Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleums within Manila Memorial Park

Manila Memorial Park is the biggest private cemetery with combined total area of all its parks totals 342 hectares. It is located along Dr. A. Santos Avenue along Sucat, Parañaque City. The Sucat property alone covers 142 hectares.

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Tan Seng Co family mausoleum and Benigno and Corazon Aquino mausoleum

Plaza of Dignity XIX– This is where the family mausoleum of former president Corazon “Cory ” Aquino and husband Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is located. The park also manages the Holy Cross Memorial Park in Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.

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flowers were neatly arranged at the tomb of  President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

The memorial park was opened in 1964, one of the first place in the country to have to western style concept of lawn burials.  In 1985, the memorial park also boasted of modern crematorium.

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lawn type burial place

We have several relatives, distant cousins, family friends and close acquaintances who were buried in different sections of the cemetery.

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royal palms, acacia trees, narra and mahogany tree dot this landscape

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food stalls

Food stalls from small , medium and large companies had already set-up inside the park as early as October 29. Most of these stall will be open until November 2.

Horticulture and Mausoleums

There were at least 250 species of trees, flowering shrubs, ornamental plants, native trees, ficus, cacti, succulents, ferns, orchids and even variegated palms which can be easily spotted with the park. Most of the trees and ornamental plants were planted by the park management or by the families.

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Adonidia merrillii / Bunga China mutant form with several kinds of ti-plant

At least 2 dozen bird species from Eurasian tree sparrow, Philippine pied fantail, turtle doves, pigeon and others which call the park as home. The wooded areas also host a number of bats, butterflies and bees. There is also an informal jogging group who meet at the park.

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Valero family mausoleum

Valero family mausoleum is simple with two Egyptian sphinx guarding the main entrance. This remind me of the tomb of Tuazon-Arroyo within Manila North Cemetery.

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Litonjua family mausoleum

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Narciso Ramos and Angela Ramos family mausoleum

Statesman Narcisco Ramos and Angela Ramos mausoleum is just located within few meters away from a relative’s mausoleum.

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Josephine “Jo” Martinez Ramos tomb- daughter of President Fidel V. Ramos is buried near the mausoleum of Narciso and Angela Ramos

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Yan family mausoleum

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Rico Yan mausoleum

Ricardo Carlos Castro Yan ( March 14, 1975 – March 29, 2002) mausoleum is simple, stylish and modern. Almost every caretaker within the cemetery knows this spot. Another uncle was buried just 100 meters away from this mausoleum.

Some of the fans and friends of the celebrity would visit his mausoleum every March 29 to commemorate his death anniversary.

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family tomb with foo dogs and blessed mary statue

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family mausoleum

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Filipino-Chinese family mausoleum with foo dogs

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Mabolo and Talisay tree

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Adapon family mausoleum

Adapon family had a unique family mausoleum which resembles an old town church.

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chinese style pagoda

Chinese style pagoda mausoleum resemble those in Manila Chinese Cemetery.

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california mission style mausoleum

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Co family mausoleum -with greek columns

Co family mausoleum is stately with Araucaria pine and Ptychosperma macarthurii, known as the Macarthur palm planted within the family lawn.

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This chinese style mausoleum had neatly manicured lawn with large Polyalthia longifolia, the false ashoka native to India, is a lofty evergreen tree.

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classical style with Manila palms and Bermuda grass

There were many interesting native trees and flowering plants within the park.

Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleums within Manila Memorial Park Part 2

20 Spooky Places in Quezon City

Quezon City is a large sprawling city which had her own share of spooky places, haunted buildings, heritage trees, creepy tales tucked in her colorful history.

We came up with at least 35 places within the city that people had experienced or find some paranormal activities or haunted stories. We decided to narrow down the list to 20.

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20 Spooky Places within Quezon City

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Sacred Heart Novitiate -Novaliches (photo courtesy of Ms. Jo Quimpo)

20.) Sacred Heart Novitiate. Retreat House and Seminary 1118 Quirino Highway, Novaliches –  Sacred Heart Novitiate was erected in 1932 as a chosen site for seminarian and priest who wanted to have a peaceful retreat under the cool weather and simpler lifestyle away from hustle and bustle of the city life.

In the 1930’s, Novaliches is primary an agricultural town with few people living beyond the northern part of Bayan ( town proper).

