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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 5 (Malate, Manila)

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Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate, Manila

Only a few people know or care about the history of that quaint little church by Manila Bay.

The Parish of Our Lady of Remedies, popularly known as Malate Church, was built by the Augustinian Order during the late 16th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Manila outside of Intramuros. In 1591, Malate had only one church and one convent, both of which were severely damaged during the 1645 earthquake. In 1667, it again suffered destruction on orders of the 24th Governor-General of the Philippines, Sabiniano Manrique de Lara. It was done under duress due to the threat of Chinese pirate attacks led by the dreaded Koxinga.

A decade later, Fr. Dionisio Suárez began reconstructing a new church and convent made of bricks and stone. Fr. Pedro de Mesa completed the construction in 1680. The church was occupied and vandalized by the British when they invaded Manila in 1762. Further destruction happened in 1868 during an immense typhoon. Fr. Francisco Cuadrado reconstructed the church in 1864. This third church is the Malate Church that we know. Fr. Nicolás Dulanto made some restoration work on the church, including the completion of the façade’s upper part.

Trefoil blind arches are at the church’s façade, indicating Moorish art influence. The attached belltowers give an impression of solidity and strength by its massiveness (emphasized by very few openings), as if to “squeeze” the middle part of the façade. Solomonic columns superpositioned over the Romanesque columns give Malate Church its baroque feel.

During World War II, both Japanese and (especially) Americans wreaked havoc all over Manila, making the city the most devastated city next to Warsaw, Poland. Malate Church wasn’t spared; only its walls remained after the hostilities. But the Columban priests –the current residents and caretakers of the church– restored it to its original beauty and splendor during the 1950′s.

A Valentine's Day mass was ongoing.

The image of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios was brought here from Spain in 1624 by Fr. Juan de Guevara, O.S.A.

Faithful Manileños.


At the church's western wall.

Spread the love! =)

Anunciamos tu muerte. Proclamamos tu resurrección. Ven Señor Jesús

Agua bendita.

Street vendors selling their wares around the church area.

Already working at a young age. =(

Reynaldo Alano personally selling his obras.

The church looming behind the verdure.

Love, love, love, Malate Love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 2 (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 3 (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 4 (Malate, Manila)

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 4 (Malate, Manila)

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Very early on Valentine’s morning, we saw a peculiar scene: Roxas Boulevard swarmed with thousands of joggers! We learned from a soldier-participant that we were actually witnessing the “Run for Your Heart” sporting event. The Philippine Sports Commission and the Filipino-Chinese Athletic Federation’s organized it. Alley Quisay, an armyman, won the marathon later that day.

What a lovely Malate Love morning!

When we woke up on Valentine's morning, we were surprised to see Roxas Boulevard without any vehicles...

...and there were too many joggers!

Even the military guys were at it!

Nobody's jogging here. The sprinters are all over the boulevard.

She'd rather run for my heart. =)

Did you know that former Manila Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson's first language was Spanish (vis-a-vis Hiligaynón)?

Yeyette and Mayor Lacson -- the finest Manila Mayor of all time!

This boulevard was once a beach! It was reclaimed during the American Occupation and was called Dewey Boulevard (1898-1941). The Japanese changed it to Banzai Boulevard (1942-1945). After the war, it was renamed to its present name: Roxas Boulevard!

Love, love, love, Malate Love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 2 (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 3 (Malate, Manila)
Quisay rules ‘Run for your Heart’

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 3 (Malate, Manila)

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Malate is very popular particularly among foreigners and the Pinoy party animal. For a brief period during my last days in college, the lights and sound captivated my young heart.

The place is very much alive at night especially during weekends and holidays. Malate is the perfect hangout for drinking sprees. Street parties aren’t rare. Several bars and restaurants catering international delicacies line the streets. But when my beloved Yeyette and I strolled there during Valentine’s eve, I noticed many Korean restaurants. And they’re not just many. It’s like they’ve taken over many streets there! I suddenly thought, “are we in Korea Town or what?”

