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CF Madrid too good for Philippine Azkals

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Here are the results of last night’s football charity game for the victims of Typhoon Sendong (from Inquirer.net):

CF Madrid too good for Philippine Azkals

MANILA, Philippines — It was a loss that felt more like a win for Philippine football.

The Azkals Alyansa bowed to a more cohesive and disciplined Internacional de Madrid side, 1-3, Saturday night in a charity game that lured a crowd of 8,000 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Proceeds of the match dubbed “Dili ka nag-iisa” will go to relief efforts for the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong in Mindanáo and for goal scorer James Younghusband, that was already enough.

“I’m glad to get the goal, but for me just being part of this game is already special,” he said.

At halftime, CF Madrid officials turned over a check for 10,000 euros to the Philippine National Red Cross chair Sen. Richard Gordon. The stadium observed a minute of silence for the victims before the game and the crowd sung “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the 1943 Broadway musical Carousel dedicated to the victims.

Younghusband scored the only goal for the Azkals—a header from a cross from Chieffy Caligdong—in the 62nd minute, but by that time, the Spanish Tercera division side had already settled the outcome after going 3-nil up a minute into the second half.

Rufo Sánchez put CF Madrid ahead with a 15th minute penalty after Eduard Sacapano clipped Daniel García Fernández inside the box.

Fernández doubled the lead in the 32nd minute with a curling strike from just inside the box. A quick counterattack a minute into the second half saw Ignacio Feijoo make it 3-nil with a well-taken strike from close range.

While several players from the United Football League were in the squad, Azkals Alyansa coach Edwin Cabalida opted to field a starting lineup made up of national players.

But the Azkals were a shadow of the fearsome side that won five matches last year, struggling to keep up with the pace and enterprising play of the Spanish side, which continuously created chances in the opening half.

“The fitness level was very low. The passing and combination play wasn’t there, but the team improved in the second half,” said Cabalida.
The Azkals are preparing for the AFC Challenge Cup in March and Cabalida said the match showed there was plenty of work to be done on the team to become competitive in the tournament.

“It was a tough game and we played a very good team which makes this trip worth it,” said CF Madrid coach Javier García Márquez.

A swift three-pass combination from the backline allowed Fernández to run past Antón Del Rosario, forcing Sacapano to go out of his line.

The Azkals found difficulty to break down the Spanish side with Ian Araneta limited to long-range efforts and Phil Younghusband managing just a tame shot in the 10th minute.

To CF Madrid and Philippine Azkals: ¡muchísimas gracias! God bless you both for your charity. :-)

Family trees

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I’m a family tree freak, being a history buff. I even astonish my wife for being one, especially because I know more about her ancestors than she does.

For years I’ve studied the lineage of renowned Filipino families: Araneta, Cojuangco, Salvador, Zóbel de Ayala. Now that we have a new laptop, I can start writing about these families and publish them in this blog very soon. But of course I will also need to research on my own family tree.

Through a family tree, clan members will have the opportunity to be able to know more about their respective family’s origins as well as promote closer ties to long lost relatives who share the same ancestor(s). Such is the case when I met on Facebook the relatives of my paternal great grandfather, Don Paulo Évora y Fortunato of Calapán, Mindoro Oriental. Paulo married a creole, Doña Rafaela Bonilla, of Unisan, Tayabas (now Quezon) province, and that marriage produced several children including my father’s mother.

Many of Don Paulo’s relatives are now in the US. A nephew of his, Raymond Évora y Heildebrand (son of Paulo’s brother Carlos) now serves as the Évora historian. He has a vast collection of Évora photos from yesteryears. And he even took the wondrous time of creating an online family tree for the whole Évora Clan.

Screenshot of a webpage dedicated to the Évora Family Tree.

On a related note…

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine, Antonio Saturnino Velasco y Filoteo, showed to me copies of his Spanish grandfather’s documents: birth certificate, passport, and naturalization papers. His grandfather, Don Saturnino Velasco y García was an immigrant from Arroyal, Burgos, Spain (his parents were Mariano Velasco and Patricia García). According to Cuya Tony, his abuelo married a Spanish lady. The marriage bore them Antonio María Benito Velasco who was born in Ciudad de Lucena, Tayabas (the same place where I was born).

