Andres Bonifacio's Monuments Around Metro Manila

Ask a Filipino who of the prominent Filipinos in history they idolized. It is very likely that majority of the answers will be shared by Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
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Portrait of Andres Bonifacio

Andres Bonifacio grew up as the father for his siblings. They sold home-made abaniko (fan), cane and other knick-knacks for a living. Together with Emilo Jacinto (the so-called “Brains of Katipunan) and other revolutionaries, he established the KKK (not the Ku Klux Klan) which stands for “Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” or Katipunan. KKK rebelled against the Spaniards and their rebellion paved the way for the declaration of the Philippine Independence in 1898.

I observed that Andres Bonifacio has few monuments as compared to Jose Rizal, who has statues in almost all the public schools around the country. Some towns even have their own “Rizal Park” like the town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro.

All of the Andres Bonifacio monuments that I visited are located in Metro Manila. Here are some of them:

1. Andres Bonifacio Monument, Caloocan City

Andres Bonifacio Monument
(Source: WikiPilipinas)
Andres Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City is more popularly known as Monumento. It is at the center of the rotunda where Rizal Avenue, EDSA, Manila North Road and Samson Road converges. The monument is composed of Andres Bonifacio and other heroes of the Katipunan. The monument was created by Guillermo Tolentino.

2. Andres Bonifacio in Tutuban Area

Andres Bonifacio at Tutuban

I accidentally discovered another Andres Bonifacio Monument when I got lost in Divisoria. I reached Tutuban Area and saw this one big statue of a man with who is writing on a piece of paper. The monument serves as a reminder that Tutuban Area is the place where Andres Bonifacio was born.

3. Andres Bonifacio amidst the high buidings

Andres Bonifacio in Taguig
(Source: Traveller's Point)
I also saw one Andres Bonifacio Monument in the the business district of Taguig City. It made me wonder what will the true Andres Bonifacio think if he is actually standing there surrounded by towers of city.

4. Andres Bonifaco in UP Diliman

Andres Bonifacio - Grito de Balintawak Monument, UP Diliman
Grito de Balintawak Monument in UP Diliman.
Rallyists of UP Diliman identify themselves with Andres Bonifacio, whom they hailed as the hero of the working class. It is no wonder then that an Andres Bonifacio Monument is standing in front of the Vinzon's Hall, which houses the student council and the “tambayans” of commie student groups.

5. Posing in front of the Post Office

Andres Bonifacio - Liwasang Bonifacio

Many toursist take their photo in front of the Philippine Post Office building in Manila. Andres Bonifacio is also one of them.

6. Andres Bonifacio Shrine, Manila

Andres Bonifacio Shrine, Manila
(Source: TripAdvisor)
The most dramatic depiction of Andres Bonifacio is the Andres Bonifacio Shrine that is located near the Manila City Hall. The shrine has one big statue of Andres Bonifacio carrying a bolo. The shrine shows the life story of the Philippine hero from his childhood to his death at the hands of Emilio Aguinaldo's minions. The Andres Bonifacio Shrine was unveiled during the Centennial Independence celebration in 1998.

Tomorrow, the Philippines will commemorate the death of Andres Bonifacio. The life of this Filipino patriot is a tragedy. He started Katipunan with the goal of liberating Filipinos from the rule of Spanish Colonial Government. Revolution sparked in Manila and then the whole Philippines. The sad fact is that Andres Bonifacio did not won any battle against the Spaniards. He was deposed by the Illustrados (rich Filipinos) and executed in Cavite.

The death of Bonifacio shows us how divided the Philippine Republic is since the very beginning. Andres Bonifacio is remembered through his monuments that glorify him. Monuments, however, are not enough to commemorate the man and his tragedy, which is also the tragedy of the Filipino people.

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What RH Bill Advocates Don't Want the Filipino People to Know

What are the things that the RH Bill advocates are hiding from the Filipino people? The answer is this:
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RH Bill infographic


Click the image for a larger view.

Supporters of the RH Bill will deny these things. Don't believe them because the pro-RH Bill leaders are experts in telling lies.

This infographic was obtained from Filipinos for Life website.

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Eng Ho's Mamon Cake

Eng Ho's mamon (sponge cake) is one of my office mates' merienda favorites. Whenever someone has a birthday or if we just want to have merienda, we either buy pancit or Eng Ho's mamon. I instantly liked this mamon cake the first time I tasted it and I wanted to buy one ever since.

