Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Reyes House

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Along the streets of Sampaloc lies numerous pre-war ancestral houses and one of them is the Reyes House. It was a regular day for me. I was listening to my ipod until i saw a house that is up for sale. Good thing I had my camera with me so I made a quick stop at the Reyes House. When I went there I pretended to be an interested buyer and I am planning to buy the house for my mom, well as if! I'm only 18. Who will ever believe that I have 10 million in my bank account. I told my driver to just ride along with me. Good thing my driver goes to sampaloc every time there is a fiesta that's why he knows everyone in Sampaloc including the owner of the Tuazon Compound and the caretaker of the Reyes Mansion. Because of my driver I was allowed to take pictures and to roam around inside the Mansion. Ill be saving my con-artistry some other time.

The Reyes Mansion was untouched by WWII and was built during the 1930's same decade when the Ocampo Pagoda Mansion was built. It is located in Dr. Aguila St. close to San Sebastian Church and National Teachers College. It's original proprietor was Mr. Narcisco Reyes. They Reyes' were one of the richest families in Sampaloc, Manila next to the Tuasons but as decades pass, the Reyes' went abroad but some stayed in the metropolis in search for a better living leaving the house to the caretakers. His children cannot maintain the house anymore that's why they agreed on selling it. It is a mix of Mexican and Spanish-Filipino style. 

There are five caretakers who lives here and they really make sure that this house is safe from unwanted people such as informal settlers. Just to make sure, they each have five very wild and rabid dogs, four in front and one at the back of the house. They told me that there is already a buyer but i was relieved when they told me that buyers will still recognize it as the Reyes Mansion and that they wont demolish the place, just refurnish it.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Jose Rizal Day

115th Death Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Countdown: Are You Ready?

Are You Ready For The Countdown?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Binondo Church

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

I dug a hole in my backyard and now, I am in China! After visiting the church of Malate I went straight to Binondo. I felt out of place when I went there, because there were Chinese everywhere. Wow! that rhymes. When I went to Binondo Church, there was a wedding! thank goodness! the perks of weddings in  churches is that you can pretend to be a part of the wedding photography crew and not ask for permission if you can take pictures inside the church.

Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz was erected in 1596. Did you know that St. Lorenzo Ruiz served as an altar boy in this church. The Binondo Church is located in Ongin St., Manila. The Church was founded by the Dominicans in 1596 to convert the Chinese people into Christians. The church was damaged in 1792 by the British and during the WWII, like most churches in Manila, It was badly damaged during WWII.

I thought Binondo was like Escolta, even though Escolta is a dying street, it still tries to pick up its pieces and stand up but Binondo is different, I thought they are all about preserving the history and culture of the Filipino-Chinese but I was completely wrong . Binondo has a lot to offer and Binondo plays a big role when it comes to the tourism in Manila. I got upset when I saw an antique house being demolished in Binondo to give rise to a condo.I hope that the Filipino-Chinese community in Binondo will see the light and preserve the old Binondo before it is too late. Business  may be business for the Chinese but then again, a country who does not value its ruins has no history.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Malate Church

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

I would like to apologize to my readers for not updating my blog. When i checked the status of my blog, from 6,000 viewers to 57, Okay maybe not 6.000 but you get my point. I have been through a lot right now, from finals to my personal life and may i just add something, my Macbook crashed so everything is piling up including my posts, but now I am back and I will promise to update you.

Just this morning I went on an adventure. I had my camera, jacket and shades and since the Simbang Gabi started like three days ago, I still wanted to feature the churches in Manila so that my viewers can pick/ decide on the churches that they wanted to visit this Christmas season. I started with the church of San Sebastian. It would be nice if  that every night you  will visit the different churches  in Manila but that would be hard but a little sacrifice wont hurt. 

When people say Malate, the first thing that will pops in thier mind is "redlight district". And yes hookers and sinners lurk the district of Malate but there is a place in Malate where holiness prevails.  The Malate Church is a baroque styled church and is one of the oldest churches built outside the walls of Intramuros. It was build during 1588

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Countdown



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tuason Compound

  By: Paolo M. Bustamante

I was impressed! I found another antique house in Sampaloc, Manila but when I went inside, I not only saw one but six and i mean six antique houses. It is known as the Tuason Compound in Dr.Conception Aguila St.  beside National Teacher's College.

The compound is owned by the Tuasons. Dr. Alejandro Tuason a physician and a surgeon, Roberto Tuason an attorney and Enrico Tuason an engineer. They were known as one of the richest families in Sampaloc. The oldest house in the compound dates back in the late 1890's located in Dr. Aguila St. and the recent one was built in 1921 located in Arlegui. They have access to both streets because the house is end to end. I met Mr. Danny Tuason he and his sister Gigi are the ones who take care of this house. He admits that the house really lacks maintenance but they make sure that they won't demolish the houses in their  memory of their grandparents.

May I just say, Danny's nephew studies in my school.  Animo Benilde and Animo to the Tuasons for preserving their houses.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tanduay Fire Station

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Everyday Tuesdays, whenever I pick up my sister from school, I could not help but notice the Tanduay Fire Station. I know it is historical but  I know nothing about it until i saw the Tanduay Fire Station in a documentary.

