• City of Manila

    Manila’s Flower Market: a place called Dangwa

    Come Valentines or All Saints Day, this part of Manila is bustling with activity. Then again, this particular area is always busy with commercial activity, though not as frantic as the aforementioned occasions. Of course, I am referring here to Manila’s “Flower Market” or the “Bulaklakan ng Maynila,” but known more to locals as “Dangwa:” the name of the passenger bus transport company which used to transport the flowers there which come all the way from the Cordillera highlands in the northern part of the country. While Dangwa no longer seems to ply to and from the city, the memory of these buses carrying the flowers to be sold persist…

  • City of Manila

    Manila’s Pontifical and Royal campus (Part 8: inside the Main Building)

    These days, the University of Santo Tomas’s Main Building stands tall and proud in front of the wide Plaza Mayor which sits in between the building and the Benavides Monument. A former street and parking place, it was converted into an open space that is being used from time to time during campus events. With the Main Building as the background, any event there undoubtedly gives one a true Thomasian vibe to it. But apart from serving as backdrop as the administrative seat of the University, the Main Building also serves as the academic home of the university’s Faculty of Civil Law, College of Science, and the Faculty of Pharmacy.

  • City of Manila

    Manila’s Pontifical and Royal campus (Part 7: the Main Building)

    Among all the landmarks that one can see today in the campus of University of Santo Tomas, none perhaps would be as more well-known and beloved as the structure known as the Main Building, the first and the oldest structure that was built in UST’s current campus in Sampaloc. Plans for its construction began in 1920, but its actual construction began 4 years later as its architect, a Dominican priest-engineer named Roque Ruaño was fine tuning its details so it would be able to withstand any powerful earthquake that may occur, as inspired by events, earthquakes in particular, in Japan during that period. Thus it became also known as the…

  • City of Manila

    Rizal, Santo Tomas, and Sampaloc

    As you may have noticed these past few entries, we have devoted space in this blog on the University of Santo Tomas campus. But on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippines’ National Hero, Jose Rizal, allow me to take a little diversion of this trip to talk about this school’s “relationship” with our hero. To anyone with some knowledge of Rizal’s biography, it is a well-known fact that Rizal entered University of Santo Tomas in 1877 and managed to get a degree in Philosophy and Letters two years later. He then proceeding to medicine, ophthalmology to be precise, for the next 2 years before going to…

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