Where Manila’s Archbishops Lie

It’s the Halloween-All Saints-All Souls season once more. And for the longtime readers and followers of the Urban Roamer, I suppose you know what this means. Another trip to some resting place in this busy metropolis.

This time however, we shall not be roaming at a cemetery of yore or of the present. Instead we shall be revisiting a familiar landmark: the Manila Cathedral. Continue reading


Manila1945: Wrecked and Rebuilt

The Battle of Manila that raged from February 3-March 3, 1945 decimated a lot of structures in the city. With the limited resources available for disposal in those times, not all of them managed to be rebuilt after the war, some of them even took a long while for them to be completed. As we continue the #Manila1945 series here, we will be taking a look at some of these structures that were destroyed and have managed to rise again from the ashes of war, though some of them never looked the same way as before. Continue reading


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


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?


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.


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.


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


Manila Cathedral: the church that just wouldn’t die*

*apologies for such a cheesingly shockling byline

There are a lot of interesting places to see in Intramuros, but perhaps one thing that would stand out in this part of the city is the imposing structure that is the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception AKA the Manila Cathedral, the seat of power of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.



Given the vast influence of the Roman Catholic Church especially during the Spanish colonial era, it is but fitting that its seat in power in the capital city should be the most imposing of them all. Before Rizal monument, the Cathedral was the original “Kilometer 0” where all will begin, so to speak. Even today, as a sign of respect to the heritage of Intramuros, it is decreed under law that no building in the Walled City should exceed the height limit which is the height of the cathedral itself, up to its belltower. Continue reading