03/26/17

A Peek at the New Army and Navy Club

It’s been a long time since the Urban Roamer talked about the Army and Navy Club. If you missed it, you can check it out here. Since then, things have quieted down a bit, especially after the controversy that erupted regarding this building more than a couple of years ago.

Now, it seems the work on the renovation/restoration (sort of) of the Army and Navy Club is almost complete and we can finally what has been done to the building, for the most part at least. Was the work faithful to the original structure? Were there any abominable changes made? Let’s find out.

First things first, the edifice has been kept largely intact so it still basically retained the same layout as the original Army and Navy Club building. It is also noticeable that the trees that used to cover the structure have mostly been removed, or maybe it’s just the leaves that grew so much that it covered the structure, have been removed. Those people can now better appreciate its architecture.

With that said, the renovated Army and Navy Club made one significant change over the original, at least from what can be observed on the facade. It is that the second level windows are smaller compared to the original. To give you a better idea, below is the photo of the original Army and Navy Club:

image courtesy of NHCP Historic Sites blogspot site

And here is the renovated building:

From what I’ve gathered, the change was made so there will not be too much sunlight coming in to the building which would generate more heat than needed. Especially now in the time of climate change when the temperatures are now higher than they were a century ago. Honestly, while I understand that reasoning, maybe there could have been other ways to go with this. They could at least made the windows a bit bigger like somewhere between the original size and what we got today as a compromise. Instead the small windows somewhat “cheapens” the building, given its legacy. Then again, that’s just a cranky heritage geek talking.

Another thing that caught this roamer’s attention is the ongoing construction of a building at the back of the Army and Navy Club. I cannot be certain if this building will serve as a expansion of the original structure or if this structure is actually of the United States Embassy complex which is actually just behind the building. Perhaps some of you may know.

For now, I will withhold final judgment with regards to the work done to this building until it opens to the public. Unfortunately, no specific date has been given as to when that will be. For now though, the work so far has been interesting and the developers strived to stay true to the building’s architecture and history, for the most part at least. This makes it more interesting to see what the new Army and Navy Club Building has to offer once it reopens to the public.

 

02/19/17

A Museum For Filipino Seafarers

The Philippines has been considered as the “manning capital of the world” for the maritime industry. That should not come as a surprise as Filipinos comprise the majority of the world’s 1.5 million strong maritime personnel at more than 25%, largest for any nationality. The hard work, the loneliness being at sea for months, and the other sacrifices our Filipino seafarers have made for their families and to the country cannot be stressed hard enough.

Sadly, their contributions seem to be overlooked as the general public do not seem to have an idea as to what the Filipino seafarers go through in their job at sea. Come to think of it, the maritime industry has not been given that much appreciation either. Which is why it is nice to hear that there are place the public can visit to appreciate the contributions of the Filipino seafarers in the maritime industry, which is the where the Urban Roamer is headed for in this entry. Continue reading

01/10/17

The Ayuntamiento…Finally!

For those who have long known the Urban Roamer, either in person or through this site, it is no secret that for a long while, it has been a source of pining and frustration to get the opportunity to visit this one particular landmark in the metropolis ever since the completion of its restoration about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, circumstances were in the way of at least a couple of occasions that would have been the opportunity for me to get inside the storied structure. Those and the fact that there seemed to be no clear guidelines in place regarding possible tours inside the structure.

Fortunately, it seems the guidelines have now been set in place and finally, after 3 years, the Urban Roamer has finally managed to go inside and see what is inside this storied structure known as the Ayuntamiento de Manila building.

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12/17/16

The Question of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex

Ever since the news first broke out in November, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex has been put under a spotlight as it faces an uncertain future as two opposing forces have clashed as to what its future should be.

But before we go further, it is best to learn more about the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, which, mind you, is not just any sports complex. It also happens to be the Philippines’ premier sports complex. Well, for a time at least. Continue reading

11/28/16

A Monument Mural For Manila’s Hero

Bonifacio Day is around the corner, and the Urban Roamer would not be remiss if we do not pay tribute to the memory of this great and tragic figure in our history.

In the past Bonifacio Day editions of this site, the Urban Roamer has already visited the famed Monumento in Caloocan, the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista where his widow lived, and the Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan. For this year’s Bonifacio Day edition, it is time we look at another famed Bonifacio landmark in the City of Manila.

I am of course talking about the Bonifacio Monument and Mural located at Mehan Garden, right across the Manila City Hall.

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