Sunday, February 03, 2008


Mayor Alfredo S. Lim presided over the 63rd Anniversary of the Battle for Manila today at the Freedom Triangle, City Hall, Manila. National Secretary of Defense Gilberto Teodoro gave the keynote address, while
Diosdado Guytingco, who fought during the battle, spoke in behalf of the survivors.

The Diplomatic Corps who participated in the solemn wreath-laying ceremony were Kristie Kenney of the U.S. Embassy, Peter Beckingham of the Embassy of the United Kingdom, David Pine of the Embassy of New Zealand, Robert Desjardins of the Embassy of Canada, Jihao Jun of the Embassy of the Peoples' Republic of China, and Lt. Col. Gary Barnes of the Embassy of Australia.

And as for local luminaries who took part in the floral offerings, there were Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil, Chairperson of the Manila Historical & Heritage Commission; Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo, President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines; Mario Ong Chan of the Confederation of Filipino-Chinese Veterans; Commodore Raul Ruivivar of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Dr. Ma. Luisa Quinones, Superintendent, Division of City Schools; and Ludivico Badoy, Executive Director, National Historical Institute, to name a few.

ceremony included the raising of the Philippine flag at half-mast, calling for a minute of silence, and a gun salute. The band of the Armed Forces of the Philippines played the national anthem and the Manila City Chorale performed the city's traditional song, "Awit ng Maynila."

Master of Ceremony Gemma Cruz-Araneta, New Zealand Ambassador David Pine, Mayor Alfredo Lim, National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil, Canadian Ambassador Robert Desjardins, and Jihao Jun, Chief of Political Section of the Chinese Embassy.

Canadian Ambassador Robert Desjardins and Secretary of Defense Gilberto Teodoro.

Mayor Lim with the U.K. Ambassador Peter Beckingham and his wife.

Veterans and survivors of the Battle for Manila along with some members of their families being warmly greeted by the mayor.

Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil, also a survivor of the Battle for Manila and whose husband was executed by the Japanese, signs a copy of her book, "Myself, Elsewhere" for a fan.

Mayor Lim and Ambassador Kristie Kenney with the students of the City College of Manila - School of the Arts and Sciences.

* * *

Related link:

Remembering the Battle for Manila

Filipinos' heroism recalled in Battle for Manila Rites - Philippine Daily Inquirer


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:12 PM


Anonymous rhodora said...

Nice photos, Eric, but the last one particularly caught my eye. I like Ms Kenney. She seems to be a very approachable and amiable lady and always has a ready smile for everyone. :)

February 03, 2008 8:03 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Funny you mentioned that about Ambassador Kenny, Rhoda. She actually stepped out of the red carpet to walk over and say hello to these students ... and the mayor immediately followed her. She also stopped to shake a little kid's hand and said hello to him.

She is really a people-person! I was actually tempted to walk over and say hello, but decided another time may be more appropriate :)

February 03, 2008 9:10 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

She is really a very people-person. I got that impression too based on photos of her in various public events that are shown on the US embassy's website.

One thing of note though, where was Japan's representative? I didn't see the Japanese ambassador or any representative from the Japanese government on any of the pics.

Great photos as always, Eric. Thanks.

February 03, 2008 10:43 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines was reportedly invited by the Manila City Hall to attend the ceremony, but did not attend. To date, Japan is not one to fully acknowledge its misdeeds during World War II. I think there are still pending complaints filed by women from various Asian countries who were forced as "comfort women" for the Japanese forces during the war.

Thank you, Panaderos!

February 04, 2008 6:18 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

No Belgian consul this time? ;-)

You should start selling your pictures to the newspapers... !

February 04, 2008 2:11 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I was actually hoping I'd run into the ever elusive Belgian ambassador at this ceremony, Sidney, because the breakfast spread on the second floor was mobbed. I was sure the kindly Belgian ambassador would've invited me for a more relaxed and sumptuous dimsun over in Chinatown. :)

I really should at least compile a list of contact numbers of not just the photo editors of top broadsheets and wire services, but of all local newspapers as well.

February 04, 2008 2:52 PM  

Anonymous dave said...

You sounded like a society columnist, Señor E! I've noted also the absence of the Japanese ambassador. I remember they have attended WWII-related ceremonies in previous years. Interesting, too is the Chinese presence.

February 04, 2008 7:29 PM  

Anonymous Traveler on Foot said...


I agree with Sidney. You make a good journalist. Your photos and write ups are as good as what I see and read from the broadsheets.

February 04, 2008 7:35 PM  

Blogger Mari said...

