Thursday, January 31, 2008


Check out the health benefits of peanuts here.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:17 AM | 22 comments

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Remembering what Mayor Lim said last month -- that he was determined to implement the city ordinance against illegal vending -- I walked around the streets of Quiapo today to see if his intention has been enforced. Much to my delight, it was and is.

Unfortunately, there were still a few vendors here and there, though they no longer obstruct traffic as they used to.

The corner of Evangelista and Paterno Streets used to be teeming with peddlers right on the street hawking their wares. Back then, it would take me at least half an hour just to drive through that corner. Today all vehicles were passing by smoothly.

There is bad news, though: no longer allowed to occupy any part of the street, the vendors have started to take possession of most sidewalks in the area. So now, pedestrians have no other option but to walk right on the streets. Talk about trading places. I wonder if Mayor Lim would ever find this issue important enough to address next; in a not too distant future, I hope.

According to the city ordinance against illegal vending, it is prohibited for any person who peddles, hawks, sells, offers for sale, or expose for sale any articles on the passageways used by purchasers in any city market. This is to avoid unjust competition.

In other words, peddlers or hawkers shall not be permitted to offer for sale, in the city markets and their surroundings within a radius of 200 meters where goods are sold or exposed for sale in the stalls, of booths of city markets, neither shall they be permitted to expose or sell merchandise on sidewalks, courts (patios) or places designed and intended for passage of the public to the city markets.

At the risk of sounding like an embittered skeptic, I wonder if such ordinance can ever be totally enforced in Manila. Notwithstanding, based on what I saw on the streets of Quiapo today, I must say, "Thank you, Mayor Lim, for a job well done!"

Related links:

Virtually Unpassable Sidewalks of Quiapo

Mayor Lim firm on clearing city of illegal vendors - Manila Bulletin


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:11 PM | 20 comments

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


It is a beautiful sculpture in Intramuros, Manila, created to commemorate the victims of the Battle for Manila.

Although fought for only a month -- from February 3 to March 3 -- by Filipino, American and Japanese forces, the Battle for Manila was the worst and most devastating urban fighting in the entire Pacific theater.

An estimated 20,000 Japanese troops under Rear-Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi conducted a scorched earth policy on the city and committed atrocities against the civilian residents, while the American liberation forces under the command of General Robert Beitler, US Army 37th Division, continually shocked and awed the city with intense carpet bombing.

Such sheer madness brought on by twisted fanaticism and dubious heroism reduced Manila to rubbles within a mere single month period. Manila was slowly rebuilt after the war, all right; however, it never regained its status of being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

In their analysis, a trio of British historians have likened the Battle for Manila to "a Greek tragedy, with the main actors drawn inexorably toward a bloody climax by forces largely outside their control." Indeed, neither MacArthur nor General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commander in the Philippines, wanted to fight there. But each made decisions which made the battle inevitable: MacArthur by racing madly toward Manila without leaving the Japanese a way out, Yamashita by failing to force the commander of his Naval Defense Force to evacuate the city when he had the chance. Although greatly outnumbered, the Japanese improvised effective defenses which forced the Americans to reluctantly use major artillery to dislodge them. In fact, the American bombardment may have killed more people than the Japanese did, and certainly caused more physical damage. But whatever the factors which conspired to cause it, the destruction of Manila stands as one of the great tragedies of the Second World War. -

In today's Manila Bulletin, Mayor Alfredo S. Lim has announced that the City of Manila will observe with solemnity this coming Sunday the 63rd Anniversary of the Battle for Manila. It will take place at the Freedom Triangle of the Manila City Hall.

After the memorial, Mayor Lim will open Kagitingan at Kalayaan, a photo exhibition of the devastated "Pearl of the Orient." The exhibit will be held at the Bulwagang Rodriguez, on the second floor of Manila City Hall. It is sponsored by the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission in cooperation with the Museo ng Maynila.

The National Historical Institute formally changed the name of "Liberation of Manila" to "Battle for Manila."

Bombs dropped on Manila. From the Wisconsin Digital Archives (SEAiT) -US National Archives

Related links:

The Battle for Manila (February-March, 1945) -

The Battle for Manila - Crossbreak's Journal


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:01 AM | 43 comments

Monday, January 28, 2008


Zhangzhou ware was produced amidst a dramatic era in China: the 200-year trade ban of the Ming Dynasty was lifted, and European colonial powers looking for spices discovered the flourishing trade. As China's largest ceramic kilns catered to the new, affluent European market, smaller kilns—like those from the Zhangzhou district of Fujian province—supplemented the demand of loyal Asian customers.

Rita Tan is an independent researcher on Chinese trade wares ranging from the 10th to 17th centuries. She is currently curating the Villanueva collection of Chinese and Southeast Asian trade wares at the Ayala Museum, and the Ceramic Gallery of Kaisa Heritage Center.

