, check this and this.

Next stop, Fort Santiago.

Manila Diary: KM 1 Marker

This is the KM 1 marker of Manila which is at the Roxas Boulevard , near Manila Bay. This is the first stop of my Manila Diary.
There is also a KM 1 marker at the back of Intramuros in Manila, but I was not able to take a photo because of the traffic. If you want to know what the KM marker means and how to read it, please refer to this post and this post. You may also want to check out this post. Some may ask why I have a photo of the KM 1 and not the KM 0? Well, my journey of the Philippine archipelago has already started and I want to use this KM 1 post as marker for all my future journeys. I have traveled as far Palawan and Cebu and Bohol but I want to travel further. This is the beginning and this Manila Diary is just another way to do it. Why not visit the seat of the city and document it here? I have been to Fort San Pedro in Cebu, but have never been inside Fort Santiago so I guess something is lacking in my travel education. So, this post is the start of that education :)

Feb 3, 2012

Friday Quotes: Life is an Adventure!

I think I need to explain the image above. That is the Kilometer 1 marker of the Philippines. The KM 0 marker is located near the Rizal Monument and so I have traveled just 1 KM of the marker. My goal is to document my newest adventure: that of traveling farthest from this marker, preferably out of the country or just the farthest in the Philippines.