Saturday, February 25, 2006


Today we commemorate the 20th anniversary of People Power 1.

I was in elementary school when this mass gathering to oust a dicator happened. A few years after back in High School (Don Bosco Pampanga), we gathered donations to help build the Shrine to our Lady, Queen of Peace which stands on Ortigas cor. EDSA.

I do not want to make a comment on whether we really did make anything out of EDSA or if we simply squandered the opportunities it gave us to renew ourselves as a people and as a nation. All I can say is that the spirit of EDSA must live on in each one of us. The resulting urge to take action must now rise from individual efforts even if it is becoming obvious that a community action is next to impossible.

To our Lady, this is our prayer: May we never see the need to gather on EDSA ever again.

A study of our Lady's hand, with a dove

A rendition of Our Lady, Queen of Peace with her distinct Asian features. The sculptor, Virginia Ty-Navarro, was rumored to have died deeply sad and disappointed because of supposedly widespread criticisms against portraying our Lady in such a disproportionate manner - short body, flat faced, with oversized hands. The mestiza Mary remains to be a "choice" among devotees.

Bells from Holland crafted out of melted bullets and canons from WWII; inscribed with the names of President Corazon Aquino, and of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and Pope John Paul II

The weight - responsibility - of maintaining a hard-won democracy continues to be borne by 80 million Filipinos

Special thanks to Stephen Borja for accompanying me on this visit to the Shrine.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Was on my way home to Las Piñas on a particularly humid day. As usual, the Coastal expressway was full of vehicles trying to get into Cavite. No problem. That's how it really is in that area for several years now. But do they really have to block Las Piñas-bound vehicles like what this bus did? The road ahead to Las Piñas is wide and clear but we couldn't get through thanks to this Erjohn bus. Note the two cars trying to squeeze through beside it. Remind me not to take their buses next time.

Friday, February 17, 2006


How much was your recent cab fare?


Was travelling to Antipolo on the LRT 2 when I fancied using my new Nokia 3230's 1.35 megapixel camera. Since cameras are not allowed inside all train systems in the Metro, maybe there are some things a phone camera can capture that a normal camera cannot. Here's what we got.

Going up the Santolan Station

Why is her name spelled completely compared to, say, Legarda or Recto's? *peace sign*

The sleek interiors of the Purple Line, a project made possible through Japan's JICA

Recto Station at night

Kapit, kapit...kapit!

Manila whizzes past below

The yellow sign says, "Do not lean on door."

Can't wait to be home....

Coping mechanisms: Two students find ways of surviving a ride home.

End of the line!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


From Pampanga, with love

From Pampanga comes another long-time secret now being offered to Manila residents. Found only in Robinson's Malls, RAZON'S - established in Guagua, where my father hails from - can be had for only Ps 60 (expensive in these hard times).

While most people would normally look for a halo-halo (literally "mix-mix", referring to the way one puts together several of the ingredients and mixing them together) which is overflowing with ube (yam), sago (round gelatin-like substance), caramelized banana, finely-crushed iced, evaporated milk, langka (jackfruit), and topped with a scoop or two of ice cream and dried pinipig, one might be disappointed with Razon's seemingly blah offering: macapuno (sweet, young coconut shavings), sweetened banana, crushed ice, evaoporated milk and leche flan. That's it?

But man, this is one mean concoction. Mind blowing enough that you might find yourself ordering one more! Pair this with pansit luglog (Pampanga's better version of the Tagalog's pansit palabok), white puto, or cheesy ensaymada.

Kanyaman na pu talaga! Mangan ta na queng Razon's! Mikit mikit ta na karin!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Source: Mars Ravelo's Official Website

Rosa del Rosario, Philippine actress. The first to portray the Mars Ravelo character Darna in 1951, she took her last flight last Sunday. She was 88.

Thanks to Barnard Miranda of Mowelfund for the information.


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Sunday, February 05, 2006


Recent photos I took of myself, the common desk at the mango farm, and an artsy-fartsy take on aluminum chairs against the red floor. I hope everyone's having a great month so far!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


I have been a resident of this beautiful city for over 4 years now and yet I haven't posted anything about Las Piñas since this blog is about the City of Manila, and not as Metro Manila as a whole. However, with the impending rebranding of the metro as MANILA, proper attention must now be given to this wonderful place tucked between the cities of Bacoor (Cavite) and Muntinlupa.

And what better way to start this tribute than by featuring the opening night of the traditional International Bamboo Organ Festival, now on its 31st year. I attended the second night, the first night being a command performance for her H.E. President GMA. Forgive me for the bad photos (bad camera, slow shutter speed, etc). At any rate, welcome to my home city!

Welcome to Las Piñas City's pride and joy. Established in 1795 (the historical plate mentions a different date though), it is home to the world's one and only mostly-bamboo chamber organ

The facade of the Parish of Saint Joseph the Worker, more known to cab drivers and locals simply as the 'bamboo organ church.'

The commemorative plate by the National Historical Institute (NHI). Click on photo to read inscription. If you need an English translation, do let me know. I'd be glad to provide you one.

UPDATE: An English translation is now available in the comments section below, as per Sidney's request. Cheers!

The belfry tower's bells ring to signal the start of the performance. The statue of Fray Diego Cera, a Spaniard and the first curate of this parish, can be seen on the lower left side.

Detail of the statue showing a Filipino assistant working on bamboos used to build the organ

Guests, both local and foreign, wait for the church's side door to open

The festival souvenir booklet at Ps 60.00 each (Why is it called a "souvenir" if we have to buy it?)

A view of some of the posters used through the years for the festival

The empty stage before the performance

A festival banner near the ceiling

Guests milling infront of the old convento (now a museum and gift shop) during the ten-minute break

Parols - hold-over decor from last Christmas - sway in the night wind

A view of the stage (built behind the main entrance rendering the latter unusable). Notice THE bamboo organ on the top right, the bamboo ceiling. and the choir loft on top of the stage

Curtain call of the performers (taking photos during the performance is forbidden)

2nd curtain call

Some members of the choir which sings during daily Mass give way for the Festival Choir and instead serve as ushers for the 5-night event. That's Irene Marcos, by the way, posing with the ushers.

Dazed, tired after a looong day but uplifted nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed our recent trip! T'will be a great honor to see you around Las Piñas soon.


Luck cat on a taxi dashboard
Photo by Dylan Yap Gozum, c. 2006