Thursday, May 31, 2007


To celebrate the country's 109th Independence Day, instead of June 12 which falls on a Tuesday, Malacanang has instead decided to declare June 11, a Monday, as a non-working holiday in order to create a three-day holiday weekend.

The locals are now used to President Arroyo's "holiday economics" or the practice of moving non-working holidays to the nearest weekend to allow families to spend more quality time together and help boost local tourism.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced that the Department of Tourism has prepared several activities for the public in the days leading up to the independence day celebrations.

But prior to listing some of these planned activities, more appropriate, I thought, is to first post a historical timeline of significant events that took place not only within the archipelago, but also in Europe, which affected the entire country from the start of the Spanish colonization period until the arrival of the Americans:

March 16 1521: A Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan lands on Homonhon Island east of Samar with three small ships, named the Concepcion, Trinidad and Victoria.

March 28, 1521: Embarking on a southwestward journey, Magellan reaches Limasawa Island, south of Leyte. It is ruled by Rajah Kulambo, who becomes Magellan's ally.

March 29,1521: To seal the friendship between Magellan and Rajah Kulambo, they solemnize a blood compact. This is the first recorded blood compact in Philippine history.

March 31,1521: The first mass on Philippine soil is celebrated on Limasawa.

April 7, 1521: After sailing to Cebu Island, Magellan enters a new blood compact with the local chieftain, Rajah Humabon.

April 27, 1521: Magellan dies in a battle with Lapu-Lapu, chieftain of Mactan, an island near Cebu.

1525: Spain sends an expedition under Juan Garcia Jofre de Loaysa to the Philippines. The expedition intends to find gold and spices but fails to do so. Loaysa and many members of his crew die in the Philippines.

1526: Spain sends a third expedition to the Philippines under the leadership of Juan Cabot. This expedition never reaches the archipelago as three years are wasted in South America, trying to find a new route to the East.

1527: The fourth expedition, under the command of Alvaro de Saavedra, is the first Spanish expedition starting from Mexico. It reaches Mindanao but on the way to Cebu Saavedra's ship is carried by strong winds to the Moluccas.

1529: Saavedra's expedition returns to Spain without Saavedra who died on the way home.

1536: The Loaysa expedition returns to Spain. One of its survivors is Andres de Urdaneta, its chronicler.

February 2, 1543: The leader of the most successful Spanish expedition after Magellan, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos arrives in the archipelago. He names the islands "the Philippines" in honor of the son of King Charles I, Philip II (1556-1598) of Spain.

Villalobos reaches Sarangani Island off the eastern coast of Mindanao and settles there for 8 months. But because of the scarcity of food, the expedition is forced to leave the place and sails to the Moluccas where Villalobos dies.

February 13, 1565: Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrives in the Philippines with 380 men aboard four ships.

May 8, 1565: The Island of Cebu is surrendered to Legazpi by its ruler King Tupas. Legazpi establishes the first permanent Spanish settlement on Cebu and becomes the first Spanish Governor-General. By his order, tributes are collected from all Filipino males aged 19 to 60.

1568: The Portuguese, under the command of General Gonzalo de Pereira, attack Cebu and blockade its port.

1570: The Portuguese again attack the colony and are repulsed. The series of attacks stems from Portugal's claim to the territory based on the provision of the Treaty of Tordisillas entered into by Spain and Portugal on June 7, 1474, in which their respective spheres of influence, trade and conquest were defined. The Portuguese believe that the Philippines falls within their sphere.

May, 1570: Legazpi sends an expedition under the leadership of Martin de Goiti to Manila. Manila is ruled by Rajah Suliman, whose friendship is won by de Goiti.

May 19, 1571: Rajah Suliman wages war against the Spaniards due to a move by Martin de Goiti which he mistakes for an assault. De Goiti's army defeats Suliman's troops and occupies the town.

June 24, 1571: Legazpi establishes his government in Manila and proclaims it the capital of the Philippines.

August 20, 1572: Legazpi dies and Guido de Lavezares succeeds him as governor. Lavezares extends colonization to the Bicol region.

November 23, 1574: The Chinese pirate captain Limahong attacks Manila but the Spaniards win with the help of the Filipinos.

December 2, 1574: Limahong again attacks Manila, this time with 1,500 soldiers, but remains unable to conquer the city.

December, 1574: Lakandula leads a short revolt in Tondo against the Spanish.

1580: The Spanish King Philip II receives the throne of Portugal upon the death of the Portuguese King Sebastian. This puts an end to the Portuguese harassment of the Philippine archipelago.

1580: The Spaniards institute forced labor on all male natives aged 16 to 60.

August, 1583: A great fire rages in Manila which starts from the candles around the bier of governor Penalosa.

1589: The Spaniards establish the first school in the Philippines, the College of San Ignacio.

1600: The Dutch attack the archipelago in a tactical offensive during the European war between Spain and the Netherlands.

