Roamer’s Roundup: 1st Edition

As I was churning new entries on blog every week of the places I visited, I realize there have been updates coming up about the previous places I’ve been to. So I’ll be doing this feature from time to time called “Roamer’s Roundup” which will provide important updates about the places that have been featured here before.

Roundup No. 1: keeping a church alive

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The Manila Cathedral, the church that has kept rising up from several catastrophes that has rocked the city throughout history, is being closed for a period of one year so that it can undergo some structural renovations and repairs. The decision came as news of a possible earthquake that would strike Metro Manila has raised concerns on the structural integrity of a number of structures, Manila Cathedral being one of them.That must have sucked not only for tourists and churchgoers, but also for the many couples that have already made reservations to get married there. But safety has to take priority here.

Roundup No. 2: a Manila Post Office hotel coming soon?

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I was surprised when I first learned about the news. It was something that was far from my mind would happen. Indeed, news that the Manila’s iconic landmark, the Post Office building is being eyed to be converted into a five-star hotel has stirred quite a buzz. The proponents of this project is no less distinguished as well: a Singaporean group which is also behind the management of Singapore’s historic Fullerton Hotel.

To those who don’t know this yet, Fullerton Hotel’s history and location bears some resemblance to Manila’s Post Office building as both landmarks are strategically situated near the riverbanks, with Fullerton along the Singapore River. Furthermore, Fullerton was also once the main office of Singapore’s postal service.

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the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore (from the roamer's personal collection)

While it is sad to see the postal operations leaving this building soon, the fact that significant portions of this building is now unused due to the downturn of the postal industry in recent years brought about by advances in communication (not to mention the negative perceptions of the Philippine postal service, but that’s another story there) make a case that other options should be considered if we are to preserve this heritage structure. The proposal of the above group is a welcome development as long as the integrity and legacy of this edifice remains intact, something that they have assured they will do as they have done in Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

We will be keeping a close eye on the developments to come in this area. We can only hope these will be for the better.

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The Urban Roamer’s Journal has figured itself on television as its entry on the Cardinal Sin monument was cited as reference in a piece on AksyonTV’s program “Dokumentado.” Thanks to the folks of News5. I am privileged to have contributed to your piece, mga Kapatid.

© The Urban Roamer

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