Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Intramuros Grand Marian Procession 2015

The Intramuros Grand Marian Procession features images depicting Mary, Mother of God, under her various different titles. The 35th IGMP was celebrated on the 6th of December. Among the images present was the Nuestra Senora de Soledad de Porta Vaga, Queen of Cavite, and the Our Lady of Pillar, from the home parish of the current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Metro Manila, Cardinal Tagle. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Silang: The Food Bastion (Part Two)

Our Lady of Candelaria Parish Church, Silang, Cavite, built from 1637-1639
Unlike most of the cities and towns that border the ever-expanding Manila-centred metropolis, Silang manages to maintain its personality, with its soul still intact. The town center, although filled with a lot of cars (even the town plaza dedicated to Jose Rizal, one of the country's national heroes, was slowly becoming a parking lot) still has the feel of its "oldness." On one side of the town center stands the Parish of Our Lady of Candelaria. A typical baroque church, the stone church was built by Juan De Salazar, a Jesuit, from 1637-1639 and was dedicated to the Our Lady of Candelaria in 1640. The church also became the headquarters of the Civil Guard of the Spanish forces after being driven away by revolutionaries under Gen. Vito Belarmino from the 5th to the 6th of September 1896. 

The Retablo Mayor (Main Altar)
The church has three Rococo-style altars built from 16443 to 1663; one main altar which houses the image of the town's patroness and depicts scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The other two side altars are dedicated to martyrs, women saints, and saints from the New Testament (Left) and Jesuit saints (Right). 

Detail of the right side altar, bottom center mural featuring Saint Teresa of Avila

The Left Side Altar
According to local tradition, the image of the lady of Candelaria was found inside a box in the mountains of Silang in 1640 by an indio named Andres. He then gave it to another indio when that said indio was awestruck by the magnificent beauty of the image of the Virgin Mary. A tabernacle was built for the virgin. 

Years after, Andres returned only to find to his great dismay and horror that the tabernacle no longer held the image of the Virgin Mary. After seeking forgiveness, he then went on to look for the image and found it. The image disappeared again for nine times for the next few years until the Jesuit rector advised the town people to make a vigil and to bring the image back to the church in a festive mood, a practice that still lives on as part of the town's tradition in honoring their patroness every February 1-3 as part of the feast day of the Lady of Candelaria and her "enthronement" in the altar of the town's parish.

Rizal Monument
On the other side of the plaza and right beside the Church entrance is the town's municipal hall and the plaza and monument erected and dedicated to the memory of Jose Rizal, one of the national heroes of the country, a common practice during the American Period when each town sported plazas and monuments dedicated to local heroes, with a large number of them dedicated to Rizal. 

Facing the church are some old houses, a reminder of Silang's age, and a silent guard to the onward processional march of time.

One of the old houses in Silang

The roots of Silang are traced by tradition to the time when ten Bornean datus migrated northward on board balangays and ended in Silang though Taal Lake, which was then connected to waters of Manila Bay. Its first settlers were Gat Hingiw, his wife Gat Kaliwanag and their seven children. Their children moved to different places of the town and established their respective barangays. Gat Pandan stayed in the community and developed the area.

During the start of the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, tracts of land were given by the monarch of Spain to the Spanish conquistadores and their descendants who collected tributes from the people residing in their acquired lands. Silang originally belonged to the encomienda (land grant) of Diego Jorge de Villalobos. His Silang territory extended to what is today the towns of Carmona, Amadeo, Indang, Alfonso, General Trias and Tanza.

The Silang territory was later purchased from King Ferdinand VI of Spain for 2,000 pesetas on March 9, 1746 to prevent it from becoming a "friar land" like the other towns of Cavite, executed through the representation of Bernabe Javier Manahan and Gervacio dela Cruz. From then on, Silang was governed by gobernadorcillos, Capitan Municipals, Presidente Municipal, and then Municipal Mayors. 

Silang now lies as a sleepy town slowly being awakened by the ever growing reaches of "development", but it could sleep for a little bit more in the cold breeze of the mountains nearby as its people still continue on with the old ways of farming, not wanting to surrender to the calls of industrialization. 

SOUTH BIKE is open to your comments, suggestions, corrections, and other related material.
SOUTH BIKE owns all rights to pictures, videos, and other related media published on this blog unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Silang: The Food Bastion (Part One)

We arrived in Silang at around three in the afternoon, after several grueling hours of traffic (actually just an hour of traffic brought about by some funeral marches in Silang's two-lane road) and smoke. It was quite a relief, though, that the town was cool during this time of the year, a little Baguio in the South. 