1600: Governor Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera begins collecting the bandala from the natives. Bandala is an annual quota of products assigned to the natives for compulsory sale to the government.

The Galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco, Mexico begins. But Manila serves merely as a trans-shipment port for the exchange of goods between Spain and Mexico on the one side and China on the other. Silver from Mexico is traded for any kind of Chinese merchandise. Because of the Galleon trade's quick and lucrative returns, Spain lacks interest in developing the Philippine economy during the first 200 years of its occupation.

1603: Chinese insurrection in Manila.

1622: An early revolt takes place in Bohol. It is headed by Tamblot, a babaylan or priest of the native religion. Revolts in Leyte, Samar and Panay follow, all protesting the collection of tributes.

1744: One of the most successful revolts in Philippine history breaks out, once more in Bohol, and provides the island a kind of independence from the Spaniards for the following 85 years. The first leader of the revolt is Francisco Dagohoy.

May 15, 1754: Mt Taal emits magma and destroys the towns of Lipa, Sala, Tanauan and Talisay.

September 22, 1762: In a side encounter of the European Seven Years War, the British attack Manila with 13 vessels and 6,830 men under the command of General William Draper and Admiral Samuel Corning. The British win the battle and occupy the city.

October 5, 1762: The British take control of the Philippines and Darsonne Drake becomes Governor-General. The British open the colony to international trade and ultimately change its economic life.

December 14, 1762: A revolt under the leadership of Diego Silang breaks out in the Ilocos region.

May 2, 1763: The revolt ends as Diego Silang is assassinated by his former friend Miguel Viscos.

February 10, 1763: The Treaty of Paris between England, Spain and France is signed, ending the Seven Years War in Europe as well as the British occupation of the Philippines.

November 9, 1774: Parishes are secularized by order of King Charles III of Spain. Natives are also permitted to enter the Catholic priesthood.

May, 1808: French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte installs his brother Joseph as King of Spain. French-influenced liberals support the king but the people do not.

January 22, 1809: As an effect of the appointment of Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain, all Spanish colonies including the Philippines are made integral parts of Spain by the Spanish Central Junta. Filipinos are given the privileges of Spanish citizenship as well as representation in the Spanish Cortes (parliament).

March 19, 1812: The Spanish Cortes promulgates the Cadiz Constitution. It is a liberal constitution, vesting sovereignty in the people, recognizing the equality of all men and the individual liberty of the citizen, and granting the right of suffrage, but providing for a hereditary monarchy and for Catholicism as the state religion.

September 24, 1812: The first Philippine delegates to the Spanish Cortes, Pedro Perez de Tagle and Jose Manuel Coretto take their oath of office in Madrid, Spain.

March 17, 1813: Spain officially implements the Cadiz Constitution in Manila.

October 16 to 19, 1813: The Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, Germany; it ends with Napoleon and the French defeated.

Following the French defeat at Leipzig, the British General Duke of Wellington drives the Napoleonic forces out of Spain.

1814: Ferdinand VII, son of Charles IV, is recognized as King of Spain.

June 18, 1815: Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated in a battle with another multi-national army under Wellington at Waterloo, Belgium.

October 15, 1815: Bonaparte is exiled to St. Helena's Island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of West Africa.

May 24, 1816: After the defeat of Napoleon in Europe and his brother's loss of the Spanish throne, conservative forces again dominate Spanish politics. The Spanish Cortes rejects the Cadiz Constitution which means, among other things, that Philippine representation in the Cortes is abolished.

1820: Changes in Philippine economic life, partially introduced by the British, lead to some internal prosperity. In agriculture, crops are relegated by region so that tobacco becomes the chief crop of the north, sugar the main crop of the Visayas, and abaca the mainstay of the Bicol region. The same year, foreigners are massacred in Binondo. They were under suspicion of poisoning Pasig River and thus being responsible for a severe epidemic of cholera.

1828: An earthquake lasting between 2 to 3 minutes damage a number of buildings and churches in Manila.

1830: The Port of Manila is opened to the world market.

1835: The Chamber of Commerce is installed. Francisco Rodriguez establishes the first Filipino bank.

1848: Glowing avalanche from Mt Hibok-Hibok on Camiguin island

December 4 to 6, 1852: Glowing avalanche from Mt Hibok-Hibok.

1863: The educational system in the archipelago is reformed, allowing the natives higher levels of training. Wealthier native families start sending their children to study in Spain.

June 3, 1863: At 19:00, a terrific earthquake shakes Manila and ruins most buildings in the city, including the cathedral. Of major structures, only the San Agustin church remains standing.

November 17, 1869: The Suez Canal is opened, establishing a regular steamship service between the Philippines and Europe. This allows not only the influx of more goods into the colony but also of new ideas.

