Thursday, December 15, 2005


Anyone claiming to be a son or daughter of the City of our Affections should be willing to wear their Mother City's name on their sleeves, or in this case, their shirts. Funky, very contemporary and definitely novel without being kitsch, Team Manila has launched its tees (at Php 350 each, ain't it a steal?!) under the Graphic Designed Lifestyle label. Here are my picks from the men's tees collection:

For women's tees, accessories and artworks, visit Team Manila here.

Friday, December 09, 2005


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My Manila discovery tour partner, Eliza, is currently in New York as a student. I've kinda stopped going to Binondo and Divisioria after she left January of this year. Missing her oh-so badly. Doesn't this photo looks like it was taken somewhere in Europe? The clincher would be the coco trees in the corner. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


For us mere mortals who do not have cars to bring and fetch us to and from the airport, it can be an experience that can elicit dismay and confusion.

Here are tips on how to survive our airports.

Posting soon.


Work on the Grand Old Dame of Philippine Theatres, the Met, has finally started. Located across Plaza Arocerros (which is now nowehere to be found because of the flyovers), it was built in 1926 using the design of Juan Arellano (later National Artist) and recognised as a significant historical and architectural building, the structure being a unique blend of American Art Deco and Philippine design which included floral motifs and stucco patination

The President issued a directive in 2002 paving the way to the revival of the Metropolitan Theater to give the masses access to cultural activities. This is in line with her plans of making art "folksy". Hmmm...i certainly have heard that before.

Philippine Night at The Met, September 12, 1934 (From the collection of the USS Henderson, US Navy) . Notice the distinct art deco details of the walls and the chandelier

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Pasig River, circa 1899. Do you know that Pasig River's floating market antedated Bangkok's version by several decades? Because even if Bangkok's canals were dug in 1866 on the orders of the King, the floating markets started only in 1967.

Pasig River today. Don't be blinded by the lovely sunset.

Photos from Archives


"We do not have the same Dior, darling. Mine is Dior. Yours is eBay." - Bryanboy

Manila's denizens are quite an interesting lot, but once in a while someone really entertaining (or hateful, depending on your persuasions) comes along to liven up what could be a boring metropolis.

And God created (wo)man. And the (wo)man's name is Bryan: Le Superstar Fabuleux.

With a blog that claims to chronicle the "Adventures of the new-moneyed classess (sic) bitch from hell. Vulgarity is the new discreet. Trash is the new exclusivity. Third world has never been this *burp* chic. You just have to scroll down as in down!", has risen to stellar status via this famous pose copied the world over.

Indeed, if anything, we can always look forward to a good laugh once in a while. And this I say in an unapologetic and irreverent manner worthy of Manila characters like Bryanboy.

(I have this weird feeling I'm going to be stoned to death by doing this post...)


It has come to this. Reality TV has invaded the streets, a sure sign of its popularity. This is located along Tandang Sora, Q.C. according to Stepping on Poop.

Photo courtesy of The Mcvie Show Live!

Friday, November 18, 2005


We are a country obsessed with beauty and what better way to show this obsession than the holding of annual - and several - beauty pageants! While recent pageants already include men, the pageants for women still capture the imagination of oh-so-many female wannabes all over the islands. Of course many still couldn't get over the Philippines' recent win in the Miss International pageant. After all, we waited for this for 26 years!

But before we had Bb. Pilipinas, Miss Earth and what have you, there only was one beauty pageant held in the Philippines way back decades ago - the search for the the one and only Manila Carnival Queen!

Here are the photos of the winners during the 1952 Manila Carnival.

Her Majesty, The 1952 Manila Carnival Queen (What's with the Thai-inspired outfit?)

Ms. Roalinda Lim, Miss Luzon

Miss Visayas

Ms. V. Lopez, Miss Mindanao

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

OLONGAPO, c. 1971

For us who have the faintest memory of the Marcos years, the closest thing to say would be that it's just like going back to Cory's time when the Americans were still here. With the spectre of a US-RP crisis looming on the horizon that will definitely come along with the trial of 5 or 6 (depending on the source of info) US Marines for the rape of a young girl from Zamboanga, one cannot just sit back and ignore it all.

By the way, I came across this photo during my search of something relevant to my topic today. This is a scene in Olongapo City. You can click on it to enlarge. This was taken in 1971. Heck, I wasn't even born yet!

Saturday, November 12, 2005


A new specie of Rafflesia has been discovered in Compostela Valley in Mindanao. Aside from the excitement this flower is creating among botanists, it also (in a way) speaks well of the status of our remaining forests.

If confirmed, it will be named Rafflesia magnifica owing to its large diameter, perhaps the largest among the many species known to exist today.

More of the story here.

Here are some of the photos of Rafflesia species mentioned in the article. Special thanks to Dan Nickrent of the Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

R. manillana

R. speciosa

Sorry, no photos of R. schadenbergiana as it may already be extinct.

The lifecyle of a Rafflesia. Diagram courtesy of

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Located on El Fraile island off the shore of Manila Bay, it was more known to Americans and Filipino soldiers as the Island Battleship. Ít was part of the War Plan Orange, where 4 islands were to be fortified to defend Manila. Corregidor was the largest of these islands, and El Fraile was the smallest and the most unique. It took 11 years to complete, from 1909 to 1919.

It surrendered in 1942 to the Japanese army but remains to this day as the only unsinkable battleship in the world.

Question: What is its official name?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Okay, so my blog isn't named GUTS. GRIT. GUMPTION. for nothing. Here's a challenge for Manila denizens:

Let me know how you'd spend a day in Manila with only Php 500 (this would entail a entire day of gimmick with friends). I'd be doing my own with photos and cost breakdown to boot.

Contributors (Your own experience!) to this challenge are welcome.