Personal documents of Saturnino Velasco y García, a Spaniard who migrated to the Philippines and became a Filipino citizen.

Don Saturnino later remarried when his first wife died. He got himself a Manileña: Dolores Monzón of Malate, daughter of Julián Monzón and Juana Mijares. In the process, Saturnino’s son by his first marriage became Antonio María Benito Velasco y Monzón.

Antonio María, one of the managers of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., married a Chavacana damsel from Ciudad de Cavite: Perla Filoteo de Velasco (daughter of Ramón Filoteo and Venancia García). The marriage produced many children, among them my friend Cuya Tony, an IT specialist in Mærsk Line Filipinas.

While checking the documents of Cuya Tony’s grandfather, I tried to imagine what was on the old man’s mind while he was taking care of his immigration papers. Did he immediately fall in love with his new home? How did he adapt to his new environment? Did he ever think ill of Filipinos? Or did he die with his heart fully transmogrified into one that is Filipino?

Don Saturnino Velasco y García and his bride. I'm just not sure if the lady is his first or second (photo taken from the Familia Velasco Facebook group).

Moving to another country is a difficult move. Although I haven’t done that myself (and I don’t have plans to), I had moved from one place to another ever since I eloped with my girlfriend (who is now Mrs. Alas). And I can tell you that in so doing, it was a hassle. The vicissitudes of having to adapt to a new environment was daunting. You’ll have to deal with different modes and schedules of transportation, new sources of daily commodities, new faces, etc. And I’m just talking about moving from one place to another within the Philippines. What more if we talk about moving to a different land whose cosmos is different from ours?

Cuya Tony told me that his late father, a former manager of one of the world’s most successful businesses, was very organized with all important documents pertaining to their family. All documents were meticulously filed, preserved, and in order. These precious files —the well-preserved Velasco documents as well as Lolo Raymund’s precious Évora photos— serve as windows to the past. That is why it is important for all of us to preserve whatever keepsakes there are at hand: receipts, scribbled notes, even electric bills. This, however, is too cumbersome for an ordinary person to do and is usually best left in the hands of history-sensitive individuals. Rizal was one such person. That is why we know so many things about him.

Indeed, a thorough study of one’s bloodline and filial traditions will help that person understand more about his clan’s religious, cultural, social, economic, and even political fluctuations throughout generations. Studying and getting to know the history of one’s family (without a tarnished past, that is) will inculcate in that person a sense of belongingness, pride, and being. The past is never dull. It is always engaging. Learning more about a past forgotten, a milieu living only in memory (and documents), will help our feet tread towards the right path.

Wisdom of the ages: la Señora Doña Benita Marasigan vda. de Santos

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With the granddaughter of national hero Marcelo H. del Pilar, la Señora Doña Benita Marasigan vda. de Santos

“Anó ang nangyari sa buhay có? Namulubi lang ang familia co. Ualáng nangyari sa mañgá guinauá co…” thus said a dying and remorseful Marcelo H. del Pilar, as relived by his 92-year-old granddaughter, Atty. Benita Marasigan-Santos.

Del Pilar died for country and principles. But precious time that was supposed to be for his wife and two young daughters Sofía and Anita went with him to the grave. Despite of it all, Lola Bening was still proud of his Lolo Celo for his patriotism.

Last 5 September, I had the rare opportunity to “speak with history” when a cousin of my dad, Paul Évora III, happened to read the article that I wrote about del Pilar which coincided with the national hero’s 160th birth anniversary. He was the one who arranged my lunch meeting with Lola Bening. And since, to the best of my knowledge, I have never met Uncle Paul all my life (I found him only through this wonderful online creature called Facebook), little did I know that his partner, Corina Unson, is actually the youngest daughter of Lola Bening.

We were welcomed by Uncle Paul and his gracious better half at their homely enclave within the bustling party district of Malate. For me, it was a queer sight to see such a handsome bahay na bató in highly urbanized Manila, still standing proudly and mysteriously behind a youngish narra tree (the house sometimes spooks the wits out of unknowing passersby, Uncle Paul told me).

The Marasigan-del Pilar ancestral house. At the gate are Uncle Paul, Yeyette, and Auntie Corina.