February 17, 1872: Three martyr priests are publicly garroted as alleged leaders of the Cavite Conspiracy, a movement for secularization and nationalism, which is distasteful to the Spanish friars. They are Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto Zamora. The incident gives the Filipinos an impetus to unite and to develop national consciousness. It also gives birth to a reform movement among Filipinos in Spain, known as the Propaganda Movement.

1880: Manila is connected through telegraphic cable to the Western world by Eastern Telecom.

July 18 & 20, 1880: Two shocks of an earthquake create destruction from Manila to Santa Cruz, Luguna. Tremors continue until August 6th.

March 3, 1882: Jose Rizal leaves Manila for Barcelona to continue his studies in medicine.

June 2, 1882: Rizal begins writing Noli Me Tangere in Madrid, a political novel set in the Philippines.

1884: Exaction of tribute from all male natives is ended and the required forced labor of 40 days a year is reduced to 15 days.

June 21, 1884: Rizal finishes his medical studies in Spain.

May 29, 1887: Noli Me Tangere is published in Madrid and Barcelona.

October, 1887: Rizal begins writing El Filibusterismo.

December 13, 1888: Filipinos in Barcelona establish the organization La Solidaridad. It demands for the Philippines freedom of press, speech and assembly, equality before the law, participation in governmental affairs, social and political freedom and representation in the Spanish Cortes. The demands are published and circulated in Barcelona for the purpose of reaching the Spanish King's ear. Among the members are: Jose Rizal, Lopez Jaena, Marcelo del Pilar, Antonio Luna, and Mariano Ponce.

March 28, 1891: Rizal finishes writing El Filibusterismo in Biarritz, France.

June 26, 1892: Rizal arrives in the Philippines via Hong Kong.

July 3, 1892: In Ilaya St, Tondo, Rizal founds La Liga Filipina to give the people a chance for direct involvement in the reform movement.

July 7, 1892: The Spanish authorities arrest Rizal for organizing La Liga Filipina.

July 17, 1892: Rizal is exiled to Dapitan, Mindanao.

July 8, 1894: Believing that a revolution is the only way to obtain reforms, Andres Bonifacio forms the Katipunan. Its members come from the lower and the middle class. The organization wants to awaken nationalism and free the Filipino people from Spanish oppression and friar despotism.

July 1, 1896: Rizal receives a telegram from Governor Ramon Blanco requiring his services as a physician for the Spanish army in Cuba.

August 6, 1896: Rizal returns to Manila.

August 19, 1896: Spanish authorities discover the Katipunan when one of its members, Teodoro Paterno, betrays the organization to an Agustinian priest, Fr. Mariano Gil. All those implicated are ordered arrested but many Katipuneros evade arrest and flee to the hills of Balintawak.

August 23, 1896: A revolution is proclaimed by Bonifacio. The event is marked in history as the Cry of Balintawak. In this instance, Filipinos tear up their cedulas (I.D. cards) issued by the Spanish government and thereby mark the beginning of the uprising against the Spaniards.

August 26, 1896: Rizal goes to Cavite where he boards a ship for Barcelona. In the following night, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and other Katipuneros are able to surreptitiously board Rizal's ship. They offer to rescue him from the Spaniards, but Rizal refuses.

August 30, 1896: After the spread of the Katipunan revolt throughout the archipelago, the first real battle for Philippine independence takes place at San Juan del Monte. The Spanish Governor Ramon Blanco proclaims a state of war in the 8 provinces that took up arms. The provinces are Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

September 2, 1896: Aboard the ship Isla de Panay, Rizal leaves Cavite for Barcelona.

October 3, 1896: Rizal arrives in Barcelona.

October 4, 1896: By order of Capt. Gen. Despujol, Rizal is incarcerated in Montjuich.

October 6, 1896: On orders from Madrid, Rizal is sent back to Manila as a prisoner.

October 31, 1896: A new group of the Katipunan is formed in Cavite; it discards the leadership of Andres Bonifacio and is headed by Emilio Aguinaldo.

November 13, 1896: Rizal arrives in Manila and is immediately imprisoned at Fort Santiago.

November 20, 1896: Rizal is interrogated the first time on charges of partaking in an uprising against the Spanish government.

December 20, 1896: Rizal is sentenced to death by a Spanish court martial, and Governor Camilo Polavieja orders his execution.

December 30, 1896: The Spaniards execute Jose Rizal in Bagumbayan, now Rizal Park.

March 22, 1897: The Katipunan holds its election. Aguinaldo is elected as president while Bonifacio is elected only as director of war. Bonifacio is insulted by the election results and refuses to recognize the new leadership.

April 29, 1897: Katipuneros arrest Andres Bonifacio and his brothers Procopio and Ciriaco on orders of Aguinaldo. The Bonifacios are charged with sedition and treason before a military court of the Katipunan.

May 8, 1897: The Katipunan court finds the Bonifacios guilty. They are sentenced to death.

May 10, 1897: Andres Bonifacio and his brothers are executed at Mt. Buntis, Maragondon, Cavite.