Join Rita Tan, guest curator and President of The Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines, for a talk on the circumstances behind the creation of this sought-after ceramic. The unique traits of Zhangzhou ware will also be explored. Following the talk, Rita Tan will lead a special guided tour of the exhibit Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines.

Zhangzhou Ware Talk & Tour
At the Cone Room - - Yuchengco Museum
February 9, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Free with museum admission.

For more details, call Elma Abrina at 889-1234.

* * *
Yuchengco Museum
RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala & Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues
Makati City, Philippines 1200
Tel: (632) 889-1234


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:52 AM | 8 comments

Sunday, January 27, 2008



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:49 PM | 20 comments


YKL is once again presenting an exciting array of activities at PhotoWorld 2008 in Glorietta's activity center next week, from January 31 to February 5.

There will be photo and costume contests with great prizes and free lectures for all photography enthusiasts, as well as various photo shoot opportunities of mime artists, fashion models, and cosplayers. A wonderful time, indeed, is guaranteed for all..

In addition, everyone will get a chance to learn about Lomography -- the latest craze going on in the photo community. There will be a photo exhibit installation -- Lomo Wall -- and lectures on LOMOGRAPHY, featuring Lomo Manila's leading personalities. The tentative schedule is from February 4 to 5, from 6:00 pm onwards.

A hands on black & white developing lecture with Jay Javier will also be offered at the YKL's booth. Topics to be discussed are tips on how to develop black and white films using Rodinal-type chemicals, and how to improve on your black and white photography. This is slated on Saturday and Sunday (February 2 and 3) from 12:00 noon until 2 pm.

For additional excitement,
YKL is sponsoring a COSPLAY competition on Saturday and Sunday (February 2 and 3) afternoons. For those interested to join this competition, please check out its contest mechanics at

Attendees are also invited to try Fujifilm Finepix point & shoot digital cameras in shooting the fashion models at the Fuji/YKL booth.

As for the photo contest, its mechanics are as follow:

1. This photo contest is open to all -- camera club members, professionals, amateurs, hobbyists, photography students, and lomographers. You may use film or digital cameras. Cell phone cameras are also allowed.

2. The subject/theme – Everything about YKL Photo booth activities such as:

a. Mime Artists

b. Ramp Modeling
c. Cosplay
d. Other Events within YKL Booth

3. Size of Entries – 8 x 10" (8R) - colored or black & white prints,

4. Photo Printing should be done in the following Fujifilm Digital Imaging (FDI) stores only: - Php. 28.00 per 8R

a. FDI Digital Exchange - Glorietta (3rd Level Glorietta 3, Ayala Center)
b. FDI Dela Rosa 1 (G/F Dela Rosa 1 Carpark Bldg. Dela Rosa St., Makati)
c. FDI Dela Rosa 2 (Upper G/F Dela Rosa 2 Carpark Bldg. Dela Rosa St., Makati)
d. FDI Pasay Road (Jackson Bldg. # 926 Arnaiz At., Makati)

5. Entry Form/s can only be obtained through FDI Stores stated
above. Entries should be properly labeled - attached with an entry form (one entry form per photo),

6. Submission of the entries will be at YKL Booth during the PhotoWorld Asia 2008,

7. Deadline of Submission of Entries - Feb. 04, 2008 (Monday) until 12:00 PM,

8. Judging of entries will be on Feb. 04, 2008 - Monday afternoon,

9. For verification – Original Media (negatives, slides, digital file) of the winning entries must be presented to the contest committee before the awarding of prizes,

10. Awarding of prizes will be on Feb. 05, 2008 (Tues) at 5:00 PM – YKL Booth

11. All the decisions of judges are deemed final.


1st Prize : One (1) FinePix A900 Digital Camera (9 MP Effective)
2nd Prize : One (1) FinePix A700 Digital Camera (7.3 MP Effective)
3rd Prize : One (1) Digital Mobile Printer MP-70 (Mobile Printer for Camera Phones with Infrared)

Again, everyone is invited to join this photo contest!

For additional information, visit the YKL Booth at the Glorietta activity center during PhotoWorld 2008.


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:28 AM | 10 comments

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Do you feel like burping after enjoying some watermelon? Does your stomach feel bloated after eating some durian? Do you sometimes feel like running to the toilet after eating a banana?

I received an email from our fellow blogger, Aura, the other day which I'd like to share with everyone. It's about the proper way to eat fruits. Truth be told, never thought that such thing exists.

Actually, I found it quite astounding, especially after making more of an effort to include fruits with my regular diet since a few months ago. This email has certainly proved me wrong. It boats, however, that eating fruits correctly can make us look and feel better, enhance our health, and help us maintain
our normal weight.