Lola Bening, despite her old age (she was born on 4 April 1918), was still sharp of mind. Very sharp. Like her grandfather, she used to be a writer. In fact, her English translation of her grandfather’s Spanish letter to her Tía Josefa landed a spot in Dr. Celedonio G. Aguilar’s Readings In Philippine Literature (Rex Book Store, Ciudad de Quezon, 1994). Trained as a laywer, she wrote numerous articles but mostly about her favorite subject: Philippine History.

“When I was a student at the University (of Santo Tomás), I befriended the librarian there. Once, I asked her if I could gain access to the archives to read the works of my grandfather, “La Frailocracía Filipina” and “La Soberanía Monacal en Filipinas“. I was hoping that I could translate them (from Spanish into English). When I was not allowed access, I spoke with the rector who explained to me that ‘the times have already changed’, that it is really not necessary to read them anymore.” I immediately understood the reason why she was denied access. I explained to her that due to the anti-Catholic content of the two essays, the Catholic university thought it best not to have them exposed to a new generation of Filipinos who no longer deserved a useless war between the religious and secular thought. But I assured her that translations are now available everywhere, including the internet.

If not for her blindness, I am quite certain that Lola Bening would still be writing.

Lola Bening also recounted how her family lost their fortune due to her grandfather’s costly eight-year self-exile in Barcelona, Spain. Whenever they could, the family sent del Pilar money to sustain himself as well as to keep his anti-clerical activities up and running. Although a devout Catholic, Lola Bening seemed not to be ashamed of her grandfather’s stance towards the friars because she believed that what del Pilar did was right and was for the benefit of the masses.

After del Pilar’s death, the family was somehow able to rise from the ashes of poverty due to the hero’s youngest daughter’s marriage to businessman Vicente Marasigan.

“On the day of my mother’s marriage, she was crying the whole time because she never wanted to marry my father,” said Lola Bening. The reason? “It was a planned marriage. And besides, my mother preferred to study than get married.” She then bade us to a sepia photo hanging on the sala wall to examine the countenance of her then young mother who was with her father. The photo was taken shortly before the marriage.

Portrait of Lola Bening's parents: Anita del Pilar and Vicente Marasigan.

“Take a good look. Notice the sadness in her face. She was crying before that picture was taken,” Lola Bening added.

The downcast countenance of Marcelo del Pilar's youngest daughter.

The wedding rings of Lola Bening's beloved parents, made of pure gold. They were married on 12 March 1912. The date is engraved in Anita's ring (the one with the name of Vicente engraved on it).

The couple's wedding rings with 13 gold coins or arras dating back to the Spanish times. The custom of giving 13 arras originated from Spain.

Fortunately for the rest of the family, Anita learned to love Vicente in the course of the marriage (Auntie Corina said that she and her siblings used to call them Lola Tâ and Lolo Tê respectively). The marriage produced nine children. As a testament of Anita’s background of grief, their first two children died. But as compensation —and quite ironically for the “Father of Philippine Masonry”— the Marasigan brood grew up to be god-fearing individuals. They were never influenced by their grandfather’s reputation as a high-ranking Mason. In fact, there were two religious among Vicente and Anita’s children: Ateneo de Manila University’s Fr. Vicente Marasigan, S.J., and; Sr. Mother Mary Aurora Marasigan of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (she globally headed the “Pink Sisters” a record four times). Lola Bening herself had her schooling in two Catholic institutions: the University of Santo Tomás (which was then in Intramuros) and Saint Paul University Manila. She eventually took up law, but was never able to practice it fully; she taught law and history at Saint Paul and also served time as a corporate lawyer. However, her husband, the late Justice Arturo B. Santos, took her place in the practice of law and served as judge of the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, Branch II.

Lola Bening proudly said that her father once owned a handsome house along Calle Isaac Peral (now United Nations Avenue in nearby Ermita) which eventually became the model of and setting for Nick Joaquín‘s Portrait Of An Artist As Filipino (even the Marasigan last name Nick adopted into that play’s main characters, but in no way do the fictional Marasigan players reflected the lives of the real ones, said Auntie Corina). They had another house near the Remedios Circle. It was there were Lola Bening spent her earlier years before transferring to their present home (built in 1929) in Calle Miguel Malvar (first known as Tennesse street; renamed Mindoro Street during the Japanese Occupation).