I have to admit that I was a bit appalled by the fact that several Korean restaurants were all over the place. I have nothing against Koreans (except for their hilarious hairdo and corny pop music gimmickry), but perhaps I’m just getting fed up seeing them everyday in a country where they actually have no cultural ties. And it’s pretty alarming because up to now I still haven’t figured this “massive exodus” of Koreans to this Third World nation. What gives?

Anyway, my wife is a Korean fan. And so are two of my officemates, Louren and Clinton! But they’re not just fans. If given a chance, they are willing to become Koreans! My wife, who somehow resembles Korean ladies, is a Korean food addict. Louren knows how to speak and write Korean (aside from other languages). And Clinton even once quipped how he wished we Filipinos were Koreans! This fascination for Korea and Koreans boggles me. Boy and girl groups from that country have captivated a multitude of Filipinos. English tutorials for Koreans are everywhere. And the persona of Sandara Park still looms large (eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh…21!). Is Meteor Garden such a big influence and factor? LOL!

Strangely, while at the Manila Bay esplanade, a fisherman from the Manila Bay Angler’s Association asked Yeyette if I was Korean. Like, duh.

And after a fun and romantic evening stroll by the bayside, Yeyette had to look for a Korean restaurant which she used to patronize when she was still single. Man, that was like a decade ago! And so we walked around Malate like for almost half an hour.

Finally, she found what she was looking for:

Yakiniku Restaurant.

I had qualms entering an Asian restaurant. I’m just not used to it. I saw a couple of Spanish and Filipino restaurants along the way. But for Valentine’s sake, I had to give in to the ever-powerful Wifey, LOL! But upon entering Yakiniku, I realized the place’s coziness and ambience. And it’s just the right size to avoid a huge crowd as is the usual fare in most restaurants.

We found out later that Yakiniku Restaurant actually offers both Japanese and Korean delights. And that’s the reason for the photo below, haha!

Turning Japanese!

After our Yakiniku experience… I suddenly want to be Korean, LOL! Just kidding. Yakiniku caters mainly Japanese food. But to be honest, I did enjoy the food — and the thrill grilling the meat ourselves!

Afterwards, we had our refreshments at the iconic Café Adriático which was founded by the late Larry J. Cruz.

Café Adriático, a Malate landmark.

“LJC” stands for the initials of the late Larry J. Cruz. Founder and president of the LJC Chain of Restaurants. In 1979, Cruz, a journalist and information man, made a career change and opened his first restaurant, a small café in a modest corner of the Remedios Circle in Malate. He named the restaurant Café Adriático, after the street it was on.

Banking on little else than his eating experience as a seasoned traveler and the support of his media friends, Cruz who had never been in the restaurant business before, made Café Adriático the most talked about restaurant in town as soon as it opened its doors. The Café served good food and offered warm and friendly service. It was a place where people met spontaneously and enjoyed each other’s company in a setting that included conviviality. Pretty soon, Café Adriático became the venue where Manila’s elite hobnobbed with celebrities, artists, business leaders and political movers and shakers. (The LJC Group)

¡Chocolate eh!

Every time these scandals reached Father Salvi’s ears, he smiled and crossed himself, immediately reciting one Our Father. They called him a watchdog, a hypocrite, a Carlist, a miser. Padre Salvi would only smile to himself and pray more. The Alferez always told the few Spaniards who visited him the following anecdote:

“Are you going to the convent to visit that little dead fly of a priest? Careful! If he offers you chocolate, which I doubt he will… but if he finally offers, be on guard! If he calls the servant and tells him: ‘Fulanito, make a cup of chocolate, eh?’ Then you can stay and not worry; but if he says ‘Fulanito, make a cup of chocolate, ah?’ Then pick up your hat and exit running.”

“What?” asked the other man fearfully. “Does he dole out poison? Good heavens!”

“Man, no; not to that extent.”