May 31, 1897: Aguinaldo establishes a Philippine republican government in Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan.

August 10, 1897: Aguinaldo begins negotiating with the Spaniards, represented by Pedro Paterno.

August 15, 1897: An earthquake at estimated intensity of 7.9 centered on Luzon's northwest coast shakes Batanes and northern Luzon.

November 1, 1897: The Constitution of Biak-na-Bato is signed. It was prepared and written by Isabelo Artache and Felix Ferrer.

The government of the Biak-na-Bato Republic has the following officers: Emilio Aguinaldo, President; Mariano Trias, Vice President; Isabelo Artache, Secretary of Interior; Antonio Montenegro, Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Baldomero Aguinaldo, Secretary of Treasury and Emiliano Riego de Jesus, Secretary of War.

The Biak-na-Bato Republic fails as its leader, Aguinaldo, resigns to the fact that the Filipinos are not yet ready to confront the Spanish forces. This belief also drives him to negotiate with the Spaniards for the Pact of Biak-na-Bato.

December 14, 1897: The Pact of Biak-na-Bato between the Spanish and Aguinaldo is signed. In this pact, Aguinaldo agrees to surrender all arms and to go with his companions into exile in Hong Kong upon payment of 800,000 pesos and an additional 900,000 pesos for the non-combatants who suffered losses because of the war.

December 27, 1897: Aguinaldo and his companions leave for Hong Kong where they live on their new-found wealth.

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

Top photo:
Rajah Solaiman Statue
Rajah Solaiman Plaza, Roxas Boulevard
Aperture: F14
Shutter: 10/2000 sec
Focal Length: 39mm
ISO: 250

Bottom photo:
National Post Office
Shot from Jones Bridge
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/640
Focal Length: 5.8 mm


posted by Señor Enrique at 1:26 PM | 33 comments

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Title: Man Touching the Feet of Christ
Second Place Winner
Semana Santa Photo Challenge of the Month
i-Mag Photography Magazine

i-Mag Magazine
Volume 1 Number 7 Issue
now available at all National Book Stores


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:04 PM | 28 comments

Monday, May 28, 2007


Title: Sampaguita Vendors
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/640 sec
White Balance: Auto

Sampaguita garland vendors grouped under the shade in front of Santa Cruz Church while waiting for their usual customers. The entire exterior of this historic church in Manila was recently refurbished and repainted; now, it looks even more majestic.

This church was originally founded by the Jesuits to serve the growing number of Chinese parian residents of Santa Cruz who had converted to Catholicism during the Spanish colonial rule. Comprised mainly of highly skilled craftsmen from China, Santa Cruz soon became the most affluent of all parians in the whole of Manila; inciting much envy from the Dominicans.


posted by Señor Enrique at 1:08 PM | 19 comments

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Title: DUET - 2nd Variation
Aperture: F9, Shutter: 312/10 sec
Focal Length: 99mm, ISO: 100
Light Source: single flashlight

It's quite embarrassing to admit that I have been out of touch with new music lately. I should have retained my great interest in it since I once worked in the music industry in which discovering new artists and trends in emerging new sounds were significant aspects of my job. Darn, we were even urged to venture into hole-in-the-wall venues just to check out unsigned bands.

As I had commented on Major Tom's entry on Arcade Fire, the 80GB iPod Video I bought a couple of months ago remains in its package because I haven't really been inspired to play with it. Well, reality is I have no new music or video to plug into it.

Nevertheless, Major Tom's article about this latest Canadian band sensation, Arcade Fire, has compelled me to go out and buy a new CD. Perhaps, in so doing, I will be inspired to check out others out there. But then again, from what I understand, American Idol is now putting together another new show in which the goal is to search for the next super group or band, not individual artists. Indeed, watching this new series will be a more enjoyable and interesting way to discover new talents without hanging out all night at seedy joints.

By the way, told Major Tom he ought to consider becoming a music critic even if only part time.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:17 AM | 28 comments

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Within the lush confines of the Orchidarium live three huge pythons. They are brothers. When brought there for the first time so as to be kept as pets, each one was no longer than a yard. Now, however, they measure about fifteen feet in length and requires at least three handlers for each one to be carried.

They sleep all day intertwined against one another for warmth or something, and only become active at night--crawling around in their caged pit. Sometimes during the daytime, one of them is brought out and displayed for a visiting group to view, fondle, or put on top of one's shoulders for a photo opp. That is how they earn their keep, so to speak.

Undoubtedly, this is done only when they are full; not while hungry and grouchy. Neither are they brought out when they are shredding off their skin, for it is supposed to be a rather unpleasant process much like a woman going through PMS.

According to the staff, these pythons are a spoiled bunch. I guess, just like dogs, after experiencing ongoing love and care from their masters, they begin to think of themselves as humans as well. And like some kids nowadays -- who indulge on fast food and then spend their time mainly watching TV and playing computer games -- these brothers snake were recently diagnosed by their vet as obese.