At the height of the controversial snap presidential polls of 1986, Lola Bening was one of the leaders of the National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections. During that stint, she was interviewed by a then struggling correspondent who later on became an Emmy-Award-winning journalist: Jim Clancy of CNN International.

During our lunch meeting, I was actually expecting to learn more about del Pilar (the man, not the hero) that I have never read nor heard before. Quite embarassingly, I was told of the anecdote of “Ang Piso Ni Anita“, something quite famous in the academe but was totally unfamiliar to me. However, I learned more about Anita and her pains throughout her life. Throughout her childhood, she was yearning for fatherly love. Lola Bening said that as a child, her mother used to look at photos of her dad, contemplating on how he looked like in person, asking her elders more about how her father’s physical appearance beyond the photos.

As history had taught us, Anita and her Ate Sofía (whom Lola Bening took care of during her final years) never saw their father again when the latter left for Spain in late 1888. All for the love of country. They saw him one last time, though — inside a coffin on a cold December day in 1920 amidst cheers from Masons and government leaders at the Manila pier. Then many years later, just as when Anita had learned what love is with Vicente, the latter was dead set on offering his services to join the struggle against the 14th Imperial Japanese Army. All for the love of country. A dramatic confrontation ensued, as witnessed by Fr. Marasigan (Auntie Corina shared that —fortunately for Anita— Vicente’s love of family prevailed over him).

Anita’s death was perhaps as painful as her depressing moments in life. In 1955, she suffered a stroke and was in comatose for 40 days before Death finally took pity on her.

Anita’s life was a revelation. Something about her story made me love my wife and kids more and more, for they never had to endure the sufferings of a sorrowful wife and fatherless children.

Lola Bening continued sharing her thoughts not only about her grandfather and Philippine history (she even knows the controversial and delicate issue of “Le Fableux Doña Ysidra” but was careful not to mention any name), she was also up to date with current events. A few years ago, at the height of the much-publicized Subic rape case, she advised close friend Fr. James Reuter, S.J. to be cautious in the issue that was then confronting American Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith. And wisely so because the much-beloved Jesuit became spiritual adviser to the accused and their respective families. His task indeed should be more spiritual than mundane. Fr. Reuter thus avoided the controversial political aspects where he would have been up against a much powerful force: the radical feminist groups who were behind Smith’s “victim”.

“In the end, to settle the issue out of court, they (the US government) gave her (Nicole, Smith’s purported rape victim) a US visa which appeared to be what she wanted in the first place,” said Lola Bening, “because, strangely, her relatives got to the US ahead of her!”

She also asked us about what we thought of Noynoy. I wisely decided not to comment since it’s too early into his presidency to do so. But she was an anti-charlatan when it comes to opinion. She was, after all, basing her viewpoints on account of her age and experience throughout the decades. She wisely observed that our country, throughout its sad history, has been led too much by the elite (Auntie Corina kidded her on this comment, pointing out as if she’s in a glass house throwing stones!). She observed how our country’s natural resources have been exploited by outsiders, and how the WASPs have thrown their weight around our national leaders. Classic features of neocolonialism, I commented. To which she replied:

“Maybe it’s time that we recover our identity.”

Indeed it is time.

I would have asked her more about Intramuros and the Spanish language during her heyday. But out of courtesy, I didn’t — the family invited me mainly because of what I wrote about Marcelo H. del Pilar, so it was expected that I ask more about the propagandist. Hopefully, I’d be able to talk to her again to learn more about my beloved Walled City which she saw before the last war destroyed it.

Throughout the end of the visit, Lola Bening exhorted me and Yeyette to visit the 4,027-square-meter Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine in Bulacán, Bulacán, the land of which she donated to the government in 1983. She was beaming with pride on how she had helped build the shrine together with the government, and contributed to its many modifications for the sake of national posterity.

As we said our goodbyes while promising her that we will visit her dear grandfather’s shrine very soon, my mind was somehow drifting towards that lonely Barcelona room where a tubercular propagandist, more in pain from being away from his wife and daughters than from his ailment, was quietly weeping while writing letters to his loved ones. And as my mind drifted, I dreamily promised Lola Bening that “we will visit the Mabini Shrine very soon.”