Here goes:

We all think eating fruits means just buying them; cutting them into pieces; and then just popping them into our mouths. It's not as easy as that, as it turns out. It's Important to know how and when to eat them.

What is the correct way to eat fruits?

* Not after a meal!

* Fruits should be eaten only on an empty stomach!

If you eaten properly, a fruit can play a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

Fruit is the most important food.

Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.

In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals!

You have heard people complaining - every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat banana I feel like running to the toilet. Such things will never happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Fruits tend to mix with the other putrefying foods that produce gas; hence you will bloat!

Incidence of balding and graying hair, nervous outburst, and having dark circles under the eyes can be minimized by eating fruits on an empty stomach.

There is no such thing as some fruits like orange and lemon are acidic because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did a research on this matter.

If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

As for fruit juices...

When you need to drink fruit juice, drink only fresh fruit juice, not from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get their nutrients at all. You only get to savor its taste.

Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must allow it to mix with your saliva before swallowing it.

You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body.

Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

Now, for some fruits and their healing effects ...

KIWI: Tiny but mighty

This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fiber. Its Vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C, which lowers the risks of colon cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective fruit

Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits; they protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine

Eating 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, prevent and dissolve kidney stones, and
lower cholesterol, as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher

Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost

our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C and potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for Vitamin C

They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Furthermore, on what we drink ...

Drinking cold water after meal = cancer!

Can you believe this?

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.

Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine.

Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Perhaps, now that I know about these things, I'd get more benefits from the fruits that I love and from the refreshments that I drink. Thanks, Aura, for these valuable information!

* * *

posted by Señor Enrique at 12:55 PM | 26 comments

Friday, January 25, 2008


Carlos Celdran has sadly broken the news last week that the Coconut Palace in the CCP Complex has been closed for now.

e said, "My Living La Vida Imelda Tour was unceremoniously re-directed because the Coconut Palace has suddenly switched hands from the Department of Tourism to its 'rightful owner', the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)."

However, the 15-day shut down of the Coconut Palace -- supposedly, for inventory purposes -- came without any specific date for its reopening. And according to some of Carlos' sources, "there is talk of it becoming a casino."

Outrageous, I think!

And Carlos is absolutely right, -- the Coconut Palace is one of our world class tourist attractions. Hopefully, its new administrators will seriously consider keeping it as such and not turn it into another casino.

Now I feel fortunate to have joined the Living La Vida Imelda Tour a year or so ago that included Coconut Palace. It was a wonderful and enlightening experience which I blogged about, A Peek Into Her Madness.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:35 AM | 37 comments

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Besides the occasional blind musicians with their electric guitars and amplifiers, I hardly see other local musicians performing on the streets and parks of Manila. Whereas in Manhattan, especially on weekends, there would always be an individual or band -- from pop to jazz -- who provide live music for the public's entertainment for nothing more than spare change.

There are, of course, certain New York City ordinances on this matter such as restrictions on performing in certain areas or neighborhoods, as well as the use of microphones and amplifiers; hence acoustic makes a tolerable compromise.

Anyway, the absence of a vibrant live music scene on the streets of Manila may have to do with the ubiquitous videoke machines; that local folks would rather hear themselves sing than support an unknown musician. But then again, the blind musicians of Avenida Rizal can easily dispel such notion, for they steadily attract quite a large crowd, including a stream of loose change at the end of their every set.

So now I'm wondering if perhaps, our local music artists just find street performances as simply uncool. But speaking of which, the world famous Cirque Du Soleil has always included in its cast a fair amount of street performance artists.


posted by Señor Enrique at 2:25 PM | 22 comments

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:17 PM | 20 comments

Monday, January 21, 2008


Despite the niche in history that it proudly occupies, as well as being the home to many distinguished families, Tondo, Manila, has always been a subject of place-bashing -- that it's the dangerous, downtrodden underbelly of the city; teeming with crime, vice and disease.

And the fact that many political parties and candidates consider Tondo only in terms of votes, does not do much in terms of helping correct this negative perception. But then again, since Tondo has the densest population in the entire Metro Manila, it's only logical that this district may have more of everything when it comes to practically anything at all -- from good to bad.

Most of my classmates and friends at
Bonifacio Elementary School in Tayuman came from Tondo. They were, for the most part, regular kids like me whose parents were hardworking and ambitious; nurturing the usual set of middle class values common to many Manileños.

These thoughts permeated my mind yesterday while some friends and I walked along Moriones Street from Tutuban to the historical Tondo Church. It was my first time to walk the inner streets of Tondo. I was so energized by the experience that as soon as I got home later that evening, I searched online for additional information on this district. The results I found were colorful and fascinating, indeed.