Oh, well ... such is the curse of a pampered life.

Maria Makiling
a recent addition to the Orchidarium gardens

The Orchidarium is located at the corner of Orosa Street and Finance Drive in Rizal Park (or Luneta); telephone numbers are 527-6376/6378 for further information.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:16 AM | 27 comments

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Those who may still remember the grandeur of Galaxy Theater during its heyday may be saddened to see this photograph.

The Galaxy is one of the few surviving buildings designed by National Artist Pablo Antonio, Sr. It is of Art Moderne design, an architectural style that came about in the 1930s along with Art Deco. Many theaters along Avenida Rizal during the '50s and '60s boasted such designs in answer to America's Hollywood and Broadway.

Sadly, the Galaxy's present owners are planning to demolish it to make way for a 22-story condominium on the site.

Hopefully, according to Richard Tuason-Sanchez Bautista, resident architect of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA), this is the first building in the area that may be saved from destruction and conserved; unlike the Avenue Theater, designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil, that was recently torn down and converted to a parking lot, much to the great dismay of our cultural historians and conservationists.

The NCCA as represented by Richard is helping the developer, Zosima Inc., headed by administrator Primitivo Garcia III, to preserve the Galaxy Theater building, or at least, its facade.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer published a detailed account of this matter, "Preservation, modernity come together in Manila."

Incidentally, it was Richard who was kind enough to provide me with a list of movie theaters along Avenida Rizal during the '50s and '60s and up to the present (some may have been already demolished as indicated). He also included some movie houses in some other areas of Manila. You see, I was unable to come up with such information when I went to the National Library last month.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here is the list:

Starting from Blumentritt to Plaza Lacson (formerly Plaza Goiti) along Avenida Rizal:

1. Manila Theatre- demolished sometime during the '90s
2. Cine Noli - still in business
3. Pearl - closed but still standing
4. Scala - designed by Pablo Antonio - now being used as a Christian church
5. Forum - designed by Pablo Antonio -
only facade remains; roofless and abandoned
6. Manila Grand Opera House - gone
7. Galaxy - designed by Pablo Antonio - still standing
8. Dynasty - gone
9. Capri - closed; buiding might have been demolished
10. Roxan -
closed; buiding might have been demolished
11. Odeon - gone
12. Avenue - gone
13. Universal - still standing but no longer operational
14. Jennets - open
15. Lords - open
16. Ever (formerly Rialto) - closed but building still standing
17. State - designed by Juan Nakpil - gone
18. ideal - designed by Juan Nakpil (
Pablo Antonio contributed in designs during various dates) - gone
19. Clover - gone
20. Illusion - gone

Along Claro M. Recto Avenue (formerly Azcarraga):

1. Roben - still operational
2. Vista 1 and 2 - designed by Juan Nakpil - still operational
3. Hollywood - still operational
4. Podmon - demolished; now LRT2 station
5. Dilson - still operational
6. Eastern - still standing but now a school
7. Tandem - still standing but closed
8. Miramar
- still standing but closed
9. Maxim
- still standing but closed
10. Manila Theater 1 and 2 - gone
11. Ever Gotesco - still operational

Along Ronquillo:

1. Majestic - gone

Along Ongpin:

1. King's - now a small mall (tiangge) with restaurant).

There was another
theater along Ongpin which has been converted to President Restaurant

Along Escolta:

1. Capitol - only the facade remains
2. Lyric - demolished

Along Florentino Torres:

1. De Luxe - demolished
2. Republic - demolished

Along Quezon Boulevard and Evangelista Street (Quiapo):

1. New Love - still standing but closed
2. Cinerama (now Isetann with multiplex theaters on fifth floor)
3. Gala - now a beer/strip bar
4. Crown - still standing but closed
5. Lider (Ginto) - still operational
6. Globe - now a small mall (tiangge) but Globe Lumpia House still open
7. Life - designed by Pablo Antonio - still standing but closed
8. Boulevard - gone
9. Times - designed by Luis Araneta - operational
10. Main - designed by Juan Nakpil still standing - now used by Dating Daan organization

Dalisay was also listed in this section, but I think Dalisay was once adjacent to Cine Noli in Blumentritt which is now gone.

Along Espana (Sampaloc):

1. Baron (Mercury) - gone - now Chow King restaurant

Along Dapitan:

1. Dapitan - gone

Along Herran:

1. Major - still standing but closed
2. Bellevue - still operational but may soon close
3. Dart - gone - now a supermarket
4. Paco - designed by Pablo Antonio - gone
6. Robinson's - open
7. Gaiety - designed by Juan Nakpil - closed

There was also another along Adriatico near Quirino

This list may remind some readers of others not included so please let us know.

Again, many thanks to
Richard Tuason-Sanchez Bautista of NCCA, as well as to Joy Tang and Manolo Noche of Heritage Conservation Society for their valuable input.