The 92-year-old lady, still sharp of wits, corrected this absent-minded 31-year-old blogger of his unforgivable mistake:

“Del Pilar Shrine! Not Mabini, Pepe!”

Undoubtedly, Lola Bening’s grandfather would have been as alert as her if only he had reached his 90s. But such is the grand design of our history.

Uncle Paul, Auntie Corina, Lola Bening, Yeyette, and del Pilar's mascot.

Roxas Boulevard, punk’d!

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Something you don't see everyday... a vehicle-less Roxas Boulevard with my happy wife! (photo taken last Valentine's Day)

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Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 7 (Malate, Manila)

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 8 (Malate, Manila)

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ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY MANILA’S VERSION OF MALATE LOVE!

Our Malate Valentine’s weekend stroll ends with this blogpost. =)

There are many homeless and hungry souls in the streets of Malate. =(

Near where the homeless people sleep, luxury establishments line up the district's impoverished streets.

But the Malate homeless don't go hungry all the time. And that is because of the piousness, generosity, and love of this Catholic university...

These hungry people patiently await the opening of St. Paul University Manila's gates for a hearty meal for free!

Yeyette learns more about their daily ordeal.

The little girl's mom asked for Yeyette's Valentine's balloon. And so she gave it to them as a Valentine's gift. Malate love!

St. Paul University Manila feeds hungry people (for free, of course) during Sundays.

With street philosophers!

The old lady offered her little granddaughter to us for adoption. But Yeyette politely declined, telling her the importance of a family staying together through good times or bad.

Their humble abode -- a pushcart.

An elder Manileña who was born during the last war, telling stories of how Malate looked like during her childhood days.

The university's charity program is about to begin.

Students distributing tickets to the poor. The tickets are convertible to free meals inside the university grounds. Unfortunately, Yeyette and I weren't allowed to go inside; they required as to write an official letter. And we had no more time for that. Maybe next time.

It would have jumped onto my neck if it weren't fettered.

What the local government failed to do, St. Paul University Manila accomplishes.

Saint Paul University Manila is owned and administered by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres.

The University started out originally in 1911 as a Novitiate, a training center for young Filipino women wishing to become Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, on a swampy piece of land in Malate.

Congratulations to the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres and to the students of St. Paul University Manila. You are doing God's work! Be proud of your inherent Malate love!

On our way back to Robinson's Place Manila, we saw these cute, jelly like stuff which can grow on water.

Valentine's Day articles being sold on the sidewalk.

Inside Robinson's Place Manila after the lovely street strolling.

Love conquers all!

The Valentine's weekend was a blast! We mingled and chatted and shared stories to so many Manileños of Malate! We then decided to go to my mom's place near the mall. We haven't seen her for almost three years! Time to spread the love even more!

We ended up with my mom and beautiful sisters in their condo unit inside one of Manila's tallest buildings!

With my mom. She's only 17 years older than me!

Happy Valentine's Month! Spread the love! Malate love! =)

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ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY MANILA

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 7 (Malate, Manila)

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DOWNTOWN MALATE Our Malate Valentine’s Day love stroll continues. =)

Roxas Boulevard was named after the fourth President of the Philippines, Manuel Roxas.

I punk'd Roxas Boulevard!!!

1322 Golden Empire Tower

1322 -- one of the highest buildings in Manila.

A thing of beauty -- is a lifeless urban tree? Joke. I'm just rhyming here.

A street mom teaching her street kid to wave at the camera.

Calle Alas? Not. It's Calle Salas, named after a Spanish newspaper editor in Manila by the name of Romero Salas. Before the 1930s, this street used to be known as Calle Divisoria.

Calle Marcelo H. del Pilar, named after the famed Filipino writer and propagandist from Bulacán. He almost became the national hero when the 1901 Philippine Commission was looking for one. But they unanimously chose José Rizal mainly because of the latter's dramatic death (compared to del Pilar's natural death due to tuberculosis).

Malate bars -- dead by morning.

Calle Santa Mónica was named after San Agustín's mother. It was said that she stormed heaven with her prayers for the conversion of her then sinful son.

This looks ancient!

Deeper into the heart of Malate.

Malate Adriático Grand Residences

Robinson's Place Manila is situated between the districts of Malate and Ermita. But technically, it's already within the jurisdiction of Ermita.