Although renowned for being the most underdeveloped and economically-challenged district of Manila, Tondo is the birthplace of former president Joseph Estrada, singer and actress Regine Velasquez, businessman and politician Manuel Villar, and Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. Andres Bonifacio was also born here. It was in Tutuban where he conducted the early Katipunan meetings.

The historical Tondo Church serves a great number of devotees, while Plaza Moriones was once considered the best alternative to Quiapo's Plaza Miranda. As for public education, Torres High was one of the best secondary schools in the nation. Supposedly, it produced eminent graduates who excelled in journalism, literature and public service.

In Tondo was also where Lakandula founded his kingdom.

Furthermore, here is what Wikipedia has to say about Tondo's rich history:

The former region of Tondo is over eleven hundred years old. Historically, Tondo already existed in the year 900 AD according to the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, a legal document written in Kawi now housed in the National Museum of the Philippines. According to this document, Tondo was ruled by person called Jayadeva who holds the Sanskrit title Senapati or "admiral".

In 1279 AD, the remnants of the Song Empire under the leadership of Grand General Zhang Shijie established Lusung Guo or "The Lesser Song Empire" at its capital Tungdu after their defeat from the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen. Tondo became so prosperous that around the year 1500 AD, the Kingdom of Brunei attacked it and established the city of Maynila on the opposite bank of Pasig River as the new capital of Luzon Empire. The traditional rulers of Tondo, the Lakandula, retained their titles and property but the real political power now resides in the House of Soliman, the Radjahs of Manila.

After the Spaniards conquered the Luzon Empire in 1571 AD, Tondo was initially included in the creation of the Province of Pampanga, the first colonial province carved out of the former empire. In census conducted by Miguel de Loarca in 1583 AD, Tondo was reported to have spoken the same language as the natives of the province of Pampanga. Institute of National Language commissioner Jose Villa Panganiban once wrote that the dividing line between Kapampangan and Tagalog was the Pasig River, and that Kapangpangan was therefore originally spoken in Tondo. Eventually, Tondo became a separate province in the later half of the Spanish colonial era.

Tondo, was one of the first provinces to declare rebellion against Spain in year 1896. In 1911, under the American tutelage, there was a major reorganization of political divisions, and the province of Tondo was dissolved, and its towns given to the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan. Today, Tondo just exists as a district in the City of Manila.

I will try to explore more of Tondo during the coming months, and as always, share my discoveries. I'm confident that much like Binondo, Quiapo and Santa Cruz, I will find many points of interest here (besides its famous Divisoria), as well as meet some of its charming personalities.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:17 AM | 45 comments

Sunday, January 20, 2008


The sudden afternoon rain sent most devotees seeking shelter inside the Tondo Church, while others rushed over to the neighboring fast food eateries. Meanwhile, there were those who braved the rain and brought out their pedicabs bedecked with greens, fresh flowers and icons of the infant Jesus. If Quiapo has the Black Nazarene, Tondo has the Sto. Nino.

The feast day of Sto. Niño in Tondo is celebrated on the third Sunday of January. It is one of Manila's biggest and heavily attended fiestas, not only because Tondo is the most populous district in the city and poorest but perhaps because of the many miraculous anecdotes connected with the Sto. Niño of Tondo.

It is celebrated with a fluvial procession that usually attracts thousands of visitors.
Nick Joaquin, in his Almanac for Manileños, described a typical celebration as follows:

“At four in the afternoon on the visperas (meaning the Saturday before) the Sto. Niño of Tondo is borne to the sea by a dancing crowd among which groups of women in pastora hats, or in katipuneda attire: white camisa, red saya. The dancing is through sunny streets hung with bunting and here and there will be a giant heart of bell that opens up as the Sto. Niño passes to unloose a shower of petals. Everyone dances, even the barefoot men bearing the image and the boys bearing standard or farol."

As for the anecdotes, legend has it that during the Spanish-American war, the Tondo church was used by the American forces as their quarters. However, their stay was no more than 24 hours because they had to vacate the church since everyone contacted smallpox after having occupied it.

During the Second World War, the Japanese turned the church into their headquarters. But much like the American colonial forces, the Japanese had to abandon the church when they could no longer endure the unexplainable sounds of crying babies in the middle of the night.

And during the liberation of Manila in February 1945, the Japanese troops set the church on fire. Msgr. J. Jovellanos, the parish priest, evacuated the Church taking with him the image of the Sto. Niño. Miraculously, the Tondo devotees who followed the image and Msgr. J. Jovellanos escaped unscathed the crossfire of bullets and mortal shells.

I didn't stick around for the evening procession because of the rain, but I intend to go back another day to visit the church and climb its stairs to touch the antique image of the Sto. Nino as Pusa of Manila Daily Photo had attempted to do last October.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:51 PM | 18 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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