“Chocolate eh means espeso, thick; and chocolate ah means aguado, watered down.” (From José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, translated into English by the late Mª Soledad Lacson vda. de Locsín)

Ensaimada bread and quesong putî (white cheese).

Claude's Dream One

Although Café Adriático may be popular among artists, writers, and the like, I’m not that impressed with the place and the goodies we had had. I’m not saying the place is not comfy. It just didn’t impress me, that’s all (or maybe because it was too dark when we went there that night). And also, mosquitoes feasted on my bare feet (I was wearing sandals) during my whole stay there! Strangely, my wife (and perhaps other customers) didn’t feel any sting. I wonder what was that all about.

Café Adriático was named after the street where it stands, Calle Adriático. That street, on the other hand, was named after Macario Adriático (1869-1919), a cababayan of Yeyette because they’re both from Mindoro (the statesman’s from Mindoro Oriental; Wifey’s from Occidental). Adriático was the very first Filipino correspondiente to the Real Academia Española and is one of the founders of the prestigious Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española.

To be continued!

Love, love, love, Malate Love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 2 (Malate, Manila)

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 2 (Malate, Manila)

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Malate Church by night.

Malate Church historical marker (Historical Research and Markers Committee, 1937).

Plaza Rajah Sulayman, named after the last king of pre-Hispanic Manila.

Paintings by Reynaldo Alano. I met him the next day (Valentine's Day), personally selling his art.

¡Iglesia de Malate!

Small pink bats!

Toys for sale!

Love, love, love, Malate Love! (Malate, Manila)
Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila)

Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila)

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The past Valentine weekend was a busy one, full of fun and love! My wife Yeyette Perey de Alas and I spent most of it in Malate’s scenic bayside area. And like what I promised yesterday, I’ll be writing articles about beautiful Malate in the next few days starting today (ang dami rin casíng fotos, eh)

Malate is one of Manila’s 16 geographical units south of the Río de Pásig. It was once a part of extramuros or outside the walls of the original City of Manila which was Intramuros (within the walls). Since Malate was extramuros, it was known as an arrabal or district.

Malate is most famous for its historic and iconic baroque church, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies). Calle Remedios was named after the church’s patroness. Today, however, Malate is popularly known as Manila’s nightlife capital. Several bars and restaurants catering foreign delicacies line its colorful streets. Through the years, Malate also gained the notoriety for its flesh trade. Several politicians have tried to stop this foul image but to no avail. A young hooker even tried to sell me her “services” — right in front of Malate Church! Me and wifey were so amused and appalled at the same time, LOL!!!

Our Lady of Remedies, by the way, is the patroness of childbirth. The Virgin’s image, brought here from Spain in 1624, stands at the altar inside the sixteenth-century Augustinian church. The church was heavily damaged during World War II but was later restored. Below is a picture of how the church and its surrounding looked like hundreds of years ago:

View of Malate Church in 1831, from Frenchman Cyrille Pierre Théodore Laplace's Voyage autour du Monde par les Mers de l'Inde et de la Chine.

As you can see, the place where Plaza Rajah Sulayman now stands used to be a beach! And the site where the famous Aristocrat restaurant now stands used to have huts and foliage! Roxas Boulevard runs through what used to be Bahía de Manila‘s coastline!

Below are more Malate pictures! It was fun to see the romantic Baywalk as a convergence point of various Filipinos –Manileños in particular– doing nothing but enjoying the company of friends and family members. People from different walks of life mingle with the sea breeze. And me and my wife mingled with all of them: vendors, beggars, hobbyists, etc., greeting them as if we’ve known them for years.

It was a night filled with friendship, for friendship is love as well. We were spreading love the “Malate way!”

Spread the love, Malate love!

My beloved queen Yeyette Perey de Alas. Plaza Rajah Sulayman (Solimán in Spanish) is at the background.

Ped Xing, LOL!!!

The long wait to cross the famous boulevard.

Fast cars racing against Manila's urban twilight.