Monday, November 07, 2005


You've all heard and read about it. Do you recall the significance of this particular alcohol cooking stove?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Originally built by the Rocha family in 1802, it was purchased by the Spanish government to house the Governor General after the offical residence was leveled by an earthquake in 1869.

This photo was taken two years before William Howard Taft, who became the first American Civil Governor of the Philippines, became a resident of this building in 1900.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


This church, whose construction started in 1587 and was completed in 1604, has been described as a permanent miracle in stone since it withstood the strong earth tremors that shook Manila after it was built. Manila was hit by strong earthquakes in 1645, 1863 and 1880 and this was among the only ones left standing.

This church follows the severe baroque style, but incorporates Herrera and Vignolesque influences which reached the archipelago from the Viceroyalty of Mexico. It was the only building left intact in Intramuros during the Liberation of Manila in 1945.

It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.

Friday, November 04, 2005




This photo was taken while it was being constructed in 1897. When it was over, it brought fame to the Philippines as being the first and only all-steel structure in all of Asia, and second in the world. Not only the main structure of this building, but also its walls and even the intersecting vaulting, were of metal construction. This was the fruit of neogothic tendencies and the Industrial Revolution then ongoing in Europe. The steel was shipped to Manila from Belgium - truly a pioneer in prefabricated construction.

Located in Quiapo, the construction was done under the supervision of Engineer Genaro Palacios y Guerra, who also did the design.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Photo taken in the 1900s. The church, however, still stands BUT it hardly looks like this today. Destroyed several times by earthquakes, fire and finally war, it is said that this cathedral is the only one in the world to have been rebuilt 7 times.

Where is this located, and what is it popularly known as?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This photo was taken in the year 1900. The monument, however, still stands. Click to enlarge photo.

1.) What does it commemorate?
2.) Where is it located?

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I've always been fascinated by flight. Yes, I've said this several times before but in this entry, I'm featuring food being served on the national airline, Philippine Airlines. It's already like coming home even before you step off the aircraft.

Photos were taken by several passengers during the trip, and posted them on Airline Meals.Net.


Snacks (Snack pack consisting of custard-filled cake, cream-filled wafer sticks, and "Essen" cookie sandwiches) Iloilo to Manila (Joe Pallon)

Lobster thermidore and Beef short ribs with vegetables; Los Angeles - Manila, First Class (John Ling)

Lunch (Pre-meal crackers, appetizer of cold cuts & shrimp cocktail; main course was fish fillet with rice and steamed veggies), Singapore to Manila Business Class (J-H)

Breakfast (Cereal and fruits, Main Course- Longanisa sausage, tocino, garlic rice, and scrambled eggs), Manila to San Francisco (Darlene Litam)

Arroz Caldo, San Francisco to Manila (Darlene Litam)

You can see more food shots when you visit the site.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


My birthday wish, courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Hello guys! Join me as we go on our annual movie trip to our favorite film Festival here in Manila.

The 7th CINEMANILA International Film Festival 2005 opens TODAY in Manila. For details, please visit the official website.

See you at the movies!

TRIVIA: For foreign readers and Pinoys abroad, especially the younger set, the logo used by CINEMANILA is the "bulol" figure, normally a wooden sculpture of a squatting human figure with arms wrapped around the knees. It represents the dead ancestors of the Ifugao tribe of Mountain Province, north of Manila. Their dead are also buried in the same fashion, mummified squatting and placed in a burial jar.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I've always enjoyed old photographs. Back in my University days, I would go all the way behind the tall bookshelves at the very back of the Library and scour the dark, dingy area for Filipiniana, and anything that has photos of the Philippines from the American period.

I would get so excited seeing the classy tranvia traversing Manila streets, the colonial-style school buildings the Americans built in the provinces (I think they are called Gabaldon buildings, but I may be mistaken), and photos of the Intramuros.

I don't know where those books are now. They could have been sold off by now, since the Library has an annual book sale to dispose of old books. Gosh, ang sayang naman :-(

Today, I found some really nice photos from the site of University of Wisconsin. The rest of the photos are just too gruesome to be featured here, but you are welcome to indulge by visiting their website here. Click on any location on the Philippine map.

The Walled City, c. 1925

Women making Alhambra cigars, c. 1920-1930. Cigars are still made in the Philippines and rank among the best in the world

A tank enters the Fort Santiago gate, c. 1945

The Fort Santiago gate today

The Malacañan Palace, c. 1926

Filipino male nurses, c. 1900-1920. Graduating from the Philippine General Hospital, they may have been among the first to serve as Filipino nurses. This photo debunks the old impression that only the women had the choice of becoming nurses in the Philippines. Today, about 5,000 nurses leave the Philippines for foreign shores every year. How time flies.

Binondo, c. 1899. The church is now a Basilica Minore in honor of Filipino-Chinese saint Lorenzo Ruiz. There is now a small plaza fronting the church, and a lone chocolate factory beside it which has been selling chocolate tablets (tablea) for years. Tip: Use your sense of smell to locate it!

Calle Rosario, c. 1926. The church dome in the distance is that of Binondo's. Calle Rosario shops sell 50% U.S. imported textiles and Calle Nueva takes 40%, "making this district one of the most important markets for American textiles in the world." Both streets are still existing, by the way. So does that building with the turret (the turret is not seen in this photo).

Ayuntamiento, c. 1907. I drooled all over the keyboard when I saw this photo. I never realized how beautiful that building looked before it was destroyed in the war!

The Ayuntamiento today. I took this during a rainy night when I attended the wake of Cardinal Jaime Sin. It is currently being restored to house the National Archives

Quiapo, 1946. Army jeeps can be seen infront of the church. This area is now a lovely plaza, more known as Plaza Miranda. Oh, but you all know that already!