The Tanduay Fire Station was built during the American colonial period, 1901. It is located along the street of Legarda in Manila It was untouched during World War II actually a lot of ancestral houses and historic structures such as San Sebastian Church and the National Teacher's College were untouched during the war. It was manned by American soldiers. The former street of Legarda was Tanduay but as years pass by, they eventually changed it to Legarda but the they still retained the name of the Tanduay Fire Station.

Now, The Tanduay Station is in need of a facelift. The ceilings are falling the place looks mucky and everything is rusting. Everything inside the Tanduay Fire Station is falling apart except the firefighters who's main goal is to save and protect the citizens of Sampaloc Manila.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

San Sebastian Church

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

It is already December an you know what that means, Simbang Gabi! Let's visit the churches around Manila.  Let's start with the San Sebastian Church. When I went to San Sebastian Church last Sunday, I was fortunate enough to witness a union between two lovers, Francis and the bride. (the bride's name is too complicated to pronounce and to spell). I pretended that i was part of the wedding photography crew because the commentator announced before the wedding that only the wedding photographers were allowed to take pictures. When I saw the bride, I was really tempted to shout. " Itigil ang Kasal!". Just kidding.

The San Sebastian Church is the only steel church in Asia built by architect Don Genaro Palacios. It was first completed during 1891. The Parts of the church were shipped from Europe to the Philippines. It is said to be built there, dismantled, shipped here then assembled the pieces in San Miguel. People may not agree whet it comes to paining the steel church but if they do not paint it, the church will rust. Correct me if I am wrong but it is one of the most expensive churches to preserve when it comes to the maintenance.

The San Sebastian Church was very lucky because it was not damaged during WWII. Visit the San Sebastian Church before it rusts and when you walk inside the church, please make sure that you are not stepping on the grave markers located at the sides of the church.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Andres Bonifacio's 148th Birthday Celebration

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

When I went to Andres Bonifacio's Shrine in Mehan Gardens beside Manila City Hall two days after his birthday celebration, I saw four kinds playing in his monument and making it as a place where they can practice their wall-climbing skills. I asked them who is that guy who's holding a bolo. They answered, I don't know. That was a big Ouch on Andres Bonifacio's part. I thought the Filipino children are our future?!?! They must be taught well and we should let them lead the way or better yet, let Bonifacio lead them using his bolo.

He is known as the Great Plebeian and the Leader of the Katipunan. He is always critisized by the Filipinos as a person who is uneducated which is totally untrue He is a mestizo who knows three different languages. Even his statues that are scattered allover the Philippines are all wrong. He prefers riding a horse and holding a gun rather than walking in tsinelas and holding a bolo.  Even his story ended in a sad fate. He was killed by a Filipino during the war between the Spanish and the Filipinos. Traitor Much? It was General Aguinaldo who ordered the killing of Andres Bonifacio and until now his bones are still at large and missing. hen the commonwealth government of the Philippines was estasblished during 1935 Aguinaldo ran for presidency, his opponent was Manuel L. Quezon one of my favorite Filipino presidents. He built a statue of Bonifacio in Caloocan if i am not mistaken to remind the Filipino people who killed Bonifacio. That former president got served! That was one factor why he lost. Good thing He lost I was never a fan of Angunaldo. I may be bias, but because of what he did to Bonifacio made me hate him more. Am I going over the top? well stop me before I kill someone! Just kidding.

Andres Bonifacio had a complicated life. He started a revolution that would free us from the Spaniards. He used his willpower that opened the minds of Filipinos and how did we repay him? by killing him. He was betrayed, double-crossed, tricked and deceived and If you think you have a complicated life, well think again.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

World Record: Longest Line of Coins

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

My mom called me this morning because the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants to break the record of the longest line of coins so I went straight to the Quirino Grandstand before going to school. For me it is good that the Philippines is getting their competitiveness to the next level especially when it comes to breaking/setting world records, such as, world's largest of volume of text messages, world's longest barbecue and world's largest mango pie.

 I interviewed some people who were there in the Grandstand, most of them are students from Philippine Normal University and Philippine Colleges. Most of them are tired but at least they are helping their country in their own little way. I didn't ask if it is voluntary or what I just took a picture of them. I even saw Mr. Jeff Canoy from ABS-CBN and other T.V. reporters from different stations. Most of the people there were counting and perspiring under the sun but you know what say, no pain no gain. I really want to help but dang! I'm late for school.

For me it is really pointless to make world records that are useless, because it is not benefiting anyone like the world's largest mango pie, like seriously what kind of world record is that? Will it help the lepers, i don't think so. I commend the Banko Sentral for really making this world record thing possible. The event was voluntary for the BSP employees even though my mom did not help on piling the coins she helped on collecting them. She said that after setting this world record, the money will help build schools in provinces and will help recirculate the 25 centavo coins. It is a world record with a cause. Maybe next year we might break the world's richest country, who knows?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Luneta Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

The Luneta Theater is one of my favorite stand-alone theaters in Manila next to the Capitol Theater in Escolta. I really had a hard time researching on the history of the Luneta Theater. I even asked every historian that I know but I failed. I visited the Luneta Theater during Mario Maurer's visit to the Manila with my best friend Deric Dario.

