Saturday, January 25, 2014

Senses in Glan

Reminiscing my short yet very memorable moments in Mindanao particularly in Region 12, let me share some very nice photographs of hidden paradise in Saranggani Province. These photographs are nicely shot by Chief Inspector Romeo Maltezo Jr. The two of us were very lucky to be part of the group that visited the place.

Photo courtesy of Romeo Maltezo Jr

I was told that for about an hour sea travel from this spot in the Philippines,
one will already reach Kota Kinabalo, Malaysia.
Mindanao, like any other place in the Philippines, is a haven of hidden spots which I call paradise. This one is in Saranggani Province, the province where the world's famous boxer, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is a congressman.

I fear waters that's why I did not try water sports. I did not plunge in the crystal clear waters, which my companions told me that I missed more than half of my life. 

Photo courtesy of Romeo Maltezo Jr
They told me these jet-ski belong to the Mayor of Glan and of course, Manny Pacquiao. Thanks to the two of you for lending us these wonderful adventure.  

Photo courtesy of Romeo Maltezo Jr

Our firefighters from Alabel Fire Station, Saranggani Province.
This is one of the places where they train for water search and rescue.
The municipality of Glan in Saranggani, where we sojourned and where these pictures are taken, have very clean sea waters. Sand is white and not a plenty of people occupy the beach as that in Boracay. I enjoy nature, of course, if there is less disturbance.

I may not be from Mindanao but my heart belongs to it. It is my wish that hidden treasures in this part of southern Philippines, town of Glan, be preserved and protected for the next generations. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lady at the End of the Tunnel

The place within the fort is called Reducto de San Francisco Javier. Guess where this tunnel is heading to?

This tunnel and ravelin were added in 1773 during renovations in Fort Santiago. This area protected part of the riverside and the seashore.

Ravelin, another entrance after the tunnel. Then, come to read those familiar lines.

Then to Our Lady of Guadalupe..

A quaint chapel in the Reducto de San Francisco Javier constructed in 1773.

This fortification was restored in the 1980's and has been converted into a shrine for the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A boy sits in a cannon on top of Reducto  de San Rancisco Javier in Fort Santiago, Manila.

Cannons were placed on platform on top. Gunpowder and ammunition were stored in chambers below. 

Reducto de San Francisco Javier is part of Fort Santiago. Once a Spanish fort during the colonial period formed part as protection during the war and now included in the long history of Manila City. 

Visit Fort Santiago. Visit the City of Manila, whose present Mayor, Joseph Estrada, was once President of the Republic of the Philippines. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome to Fort Santiago

If there will be a place to visit that I will surely enjoy, that is a museum. In one of my visits to the historic fort in the Philippines, I got a lot to share and let me do it little by little.

Although the flyer I obtained may not be enough to tell the volume of stories that this generation needs to know, let me welcome you to Fort Santiago!

"Kuta" means fort.

Fort Santiago is open daily at 8:00 a.m.
Walk into one of the oldest Hispanic stone fortresses in the Philippines. Fort Santiago is located in the northern part of the Walled City. In pre-colonial times, this was the site of Raja Soliman's "kuta" or fort. The Spaniards under the term of Governor General Gomez Perez Dasmarinas fortified what was originally stone structures. Other governors general continued to modernize Fort Santiago's defenses which makes it probably the best laid-out portion of the walls. 

While inside Fort Santiago one can ride a kalesa. Kalesa, used as means of transportation in the colonial era, remains part of the historic Intramuros which tourists can try for themselves. In some parts of Manila, kalesa can still be seen as means of transportation like what I saw in Recto.

Comfort room labeled in Spanish with English translation.
Guardia Civil
Instead of wearing modern day uniforms, security guards around the Fort Santiago wear the colonial design of the guardia civil. The same holds true for security guards along the Intramuros area.

Visit the Fort Santiago and there will be more to know.

For inquiries:

Intramuros Visitors Center, Fort Santiago, Fort Santiago Office, Plaza San Luis Complex cor Real & Gen. Luna Streets, Intramuros, Manila

Telephone: (632) 527-4084/ 527-4088

Friday, January 3, 2014

A European Spirit

After 333 years under the Spanish colonization, who can tell that we do not have a European influence? The longing for European things and symbols remains with the Filipino culture as always. Even having the longest tradition of Christmas, we still don't forget to accentuate places frequented by people with something that reminds us of the west. Just look at this bridge. This foot bridge connects garage and transport terminal to The Block, part of SM North Edsa. 

A touch of London