Just as we were nearing the town proper, we noticed an abundance in food places; ranging from restaurants to cafes to small eateries that serve local delicacies, one of it is the local favorite, Sizzling Sisig, probably springing from the large number of farms in Silang and its nearby farms, giving its nickname meaning.

Our first destination in Silang, however, was no normal eatery. Unlike the majority of restaurants that serve local delicacies we went to Kojiro

The front part of KOJIRO


Also known as the Kojiro Snack and Food House (or Kakko Warui Kojiro Ojiisan) is a Japanese Restaurant located in  M. Belen St. Poblacion II (PUTOL), Silang, Cavite. From the town proper, the snack house is just a small walk away. The snack house is quite small, with just around seven tables. Wooden interiors and the cool weather gives it an aura of eating in some small family-owned restaurant in rural Japan. 

The NAPOLITAN SPAGHETTI, A small pan fried spaghetti dish generously topped with mozzarella cheese
and egg as its base (Php 80.00) 
NABE YAKI RAMEN, A delightfully tasty hot pot ramen dish (Php 100.00)
The dishes were quite sumptuous, despite its extremely cheap prices, making it a no brainer that people, students and workers alike, were flocking to the restaurant. The Nabe Yaki Ramen is a delicious dish mixed with corn and vegetables swimming in tasty broth. The dishes were a delightful treat for both the eyes and the palate. The snack house's specialty, though, is not the ramen nor the spaghetti but it's small yet yummy Koroke

The KOROKE, the most famous specialty of Kojiro (Php. 12.00/pc.)
Koroke or Japanese Croquettes is a simple potato deep fried treat garnished with seasoning and what I assume is Japanese Mayonnaise. If you ever go to Silang I do highly recommend this place. Cars are not allowed in the street portion leading to Kojiro, however, so you may need to find another nearby parking place, which may be quite hard since road spaces are actually limited. 

(Random note and blog bloopers: there's another nearby local eatery that proudly announces that it serves Ramen in the same street as Kojiro. Thinking it was Kojiro, I quickly entered the place, only to be surprised that it wasn't the place I was looking for.)


 #87 B. Reyes St. Poblacion II (PUTOL), Silang, Cavite

Open from Sunday to Friday, 12:00-7:30 PM, 
last orders for the day will be taken at 7:00 PM

SOUTH BIKE is open to your comments, suggestions, corrections, and other related material.
SOUTH BIKE owns all rights to pictures, videos, and other related media published on this blog unless stated otherwise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The hound that is DPWH

Hounds, as known, are very loyal to their masters and in this case, the hound is the Department of Public Works and Highways and its true master is nothing more than wealth and the moneyed people. 

Why else would they insist on disobeying cease-and-desist orders, or reject laws, or even turn a deaf ear to the various talks between the department, the NCCA, and the people of Sariaya when they can't even raise a single finger against the Manila Yacht Club, who appropriates for themselves public land for their parking lot and in the process hinders the development projects planned for the entirety of Roxas Boulevard? 

It is just gross injustice, a revelation in fact, or rather just proof that, as always, in this country money trumps law and the public good.

Sariaya, Quezon as viewed from the bell tower of the historic St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church. Shown here is the municipal hall and the Rizal Plaza
As Early as March of this year, talks have been finalized between the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the concerned people of Sariaya, Quezon regarding a certain road widening project which will ultimately damage/affect several structures and properties of great cultural importance, such as the San Francisco de Assisi Church Complex (built 1784), the Sariaya Municipal Hall (built 1931, designed by Arch. Juan M. Arellano, the same man behind the design of many important structures such as the Metropolitan Theater and the Manila Central Post Office), the Rizal Monument and Plaza (Inaugurated December 30, 1924), and the Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House (1931, designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro) 

The decision? No road widening project would be done and only certain loading and unloading bays would be constructed. Despite all the agreements and cease-and-desist orders from the NCCA, along with the construction of alternative road projects, such as the 7.2-km Sariaya bypass road and the 24.7-km Quezon-Batangas ecotourism road, the DPWH still stubbornly insists on pushing through with the road widening projects, despite violating Republic Act 10066

A Lawless State

It is no wonder that people still see laws as nothing more as mere guidelines and suggestions. How could this nation obey the laws when the people within the government are violating them? What kind of government expects its citizens to obey laws that they themselves trample upon? It was not the first time that DPWH has damaged or even completely destroyed heritage structures.

In 2004, DPWH "insisted on constructing a highway over a series of exceptional, well preserved stone bridges along the provincial road originally built during the Spanish colonial period. They consulted the community before finalizing the highway design, but ignored all suggestions to save the bridges." 

In 2005, the DPWH "was bent on demolishing a row of heritage houses to widen the highway that cuts through the town center and passes perilously close to historic Baclayon Church."

