Sunday, July 31, 2011

General Miguel Malvar Essay Writing Contest

In preparation of the commemoration of the 100th year of the death of General Miguel Malvar, a nationwide essay writing contest has been launched by The Extra Mile Production. The contest carries the theme “Gen. Miguel Malvar – National Hero for Modern Times” and is open for grade school, high school, and college students. For more details visit the website

As I can no longer join the contest, I think it is better for me to share some information about Miguel Malvar. The book “Miguel Malvar and the Philippine Revolution: a Biography” is a good material for the student who wishes to join the contest. It is authored by Doroteo Abaya and Bernard Karganilla, and edited by Edberto Malvar Villegas (the son of Dr. Isabel Malvar Villagas, the youngest daughter of Miguel Malvar.) One has to pardon some parts that should have been edited but were unfortunately overlooked. The tone of the book is semi-polemic and aggressive. But that is understandable as it is a book about an equally aggressive and courageous general of the Philippine-American War. It must be noted however that the term ‘Philippine Revolution’ used in the title pertains to both the Revolution of 1896 and the Philippine-American War. The same description has also been made by Apolinario Mabini.

As for the contest, the deadline for the submission of entries is on August 31, 2011.

Afternoon Stroll in Santo Tomas, Batangas: Santo Tomas Church (Part 3)

* the Santo Tomas Church façade

* the church’s bell tower

* general view of the interior;a mass was being held when we made this visit

I am writing this particular entry without the convenience of having notes with me; it seems that I have misplaced them. Nevertheless, a short mention on the church in an earlier entry should suffice (see it here).

* the church’s baptistery

* a chandelier

* detail of the floor tiling on the church’s entrance

* the high wall and high window

* Trailer Pransis and sister who is now
starting to copy my style, branding h
erself Prenchie

* the dark clouds parting after a brief shower of rain

* a close up view of a statue on top of a structure adjacent to the church

* first shot: a rainbow after the rain

Although the structure itself is recently made, the church s place speaks of many stories. For one, a school is found adjacent to it, a set-up that is traced back to the Spanish time. Also, despite the wide jurisdiction of Santo Tomas, the church is built in this particular place for several possible reasons: 1) it is close to the foot of Mount Maq uiling, 2) for easy access to the administering Spaniards.

* men with their staff;
below the statue on the foreground is the following citation:
“July 26, 1927 Sadosta: In Honor of Sister A. Ann,
First Principal of St. Thomas Ac

* the blooming fire trees outside the church

* another statue with a staff found outside the church

* an old, cracked bell of the Santo T omas church;
casted most probably in 1894 as can be seen on the engr
aving on the bell itself
(I wonder if UST Archivist Regalado Trota Jose as already studie
d the bells of Batangas)

* the church’s intricately detailed retablo

* a side altar

On a more popular note, the church is the place where the wedding of Senator Tito Sotto and his wife was secretly (or was it hastily?) held. Recently, they went back to the place to renew their vows. [A disclaimer: this note must not, in any way, be taken as a sign that I am into the show business. I remembered these details as it concerned the c hurch.]

* saints by the window

* a few lingering devotees after the mass

* view of the altar inside the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

* a taclobo: most likely donated by the Cursillitas of Santo Tomas, Batangas

* St. Thomas Aquinas

* the center aisle

[How to go to Santo Tomas, Batangas Church: From Manila, one can board a bus bound for Lucena or Dalahican (in Quezon Province). Such buses can be found along EDSA Kamuning and at the bus terminal at Gil Puyat LRT Station along Taft Avenue. For easy descriptions, you can just tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the Sto. Tomas public market. From there you can hail a tricycle to take you to the town church. But be wary as some tricycle drivers tend to overcharge those who they see as town tourists. Alternatively, you can just drop off at Jollibee Sto. Tomas, found a few meters before you reach the public market. There is a street on the store’s side and one can follow the street up to the PUP-Sto. Tomas Campus. The church is actually not far from the said school.]

Afternoon Stroll in Santo Tomas, Batangas: The Houses and Mansions in Santo Tomas (Part 2)

* a house designed after the ‘old-school’ style but obviously
using recently acquired wood materials and capiz

* designs found on the post of a gate of what must have been an elegant mansion in Sto. Tomas, Batangas

Our walkathon through the streets of the town proper of Santo Tomas, Batangas was cut short by a sudden downpour of rain. What started out as a drizzle of rain now turned into full-fledged downpour. But before we got semi-stranded, I was able to take a few shots of some interesting houses and sites on the same street as the church. These houses definitely trace their origins to the American and post-American period and from the general lay out of the place (they were in essence built around the town church), I daresay that they are (or were once owned) by wealthy people of Santo Tomas.

Although this entry is partly speculated, I think I can obtain basis on a book about Malvar (I will mention the title and authors in a future Malvar-related blog entry) describing the town of Santo Tomas in 1800. It was indeed a prosperous town already. The vast fields and plantations near Mount Maquiling must have been a blessing to the town dwellers. Even the family of Miguel Malvar benefited with those lands for planting.

* one would wonder what house once stood beyond that old and rusty gate

* another gate leading towards a ground where a big house must have once stood

* obviously a recent construction but still has that ‘old’ feeling to it

* Gabaldon type of building found at
Paaralang Sentral ng Santo To
mas (Primary Annex)

* this one is definitely old albeit a neglected one

And because those lands are still there, economic activity still continued after the Philippine-American War and well into what we would term here as the American period (of occupation of the Philippines). With the wealth amassed through various businesses, the townsfolk naturally turned their money into building of such houses.

* the front area of General Miguel Malvar Memorial School;
a closer inspection of the second photo, we could see a bust of the General

* the gate of Villa Monte Oliva

* a small, wooden house found in town

* glimpses of what could be big houses or mansions

I am yet to find concrete sources about the houses in the town of Santo Tomas, Batangas. To see houses named as villas is definitely worth studying. They must have that high regards of their social statues during their time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Museo ng San Pablo Opens on July 29

San Pablo City’s past will now be closer to the literal eyes of San Pableños. With the opening of Museo ng San Pablo on July 29, 2011, details about the city’s rich history will no longer be on a installment basis (such those trivia and snippets found on blogs and social networking sites). A preview of the contents of the museum can be sees in a Multiply page (click here) and in a BlogSpot page (click here).

However, there are some brewing controversies with regards to the highlightso f the museum contents – whether it will only contain those things which will remind the viewers of the middle class families who have been influential in San Pablo in the past. We are yet to see the resolution on this issue.

In any case, every San Pableños is enjoined to visit Museo ng San Pablo which will formally open this Friday, July 29, 3 pm, at the 3rd floor of the old Capitol Building.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Peek Inside the Central United Methodist Church

* the façade of the Central United Methodist Church

* the main aisle

* view of the church’s high ceiling

* a light hanging from the ceiling

* the weekday activities and Sunday worship services of
Central United Methodist Church

* the Methodist Hymnal

* an open area inside

* view from the outside

I have already discussed about the history of the Central United Methodist Church in a earlier entry (read it here). But I was not able to beyond those brief history details as I was not really able to see the church itself. An afternoon after a scientific meeting in Manila Hotel, I got the chance to see the inside of the church.

All I can say is that the church is definitely English. The high ceiling and the overall architecture reminds me actually of the Hall of Christ Church in Oxford as well as of Hogwarts. But nevertheless the structure is no out of place in Manila as it stands close to some of the surviving buildings erected during or close to the American period in the Philippines with similar outstanding architectures.