Archive for the ‘Heritage Conservation Society Youth’ Category

Pardon me if I tried hard to make the title sound as politically correct as possible. Hurting religious feelings in my country might have me end up in jail, you know. This entry by the way, to explain the redundancy, is all about my online posts about Pope Francis and his visit in the Philippines. I collated all of them and put it here.

I must say, I am blessed for having part of the two of the biggest events for the Catholic Church in a span of two weeks. A week before the Pope’s visit, I was lucky to witness the Translacion De Nazareno. I thought of putting balance to my ideas about the Creator, that I decided to watch the movie The Theory of Everything, in the hopes of having Stephen Hawking and his theories bring me back into my agnostic and pragmatic self.

And knowing who I am based on my previous posts (kindly refer to the articles: Atheism According to Red Tani : a Blunder of Biblical Proportions, and My Lenten Reflection , I couldn’t still fathom how The Pontiff made me do all these.

The failed trip to his mass at the Manila Cathedral forced me to just wait at the corner of Roxas Blvd. and Quirino Ave. for his motorcade; but I still failed to have a glimpse of him because he was on-board the enclosed van and not on the Pope Mobile due to the rain.

I waited there for more than an hour and I had an idea of how it feels to be in there, along with the crowd, media personnel and other photographers who are all excited to see just even his face for a brief moment as his motorcade passed by. It was thrilling, and fascinating at the same time.

A couple of days after, me and other volunteers got a special access to be as near as we can get for his concluding mass at the Quirino Grandstand. The experience is really different when you’re in there, versus the feeling that you have when you watch the Papal activities on TV. Both of which are solemn and holy, of course. To see Pope Francis that close is definitely priceless.

It is an awesome experience overall. This is one of the most memorable events in my life, a bucket list worthy of an event.

As Morgan Freeman said in the the movie Bruce Almighty “If you want to see a miracle, be the miracle.” Well, guys, Pope Francis has done it during his visit. I am really thankful to have been a part of this momentous event.

My Facebook Status: January 19  –  

“We Survived 15+ hours while at the concluding mass of ‪#‎PopeFrancisPH‬ at the Quirino Grandstand, I only had one single pack of Graham crackers and small shots of water to drink for my fuel – while having the most difficult time in my volunteering experience in finding the way around the Rizal Park to get in with the call time as early 3AM and having entered the are only at 630AM (and yeah, the mass started at around 3PM; and ushering thousands of overly eager pilgrims and guarding the Blessed Sacrament; and standing under the monsoon rains for more than 7 hours while at it. But if you ask me if it was all worth it? I’d answer YES in a heartbeat.”

And as I was reposting a GMA Network Online article, I added:

“I really have to give it to this guy. I only saw snippets of his homily in Tacloban. And then a few clips showing how the Taclobanons prepared for him. That is one big display of resilience and faith. Amidst the threatening strong winds and rains by Typhoon ‪#‎Amang‬, The Pope did not fail to give the Yolanda Survivors HOPE.

I hope he lands back safe to Manila.

And then some ninja sliced some onions nearby. ‪#‎PopeFrancisPH.”

And this, for a Manila Bulletin article online by Reina Reyes :

May he be the catalyst for our social healing. I hope my fellow Filipinos use this momentum to change how we behave as a nation. From the way that the Filipinos showed their discipline (as it appears on all news cameras, but being with them in the grandstand is entirely another story), to how both believers and non-believers of the Catholic Church showed respect, admiration, and fascination to The Pope. This religious euphoria may stay with us and leave once The Pope goes back to Vatican, but let’s not end it there.”

“I don’t believe in God, but I want to believe in Pope Francis. I want to believe that he is sincere and genuinely open to dialogue, reform, and accountability. I want to believe that he has the necessary political astuteness and goodwill to usher in structural and spiritual reform in the Curia, if not throughout the Church. I want to believe that it is possible to change a fossilized dysfunctional organizational culture in the course of a lifetime. Because then, maybe-just maybe-it can be done here, too.” – Reina Reyes, The Francis effect : An atheist takes a no-biased, non-deified look at the rockstar pontiff the Catholic Church is in love with.

Go check the videos and read the one I did below this first one:

#PapalVisit2015
#PopeFrancisPH

Visit more photos here at :

The Papal Visit 2015 Experience

More pictures here: Traslacion De Nazareno 2015

 

I also want to share to you these amazing works by none other than Mr. Fung Yu:

http://www.360journals.com/360/Nazarene/2015/nazarene2015.html

And a commentary about Traslacion by Sir. Xiao Chua:

A lot of things may be said about this festival. Most of them I do not want to touch and discuss anymore.