So, for my father's birthday, I bought one mamon cake from Eng Ho. I chose to buy Eng Ho's mamon cake because we already tasted cakes from Goldilocks and Red Ribbon bakeshop. We even tried Mommy's Sapin – Sapin a lot of times. I wanted my family to taste something new.
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Mamon cake from Eng Ho Bakeshop
Yummy mamon cake from Eng Ho.
I accidentally discovered Eng Ho bakeshop while I was wandering around Binondo Chinatown. Eng Ho bakeshop is located at Alonzo corner Zacatero Streets, Binondo Chinatown. The shop sells items other than their famous mamon cakes. Eng Ho also has hopia, and other Chinese foods
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Eng Ho Bakeshop, house of yummy mamon cake.
Eng Ho Bakeshop.
Eng Ho's mamon cake is soft and sweet. People might think that this cake is not delicious because it lacks the icing and other designs that are seen on other cakes. Looks can be deceiving, however, because Eng Ho's mamon cake doesn't need any fancy design. Its sweetness is enough for a sweet lover like me. It is delicious enough to be one of the favorite merienda in my office.
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Sliced mamon cake
Eng Ho's mamon cake sliced and ready to be eaten.
My father gave Eng Ho's mamon thumbs up. We enjoyed eating it until the last slice. Even if it looks plain, Eng Ho's mamon tastes the best.

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Let There be Dragons

Slaying a dragon is one of the many noble goals that a knight has. Typical fairy tale stories tell of a knight that attacks the dragon's cavern to save a kidnapped princess. Dragon slaying is a tricky business. These monsters have tough hide, sharp talons and nasty fire breath. Though the prospect is perilous, the brave knight always attacks the dragon and emerges victorious.

Dragons are not just mythical monsters but they also represent the things that we should defeat. In fairy tales, the dragon is the embodiment of the knight's fears. In Christianity, the dragon represents all the Evil that Christians should struggle against.
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Saint George vs the Dragon
Saint George slaying the Dragon.
The movie “There be Dragons” will not be named as such if the story has no dragon in it. Dragons abound in the movie and the protagonists faced those monsters in their own ways. “There be Dragons” shows a writer that is researching about the Opus Dei founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva, for his new book. The writer discovered that the saint has a connection with his father, of whom he had never seen for a long time.

The movie presents two parallel, but intertwined, stories of Saint Escriva and the fictional childhood friend, Manolo. Saint Escriva and Manolo took a different path when dealing with life and the turmoil, which is the Spanish Civil War. Saint Escriva took the path of a believer in Christ while Manolo took the path of a non-believer.

Spain, during the civil war, is a land of chaos. It is the time when people are forced to choose which side to support. Either you are a communist or a fascist. Either you support the Church or you are the one who mock them. Francisco Franco led a rebellion against the popular communist government of Spain. In time, the Spanish Civil War became an international affair. Communist volunteers came pouring in Spain to support the government while Nazi Germany supported Franco. Cities were bombed and many civilians died. Death toll on both the fascists and communists were high. Priests and devout Catholics were mocked and executed for their Faith.
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Saint Josemaria Escriva
Saint Escriva contemplating about his new religious society.
Spanish Civil War is not the best time to be a priest. But Saint Escriva chose to fulfill his vocation and wrestled with the dragons that threaten his faith in God. The communists’ hatred to the Church and the Catholic faithful forced Saint Escriva to flee for a lot of times. He was forced to conduct the Holy Mass in secret. He even saw a priest friend executed on the streets. The movie showed us that even a saint has a hard time defeating his inner dragons. Saint Escriva refused to go on their journey through the Pyrenees. It is the low point of his life but God enabled him to conquer his dragons.

Reviewers of the movie gave it low approval points. It is understandable because parallel stories within the movie usually confuse the audience. It is confusing because it is hard to distinguish who is the focus of the movie. The story of Saint Escriva is sometimes upstaged by the story of Manolo, which has plenty of battle scenes. Another complaint is that viewers who don't know Saint Josemaria Escriva have a hard time grasping his story.
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There be Dragons poster

The things that made “There be Dragons” shine is its theme that all people can relate to. All of us has our own dragons that we have to face, even if we try our very best to avoid them. They are the dragons that will destroy our hope, our faith and our love to the people around. The question is will you face these dragons bravely like the knights of times past? Or will you be a coward and flee from them forever?

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Jesus Christ is the King Forevermore

This day, the 20th of November, Catholics affirm the reign of Jesus Christ on both heaven and earth. As Jesus Christ said, He is now seated at the right hand of the power and has dominion over the earth, the heavens, and all the creatures found in the sky, on the land, burrowing under the soil and in the seas. He is now the King of all human beings even if they worship Him or not.

In today's Gospel, Jesus Christ talked about the last days when He will come back to the earth to fully show His authority. In the last day, Jesus Christ will separate the sheep from goats. Christ will reward those who fed, clothed, and cared for the poor, the needy, the strangers and the prisoners. Those who ignored the little ones will be sent to their damnation.
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Christ the King

Our parish priest said in his homily that the Feast of Christ the King is a big matter to Catholics during his childhood. All the people in their community have an image of Jesus Christ sitting on His throne. Those who can't afford a statue just post a picture of Christ the King inside their homes. People flock the church to join in the Holy Mass.

