Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Neo-Classical Manila Central Post Office

Gazing at Manila's top architectural wonders, you can't help but take notice of this magnificent edifice in the heart of the capital city.

The Manila Central Post Office is the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation and houses the country's main mail sorting-distribution operations.

Designed by Juan M. Arellano, the post office building was built in neo-classical architecture in 1926. Arellano pursued architecture and was sent to the United States as one of the first pensionados in architecture, Arellano went to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1911 and subsequently transferred to Drexel to finish his bachelor's degree in Architecture.

During World War II, the Post Office Building was severely damaged and eventually reconstructed.

If plans will push through, The national government may opt for placing the conversion of the historic Manila Central Post Office in Intramuros, Manila, into a luxury hotel as part of the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative of the Aquino administration.

Credit goes to Arkitekturang Filipino website for the black and white pictures courtesy of Jaycee Gopez and John Tewell, while the colored photos were taken by me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Highlands of Tagaytay City

Talk about escape from the summer heat of Manila, Tagaytay comes into mind easily because of its easy access.

Tagaytay City, at elevation 2,500 above sea level, a component city in the province of Cavite in the Philippines,is known as the summer capital of Southern Luzon because of its cool highland weather. Only 56 kilometers south of Manila, it is situated on the scenic Tagaytay Ridge that has a spectacular view of Taal Volcano.

Tagaytay is famous not only for the awesome view of Taal's lake-within-a-volcano-within-a-lake-within-a-volcano but also for fruits, vegetables, beef, native coffee and flowers as well.

Tagaytay is a famous get-away for families, couples and tourists for the spectacular views, picnic spots, restaurants, resort and recreational facilities as well as retreat/recollection centers catering the schools and universities of Manila.

Apart from its natural beauty, Tagaytay is also historic. You will find several historic markers. Having the Tagaytay Ridge Landing first installed in 1951, this was the site of the first parachute landing in the Philippines executed by the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, 8th Army, USA that happened on February 3, 1945.

You will also find the 41st Division USAFFE marker in Kaybagay South of Tagaytay City. During World War II, Filipino soldiers found refuge in its vast forest and ridges. It was used as a landing site and sanctuary for paratroopers on their way to liberate Manila.

Tagaytay is not just a nature's wonder, it is also rich in political history. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Gates of Intramuros - Puerta de Postigo

This is no ordinary gate. In 1896, Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal passed through this gate when he walked from Fort Santiago to his execution site in Bagumbayan. Built in 1662, the Postigo led to the palaces of the Governor General and the Archbishop of Manila. The gate was renovated in 1782 and was moved by a few meters. It was restored in 1968 after it had been damaged in the Battle of Manila in 1945. The bridge was excavated and restored from 1982 to 1983.

Please take note that the land area outside of the walled city was converted into a golf course when the Americans arrived. The Americans decided to convert the stinking moat into a golf course instead of harboring diseases for the City of Manila.