One thing is for sure for me. The devotees of the Black Nazarene showed their force of faith. A combination of beauty in chaos, solemnity, resilience, that have spanned decades in practice.

What it did for me? It satisfied my curiosity. I went there not as a devout Catholic (for I am not a devout Catholic). I came there as an observer, and a fascinated one I was.

As much as I would want to give an explanation and my comment as to how this undoubtedly unique Filipino festival is being held, I can only give you pictures and let them answer your questions for me.

As what my colleague Berniemack Arellano, the man behind Habagat Central had put it, it had a “Gradual increase, a bursting climax at the Poon Nazareno, and then a sudden drop of energy towards solemnity, then cleaning up the mess. It is an interesting anthropological study to look at on the procession’s nature opposing that of Cebu’s solemn and lengthy foot and fluvial procession.”

It was surreal. We waited from 8am at the balcony of the National Museum, and people were already walking to and fro the Andas, incessantly. We were lucky enough to be allowed to have our station there as it offered the best vantage point that day. The Padre Burgos Street was so full of human activities. We had at least a couple of short snacks, one full lunch, and a few combined bottles and glasses of energy drink, coffee, water and soda before we saw the head of the Andas at around 1pm.

And then that beautiful chaotic moment came. You can’t help but have goosebumps, as people wave their white towels, clap their hands, shout their faith. Some devotees are climbing up the Andas with full fervor and determination to at least touch a part of the image, but some were even luckier to kiss the cross, or touch the face of the Jesus Nazareno.

When the Andas reached the part of the street where I was directly standing at, time seemed to have stopped. I was staring at the Andas, and it captivated me for an ample number of seconds before I realized that I am holding my camera and had to shoot photos.

True enough, as what the broadcasts have mentioned in the previous years, I saw how solemn the rear part of the Traslacion is compared to the very chaotic scene at the front where the rope pulling the Andas is being held by the devotees. For almost an hour, you will see what seems to be a complete disorder and confusion. Ocassionally you could hear the devotees shouting “Viva! Viva!” as if doing a warcry to rally their spirits whenever they get tired. And everytime the Hijos atop the Andas blow their whistle three times as their signal, a wave of devotees from the back run straight toward the Andas like a mini stampede to push it forward.

And then right after, when the Andas has already moved forth, you’ll see a few meters back from the Andas, the females, young and old, together with some elder males, and children who could not be in front due to their frail physical conditions, are praying together. And it was magical. The Andas will bring your adrenaline out, and then leave you there just like that and will make you wonder just how on earth did that kind of silence follow the rowdy crowd in front? Imagine watching a firework display that just goes out just when you are about hyped up and ready for the finale – but in a good, solemn way.

The entire Traslacion covered the streets from the Finance Rd, going straight to Padre Burgos, and it took almost two long hours before it reached the part of the City Hall. Kudos to the MMDA street sweepers for their good job of making sure that the streets where the Traslacion is passing through are kept clean after.

I always tell myself that I am an agnostic. Probably because that is what is convenient for me. But at that moment, when I was witnessing with my very own eyes the devotion of my fellow Filipinos, I told myself that this is the best time to go out of my comfort zone, feel the vibe and savor the moment where one’s strongest faith is displayed. A spiritual pat on the back, if you may.

Call it what you want. A miracle. Fanaticism. Display of faith. Craziness. For me, it was just surreal. I cannot judge the people who do the “Panata sa Nazareno”. Neither can I say that being in there made me a little bit more holy. But I have satiated my curiosity. And I think I’m good with that.

Some even say the event itself is over-hyped by the media? Now, that’s another story. You’ve got to experience it for yourself. 🙂

#Traslacion
#Nazareno2015
#HeritagePH

Personally, #selfiEscolta is, yes, one significant hashtag. I got the chance to be a part of this ‘huge’ project, work with very brilliant, talented and committed young and old people alike who share the same passion and love for heritage. Here’s a shout out to the following groups who coordinated with the Heritage Conservation Society – Youth in making this event successful:

ESCOLTA REVIVAL MOVEMENT: Escolta Commercial Association Inc.; Heritage Conservation Society-Youth; 98B COLLABoratory; International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). (You may check their profiles on Facebook for more details)

This event foretold in my previous blog :  I can say, working at the ground control and getting in charge of all the activities happening at Escolta Street during that day is one of the most fulfilling and satisfying moments of me being involved in public service and heritage advocacy – no matter how tiring it was. The last time I have been in charge of a big event like this is when I became the head of the Organizing Committee of our High School Alumni Homecoming, in November 2011. I remember posting a blog a few years ago about the things that I want to do in life.  My Daydreaming entry, which I published exactly two years ago, says how much I wanted this:

This was during one of my early solo visits in Intramuros years ago. I used to sport long hair back then. 🙂

Join a force that cultivates peace, people empowerment, anything for the good. I’ve done some ‘kawang gawa’ in the past and I think I got addicted to it. But I never want to belong to any radical activist group. I’d like to have Kara’s job (I so envy her!), but I fear that too much curiosity with the people from that profession, of being a rebel for a cause, would cause me to have my thoughts inclined to the ‘dark side’ so to speak.