I believe that the our parish priest narrated his childhood memory of the Feast of Christ the King to contrast it with the way Catholics celebrate these feasts. Many Catholics, nowadays, don't care anymore. They forgot the importance of celebrating the kingship of our Lord. Filipino Catholics are more focused on the upcoming Christmas Season than celebrating the Feast of Christ the King.

The current behavior with regards to the Feast of Christ the King mirrors the fact that many people are forgetting the role of Jesus Christ in their life and the whole world. Many people pay more attention to the all-smiling and all-nice commercialized version of Jesus Christ. We keep on forgetting that Jesus Christ is the King. As King, He has the power to pardon and condemn.

This day's Gospel is a grave reminder that Jesus Christ will practice His authority the proper time. I hope that the Gospel make us realize that a Christian should always strive to obey the King's authority so that we will be part of His flock that is bound to His Eternal Kingdom.

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Photos Around UP Diliman

I happened to see a folder full of photos of UP Diliman when I was browsing for some files stored in my WD Elements external hard drive. Many of the photos were taken during my college yours in the University. Some photos were taken during my few visits to my alma mater.

I remembered many of the events that happened to me while I was a student in University of the Philippines- Diliman Campus. I can still vividly recall the day when I took the UPCAT. I saw the weird sculpture, which resemble like giant fishballs skewered by bamboo sticks, in front of UP College of Business Administration building  while waiting for the start of the entrance exam. I am so drained after I took the UPCAT and my father, worried with my downcast look, told me that we will go to a mall to refresh myself. What I can't recall is the events in my last day of class in UP Diliman. Maybe that day was uneventful that's why my brain didn't waste any memory space for it.

Ah! University of the Philippines. The institution that mold me to become what I am now. My experiences during my stay in your bosom taught me a lot of things and opened my eyes to what's happening around me. Now, I can only reminisce my stay in UP Diliman through these photos:

The Snake Road and Beta Epsilon Theatrum

UP Diliman snake road
Walkway in the [in]famous UP Diliman Lagoon.

I usually pass by this concrete path when I have to cross the grounds of UP Lagoon. This concrete path always make me think of the “Snake Road” in the anime, Dragonball. This path slithers all throughout UP Lagoon. Using this concrete path allows you to pass by Beta Epsilon Theatrum:
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UP Diliman - Beta Epsilon Theatrum
Vandalized Beta Epsilon Theatrum with the dried up lagoon in front.

Concerts were held on the Beta Epsilon Theatrum in the past but now it was vandalized and left in a state of disrepair. I often see high school students use the stage for the practice of their school plays. In front of the Beta Epsilon Theatrum is the murky waters of UP Lagoon.

UP Lagoon is one of my favorite place to hang-out. I eat my packed lunch there when the CASAA canteen is jam packed with people. Aside from the Beta Epsilon Theatrum, the Snake Road leads to UP Amphitheater that located at the back of Quezon Hall.
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UP Diliman amphitheater and Quezon Hall
Road to UP Diliman Amphitheater. Quezon Hall is at the background.

A Flying Saucer Shaped Church

Any student in UP Diliman can easily guess what this picture is:
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UP Diliman Chapel dome

The white dome and the tower belongs to the UP Chapel, which is more formally known as the church of the Parish of Holy Sacrifice. This church is the only Catholic church inside the UP Diliman campus. It is famous for being the first circular church in the Philippines. The lay-out of the church placed the altar and the cross in the very center. Five Filipino National Artists collaborated in the the building and designing of the UP Chapel.
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Inside UP Diliman Chapel
Jesus Christ at the center of the UP Diliman chapel.

Show us the Frogs

UP Diliman - where is the frog?

A signboard that never ceased to amuse me is the “Frogs” signboard nailed on a tree near the Natural Science Research Institute (NSRI) building. I was wondering what is the true meaning of the signboard. Does it mean that frogs can be bought from the NSRI? Or does the signboard means that those who occupy the NSRI building look like frogs?

I haven't visited my alma mater, UP Diliman, for a long time now. What I only have in my mind are the memories of it during my stay there as an undergraduate student of engineering. Those are good memories and I believe that I can never recreate it.

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A Walk to Forever



It never occurred to my mind
That in this life I would find
A lady that will love me true
Someone that cares thru and thru.

“You'll never walk alone
Nor face the world on your own,”
This is what my heart hears
Whenever you are near.

Thousand of steps we already made,
Yet our love never fades.
Now a question needs an answer
"Will you walk with me forever?"