In 2007, DPWH raised roads around the Lazi Church (Built in 1857) in Siquijor which only endangered the whole structure.

And in 2014, DPWH committed a whole bunch of blunders, from attempting to demolish a 200-year old brick bridge in Nueva Vizcaya to cutting down a century old tree without a permit nor proper coordination with the local government, the NCCA, and other related groups. Besides this, certain houses in Quiapo which are over a century old were threatened by plans of road widening.

It's a whole history of DPWH being a lowly hound that eats everything in its path, showing its brute power, all brawn and no brains.

On the other hand, miles away from Sariaya, Manila faces another problem. This time around it is the Department of Public Works and Highways which are now so powerless against the Manila Yacht Club. In a certain post of Mr. Carlos Celdran on his public account, DPWH's development project in Roxas Boulevard has been affected by the Manila Yacht Club, causing in the halt of construction of bike lanes and other developments in the famous beach front road, by insisting that the project would affect the club's "historic" parking lot. And thus, DPWH shows the only thing that could stop it; not laws, nor petitions, nor even cease-and-desist orders from the government... it is money and rich individuals that hold sway over DPWH.



REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10066, Section 2.

"In the pursuit of cultural preservation as a strategy for maintaining Filipino identity, this Act shall pursue the following objectives:

(a)Protect, preserve, conserve and promote the nation's cultural heritage, its property and histories, and the ethnicity of local communities;

(b)Establish and strengthen cultural institutions; and

(c)Protect cultural workers and ensure their professional development and well-being.

The State shall likewise endeavor to create a balanced atmosphere where the historic past coexists in harmony with modern society. It shall approach the problem of conservation in an integrated and holistic manner, cutting across all relevant disciplines and technologies. The State shall further administer the heritage resources in a spirit of stewardship for the inspiration and benefit of the present and future generations."

SOUTH BIKE is open to your comments, suggestions, corrections, and other related material.
SOUTH BIKE owns all rights to pictures, videos, and other related media published on this blog unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bayan o Sarili: Heneral Luna

Bayan O Sarili: A digital cutout work made by yours truly

"Negosyo o Kalayaan, Bayan o Sarili, Mamili Ka!" shouted Heneral Luna (as masterfully played by John Arcilla) in the 2015 film named after the movie's main protagonist, the great late General Antonio Luna. The film tackled a vital part of history, while striking a chord in the hearts of the people as they start to mull over the future of the country in the upcoming election. 

Delightful enough, the movie managed to gather a large audience, despite being a historical film. As mentioned before in the movie, Jose Rizal, making a historical film is almost akin to financial suicide because who in God's name would even watch such a "boring" film? Tarog managed to challenge that notion. Taking liberties, he mixed touches of the old Filipino humor to tickle the Filipino funny bone and at the same time added dabs of drama and action that directly pointed a spotlight at the painful pangs of the nation's birth in 1899; a nation still struggling who or what it is, and the men and women who served in the Filipino-American War.

The film also opens to the people the certain intrigues and controversies that hound our history books (which has always been dripping red) and that our history teachers sometimes keep quiet about. We people rarely discuss what transpired during those fateful years, as if we did have amnesia, forcefully trying to erase a part of us, a cover up so as to not ever put America liable for what they have done (like, for example, killing all boys above the age of ten, hmmm?) and the massacre that they committed in our soils. But to form a real image of us, a complete one, we must look at our history with our own naked eyes and not through pink colored shades. 

History Repeats Itself

We have tons of people like Paterno and Buencamino and the other members of the elite legislature which formed the Malolos Republic who put their own interests above themselves, It has happened before and it always happens. When will we ever learn? The only business of the politician is the welfare of the people, nothing more and nothing less. But instead of voting the right people we insist on voting the famous clowns and puppets who entertain us. Do everyone a favor. Vote. The future of the nation is in your hands.

And before you vote based on who gave you the largest sum, let Luna ask you:

Bayan... o Sarili?


The Brand New Logo of South Bike 
It has been an incredibly long time since I have posted anything in this blog. In that hiatus, I even considered moving South Bike to Tumblr, a move which I eventually rejected. This brand new logo is made by yours truly and is based on a random short historical tour of Manila, the place of my birth.

The Jones Bridge and the Postal Office

Spolarium by Juan Luna
The design was inspired by the sculptures inside and outside the National Museum (Arts Gallery). The centerpiece is derived from the angel exhibited at the entrance of the Masters' Hall, made in the 1950s by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino using reinforced concrete. The three figures mirrored on each side of the logo are on the very top part of the entrance of the National Museum.

Hoping everyone will stay tuned for my future posts featuring art, history, food, and the randomness of life... only here at SOUTH BIKE!