San Agustin Church, Manila
The structure was first built during the 17th century and survived the 1945 liberation of Manila, it is one of the oldest structures in the country. The interiors, though it looks like carved stone ceiling, is actually a painting technique called trompe l’oeil, a technique that creates on illusion of 3D objects on a flat surface.
San Agustin is one of the 4 Baroque Churches of the Philippines that is in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
July 2, 2014. It was a local holiday for Pasig City workers and students so I decided to do some walking around Manila alone as I was used to during my student days.
I walked through the usual busy districts, and ended at Rizal Park and decided to go to Luneta Hotel that day. They have a lobby coffee shop called Cafe Yano.
Cafe Yano is still in a soft opening stage, with their signature coffee brews still unavailable. But I ordered a regular cafe moccha and “Lemon Cake”. Let’s call it Lemon Cake because the real name of the cake in Spanish and it’s long. The mocha tastes good, more milky and chocolatey than coffee and I prefer mocha with a more chocolate taste, and the “Lemon Cake” really good.
It’s a total money burn but totally worth it since you’re paying for the food and the place. I should have another go at it next time, when the signature coffee blends are already available.
And these new treats are one of many reasons to come back to the city again.
PS: Apologies for the crappy food shots, I only use a fossilized mobile phone.
A. Bautista (formerly Barbosa), Quiapo, Manila
Located at the A. Bautista Street in Quiapo, the Boix house is also one of the turn of the century houses built by prominent Quiapo Resident during Manila’s heydays. Now, it’s a house divided by informal settlers at the ground floor but the second floor is now cleared for public usage, though it also became a slum abode earlier.
The upper floor of the house is currently maintained by Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista and recently, the JaywalkersPH used the upper floors last week as a stop for Juandering in Manila 3.0. We can’t wait to share the photos with you.
PS: I asked the people of Kapitbahayan on how to pronounce the surname “Boix” I initially assumed it is French but it is Catalan. Who knows how to pronouce the word correctly in Catalan Spanish?
It’s all over the news now. Last week, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) led by Ramon S. Ang presented a USD 10 Billion plan to construct an airport in the Manila Bay reclamation area along Cavitex. Business insiders have seen it coming, but the timing was so perfect for SMC to present the proposal to Malacanang: JICA has released a study for the recommendation of replacing NAIA with a new airport within 20 minutes of Metro Manila by 2027 because passenger volume will rise threefold.
This looks insanely good in the news and in the 3D render above, but with the engineering perspective projects of this importance will not rise in the horizon that easy. Planning and Engineering the said project involves at least 5 years and actual construction involves 7 years at least.
What I’m saying is, in reality don’t get really excited yet. One of my engineer friends raised the issue of the Bird Sanctuary location at Las Pinas and Paranaque that WILL be covered by the airport project. My main issue is that what will happen to Clark?
Summertime in Manila: Blue Skies and Scorching Heat.
These photos are from 2012. I realized I haven’t walked around the city for a long time since I started my preparations for something so there.
So last March 19, Thusday the DOTC presented (as it always do) to prospective investors some of the big mass transport projects already out of the Feasibility Stage. When I say big, it’s really big, ambitious and costs a lot of money. When I say a lot of money, all of the projects presented bust cost US$ 9 Billion.
Finally, one of these is the Integrated Luzon Railway System.
Well the project consists of rehabilitating the old PNR North and South Mainlines, reviving the Nueva Ecija line (possibly an extension to Cagayan Valley terminating at Tuguegarao City) the Batangas Line and the long overdue extension to the end of Luzon in Sorsogon. See it here http://ppp.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Project-Brief-Invest-Transport-PH-18Mar2014.pdf
My opinion on this is:
- The rail gauge should be all changed to Standard Gauge. The Current PNR South operates on Narrow Gauge, making the track unsuitable for upgrade to the High Speed trains. Changing the gauge to Standard conforms the tracks to the international standards and will make it cheaper for us to upgrade to Bullet trains in the future.
- Everything should be built in double tracks, not in single track. Currently only Tutuban to Alabang is in Double Track, everything else is single track. By double tracking the railroad, more train trips are done, more revenues for the train services and more people and goods are moved.
- I think this is a better plan than during the Arroyo Administration of bidding and building the North and South Lines separately. I like it that the project is more of a unified plan for the whole of Luzon.
- The PNR Charter was last enacted on 1964, and is set to expire this year after a 50 year concession. If not extended, then bye bye to our dreams of a national railway system. As of now, only PNR is mandated by law to establish and maintain the railway system. Maybe this charter renewal of PNR must include the legalization of the private sector to take part in the establishment of the railway system.
- DOTC is so inept at this, so better establish another cabinet position just for railways or yes, transfer PNR, MRT and LRT to DPWH because it’s a mainly engineering thing.