Be a Tourist Guide. I am a Carlos Celdran fan. Well, at least of his job. I used to fantasize about me guiding the tourists of Intramuros and Fort Bonifacio, while I share with them the stories behind the history of the place. I am a Rizal fan, and for some reason, I only want to be a tourist guide for Fort Santiago, Intramuros, and Luneta. Sure, I would like to be a tourist guide all over the country, but if given a chance to choose, I’d choose the places that I’ve mentioned.”

I don’t know if I subconsciously made the Law of Attraction work for me and let the Universe conspire with all my desires, or maybe it’s really destined to be, but becoming a member of HCS-Y is definitely gave me the chance to get closer to my daydream. 🙂

So what actually is #selfiEscolta? I won’t be posting more of my own pictures now aside from these two. Instead, I will ask you to search the net using the hashtag #selfiEscolta and discover on your own how netizens participated.  🙂

The filtered image of the tram brings back the old glory of Escolta

The tram used to have its regular route passing along Calle Escolta during the street’s golden years.

The vintage Buick adds to the nostalgic feel of the event

This vintage Buick is such a camwhore. 😀

 

One of the most memorable photos of the night. That feeling of being there as a fan, and as part of the organizers of the event that they have participated at the same time is worth more than any talent fee for me – another reason why I do stuff like this pro bono, aside from the fact that you are doing this ‪#‎forloveofheritage‬. A lot of new and upcoming performers participated in the event as well. Franchize also hyped up the crowd with his rap skills last night. I grew up listening to the songs of these Tres Marias: Bayang, Cooky and the legendary Lolita Carbon. Man, that period when they were playing their set kind of gave a second wind to my already tired body after being in charge of the ground control for more than 15 hours. Makes you feel like just closing your eyes and absorb the good, relaxing, nostalgic music.

 

However, since all you will see are #selfiEscolta pictures only all over the internet, I decided to post here, you guessed it right – vids. Credits to the respective news networks and advertisers that shot their videos featuring Escolta that I have collated. Videos. Para maiba naman. 🙂

Feaures on News Networks: 

1. 24 Oras: Vintage items, tampok sa Saturday Flea Market sa Escolta / Mar 9, 2013

2. State of the Nation March 28, 2014

3. Escolta Paandar May 15, 2014

4. Travel Thursday: Bringing Escolta Back To Its Former Glory, Solar News June 19, 2014

5. State of the Nation Paandar / Jun 27, 2014 (announcement that the event is postponed)

6. State of the Nation Paandar / July 5, 2014

Also, here is a music video from the up and coming singer, Quest, which was also shot mostly in Escolta:

Lastly, TV Ads! 🙂

Coffee-Mate 2014

AMA w/ Daniel Padilla 2014… err… okaaay. 🙂

Coke w/ Nikki Gil 2009 — this is just classic.

Penshoppe 2009

We promised that this is not going to be the last. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg. To revive Escolta and the rest of Manila, a lot of work still needs to be done. It will take a lot of volunteer efforts, led by people with the burning passion and desire to see the Queen of Manila’s Streets rise again.

(Note: I didn’t want to peg this as some scary blog entry. However, it seems like the one of the most interested and popular things about MET is its story of being haunted. Also, to justify, some inexplicable things happened, while I was shooting pictures inside; and as I am writing about MET now.)  ~~,

UPDATE:  Here was the recent photos from this year’s MET Clean-Up Drive

More photos at my HCS-Y* : The Manila Metropolitan Theater

IMG_6504

I joined the FREE Guided Royal Postal Heritage Tour yesterday, headed by Sir Rence Chan. A part of the tour’s itinerary was to visit and see what is inside the Manila Metropolitan Theater, more popularly known as MET. The experience was a mixture of amazement, regret and disappointment. I wish I was able to watch a performance in there when I was young.

MET, during its golden years, had a great reputation as one of the best theaters in the country, and could be lined up with the other equally awesome theaters in the world, I believe. Now I see it as Manila’s lost gem – forgotten, neglected, abandoned, dilapidated, after losing all its luster and purpose in the fast paced modern life of the Metro. 

