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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10/31/16

Where Manila’s Archbishops Lie

It’s the Halloween-All Saints-All Souls season once more. And for the longtime readers and followers of the Urban Roamer, I suppose you know what this means. Another trip to some resting place in this busy metropolis.

This time however, we shall not be roaming at a cemetery of yore or of the present. Instead we shall be revisiting a familiar landmark: the Manila Cathedral. Continue reading

10/24/16

Remembering Leon Maria Guerrero

With so much buzz going on at this time of writing regarding the Philippines’ new foreign policy direction (which is, at the very least, leaning away from a traditional pro-US stance) as stated by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the Urban Roamer can’t help but be reminded of a figure in our history who, more than 60 years ago, held a somewhat similar view on what the Philippines’ foreign policy should be.

And for this story, we shall be roaming to the area around Plaza Nuestra Señora de Guia in Ermita, Manila, where this story began about 101 years ago.

Plaza Nuestra Señora de Guia, Ermita, Manila

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10/4/16

Plaza Dilao: The Memory of Paco’s Japanese Community

Note: This is a long overdue entry that was originally planned for last year. I managed to have it published today though the plaza has been affected by the ongoing works of  the Skyway project that it looks different now. We can only hope this plaza will manage to survive and its legacy intact

Plaza Dilao in Manila’s Paco district these days finds itself in an interesting spot. As an open space of sorts, it finds itself being sadly squeezed in between the major traffic chokepoints of Quirino Avenue and the old Quirino Avenue Extension. So apart from the few trees, the sights you mostly get to see are vehicles, especially trucks stuck in traffic, or the sight of the Skyway Project under construction at this time of writing.

As such, it is easy to overlook Plaza Dilao, or just dismiss it as some dull plaza in the middle of congested roads. But who would think that this neglected spot in the city holds so much history, a heritage of a past that connects this city all the way to the Land of the Rising Sun back when it was under the rule of shoguns and daimyos?

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07/25/16

Of Bygone Days and An Uncertain Future: The Saga Of Harrison Plaza

Before there was the mall, there was a park. Harrison Park as it was called and it was a pretty wide open green space. It served as breathing space in the midst of the growing congestion in southern part of the city. It also served as a natural extension to the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex located right across it as kids played football and softball in the greens. There is also Manila Zoo nearby, which made the park a children’s zone for play and fun. You can imagine how big the old Harrison Park was.

Unfortunately, the bigwigs at Manila City Hall (the land where the park is located is city government property, by the way) decided that the park had to give way to a commercial complex, the Harrison Plaza we know today which opened in 1976, a short while after the opening of Ali Mall.

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