Finally made it! The romantic Roxas Boulevard Baywalk!

The sun had just set when we crossed the boulevard from the Plaza Rajah Sulayman.


Pre-Valentine romance!


Our Sony Cyber-Shot® Digital Camera W220 in twilight mode.

The former King of the Road: the calesa

Yeyette posing with a shy nilagang manî vendor.

Fishing is a common hobby by the bayside. But that night, we found out that there was a fishing tournament going on!

¡Maíz! Lots of it!

Evelio Javier was one of many lesser-known oppositionists who were assassinated during the Marcos regime.

Dried calamares (squids)!

Eavesdropping! LOL!!!

A hammock between the bay and the boulevard.

A young-looking balete tree with my young-looking wife. -)

As mentioned in an earlier photo caption, little did we know that there was a recreational fishing tournament going on! I’m already familiar with recreational fishing going on in the Manila Baywalk area for years, but I didn’t know that there is already an angling organization! It is called the Manila Bay Angler’s Association. And on the eve of Valentine’s Day, they were having their first Open Tournament which also served as a fundraising activity for their group. The even started at exactly 6:30 PM. We had the opportunity to meet almost everyone who joined the activity, as well as the organizer’s of the group/event. Nice fisher folk!

First fish caught in the first ever Manila Bay Angler's Association Open Tournament Fundraising.

Manila Bay Angler's Association (Open Tournament Fundraising, 02/13/2010)

Posing with the friendly organizers and officers of the Manila Bay Angler's Association.

Trophies are in line for the best anglers!

Participants of the event line up most of the esplanade in the Malate area.

We met a very young couple selling roses for Valentine's Day. The young man's 21 and his wife's only 18! And their eldest daughter, almost as old as our daughter, was too shy to join the picture taking!

These two young street urchins kept on following us. I got fed up and so I took their pictures. They happily obliged...

...Wifey even joined them.

My wife's lovely hand over the waters of Manila Bay.

Can't get enough of ourselves, LOL!!!

¡Paá namán!

Ancient Malate Church looming behind us.

Posing with other participants in Manila Bay Angler's Association's first fishing tournament. They were the happiest of the bunch!

They said they're into recreational fishing just to avoid boredom. And it's a fascinating hobby for them. At least, they're not into something vile. So good for them. =)

Malate Love continues tomorrow! May pasoc pa mámayang gabí, eh, LOL!!!

Malate love!

Love, love, love, Malate Love!

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Photo by Yeyette Perey de Alas

Wifey and I spent the whole Valentine weekend at Malate, Manila because she wanted both of us to spend a romantic time by the bayside… and be at Manila’s “nightlife capital”! We left home yesterday for a Valentine’s eve celebration and ended up in my mom’s Malate condominium this afternoon, thus reconciling with her in the process and seeing my beloved and pretty sisters after a long time! A truly memorable Valentine’s Day (and more!) for us all!

God works in mysterious ways, indeed. And through St. Valentine’s intercession!

Who said that Valentine’s Day is only for intimate couples? ;-)

Watch out for the pictures and write-ups in succeeding blogposts regarding our adventures this Valentine weekend!

Valentine's Eve, Manila Baywalk, Malate, Manila.

Spread the love! Malate Love!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! =)

Photo by Yeyette Perey de Alas

Hon. Councilor Ara Mina

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Pineda in, Panlilio out: COMELEC strikes again

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Speaking of COMELEC blunders, check this out from

Pineda declared winner in recount

What’s in a name?

For Lilia Pineda, a close ally of President Macapagal-Arroyo popularly known as “Nanay Baby”, it meant finally getting the gubernatorial seat of Pampanga.

On Thursday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) unseated Pampanga Gov. Eddie “Among Ed” Panlilio, a Catholic priest-turned-politician, and declared Pineda, whose husband is widely known as a “jueteng,” or illegal numbers, kingpin, the winner of the 2007 elections.