And disappointingly, quoting an article from wiki, “It regained its original use and prestige as a cultural center and finally closed down in 1996 due to ownership disputes between the city administration and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). On June 23, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Manila mayor Alfredo Lim re-opened the theater after extensive renovations. The Theater used again once for the Wolfgang Band Concert in 2011. But in 2012, the theater is closed again due to decays inside the building.” – Art Deco in the Philippines. Manila: ArtPositAsia, by Lourdes Montinola

Had there been no administrative disputes (and the misuse and incorrect allocations of government funds), the MET could have been one of the remaining performing arts venues that our race can be proud of. The renovation and restoration of MET, though, is a tall order, considering the lack fund of the Manila government and the individuals behind the MET administration.

Besides the desire to capture the MET ‘occupants’ from another realm (lol), I took a lot of pictures of what is inside MET, in the hopes that I can also show you what Manila is losing, if they cannot find ways to restore, renovate and reopen this magnificent structure. It’s more than just the architectural design, and the masterpiece artworks inside. It’s all about the prestige that MET has brought to the country during its days. No ghost photos, unfortunately.

As I was saying, I didn’t intend to make this to scare, but then again, I just couldn’t avoid it. In fact, here is one interesting article excerpt I found online, while researching for some FACTS about MET: 

(credits to  clarencetuvera of http://www.yourghoststories.com)

“Many of the old costumes from previous performances were found in the stock rooms. Apparently, Rolando simply left behind all 17 years-worth of costumes, hand props, stage furniture, a whole library of TP translated works, and the final stage set of Twelfth Night at the MET warehouse to rot. Two other adjacent rooms contain all the costumes, hand props, furniture, musical instruments, old posters and programs of all productions that had been staged at the MET since it first opened to the public.

Two years ago, a TV network featured the old MET for its Halloween special. I got misty eyed as I saw the shell of what was once considered the Diva of architecture in the old Manila district. Apparently, rehabilitation work is again ongoing, and several construction workers who mostly stayed and slept on site, were interviewed. They told chilling stories of how a “performance” would play out at ungodly hours of the night, mostly around two. They recounted how they would be awakened by the dialogues delivered, and arias sung by ghostly performers in the complete darkness of the now abandoned art deco Opera House.

Note: I tried to attach a photo of Dame Ella Luansing as she appeared in one production where she wore a veiled costume similar to the one worn by Divina that night, but I don’t know how. The only difference between Divina’s and Ella’s costume is that Ella’s costume in the photo is purple.”

Source: http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=18857

I encourage you to read the entire entry here at : The Dame. Ella’s image found from the http://teatropilipinoccp.blogspot.com

Aaand… to add more goosebumps than what you are having right now, you may watch this iWitness episode about MET:

 

To everyone, I encourage you to participate in the monthly tour inside MET. You may follow Sir Lawrence Chan to get news and updates about the tours. Also, I would be very disappointed of you just satiate yourself by looking only at the photos. Visit the place, and have your say about having the MET  restored. Aside from the interesting news and details that you’ll know about MET, from different sources, it’s still a unique experience to walk along those hallways, go up the staircases, look at the windows, be at the place itself, and imagine the MET as if you were in the animated movie Anastasia’s Once Upon a December scene. That, minus the musicale, and Anastasia herself. 🙂

SIGN THIS ONLINE PETITION: https://www.change.org/ph/mga-petisyon/honorable-joseph-erap-estrada-restoration-of-manila-metropolitan-theater 

#fortheloveofheritage

The tour was held on April 6, 2014

This blog has been long overdue. I keep telling myself since the very moment that I joined the Heritage Conservation Society Youth, that I would be blogging all the trips and activities that I will be participating in. Two months passed and this will only be my first entry. 🙂 

More pictures available in this FB album:

HCS-Y Heritage Tour: The Santos-Andres House in Antipolo

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The family members of Roman Santos, who originally lived in Navotas build their home in 1917. The heirs of Don Roman Santos decided to have the house literally transferred to Antipolo City. 

I got the chance to join this exclusive trip again. Thanks to my friends in the Heritage Conservation Society Youth. If there are inanimate creations that I could fall in love with, this house has got to be one of them. 🙂 #HCSY #fortheloveofheritage

According to Sir Vic Roman Santos, this “santo” has two heads. The other one depicts a sad and a face in pain

 

I wonder how elegant you’d feel if you did a number one in here?

And here are some of the treats that Sir Vic Roman-Santos shared to us: 

***

Sir Roman Santos points at the kid’s name tag as he tells the story of one of his family members who share the same name as the kid’s – Joaquin.