Archive for philippine historical sites

through the narrow streets of past and now

Posted in architecture, artifacts, lifestyle, locales with tags , , , , on October 2, 2008 by mijodo

Since there was a little project to make which was taking pictures of architectural artifacts through Manila’s old streets, naturally the inclination was to go to historic Intramuros.  But then I had some trepidations. I have heard countless stories of local amateur photographer enthusiasts being asked to stop taking pictures of what is inside the Walled City. For what reason, I do not know. But I was told that certainly foreign guests and tourists can go click crazy with their cameras within the area.

But since my assistant and I were just nearby after taking the  picture of the iconic clock tower of the Manila City Hall, I decided to try and be the discreet photojournalist inside the venerable Intramuros. Just at the arch of Intramuros, one could have 25 peso meals at the makeshift stalls. Since it was about 12 noon, the students of Lyceum and Mapua, together with some laborers, partook the lunch prepared by the vendors. Many able bodied men huddle outside office buildings that export them as commercial boatfarers. Apparently the area is a hub for potential seamen waiting for their job papers so that they can explore the seas.   And then, all sorts of vehicles somehow litter the streets, making this special place quite frenzied.

But still, it is undeniable that the remnants of 400 years of Spanish Colonization  in this area can make one imagine how the place had been quite romantic and yet still tragic at the same time during those years. The narrow cobblestoned streets. The moss covered walls. The intricate grillwork of the lampposts and windows. The “bahay na bato” mansions. The centuries old basilicas and churches. The dungeons.

It is very apparent that through the help of the Department of Tourism and the Intramuros Administration, the place has maintained a semblance of the bygone era. Even newly built structures and buildings need to blend in with existing and preserved edifices. And in a recent television interview, the Administator is pushing for a museum that can be a tribute to the cultural relics and antiquities that only Intramuros is absolutely rich of.  Afterall, this is not only about acknowledging history, this is also about preserving patrimony.

By the way, who says that local photo afficionados like me are shunned in this place? Well, not me, thankfully.


Posted in architecture, artifacts, locales with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2008 by mijodo

I have been to Iloilo many times, yet know so little of it. Since it is my parents’ province, I only get to be there usually during their town fiestas which limit my visits to meeting relatives and playing some mahjong. But the last time I went to this Southern province, I insisted to see places I have never been to. Instead of being chauferred driven, I asked my cousin to take me to some of the famed churches of Iloilo using public transportation. (There is nothing like using jeepneys and buses to know intimately a place.)

Thus after an early morning flight, we were off to one of the most precious spots of Iloilo, the church of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva of Miag-ao. At first glance,  the whole church seemed to be covered in chalk dust – yellow chalk dust.  Apparently, thick slabs of yellow sandstone have been used to create the church which acted also as a fortress from year 1797. Somehow the architecture looks unique, particularly when other Philippine churches try to reach the skies; this time, the Miag-ao Church squats on its own hugeness.

But still the whole edifice albeit short is imposing and regal. With the two bell towers, flanking the main part on each side, the image turns into something else. It is as if the church could be used as someone’s throne. Now, maybe my comment is too much of a hyperbole. Or maybe i am just a little stoned.