Rizal, Santo Tomas, and Sampaloc

As you may have noticed these past few entries, we have devoted space in this blog on the University of Santo Tomas campus. But on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippines’ National Hero, Jose Rizal, allow me to take a little diversion of this trip to talk about this school’s “relationship” with our hero.

a photo of Rizal in his late teens, possibly around the time he was a UST student

To anyone with some knowledge of Rizal’s biography, it is a well-known fact that Rizal entered University of Santo Tomas in 1877 and managed to get a degree in Philosophy and Letters two years later. He then proceeding to medicine, ophthalmology to be precise, for the next 2 years before going to Spain to finish medicine and get his degree. Continue reading


Paco Park: from mournings to weddings

These days, you may find it weird that a park can be situated in an unlikely neighborhood of sorts, surrounded by buildings and commercial establishments, right in the middle of intersecting roads which make it look like a rotunda plaza. Despite how “unfriendly” the site of Paco Park is today, it holds so much historical and cultural value that it has deserved the needed attention and preservation, all the more so now as urbanization and the decay it has brought is a serious threat not only to the park’s landscape but throughout the city as well.

paco park


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the most awkward-looking Rizal ever

Today marks another commemoration of the martyrdom of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

And being the country’s national hero, you can never escape his name and image almost everywhere you go, from the streets you traverse to the matches you use.

Then again, he is THE national hero so there’s not much one can do about that.

That principle will also apply whenever we come to see him standing in front of some town plaza or municipal/city/provincial hall in his trademark long black overcoat and, sometimes, holding a book or two on his chest as if he was about to sing the National Anthem.

This particular monument of Rizal however, takes the cake for having a “unique” representation of him. Continue reading