Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Heritage Postal Tour (July 22, 2013)

It was another bright and sunny Sunday. I was really interested for today's tour. I went first to SM to have a drink because I know I need tons for the day. I passed by the back of the Metropolitan Theater for the two famous sculptures of Francesco Riccardo Monti at the back. It was hidden by buses and trees. 

Sculpture by Francesco Riccardo Monti

The other sculpture of Francesco Riccardo Monti. Quite revealing too. 

I imagine this gate would be a wonderful back entrance to performers as they are greeted by this two women sculptures. The grill works are interesting as well as the designs on the gate.

They opened up today's fountain in front of the Post Office this time. It is a nice and cool welcome to the participants of the Royal Heritage Postal Tour which I just call the Postal Tour for convenience.

Side picture of the fountain and the Post Office

A better view of the Post Office. 

The cleaner and better Bonifacio Monument

The great hero Andres Bonifacio, who will soon celebrate hsi 150th death Anniversary. 
There were a good number of participants this time. I think this is because of the documentary last Monday (July 15th, 2013) on i-Witness titled Anino sa Dilim (Shadow in the Dark) about the Metropolitan Theater. It is a good sign for today that many are curios about the MET and the state of its so called restoration.

Some participants with Rence Chan

Another view of the participants. 

The whole group in front of the Bonifacio Monument. The area around is called Liwasang Bonifacio.
The tour starts with some introductions and greetings by the participants and some of the hosts (me and others).  After the greetings and picture taking in front of the Bonifacio Monument we proceeded to the flag pole in front of the Post Office.

Rence our tour guide talked about the significance of the flag pole and how it continues to be a part of history to this day. Recently, Noynoy Aquino had his Independence Speech in Liwasang Bonifacio, the same place used by his mother, Cory Aquino for her rallies back then.

Rence talking about the historic flag pole. 
Inside the Post Office where it was quite cool despite the heat of the noon sun, the auction or bourse is happening where you can buy a lot of philatelic items and some more. There are also other sellers who sell similar collective stuff for a cheap price.

There was also a short lecture and talk about the Post Office and Stamp collecting by Rey Ong de Jesus.

Mr. Rey Ong De Jesus giving a short talk to participants. 
Mr. Rey also gave a tour of the Post Boxes at the basement of the building. These post boxes are interesting in and of themselves. You can rent these beautiful boxes for Php1,000 (for the small one) and Php 2,00 (for the big one).

Beautiful Post Boxes!

There is also a tour inside and around the Post Office compound. I didn't take pictures of them in this tour. The places visited were the Museum and Library building as well as the backside of the Post Office. Like many old buildings there are the resident cats who litter the place with poop.

One of the beautiful residents of the Post Office

Next we were off to the Manila Press Club. An interesting piece of architecture with a clear view staircase and earthquake proof buildings. The most interesting part of the building is the mosaic done by Galo Ocampo. (Sorry no pictures again hehehe...)

Water Lily at the Manila Press Cub

There was a meeting at the Manila Press Club when we went there. Lots of high spirited people there. There is also a monument dedicated to the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre on the site. According to one of the participants, every year some of the Press media gather here to remember their fallen comrades.

The next stop is Puerta Isabel, where a statue of Queen Isabella II can be found. On the said site the old Tranvia lines of Manila would pass going into the walled city. After taking pictures and immersing in history and stories of Isabella we went to plaza Mexico.

This is where the Galleon Trade would be done. It was the first place that greeted Galleons as they go in the Philippines carrying their goods and trades. There are lots of interesting tid bits of buildings in here like the Aduana (or the Intandencia) still an imposing building despite in ruins.

We went inside also the Maestranza Walls through the Royal Warehouses where goods were stored after being inspected at the Aduana.

Posing with Tatang (Adolfo López Mateos)

Adolfo López Mateos by Luis Antonio Sanguino
 In front of the Aduana is Plaza Espana where you can see a statue of King Philip II for whom the country was named. (Sorry I owe you guys tons of pictures....)

Beautiful yellow flowers grow on the Aduana.

A yellow tabby just around the streets on Intramuros.

We were given a special tour of the newest and interesting place in Intramuros called The Manila Collectible Company (TMCC)by its very perky and bubbly owner Charice. She gave us a talk about Filipino culture and the things found at her shop. She has stuff that are reproductions of the ling ling-o, the Golden Tara as well as the Laguna Copper Plate. She also sells native products with colorful and interesting designs. You can also buy local and organic products at her shop. Many are talking about their amazing coffee and wine. (Next time I will do a much detailed feature of her shop.).

Her shop has a view deck that has a nice back view of the Manila Cathedral.

The dome of the Manila Cathedral taken from TMCC.

The bell tower of the Manila Cathedral

This is the closest view of the Manila Cathedral ever.
TMCC gave us samples of their food and drinks. I encourage you to try them because most of the them are also helping indigenous groups of the country. The water and the snacks at the TMCC saved us because the heat was too much today. Most of the participants had a good rest and some cold air at the place.

We made it to the Bahay Tsinoy at around 5 PM as they were closing. They were kind enough to let us in for ten minutes to see their lobby, get free Newspaper and buy souvenir at their shop. There are shells and natural rocks at the lobby as well as replica of the terracotta warrior from China.

Poor cats scavenging

Another street cat somewhere in Liwasang Bonifacio

Sampaguita by Isabelo Tampinco

Rence Chan with FEU students

Lovely sky at the MET
The last stop and th highligh is of course, the Manila Metropolitan Theater. We started the tour from the top (fourth floor to the ground). The permit to visit the place was almost cancelled but thanks to the continuous sun the rains inside the theater is almost gone.

Tons of trash and debris

One of the better rooms in the MET.

Some parts of the ochestra is now crumbling and sending pieces of rocks to the seats of the theater. Of course, there is the water at the orchestra pit as well as some frogs.

Dear reader, the MET is in ruins and is need of dire restoration. I encourage you to do the simplest thing by sharing this simple story of mine on your Facebook and Twitter.

Or maybe you may want to join our tour next month?

You can RSVP here: Royal Heritage Postal Tour (August 18, 2013)

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