The Luneta theater is located in T.M. Kalaw Manila. It is near the Rizal Park and the Luneta Hotel. My mo told me that it was built sometime in the 70's. She used to go there to watch movies during the late 80's. The Luneta theater is owned by the Litonjua Family.

I really apologize to my readers. I swear I really researched on this one. Trust me I did everything. If you know the history of the Luneta theater just tell me. Message me or post your message in the comment box below.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bellevue Theater

 By:Paolo M. Bustamante

The Bellevue Theater is the only Neo-Mudejar structure that I know and one of the oldest remaining pre-war stand-alone movie theaters in Manila. But what is Neo-Medejar?

 It is an architectural movement that originated in Spain. Its design has ornaments, horseshoe arches leaner shapes and abstract bricks. Quite similar to Art Deco and Art Nevou style.

Built during 1931, it is located in Paco Manila.  It was owned by ALC Theater Circuit then by Enrique Gruenberg. The Gruenberg Brothers owned numerous theaters during the 60's  but when Enrique died, the family started selling the theater. Then Antonio Chua bought the Bellevue because of his love for movies.

After some time they wanted to demolish the theater, but instead they were convinced to keep the facade and demolish the interior. It is now an ukay-ukay store (store wherein they sell second hand clothes).

They really did not think before they demolish. No more movies, no more history. I am really sad that they had to demolish the interior to make way for an ukay-ukay store. How low can we get?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Jose P. Laurel House

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

We were under the rule of the Japanese during his term. He was one of the most controversial politician during his time. Was he a war collaborator, a hero or a traitor? He is none other than the former President of the Philippines Jose P. Laurel. When President Manuel Quezon went to the United States during the Japanese occupation, Jose P. Laurel was elected by the National Assembly as President of the Republic. 

It was a difficult time for him. While our country was struggling for independence, he tried to channel a peace treaty between the Philippines and Japan. But when the Japanese surrenered to the Philippines and the United States. General McArthur ordered Laurel to be arrested for treason (collaborating withe the Japanese) but President Roxas granted him amnesty and was pardoned.He ran during 1949 but he lost against President Quirino. 

He eventually retied and had made three residential houses in the Philippines, one is in Paco Manila. The Jose P. Laurel House in Paco was built during 1864 and was bought by Jose P. Laurel during 1926. He stayed here for 29 years with his wife Panciencia Hidalgo and his kids. Sotero Hidalgo inherited the house but now this house is empty and unmaintained. There's a security guard and a caretaker who checks the house for time to time.Before the month of November (month of his death) ends, we will always remember the former President Jose P. Laurel as a president who sacrificed his life for the Filipino People.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Scala Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

 After my Physical Education class I wanted to go home. I was perspiring like an athlete. It was hot and muggy. I wasn't in the mood to go to Manila to shoot for historical sites but suddenly I changed my mind. We were in Lawton beside the Liwasnang Bonifacio and I told to my driver to go to Avenida Rizal. My driver took a shortcut but it took us more than 15 minutes to go to Avenida tbecause of the traffic.   Finally we reached the avenue of Avenida.  From Carriedo station, I saw few Neoclassic buildings and ancestral houses. I really want to make a stop but my task is to visit the Scala Theater. I got confused on where to go but good thing my driver is with me because I am not familiar with the place. I had my camera ready like a pro, In case there are interesting buildings, ill shoot them, then I'll go back like the Arguelles Building beside the Carriedo Station. Avenida has a lot of historical sites. Interesting buildings and decaying ancestral houses waiting to be known.

I always see the Scala theater whenever i ride the LRT. It is rusty, old and forgotten.While I was shooting the Scala Theater, people were looking as if i were a celebrity all eyes were on me and the theater. Maybe they were thinking why is this theater worth shooting or why is he shooting that. At least I made them wonder why am I doing such and after more than 50 years they stopped and appreciate the beauty of the theater. Good thing there was traffic on the other side of the lane. I was in the middle of the road while shooting the Scala theater. Jeepneys, trucks and motorcycles were beside me but i don't care because my driver/bodyguard is right beside me. Try snatching my camera and BAM! goes your neck. My driver will really chop you into half.

The Scala Theater was built by Pablo Antonio. If you don't know him, well shame on you! He is an architect who added color to the city of Manila. He build dozens of buildings before WWII like the Far Eastern University and the Ideal Theater. His style was modern and art deco. but after the war, he started building new structures along Avenida together with Juan Nakpil. they built theaters all over Manila and one of those theaters was the Scala Theater. Built during the late 1940's after the Japanese occupation, The Scala was built in a different and more modern style. Maybe Pablo Antonio was tired of the Art deco style he tried experimenting on this theater. It has a very pleasant facade. The lower half of the theater is treated with tea rose marble layering and the upper half is covered with glass. As of now the theater is closed. The maybe gone but at least they still preserved its facade.