05/15/14

the Metro Manila City/Town Name Guide

There are questions that are not asked often but never fail to make heads scratch whenever they are asked. One of them being “how did this place get its name?”

Today, we will attempt to answer this question with regards to the origins behind the names of the cities and town (yes, as in one town) that comprise Metropolitan Manila. Some of the information that will be shared here may be of common knowledge to some, but it is still worth knowing. Who knows, you may be asked about in in a game show or something. 😉

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03/24/14

Heads up: INC’s QC Event on March 28

Heads up, Quezon City folks! The religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is planning to hold an evangelical mission event on March 28 called “Lingap Pamamahayag” from 12 AM to 6 PM. And as INC events go, expect heavy traffic that day in that part of the metropolis.

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03/16/14

At the House of Precast

Many of us may not know what the word “precast” means or what it’s about, but its importance in the shaping of the urban landscape that we know today cannot be emphasized well enough. We may not know it, but the sights we see in our city from the classical monuments to the columnar designs to the ornamental details of edifices, they all have precast figured into their designs.

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But apologies for getting myself go further without explaining what precast is about. Anyway, it is defined as a material, usually of concrete or plaster, that is cast in a mold to be brought to a site for installation. Precast comes in many forms, the more common perhaps would be what is called “ornamental precast” which is used primarily as a decoration element with organic or geometric designs.

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Ornamental precast in itself is something that requires skill and artistry that has to be done by skilled hands and not left to modern automated methods that are employed in many fields today. Luckily, there are a few that still specialize in creating and installing works made in ornamental precast. In the Philippines, one name stands out as the oldest and one of the leading (if not the leading) craft house that specialize in it. Its name speaks for itself: the House of Precast.

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12/15/13

A farewell to Manila Seedling Bank?

The Urban Roamer wrote an entry on this blog more than two years ago about the Manila Seedling Bank, one of the few remaining green spaces in the metropolis that is home to different varieties of flora that are being displayed and/or sold. In particular, I lauded the place and the organization behind it, Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, (MSBF) for being stalwarts of environmental awareness in the midst of the urban sprawl that has already affected the environment in a negative manner, hoping it would keep on doing its job for years to come.

Unfortunately, sad news broke out on December 9, 2013 when the Quezon City government ordered the closure of the Manila Seedling Bank complex for the reason of non-payment of property taxes of the said property for years, thus moving to take over the property itself. As this time while I am writing this, the city government has allowed the complex to stay open until the end of the year so vendors there can hold their clearance sales. Continue reading

08/4/13

The Metropolis and its Capital Dreams (Part III)

After the end of World War II in 1945, Manila was in a state of total devastation. With most of the city’s infrastructure in near-complete ruin, the first task at hand for a recovering nation was to start anew, in the midst of meager resources the government faced at that time. Thus, the dream of a national capital had to be put on a wayside.

the Legislative Building after the war (from John Tewell’s Flickr)

Also as a result of Manila’s destruction, those who were fortunate to survive were too traumatized to continue living in the city premises. Thus the trend was for many families to move away to the suburbs, trying to escape the nightmares of war that still haunt the city that was trying to get back on its feet. Thus, the wide open spaces of Quezon City became a viable option as a place of residence for them, where they can start anew in a postwar environment. Continue reading