10/2/10

that brewery named after a saint and a suburb

It was September 29, 1890, which happened to be the feast of St. Michael and the rest of the Archangels, when a fellow named Enrique Barretto y Ycaza opened up a brewery in the Manila suburb named after the aforementioned saint. With a royal grant from Spain, Enrique decided to name the brewery after that suburb where he has lived and worked. So began the history of Fabrica Cerveza de San Miguel, the brewery which would become the San Miguel Corporation we would know today.

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The document which bore that royal grant had the old seal of Manila insigned with a crown above it. Seeing the significance of this seal, Enrique adopted it as the logo for his brewery, which is still seen today as the current corporate logo of the company. The seal is known as the escudo, which means shield; incidentally, it was also the name for once Spain’s old currency before the peseta and eventually the euro. Continue reading

07/21/10

the “other” mansions of the President

We all know that Malacañang is the house associated with the President of the Philippines, but who would have known that the President, or to be more specific, the Office of the President, maintains a number of other houses (some of them function today as guesthouses) around the area of the district of San Miguel in Manila?

The probably most renowned and has figured in the news recently is the Laperal Mansion or the Arlegui Guest House. Located along Arlegui St. just a few walks away from the Malacañang grounds itself, the closest among the houses to the Palace.

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Continue reading

07/7/10

Malacañang from outside the gates

For a place as powerful and rich in history as Malacañang, it is somehow frustrating how much limited access an ordinary citizen has in visiting this place. While the restrictions are understandable given the importance of securing the country’s seat of power, it would have been nice if perhaps there can be some occasions when at least some more leeway can be given for citizens to get to see a bit more of Malacañang and the treasures the Palace holds. Continue reading

06/30/10

Roamer at the Palace: A day at the Malacañang Museum (Part 2)

The second level of Kalayaan Hall by itself has a colorful history; it is just proper that this particular area holds a lot of memorabilia related to Malacañang’s history.

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Probably the most important area in this level, and perhaps of the whole Kalayaan Hall as well, is the Quezon Room, which used to be the Executive Office of the President of the Philippines. First used by Manuel Quezon, (after whom the room was made) it was was where the President would hold formal and official business. (today, these functions being held at the Palace building itself) Continue reading

06/29/10

Roamer at the Palace: A day at the Malacañang Museum (Part 1)

It is a historic day for the Philippines as a new president in the person of Benigno Aquino III assumes the mantle of the country’s leadership. In the spirit of this momentous occasion, the Urban Roamer last week joined the “Power, Palace, and a Shot of Beer” tour of Mr. Ivan Man Dy which took me and some other guests mostly around Malacañang* Museum.

*note: according to Mr. Man Dy, Malacañang refers to the whole Palace grounds: the Palace building itself, Kalayaan, Mabini Halls, New Executive Building, and the park at the opposite end of the Pasig River while Malacañan (the spelling we see on TV during press conferences) refers strictly to the Palace building where the President does his day-to-day duties. Continue reading