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.
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)!
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!!!
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!!!