Daily Ride on LRT Train

When the government started its C-3 (Araneta Avenue) / R-7 (Quezon Avenue) Interchange Project, I decided to avoid riding the bus when I go to and from the office. This decision left me no choice but to travel using the LRT -3. The interchange project aims to build an underpass along Quezon Avenue so as to ease the flow of traffic at the avenue's intersection with Araneta Avenue. The result, of course, is the heavy traffic for those who are passing through Quezon Avenue.
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Heavy traffic at Quezon Avenue corner Araneta Avenue.
Traffic at Quezon Avenue corner Araneta Avenue.
Light Rail Transit – 3 (LRT -3) or the so-called “Purple Line” passes through the University Belt. Thus, the usual riders of the LRT – 3 are college students. What I like with LRT – 3 is that its coach are more spacious as compared with the coaches of LRT – 1 and MRT. Also, LRT – 3 has fewer passengers as compared with the other rail transits. Due to this, LRT – 3 is still spacious even during the rush hours.
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Inside LRT Purple Line coach.
I never experience this much space in LRT-1 or MRT.
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LRT Purple Line is crowded.
LRT during the rush hour is not body-crushing crowded
as compared with the MRT.
Another thing that I like about LRT – 3 is that the platform is relatively cleaner and wider than that in LRT – 1 and MRT. The platforms are also well-lighted.

I think that the LRT – 3 is the direct opposite of LRT – 1 because the latter is the worst of the rail lines that I rode on so far. LRT – 1 passes along Taft Avenue from Monumento to Baclaran. LRT – 1 has crowded coaches, dirty and dark platforms, and dilapidated train stations.

LRT – 3 is the best rail transit in Metro Manila. However, it is still an inconvenience that I ride the LRT – 3 to and from work. It would be easier for me to ride a bus just like the time before the start of the Interchange Project. Too bad that the duration of the project is 15 months long, which means that I have to ride the LRT until the second half of 2012. The only consolation that I have is that I am traveling via the LRT – 3 and not the too crowded LRT – 1 and MRT.

P.S. I saw an interesting graffiti while I'm in the Betty Go-Belmonte Station. Is this the way how graffiti artists say sorry to someone?
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LRT Purple Line graffiti
Foreground graffiti says "Sorry na Julie" (I am sorry Julie).
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First image came from Balita.

Globe Telecom Says I Run My Business Like Howard Hughes

I was browsing for some news article in GMANews.tv when I an ad popped out. It invited me to answer a fun quiz to discover what kind of leader I am. "Ok," I said, "let us see what kind of leader persona this quiz will provide for me."

Here is what I got:
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Howard Hughes
(Source: Globe Business)

I recall this guy as portrayed by Leonardo di Caprio in the movie, The Aviator. According to Wikipedia, Howard Hughes is a business magnate, an aviator, engineer, film producer, investor, director and philanthropist. Hughes suffered from worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder and he famous for his reclusive and eccentric behavior.

Globe Telecom's quiz says that I lead my business like Howard Hughes. The problem with this is that I don't have any business to run.

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Random Notes #1

Finally, I am back from the heyday of travels and many activities that eclipsed the time that I should be spending with this blog. May I say that “I am sorry” to you, one of the few constant readers, for leaving an old post (and a bunch of paid posts) before I left abroad for a very short travel.

Now that I am back, I hope that everything will normalize so that I could give you the regular dose of my thoughts on this blog. I went to many places and did one marvelous thing that I believe will place my life to the right direction. In the coming weeks I will blog about the things that I saw, the experiences, and the places I went to.

As for this moment, let me leave you some random notes that I noticed while I am in absentia:

1. Terrible Airport – I got the opportunity to travel to travel to the “Land Down Under.” My connecting flight is in Kuala Lumpur and I saw how marvelous the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is. The International Terminal of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) looks shoddy when compared with KLIA. Foreign tourists ranked NAIA as one of the worst airports in the world and, sadly, I agree with them.
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Kangaroo and joey
(Source: Wikipedia)
2. Australians Love Kangaroos – I love kangaroos too. And like the Australians, I love them on my plate. I just discovered that kangaroo meat is delicious and one of the healthiest meat in the world.

3.  Clan War – When I left Manila, the Islamic Rebels and the government soldiers are killing each other in Mindanao. When I returned to Manila, it is the members of the Revilla clan (a local political clan in the Philippines) who are killing one another.

4. Manny Pacquiao is Popular – The greatest Filipino boxer is the only Filipino celebrity that I heard about during my whole stay in Australia.

5. M Lhuillier Pawnshop is Taking their Money in the Visayas – Particulary in Camotes Islands. I discovered that the pawnshop already bought half of the lands in a barangay in town of San Francisco. They are building a big resort in the islands that have its own wharf.

6. Manila Sunset is Better – I discovered that the Manila Bay is Sunset is way better than the sunset of West Australia. My only wish is that the coasts of Manila Bay be cleaned so that people can enjoy the beautiful sunset view.

So, that is my random notes for this day. I hope that everything get settled down so I can blog regularly in the coming weeks.

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