A view of Avenida Rizal from Carriedo Street (circa: 1960s)
Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

* * *

Related link:

Quiapo and the Golden Age of Filipino Movies

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 11:30 PM | 84 comments


Aperture: F5.6, Shutter: 1/250 sec
Focal Length: 142mm, ISO: 100
White Balance: Cloudy

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at cloud that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all.

Both Sides Now
by Joni Mitchell


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:05 AM | 42 comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Master studio lighting practitioner, Allan Razo, does not believe in simply mouthing off lighting techniques to his students. Such information, he believes, are available on the Internet; one only has to pick and choose from the many sites, and then print the selected tutorial for a later perusal.

What Allan does in class instead is demonstrate the logical steps in creating the most effective setup whether in portraiture or table top product shoots. He does this while engaging the participation of his students -- making them move the lights around and understand the resulting effect. In such manner, his students are better able to experience and thereby retain what they have learned in class.

More than anything, Allan is a visual artist; believing that there is no absolute way to light anything. Like a child at play, he will experiment with various setups until he is pleased with the result. Nature, with its interplay of hard and soft lights, has always been his inspiration.

Besides his regular work as an advertising photographer in his studio in Makati, he is an ardent fan of large format cameras. He buys vintage Deardorffs (which have seen better days) on eBay and then lovingly restores them to mint condition. At other times, he could be found patiently exposing platinum prints up on his roof.

To know more about Allan and his undisputed passion for photography, I recommend getting a copy of i-Mag Magazine's current issue (Volume 1, Number 6) in which an interview with him and samples of his great works are featured at length.

Allan with model, Legen, demonstrating the setup for a beauty shot.

An example of a lighting setup for a portrait shot.

Legen has got to be the best and most photogenic model provided for us by FPPF during this studio lighting workshop with Allan Razo. For those interested in hiring her for a photo shoot project, contact her manager, Junjun at 0920-580-9526.


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:33 AM | 18 comments

Monday, May 21, 2007


Firstly, Jayvee is Jayvee Fernandez, an active player in the media and publishing fields; serving as contributing editor for Mobile Philippines and other HIP (Hinge-Inquirer Publications) magazines. He's also a consultant in the realm of new media trends in the Philippines, specifically about professional blogging, new media and viral marketing. He was one of the main propagators of the Philippine Blog Awards with Abe Olandes.

Cosplay, on the other hand, according to Wikipedia, is "a portmanteau of the English words "costume" and "play", is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu, and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, "cosplay" has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume."

And a few days ago, Jayvee announced a cosplay photo shoot at the Intramuros Golf Club; leaving an “open invitation” for online friends and acquaintances to take part in a very informal shoot on a Sunday afternoon. He was expecting 5 or 6 friends to come and join him on it; much to his delight, about fifty people showed up.

The lesson Jayvee wants us to learn here: Never underestimate the power of viral marketing within the blogging community.

As for cosplay, I've a feeling the very first one I attended was during the '70s in New York City's Greenwich Village. It was the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in which a large segment of the young people in the audience came dressed up as characters of the movie. They occupied the front section of the orchestra and staged their own version of certain sequences of the film as it was projected on the screen. Their special effects buddies were mostly situated in the front row of the balcony level equipped with the props they threw at the audience.

It was an incredible phenomenon that garnered a huge cult following; eventually spreading throughout the entire United States. A box office disaster when first released on account of the critics having lambasted it as mere trash; however, America's youth culture thought otherwise. Through this nationwide midnight cosplay phenomenon on Friday and Saturday nights that went on for many years, the producers of
Rocky Horror Picture Show ultimately raked in millions of dollars in profits. It was, indeed, an outcome beyond their wildest expectations. I am truly surprised that Malcolm Gladwell never cited this social epidemic in his book, "The Tipping Point."

Yesterday at the cosplay photo shoot, I was having such a wonderful time I felt reluctant to leave; however, other family commitments dictated I must. I have no idea exactly what time they all disbanded, but based on my final glance, it might have been much later than expected, because as I was leaving everyone was still having a great time socializing and photographing the tireless models.

Thank you, Jayvee, for a great and unique photo shoot, as well as for the many talented and wonderful people I met whom I trust will meet again in another of your upcoming events in the very near future.

The main model, Jerry Polence

A happy and handsome Jayvee with Orlando C. Ninon (to his right), an award-winning photographer who placed second in the recent Manila Bulletin's and Fuji Film's Red & Green Photo Challenge.

Jayvee and Juned with some of his cameras.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:04 AM | 29 comments

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Title: Piko
Aperture: F2.8, Shutter: 1/125 sec
ISO: 100, White Balance: Auto

Besides the boisterous romping in the pool or river during the lazy summer afternoons, what is a child's life without the usual games? Whether you're a boy or girl, piko is one of the games to learn; otherwise, you may end up spending the day's lull by the sideline bored to tears.

