• City of Manila

    Happy Birthday, Heneral Luna!

    Today marks the 149th birth anniversary of one of the most colorful personalities in Philippine history, not to mention one of the most renowned Filipino military geniuses, the “Heneral” himself, Antonio Luna. And this year’s commemoration of his birth comes at an interesting time, right at the heels of the unprecedented success of the film “Heneral Luna,” the biographical film based on his life. Thanks in large part to the film, more and more people are becoming more aware of this man, his legacy, and his life’s tragedy. Thus, today the Urban Roamer pays tribute to this man on his natal day, in an urban roaming way that we often do here, as…

  • City of Manila

    Memory and modernity in San Nicolas District

    Located right along the north bank of the Pasig River near the mouth where the river meets the Manila Bay, one can find the district known as San Nicolas. But for the regular city-dweller, the mention of San Nicolas may not ring as it is overshadowed by its neighboring Binondo district and that shopping area called Divisoria, an area that is actually part of San Nicolas but has grown more prominent than the district itself. Regardless of its diminished stature as of late, one cannot discount the important role San Nicolas has played in Manila’s history and development, thanks in part for its role as the city’s business and commercial…

  • City of Manila

    Divisoria: Manila’s shopping mecca

    Since it’s Christmas, the Urban Roamer presents to you one of Christmastime’s favorite shopping destinations. Then again, this place is an all-time favorite shopping destination Juan Dela Cruz Band’s “Divisoria” If there can only be one place that would be named as THE shopping mecca in the metropolis, it would not be some fancy mall or high-end shopping district. For many not only in Metro Manila but perhaps in the entire country as well, nothing equates shopping more than that famed district in Manila that we call “Divisoria.” But of course, Divisoria itself needs no further introduction. It has become such an iconic landmark destination that every one in the…

  • City of Manila

    A fusion of faiths in Manila

    Manila, and the Philippines in general, has always been described as a melting pot of eastern and western cultures. Religion has been no exception as with the case of this curious religious item called the Santo Cristo de Longos. Legend tells us that sometime in the 16th century, a deaf-mute Chinese guy was getting water from a well in a barrio called Longos, when he managed to draw along with the water an image of a crucified Christ. It was said that this guy’s deaf-mute condition was healed at that moment. And word soon spread about the image’s supposed miraculous powers. The image was fitted to a cross and was…