02/19/17

A Museum For Filipino Seafarers

The Philippines has been considered as the “manning capital of the world” for the maritime industry. That should not come as a surprise as Filipinos comprise the majority of the world’s 1.5 million strong maritime personnel at more than 25%, largest for any nationality. The hard work, the loneliness being at sea for months, and the other sacrifices our Filipino seafarers have made for their families and to the country cannot be stressed hard enough.

Sadly, their contributions seem to be overlooked as the general public do not seem to have an idea as to what the Filipino seafarers go through in their job at sea. Come to think of it, the maritime industry has not been given that much appreciation either. Which is why it is nice to hear that there are place the public can visit to appreciate the contributions of the Filipino seafarers in the maritime industry, which is the where the Urban Roamer is headed for in this entry. Continue reading

12/17/16

The Question of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex

Ever since the news first broke out in November, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex has been put under a spotlight as it faces an uncertain future as two opposing forces have clashed as to what its future should be.

But before we go further, it is best to learn more about the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, which, mind you, is not just any sports complex. It also happens to be the Philippines’ premier sports complex. Well, for a time at least. Continue reading

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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07/11/16

The Story Of Philippine Women’s University

Along the busy Taft Avenue in the City of Manila stands an impressive 3-storey structure housing one of the country’s prominent universities. While its prestige is not along the levels of that of the so-called “Big Four” of the Philippine universities, its contributions not only to education but to Philippine society as a whole is something that cannot be denied.

It also has quite a history as well, from its glory days in the past to the crisis it experienced in recent years which threatened the existence of the university itself. As it approaches its centennial in a few years’ time after surviving that close call, it is time for the Urban Roamer to take a look at this venerable institution: the Philippine Women’s University.

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06/23/15

Viva Manila!: Exploring Malate and Ermita with Carlos Celdran (Part 1)

On the occasion of the 444th anniversary of the founding of the City of Manila this June 24, renowned tour guide, activist, and heritage advocate Carlos Celdran launched a free walking tour for all Sundays of the month dubbed “Viva Manila.”

This special walking tour aims to get visitors reacquainted with the old city itself and appreciate its charm that is being overlooked these days, in particular with the districts of Malate and Ermita which used to be the haven of the rich and a bustling part of the city, especially before the war. The Urban Roamer was fortunate to join in one of those tours as we walked our way through the city and discover some sights along the way that we never got to know well before. Continue reading