Incidentally, do you remember how this game is played?



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:09 AM | 32 comments

Friday, May 18, 2007


Title: On Golden Pond
Aperture: F10,
Shutter: 1/400 sec, Focal Length: 52mm
ISO: 100, White Balance: Cloudy

Some Remaining Days of Summer Activities

Comic Workshop by Nautilus
Saturday, May 19
Powerbooks - Mall of Asia
Telephone: 850-5662

Diego & Marie and Map Making with Treasure Hunting

Workshop for kids
Friday, May 18 at 2:00pm
Filipinas Heritage Library
Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati
Telephone: 892-1801

Awareness of Light
Workshop by Shoko Matsumo
May 21-to-27, 10:00am-to-9:00pm
With Grace Nono's production of
Sacred Voice
Sinag Arts Foundation
Telephone: 531-3491

World Press Photo Exhibition
A selection of 200 photographs comprising
the winning photos in the annual
World Press Photo Competition
May 17-to-24
SM City North Edsa

Gong Li Retrospective
Shanghai Triad
Raise the Red Lantern
The Emperor and the Assassin
May 19 at 1:00pm - Free
New Manila, QC
Telephone: 726-6054


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:32 AM | 24 comments

Thursday, May 17, 2007


A Sidewalk Photo Exhibit

Presented by the Press Photographers of the Philippines
in cooperation with the Office of the Press Secretary
in celebration of the
56th Founding Anniversary and Press Freedom



posted by Señor Enrique at 6:39 AM | 28 comments

Monday, May 14, 2007


Museo Pambata owes its existence to two women.

One was Nina Lim-Yuson, an early childhood educator and mother of four who, after taking her kids to the Boston Children’s Museum in the States and after seeing how much fun her children had with those hands-on exhibits, wished for a similar place back home where millions of other Filipino children can learn and have fun in the process.

The other, Estefania Aldaba-Lim, a former Department of Social Welfare and Development secretary and a United Nations appointment as Special Envoy for the International Year of the Child 1979. Together, these two women envisioned the establishment of a museum as a venue for alternative learning for children, especially for those without access to formal education.

In March of 1993, Lim and Yuson presented a proposal of their dream children’s museum to the then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim who had just arrived from a UNICEF Mayor’s Meeting on the Rights of the Child in Mexico City. The two women included in their proposal for the historic Elks Club Building on Roxas Boulevard in Manila to be converted for this purpose. Much to their delight, Mayor Lim approved the project. On December 21, 1994, Museo Pambata was officially opened to the public.

The museum is primarily a children’s interactive museum established to enhance the lives of Filipino children. It boasts eight theme rooms where children, families, and school tour groups can explore new and exciting ways to relive our rich cultural heritage, assuming a pro-active role in caring for the environment, understanding how the human body works, discovering certain aspects of science through play, imagining what they could become someday, and understanding human rights in a global perspective. Educational programs for both children and adults enhance Museo Pambata’s interactive exhibits.

The museum also offers a children’s library and resource center, gift shop, multi-purpose hall, changing exhibits hall, outdoor theater, playground, and parking space.

Museo Pambata ng Maynila
Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila
Open on Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9:00am to 5:00pm; Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Streetchildren, infants, teachers, and museum workers – free
Children and adults – P60.00
Seniors – P40.00
Manila residents – free on Tuesdays; 50% discount on other days
Tour groups of 30 or more can avail of special rates
Telephone: 523-1797 to 98


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:49 PM | 46 comments

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Manila Bay, 6:04pm

Aperture: F4
Shutter: 10/2500 sec
Focal Length: 27mm
White Balance: Cloudy
ISO: 100


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:51 PM | 12 comments

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I clearly remember the day Mama got her pearl necklace.

It was a bright sunny morning a little past ten. I was sitting by the door enjoying a bottle of sarsaparilla and the sight of people walking by. I was in third grade then and since my class was in the afternoon, didn't have to start preparing for school until eleven. How I loved getting up late in the mornings and having the house to myself besides Mama, an aunt and our help. Papa had already gone to work and all my elder siblings to school.

Suddenly disturbing me from my daydreaming was Mama dashing past me. Without asking where she was headed, I tagged along, though it wasn't far where she had to go. In fact, it was only right next door to Tia Lydia’s house. Tia Lydia wasn’t actually a blood relative, but we grew up respecting our parents’ close friends much like actual relatives and therefore, addressed them as such.

Tia Lydia dabbled in buying and selling stuff — from tiny parcels of land to fashion accessories imported from Hong Kong. From what we knew about her, she hailed from an affluent family in Nueva Ecija. She rarely depended upon the earnings of her husband who was an insurance underwriter to manage their household. Whenever she needed money, all she had to do was sell off a piece of land she had inherited from her parents. She must have owned a lot, for she never ran out of it. Even when she passed away last year, she still owned quite a vast tract to leave to her children. So all those buying and selling she did was merely to while away her time aside from raising a large brood of hyperactive kids.