- We still don’t know if a Philippine company has the financial clout to implement this project that costs 250-300 billion pesos unless under the so called PPP scheme there will be sharing of the construction cost between the National Government and the Private Sector partner. (So see how the 60-40 ownership limits of the constitution restricts us to even expand this?)
- Even a layman knows that the possible extension to Cagayan Valley is feasible. The Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon as we know is the main crop producing regions of Luzon. Think of all the volume of agricultural products that will be transferred from these regions to the urban centers of Luzon and how will introducing freight trains reduce the cost of food here in the Metro. The long term gains of railway transport to agriculture must be looked very closely by the NEDA.
Also, we should ask updates from the DOTC regarding the Mindanao Railway System. The growth of Mindanao can’t be stopped by now, so the best way to further extend this growth is to establish their own railway system in the soonest possible time.
I wouldn’t mind if the government demolishes the current Palacio del Gobernador in favor of a more appropriate edifice. Plans for the post-1863 earthquake Palacio del Gobernador still exists though unbuilt at all.
With the completion of Ayuntamiento de Manila, this will be the first time since the 1863 earthquake that the three major edifices of Intramuros will be complete. That’s 150 years. Yep, the Ayuntamiento Building is my favorite among all Old Manila buildings.
I can’t wait to explore the interiors of the said building when it formally opens.
Chinese New Year Photowalk 2014
A Program at the Plaza of Binondo, an afternoon blast off with dancing Lions and Dragons. This kicks Chinese New Year Photowalk 2013’s ass, which was uneventful.
Thank you to the people who joined us this year! Looking forward to the next Jaywalkersph event.
National Museum of the Philippines - National Art Gallery
I went to the National Museum yesterday to take advantage of my long break from Review Classes and to enter the museum for free. Like last year, some Galleries are still in the works, in renovation (for example, the gallery of the other paintings by Juan Luna). But still, the museum keeps getting better and there is a very new Gallery dedicated to National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino’s works. But still, they need to work on brochures, and clearer directional signs throughout the building.
Aside from the National Art Gallery, I also visited the Museum of the Filipino people but maybe due to the impending construction of the Museum of the Natural History in the DOT Building, the collections there are still not curated properly. Anyway, those will be the subject of the succeeding posts here.
I also have previous posts regarding my visit last year, click this link to see them.
LOBOC TOWER. This is what remains of the historic Church of San Pedro tower in Loboc, Bohol province, after a major 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the region on Tuesday, leaving scores dead and destroying churches and buildings in and around one of the Philippines’ major tourist hubs. LOBOC VICE MAYOR PABLIO SUMAMPONG/CONTRIBUTOR
Million People March 8/26/2013
Quirino Grandstand, Manila
This is not your usual protest. The count was 400,000 people attended. Usual faces during protests, first time to attend a protest and some attended their last protest when President Estrada was ousted from Malacanang.
Some of them are the usual protesters with flags, effigies and their fists in the air.
Some are students from the grossly underfunded Public Schools and State Universities.
Some are private school students automatically paying 12% VAT on every item they buy.
Some are medical workers from Underfunded Public Hospitals.
Some are from the posh and gated villages paying business, income and real estate taxes from what they own and earn to the government.
Some are from the middle class, paying so many taxes and contribution of government services, saving a little for themselves and the families they raise.
Some are from the poor, those who badly need the care of the government.
All Filipinos from all walks of life were represented in this protest and is rallying for a single cause: the abolition of the Pork Barrel in any name or mean and the prosecution of those who misused the public funnds. This is the biggest and the strongest protest so far in the Aquino Administration and the most memorable and significant commemoration of the National Heroes Day Holiday so far, in living memory.
The real battle has began. The Executive Department already submitted the Proposed 2014 Budget with the PDAF (Pork Barrel) still in the details, and we, as taxpayers and the Filipino People must see to it that the taxes, the nation’s budget is well appropriated and well spent. The deliberations on the 2014 Budget is ongoing.
If the Rizal Statue could talk, what is his reaction on this happening in front of him?
It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not. Alangan naman na kami pa ang magsasabi na, ‘Uy, bogus ‘yan.’ How will we know?
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on the Ghost NGO’s.
NB: He just gave away 300+ million pesos of his Pork to ghost NGO’s.
"Basta ‘wag lang manghihingi sa amin ang mga tao (Well, as long as people don’t ask assistance from us)!"
"E ano’ng ibibigay namin? Hindi naman puwede yung pinaghihirapan namin dahil sa personal naman namin ‘yun, sa mga anak, sa mga pang-araw-araw na panggastos namin (What are we going to give them? I don’t think it’s fair to spend our hard-earned personal cash because we use that for our kids and our daily needs)."