• City of Manila

    The National Museum of Natural History…Finally

    We have waited years for this. Finally, that time has come! The Urban Roamer refers here to the National Museum of Natural History, which has finally opened its doors to the public last May 18. And judging from the queue of people who line up to visit, the newly-opened building of the National Museum has been received quite well, despite the fact that not all sections of the building itself are not open yet. The opening marks the culmination of a three-year project to convert the American-era structure into a modern museum that Filipinos can be proud of. Is it worth the hype though? We shall see…

  • City of Manila

    A Day At The National Museum (Part 2: Museum of the Filipino People and the future National Museum of Natural History)

    Right across the National Art Gallery building of the National Museum, right in the northern part of Rizal Park, stands two neoclassical buildings with a shared history, from the style to the architect and their usage, past and future. Both buildings were remnants of what Daniel Burnham had in mind for Manila to be a “city beautiful” with the area where the buildings stand was envisioned to be the equivalent to the “National Mall” of Washington DC. Also, both were designed by the same architect who helped design the current National Art Gallery, Antonio Toledo, who himself started as a partner of Burnham’s longtime associate William Parsons. Both were completed…

  • City of Manila

    Rizal Park, Part 2: from National Capitol to National Park

    As the foundations of Spanish rule in the Philippines began to crumble as a result of the Philippine Revolution, the Americans “defeated” the Spanish forces during the Spanish-American war in 1898, the result of which was the takeover of the United States over the country by yearend. Despite the fierce resistance of the Filipino forces as the Revolution raged on, the Americans wasted no time in trying to cement their rule over the archipelago, with the virtues, visions, and ideals that America cherished. In the case of Manila, the Americans dreamed of giving the city a makeover from its Spanish heritage into a cosmopolitan American city. To be specific, a…

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