11/29/15

Meet the New Quezon Memorial Shrine Museum (Plus Some Exclusive Shrine Photos!)

It’s been a long while since the Urban Roamer visited the Quezon Memorial Shrine Museum. And since then, there have been so many big changes there. And I do mean big in a manner that you won’t recognize the museum anymore if your last visit was at least last year.

You see the museum underwent a total renovation and makeover of sorts for about a year. The result: a new and improved look of the Quezon Memorial Shrine Museum, now officially known as Museo ni Manuel Quezon which was unveiled just last August 19 this year, in time for the birth anniversary of Pres. Manuel Quezon.

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05/11/14

Monuments to Motherhood

As this particular entry is being released on a Mother’s Day, allow the Urban Roamer to greet all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day! I suppose words cannot express our gratitude for everything they have done for us that sometimes we tend to take for granted. May this day be an opportunity for us to show that gratitude and honor their sacrifices for us.

But how does one honor a mother whose sacrifices for us were greater than we could ever imagine? Such an homage can be done in any shape or form, no matter how simple of a gesture it may be. Or it could be something like what was done almost a hundred years ago, when it was decided that motherhood, Filipino motherhood especially, will be honored in what was to be known as the most beautiful bridge in Manila. Continue reading

04/14/14

Reminiscing Manila’s Magellan Monument

We all know of the (in)famous Lapu-Lapu monument found in the middle of Rizal Park’s Valencia Circle. Sure, there has been some controversy due to concerns of it overshadowing that other famous monument in the park we all know about, but there is no dispute that he deserves such an honor. After all, he is known as the first Filipino hero who managed to successfully thwart a foreign power’s first attempt to colonize us.

Lapu-Lapu monument in Rizal Park

On the other hand, and understandably, there is no monument in the city for Ferdinand Magellan, the antagonist in the story who tried to colonize us in the name of the Spanish crown but failed to do so and got killed in the process. While that historical tidbit should not be ignored, the aspect of Magellan the colonizer is the one Filipinos are more fixated upon while overlooking, if not ignoring, the aspect of Magellan as an explorer and navigator, the one who after all spearheaded the first successful trip around the world even if he did not live to complete it.

Ferdinand Magellan, or Fernando Magallanes as he is known in Spain

It is interesting to note though that a century ago, the situation was different in Manila. No Lapu-Lapu monument was seen (perhaps because the Spanish, then American colonial governments did not know about him yet) but instead the city boasted a grand monument dedicated to the Portuguese-born explorer. Its origins date back to 1848, when Spanish Governor General Narciso Claveria sought to have it built. It was originally to be erected in Cebu, but it was decided that such a prestigious monument should be erected in Manila instead.

the Magellan monument (courtesy of Nostalgia Filipinas)

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12/30/13

Manila’s “Arsenic” Mayor

Last December 26 was actually the 101st birth anniversary of one of the most colorful figures in postwar years of the City of Manila, and the Philippines as a whole. His name is Arsenio H. Lacson.

Born in Talisay in the province of Negros Occidental, he was once actually a boxer, lawyer, World War II guerilla, dabbled as a journalist and broadcaster, elected as congressman of Manila’s 2nd district, then eventually becoming mayor of the City of Manila from 1951 to 1962. He was actually the first elected mayor of the city, as before that, Manila mayors were actually appointed by the President of the Philippines. Continue reading

07/7/13

The “Roma” in Intramuros

While it is true that Intramuros is known as the “Little Vatican” because of the presence before of 7 churches in the Walled City and the fact that it is until now the seat of Roman Catholicism in Manila, and perhaps the country as well, this entry would not be about any of these churches. The “Roma” here would refer to the plaza, Plaza Roma, considered to be the “plaza mayor” or the main plaza of the city in the olden times.

P6300103

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