05/26/15

The Saga of Malate Church

Malate district in Manila has gone through so much in the last 100 years or so. From being once part of the city’s so-called “Millionaire’s Row” in the prewar years to the district’s destruction as well as much of the city during World War II into becoming a beloved evening hangout that’s had its share of ups and downs.

Regardless of those transformations and the changing fate of this fabled district, there is one constant that has managed to weather them, becoming a beloved Malate landmark in its own right. Today, the Urban Roamer checks out this storied structure that is the Our Lady of Remedies Church, also known as the Malate Catholic Church.

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01/20/15

Papal Visit Postscript: Pope Francis, 2015

By all accounts, it can be safely said that the recent Papal visit of Pope Francis with the theme “Mercy and Compassion” was a success, a roaring success at that. A product of two equations coming together: Pope Francis’s innate charm and charisma and the deeply-rooted sense of faith that Filipinos have, in this case the Catholic faith where majority of the population belongs to.

(courtesy of Discovery Philippines)

Even if you are not a Catholic, you cannot help but be smitten by the personal touch the Pope has especially in interacting with the people he has met throughout his 5-day visit. With the visit now part of history, let us take a look at some of these moments here. Continue reading

01/16/15

The Vatican’s Manila Outpost

In the current flurry of activity in the papal visit of Pope Francis, one spot that has been getting much of the attention in the media and in the public at this time is the place where he is staying, the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines in Manila.

(courtesy of Balita.ph)

In fact, the Nunciature also played home to the previous papal visits of Paul VI and John Paul II, following a standard procedure that visiting pontiffs would usually stay at the apostolic nunciature of the country they visit if there is such.

Unfortunately, there is not much documentation, text or photos, of the Apostolic Nunciature here as the structure is obscured by high walls and and trees block the view of what it looks like. It has been standing in quiet existence most of the time, in the midst of the flurry of urban activity that surrounds it, not to mention being located in the City of Manila itself. Continue reading

01/13/15

A Pope in Manila

Other than a visit of a US President, no official visit gets Manila, and the country as whole, all abuzz than a visit here of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the person we all know as the pope. Something that should be a no-brainer given the country’s predominantly Catholic population.

For Filipino Catholics, a papal visit is seen as an honor that the pope has taken time to visit them here, being a bastion of Catholicism in Asia and a chance for them to receive his blessings to them and to the country.

On January 15 this year, Manila will be graced by such visit with the arrival of the current leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a papal visit that would last for five days. As the city is in high anticipation for this event, (high enough to be on the point of ridiculousness as far as some aspects are concerned) let the Urban Roamer bring you this edition of the Guide as we look back at the past papal visits in the country, particularly in the city. Continue reading