The Comelec Second Division said Pineda, a former provincial board member, was the “duly elected governor” of Pampanga after an appreciation of the votes from 21 towns and cities in the province showed that she had an edge of 2,011 votes over Panlilio.

“I don’t know if I’ll be happy or sad,” Pineda said. With an expected appeal, she said the case was far from resolved.

“I’m not even giving it attention,” she added.

“A priest has no capability to harass,” Panlilio countered. “A candidate with no party in 2007 does not have the machinery to cheat and buy votes.”

Malacañang urged the parties to abide by the Comelec ruling.

“We accept the wisdom and discretion of the Comelec,” said Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesperson. “We urge everyone to get into the habit of respecting due process whether we like it or not.”

It was the latest in a string of controversial decisions that the Comelec Second Division had issued. It earlier annulled the win in the 2007 vote of Bulacán Gov. Joselito Mendoza and kicked out the polio-stricken Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca. The two belong to the opposition.

In reaching the decision, the Comelec division considered as valid the votes for “Nanay Baby” that were previously set aside, giving Pineda the gubernatorial seat three months before the May 10 general elections, where the two will again face off for the same post.

The ruling penned by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said that Pineda got 190,729 votes, while Panlilio received 188,718 votes, which erased his 1,147 lead in the 2007 count.

But wait! There’s more!

The appreciation of the votes was not unanimous among the three members of the division, however.

Commissioner Lucenito Tagle had a different computation of the contested votes.

Tagle, in his separate concurring opinion, said Pineda was still the victor in the 2007 race at 190,819 votes, but her lead was much smaller.

He placed Panlilio’s total votes at 190,463, putting the difference between the rivals a mere 356 votes.

Tsk tsk tsk. Qué desastre.

A known jueteng personality –and an Arroyo ally at that– finally made it to the fading cut. With the May 10 election looming just around the corner (it’s just less than three months from now!), what does this tell us?

Sometimes, I seriously think that we’re better off going back to a monarchial form of government.

I don’t believe in the right of suffrage anymore. Because I don’t want to suffer.

COMELEC displays classic Pinoy legislative execution

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Stars told to go on leave

Dolphy, Kris Aquino, and Willie Revillamé will have to go on leave from their television shows if they continue to endorse candidates, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said Wednesday.

The PPCRV said the Fair Election Act made it mandatory for actors, columnists and other mass media personalities endorsing candidates to resign or take a leave from their TV shows or media outfits during the campaign period.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it was prepared to implement this provision of the law (

The multi-million-peso strong Manny Revillaramé tandem!

What the F?! Prepared to implement an already existing law when the damage has already been done?! So does this mean that COMELEC just warms its @$$ while waiting for an election-related offense before it implements already existing laws? But I thought laws are implemented to prevent offenses to ever happen.

For sure, this setup is no different from other bureaucracies and local institutions.

Baloney. But stupid me… what should I expect from Pinoy legislation?

That’s it. Nothing but baloney.

So bring on the celebrities. Leave them alone. Celebrities and politicians are no different from each other.

In Pinoy politics, entertainment comes first before legislation. The latter’s going to be disrespected, anyway. So what the heck, just bring it on! We need more fun!

Gordon brandishes replica of Spanish era sword to recall ancestor’s heroism

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Caniá-caniáng gimik lang yan…

Gordon brandishes replica of Spanish era sword to recall ancestor’s heroism

To fire up his campaign, presidential candidate and senator Richard Gordon brandished on Tuesday, a replica of the sword his great-grandfather, José Tagle, seized from a Spanish general in remembrance of the “first victory of the (1896) Revolution,” in Cavite.

Gordon said his ancestor Tagle played a key role as an ally of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

Senator Dick Gordon (with other politicians) beside the historical marker of his great grandfather, José Tagle, one of the heroes of the Battle of Imus. Photo taken during the commemoration of the 112th anniversary of The Battle of Imus (09/02/2008).

But somebody please… take that Spanish sword away from that — American!


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