Calle Adriático was named after the hispanist, Macario Adriático. He was a Mindoreño representative to the First Philippine Assembly. Calle Adriático was then known as Calle Dakota. Up to now, old Manila folk --and many a jeepney driver-- still refer to this street as Dakota. This long street is shared by Malate and Ermita.

Robinson's Place Manila facing the lively (and deliciously lovely) district of Malate.

My lovely wife Yeyette posing in front of Robinson's greenery.

Calle Pedro Gil was named after a journalist-turned-politician during the American occupation of the Philippines. He later became an ambassador to Argentina. Calle Pedro Gil was once known as Calle Herrán (some people still refer to it as such) in honor of the Spanish naval captain José de la Herrán who defended Manila Bay against the American invaders in the now famous (and one-sided) Battle of Manila Bay.

Spread the Malate love!

Eurotel's behind the branches and leaves.

Along Calle Orosa are a couple of postwar houses.

Calle María Y. Orosa (once known as Calle Florida) was named after the famous Filipina home economist who invented the “clay oven”. She fought against the Japanese and was killed in battle.

Calle Julio Nákpil is a street named in honor of the musician-patriot from Quiapò who fought under Andrés Bonifacio. He later married Bonifacio's widow, Gregoria de Jesús.

Calle Guerrero (formerly known as Georgia Street) is from Luis Mª Guerrero of the illustrious Familia Guerrero of nearby Ermita district. He was a famous pediatrician during his time.

In this video, we interview a homeless man who sleeps on the streets of Malate. He said the money given to him as a relocation fee by the people who took over his former home was stolen by a certain “Chairman López”.

This arátiles tree serves as shade for the homeless man we interviewed. Little did we know that we're about to meet more homeless people (to be concluded tomorrow)...

RELATED LINKS 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. 5 (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 6 (Malate, Manila)

Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 6 (Malate, Manila)

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VALENTINE’S MORNING STROLL ALONG THE “ALMOST PERFECT” MANILA BAYWALK

Malate love!

Ships line up the horizon.

Against the Manila sunlight.

♪ All these happy people, where do they all come from? ♫

Urban tropics.

Sofitel

Manila street art.

Weeping over their incarceration.

Early morning fishing.

Aerobics!

Badminton by the bay.

The ubiquitous buco juice!

Low tide.

This should have been a lovely sight -- if not for the sludge and garbage.

A sight to behold -- and to pity for. =(

Posing near a news-hungry, one-legged old timer.

1322. Yeyette is so enamored with this building. She wants to have a space for us there soon!

A two-week infant!

I remember a cousin who has been to other countries telling me that beaches there fronting urban areas are still clean and enchanting. What we have here is a national embarassment. Is this such a big problem for the national government to fix?

My wife deploring this travesty of nature.

It's extremely disappointing to see these young Manileños enjoying a place that is very harmful to their health. But where else can they go with a meager budget? Many Manileños are still poor. Indeed, we have one of the stupidest and inutile governments in the planet in terms of environmental protection (among others). Tsk.

This coming May elections, we should vote for those who will prioritize the utmost and SINCERE conservation and protection of our environment and natural resources. I emphasized the word SINCERE. Ergo, it means NOT Loren Legarda.

¿Baquit di natin pag-isipan | Ang nañgyayari sa ating capaliguiran | Hindí na masamâ ang pag-unlád | Cung hindí nacacasira ng calicasan ♪ (taken from the song MASDÁN MÓ ANG CAPALIGUIRAN by Filipino folk band Asin)

A heartrending scene, at least for my wife and I: children as young as our own kids playing in a polluted beach sand. Indeed, our children's generation will face a much bigger challenge in the very near future. It's bigger than famine, bigger than war, even bigger than strife -- the destruction of our ecological systems. This is the only planet we have got. Thus, we have to put a stop to this utter disrespect to nature. SERIOUSLY, the pollution of our environment should be considered as a heinous crime. We have to spread the love not only toward each other. We should spread our love toward nature as well.

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

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NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LOS REMEDIOS (IGLESIA DE MALATE)

IGLESIA DE MALATE

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.

ROFL!!!

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.

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MALATE CATHOLIC CHURCH
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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RUN FOR YOUR HEART!

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!

RELATED LINKS
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 NIGHTS

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.”

“So?”

“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!

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

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