Anyway, on that particular morning, Tia Lydia had a pearl necklace to show to Mama. And as soon as she pulled it out of its satin pouch, Mama's face lit up with pure delight. She carefully took it from Tia Lydia and lovingly caressed each pearl. And then she put it on her and admired herself on the mirror untiringly; her fingertips never leaving those pearls. A look of equal joy was etched on Tia Lydia's face.

Both women then engaged in animated exchange of gleeful talk until Mama took notice of the time. She hurriedly handed Tia Lydia the money as payment for those pearls two hundred pesos! She then grabbed my hand and we went home so I could prepare for school.

Through the years that ensued thereafter, Mama had to pawn a piece of jewelry during emergency situations, but she never, not even once, pawned that pearl necklace. Apparently, she treasured it dearly. In New York, a number of her friends admired that necklace so much they whispered handsome offers for it, which she would charmingly decline. Unable to acquire her pearl necklace, most of her friends ended up buying one at either Tiffany's or Mikimoto in Manhattan.

One Mother's Day, while we were having lunch in an Italian restaurant in New York with my brothers and their families, she mentioned that Papa once bought a nice piece of land in Subic. This was intended to be given to the child that would care for Mama during her old age. Unfortunately, that piece of land had to be sold to pay for medical costs when Papa became seriously ill. Concerned that Mama might be getting too melancholy on such a festive day, we immediately switched to a lighter topic of conversation.

About a couple of years ago, Mama started giving away most of her jewelries to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She kept only a couple of favorite pieces for when she goes out on casual and special occasions. I believe my sister Inday will eventually get them when she passes away.

And then one day, Mama said she felt bad for me for not having any piece of prime real estate to leave for me as Papa would have wanted it. In jest, I suggested that she leave me her pearl necklace instead. I said this so she'd stop feeling bad about it. When she asked why the pearl necklace, I said it will always remind me of one of the happiest moments in her life that I had witnessed (being I was with her on the day she got it from Tia Lydia). The joy that glowed from her face then was priceless and will remain forever associated with those pearls, I added.

Much to my delight, she consented. That means Inday is not getting Mama's pearls; I am!

Happy Mother’s Day!


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:46 AM | 38 comments

Friday, May 11, 2007


Reputedly the oldest museum in the country, the UST Museum of Arts & Sciences began collecting and classifying specimens as early as 1865. In the beginning, it was merely a co-curricular arm of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, but it eventually began amassing a number of items which were not necessarily related to the medical endeavor.

The museum was founded in 1870 by Fr. Ramon Martinez Vigil, professor of Natural History. However, it was Fr. Casto de Elera who systematically gathered, identified, and catalogued most of the specimens needed for a natural sciences museum. Armed with well-documented collections, the university soon participated at several international exhibits where it won precious awards.

It was only in 1941 when it also became a Museum of Arts. It came about after the organization of the First National Painting Exhibit by Fr. Silvestre Sancho who was then the university rector. The museum began acquiring paintings of the masters of that time — Carlos B. Francisco, Galo Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Fernando Amorsolo, and etc.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of space, there is no formal art gallery within the UST museum; most of the collections are hung along the walls, while the rest are stored in cabinets for security and protection. Besides the problem of space, the museum also faces the high costs of cleaning and restoration. The antiquity of most of these paintings and the lack of optimal maintenance magnify the great need for many items in its collection to be restored. Many frames, which are works of art by themselves, also require much-needed repairs.

Some of these paintings and murals are displayed outside of the UST museum. In the lobby of the main building are four large murals by Antonio Garcia Llamas which depict the university’s history. Along the sides of the wide stairway and on the landing leading to the entrance to the museum are the large paintings by Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Galo Ocampo and Dante Fabie. Likewise, in the Medicine Building lobby are murals by Vicente Manansala, which portray the history of medicine in the Philippine Archipelago.

The UST museum also boasts a wide collection of rare books and printing paraphernalia, native santos, coins, medals, Oriental ceramics, and ethnographic artifacts. It also exhibits the university’s memorabilia such as antique chasuble, gold monstrance, and various ceremonial items.

The museum was able to safeguard its extensive collections when it moved from Intramuros to its present location; hence, avoided the massive destruction precipitated by the American carpet bombing sorties during the Battle of Manila. The campus was also declared a neutral zone during the war, while the Japanese converted it into an internment camp for their American prisoners of war.

The museum’s current special exhibition is the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Santo Tomas Internment Camp.

The UST Museum of Arts & Sciences
Mezzanine, Main Building
University of Santo Tomas
Telephone: 781-1815
Open Tuesdays to Fridays - 9:00am to 4:30pm
Admission fee: Students - P20.00 / Adults - P30.00



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:13 AM | 36 comments

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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