10/31/17

Santuario del Santo Cristo: San Juan’s Original Church

The city of San Juan has a rich history in itself, dating back to the days of the Spanish colonial period when it was known before as San Juan del Monte or the town of St. John (the Baptist) of the mountain, owing to San Juan’s hilly elevation. Its storied past is something we will be getting to in the future from time to time but for starters, the Urban Roamer shall take you to the place where the city was born.

Contrary to the belief of some, the church of San Juan we are referring to here is not the one located near Pinaglabanan, the one officially named St. John the Baptist Church. Can’t blame them though since it is after the city’s Catholic patron saint which can cause confusion. Instead, the one we are referring to here is the one alongside F. Blumentritt Street at the old town center. Known before as the San Juan del Monte Church, it is now officially known as the Santuario del Santo Cristo.

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11/10/15

Himlayang Pilipino: A Memorial Dedicated to the Filipino Spirit

This is an entry that should have been done a week before. But due to prior commitments and other matters I had to postpone it. But since it is still a month of remembrance of the departed, better late than never in sharing this particular entry.

As a post-All Saints Day entry, the Urban Roamer decided to check out a cemetery as it is a yearly tradition here. This year, we went up deep in Quezon City to visit the vast memorial park known for its patriotic Filipino flair, the Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park.

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11/3/14

The Case of Makati’s Missing Cemetery

As far as the Urban Roamer’s knowledge was concerned, there was a smaller cemetery located right next to Manila South Cemetery, the Makati Cemetery in the city’s Barangay Valenzuela. So after roaming Manila South Cemetery, I decided to walk on and check out Makati Cemetery…

Only to find out it was actually closed, which was weird considering that cemeteries are not usually closed to the public unless something was up. It was only recently that I got the full story. Continue reading

10/28/14

Manila South Cemetery (AKA the Manila Cemetery in Makati)

It’s the Halloween-All Saints-All Souls season once more, which means another opportunity for the Urban Roamer to roam those places few people don’t really dare to wander off to except on this occasion. In the past years, the Urban Roamer has walked around a number of cemeteries around the metropolis, which you can check out in our archives. This year, we check out a certain cemetery that lies in a unique geographical situation. Unique in the sense that it lies within the borders of one city but is administered by another city, the Manila South Cemetery.

pardon the faces seen on the cemetery entrance

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10/27/13

A resting place for heroes: Libingan Ng Mga Bayani

It is that time of the year once again to remember all things and frightening. For this year, the Urban Roamer headed down south in that wide and bitterly contested Fort Bonifacio area to visit one of the most prominent burial places in the metropolis and the country as a whole. Yes, today we visit the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, ibingwhich literally means the burial ground of heroes.

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Heroes Memorial Gate at the entrance to the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, which has a metal sculpture at its center and a viewdeck which bears images from the country’s history, especially military history

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Its origins can be traced back in May 1947, when the Republic Memorial Cemetery was established in what was then known as Fort McKinley to serve as a final resting place that would honor the men and women who have served the country well, particularly the ones who have served during World War II as well as those in the military service. Then in 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay renamed the cemetery to the name we know today as the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.” It was further expanded in area and given more prominence in 1967 by President Ferdinand Marcos as it was elevated to become a national shrine for the country’s heroes, whether they served in military or not. Continue reading