Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Walk Tour in Manila | 7 Churches of Intramuros

| “Maybe a revival of piety (using the term in its Latin sense) will in the future inspire the return to Intramuros of all its former churches, chapels, convents and beaterios. Only then will Intramuros be really “restored” - Nick Joaquin

The Old Manila that was Intramuros was not only the economic and military center of the Spanish Empire in the far east. It was also the bastion of its strong Christian Faith. There used to stand, within the walls of Intramuros, seven houses of God, all built with architectural magnificence. 

I've been always dreaming that one day, all the other 5 churches of Intramuros would rise again from the rubble. If you will visit the walled city right now, you'll notice that only 2 of the original 7 churches managed to endure the test of time. Ask me what happened to the other 5 and I will answer you with a deep regretful sigh. What happened after the war was that our government focused on building new establishments over the rubble of the past glorious city, a mistake that put Manila's former beauty into a chaotic bustling city. Forever I will be unhappy that our post-war government chose development rather than restoration.
| To repeat, Intramuros was the conjunto, of all its traditional temples; without its other colleagues, even the Cathedral and San Agustín are merely crown jewels without a crown. - Nick Joaquin
What remained from the Seven Churches of Intramuros are the San Agustin Church (the only building left standing after the Liberation of Manila in 1945; listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Manila Cathedral (rebuilt from 1953-1958). The other five no longer exist within the walls of Intramuros, the San Ignacio Church was left in ruins until now and the other 4 have new establishments built on their site.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Misplaced Landmarks in Manila

Modernization and Destruction. Both the events of American Colonization and World War 2  have caused so much changes in Manila. It goes with the saying, "there is nothing constant except change". The following are a few landmarks that were MISPLACED in Manila due to the modernization and destruction of the early and the mid 20th century.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where Presidents Rest in Peace

The death of Tita Cory last 2009 was an event that marked my heart. For the first time, I saw a grieving nation. I was able to witness a president's death, wake and burial. After seeing the death march of Tita Cory from Manila Cathedral to Manila Memorial Park, I became curious. Question started to play on my mind, where do the other past presidents rest in peace? how grand are the graves of our past leaders? do I still know them? And so my quest of searching for these graves has started.

My quest brought me from as far as Batac, Ilocos Norte in the north to Tanauan Batangas down south. It took me 2 years to finally reach all the tombs of our past presidents. From the grandest to simplest, all are indeed noble.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Appreciating Art Inside the National Art Gallery

I've been inside this Old Legislative Building a numerous times already, but never did I look beyond the mixes of pigments and shapes of the art works inside. Normally I would just stroll inside, look at a painting, read its label then move on to the next piece of art. I really don't know how to appreciate an artwork, how to interpret its symbolism and allegory.

Good thing I have learned something from my Humanities class. And that something helped me to look beyond the strokes of paint brush, mixes of pigments and combinations of shapes. Thanks to my professor, Ms Peña, for waking the artist in me.

Our final exam in Humanities involves art appreciation inside the National Art Gallery of the National Museum. And so we went there last Tuesday (10/04/2011). 

| The National Museum has two major galleries: 1) the National Art Gallery which occupies the Old Legislative Building, and the 2) Museum of the Filipino People which occupies the Old Finance Building. The National Art Gallery has the collection of the works of the National Artists as well as the works of the Masters Luna and Hidalgo. The other gallery, the Museum of the Filipino People, contains priceless artifacts and archaeological findings including the famous Manunggul Jar. 


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