09/30/15

Chino Roces and the Bridge at Mendiola

Since the late Marcos period at least, Mendiola Street has been known as a hotbed of protest activity as people marching there aimed to have their grievances and protests heard a bit closer by whoever is at Malacañang at the end of the said street. The epicenter of sorts of these activities is the bridge along Mendiola that crosses the Estero de San Miguel, named today in memory of one of those who took part in those protests along that storied street.

His name is Joaquin Roces, better known to family and friends as “Chino.” And he was no mere protester. He belonged to one of Manila’s most illustrious families, the Roces family who owned a bustling media conglomerate that flourished until 1972, when Martial Law was declared.

Chino Roces (courtesy of Malacanang Museum

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12/4/14

The Saga of MLQU

Firstly, a disclosure: the Urban Roamer is an alumnus of the Manuel L. Quezon University. Technically, I only studied there for 2 1/2 years as a transfer student (long story) but considering this is the school from which I graduated, I suppose the MLQU aspect of my college education should weigh a bit more.

Thus, my interest gets piqued with any news that comes my way about my alma mater, like the one I will be sharing later on in this post. But before we go further, I suppose this is a good opportunity as well to talk about this underrated institution in the heart of Manila.

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11/6/14

A Walk Around Quiapo

As part of an effort to revitalize Quiapo through the rehabilitation of one of the heritage houses in the area, the Kasa Boix, the Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista recently organized an event called the Lakbay Lakaran, which aims to give visitors a unique experience in exploring what is known as the heart and soul of Manila, the district of Quiapo.

The Lakbay Lakaran was a good opportunity to see some of the district’s hidden and overlooked gems and give a new perspective of what it has to offer, beyond the stereotypical imagery that has been adversely attached to it in recent years, like being a place of chaos and disorder.

The Urban Roamer was fortunate to take part in one of the two tours the group has made this year. The Lakbay Lakaran I joined took us to some spots that were already documented here like the Ocampo Pagoda and the Padilla House as well as others that will be documented here today.

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10/20/14

The Saga of the (Victory) Lacson Underpass

It’s interesting to note that Metro Manila has more pedestrian overpasses (or footbridges as they are popularly called these days) than pedestrian underpasses. Maybe it’s partly because of concerns of flooding as parts of the metropolis are flood-prone areas, which also is a factor as to why there is yet to be a true subway system in the metropolis. (no, the partly underground Lines 2 and 3 do not count)

This entry today talks about one of these few pedestrian underground networks in the country, the Quiapo underpass network known today as the Lacson Underpass, the first such network to be built in the City of Manila and in the metropolis and the country as a whole.

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07/9/14

Reviving Quiapo’s Heritage: The Story of the Padilla House

It has often been stressed here and in other sites that Manila’s Quiapo district is like a diamond in the mud. There are so many beauty to be discovered in the midst of the urban decay which sadly permeates this part of the city. Nevertheless, there are some reasons to be hopeful for Quiapo, with the presence of preserved landmarks like the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, the ongoing efforts to restore Kasa Boix, and a revived heritage structure which the Urban Roamer will be writing about today, the Padilla House.

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