Thanks for posting this commemoration and the pictures. This is one way I get a glimpse of Manila, which I have not seen for ages. It used to be my stumping ground when I was in college. Ah, so much has changed, not only the place but the people as well.


February 05, 2008 2:23 AM  

Anonymous bw said...

Great pics and coverage Eric. Looked like you had special access to be able to get such close up pics of these VIPs and dignitaries :)

February 05, 2008 8:41 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Due to the presence of a number of foreign dignitaries, BW, you can also imagine the number of security personnel, including Philippine military personnel who encircled the perimeters.

But I got there very early and walked up to introduce myself to author and chairperson of Manila Historical and Heritage Commission, Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil whose book I read. Our conversation must have been witnessed by many security personnel who assumed I was no threat :) During the rites, she also had someone calling me over to where she was sitting to hand me some interesting historical materials/handouts which was indeed very nice of her.

February 05, 2008 9:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Mari!

My pleasure. This entire area surrounding Manila City Hall has gonme through many improvements, including the park in front of Universidad de Manila. The walk from manila City Hall to Quiapo or Quezon Bridge is much nicer now.

February 05, 2008 9:17 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you for your confidence in me, Traveler, but getting one's foot in the door of a broadsheet is not so easy a task. But for the meantime, I enjoy serving my readers and fellow bloggers with my best efforts :)

February 05, 2008 9:21 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The best society columnists/lensmen are those born into it, Dave. I wasn't ... hehehe.

Yes, the absence of a Japanese embassy delegate was indeed noticeable. But then again, too many veterans and survivors are yet to fully forgive and forget the sufferings they had endured during the Japanese occupation; hence, it may have not been appropriate for the Japanese ambassador to attend.

The Chinese delagate, was the very first to arrive. Incidentally, there is a monument inside the Chinese Cemetery honoring the Filipino-Chinese and the Chinese Embassy personnel who committed heroic acts during the war. So his presence at this commemoration wasn't much of a surprise.

February 05, 2008 9:28 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Speaking about Dimsum... I will not be able to go to Binondo for Chinese New Year. :-(
A lot of important meetings tomorrow that I can't postpone.

Anyway, we should try to meet one of those days.
If not around Dimsum let it be fried chicken!
The older I am getting the less time I seem to have... frightening. I even didn't manage to take any street shots in Manila since last year! :-(

February 05, 2008 8:32 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"The older I am getting the less time I seem to have..."

How about rephrasing that line to: "The more popular a photographer I get ..." Hehehe!

As always, Sidney, when all the commitments are out of the way, we'll get together for a leisurely lunch. Who knows? We may even plan on attending another soiree wherein the Belgian ambassador can arrange for us to enjoy another dinner with the culturati folks :)

Good luck with your meetings!

February 05, 2008 8:54 PM  

Anonymous narissa said...

ang ganda pa rin ni Gemma Cruz Araneta..

February 05, 2008 9:17 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, Narissa :)

February 05, 2008 10:14 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

Thanks for taking us to a very nice commemoration of Manila's historical event.

And about U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, she is more approachable than Gemma Cruz-Araneta. :D
No offense, but Gemma still looks pretty but feisty when it comes to US foreign policies.

February 07, 2008 5:07 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I think it's good that our city administrators initiate the commemoration of our elder for their acts of unparalleled patriotism heroism, Reyd. In so doing, they instill, especially amongst our young, appreciation and pride for our heritage.

No offense taken at all :) ... and you're right -- Kristie Kenney does exude endearing warmth and graciousness.

February 08, 2008 6:21 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

A little bit of irony in the absence of a Japanese delegation.

Old Japanese customs and attitudes die hard, but during the war Japanese loyalists were only too willing to give up lives for the holy Emperor.

Things do change.

April 17, 2008 10:33 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

The disarming demeanor of Amb. Kenny does dispel somewhat the long-held and a bit undeserved image of the ugly American.

And she is good to look at to boot.

More power to her and her office.

April 17, 2008 10:36 AM  

Blogger Glenn said...

I am looking for information regarding my great-uncle Robert D. Stone. US ARMY TEC5 photographer. Stationed in Manilla during WW2. He won a Bronze Star. He photographed the Battle of Manilla and his pictures were used in a local news paper. Can anyone help me find information about him. His name does not show up in the National Archives.

October 27, 2008 11:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will miss you Ms. Kenny! Thank you for being part of us!

Nice blog señor!!! The City of Manila is proud of you!!!

January 29, 2010 10:14 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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