Jesuit retrieval team from the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, Quezon City, spent two separate days in December 1945 gathering all the remains from the niches, for transfer to the Jesuit Cemetery at the Novitiate.

The haunted stories in this seminary started way back in the 1960’s, when some people reported seeing some headless priests, nuns and even people dressed in Katipunero within the cemetery compound in unexpected manner.

Some people would recall that they would refer the place as ‘ masukal’ densely covered with trees or vegetation even in the late the 1970’s. Some residents would recount that there might be unseen spirits who might have been disturbed when Quirino Highway was widened. Another expert recount that some of the long dead priest wanted some prayers.

19.) Saint Paul University of Quezon City – In some portion of the comfort rooms inside the university. They say that a girl who committed suicide is known to show herself to students. An alumni would also recount a Japanese soldier who lurks within the old building of the university.

Another alumni recounted that she would get lost within some parts of the buildings during her stay in the campus.

18.) Poveda College -The school had a black garden behind the chapel in which a former student who hanged herself spirit. Another story is of an old friar who is spotted in one of his favorite classrooms during early morning.

17.) Flos Carmeli Institution – The school was conceived in 1972 the Catholic school—the name of which literally means “Flower of Carmel” within Fairview, Quezon City.  It is located 12 Carmel Street, Fairview Park.

The owners of Fairview subdivision Mr. and Mrs. Bonifacio Regalado offered a land to be manage by the first superior of the Sister of Mount Carmel in the Philippines. The school got their first graduates in 1975 and had a large sprawling campus of about 1.4 hectares.

The school closed down in 2012 due to dwindling number of enrollment and bankruptcy. Eerie sound of children reciting were still being heard by some residents who lives near the abandoned school.

16.) Camp Crame– One of the spookiest place within the camp is the main building. Some former military personnel would be spotted marching around the campus, while Japanese sentry guards are sometimes spotted even in noontime.

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Saint Joseph College

15.) Saint Joseph College – One of the oldest building and structure constructed along E. Rordiguez avenue. Students, employees and security guards would cite some stories.  Among the most popular is the headless nun, Japanese sentry guard which guards the old building and American gentleman are spotted jogging.

14.) Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center– The villas and small quonset huts were popular to photographers,film crews shooting at the lush man made lagoon and big trees within the sanctuary. There were reports of sightings of ethereal beings which dwells in some decades- old balete trees and villas located within the sanctuary. There were also reports of orbs spotted by a couple of well-known photographer.

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NCBA compound along Aurora Boulevard

13.) NCBA compound – some of the students, employees and security guards would swear that sounds and creaking voices at the upper portion of building.

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tamarind tree

12.) Tamarid Tree in Narra street, Barangay Amihan, Project 3, Quezon City- The tamarind tree is considered heritage tree of the district.

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heritage tree marker

The tree is said to be home of several enkanto, tikbalangs and ethereal beings.

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narra street

There were several attempts to cut the tree in the past,Those who would try to attempt would risk getting sick or died in a mysterious way.

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tamarind tree which grows along narra street and molave street

There are two tamarind trees located within Narra street. Another tamarind tree also had reported some sighting.

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According to one jeepney driver which ply the Project 2 and 3 route, recounted that as long as people would respect the tree like saying “tabi-tabi po” or excuse me when passing underneath its trunk.  It is polite way to request unseen spirits to move to the side. One way is not to harm the tree like cutting the branches, hammering nails unto the branches.

11.) Q.C. Ville near Central avenue – The area used to have a lot of large trees and there might be spiritual beings disturbed during the construction process and development of of the subdivision. There were reports of dwarves, white lady and ghouls that have been spotted in some of the houses.

10.) Miriam College – ghost of a nun in the ladies’ restroom at the 4th floor of the Caritas Building.

9.) Quezon Institute compound- used to be known as Santol Sanatorium. There were several art deco buildings located within the compound. The old buildings were host to lot of ghostly stories. One recounts that a Japanese sentry soldiers would bow down to passers-by and patients. Another story is of hauling sounds during wee hours were heard by guards.

8.) Capitol Medical Institute– According to some feng shui experts, the main entrance of the hospital is facing the wrong direction hence attracts bad elements unto the hospital. Another expert say that, the hospital location is the problem.

There are certain times that one of the elevators would malfunction despite being in good working order. There were also some reported sightings of shadows and former employee on some floors.

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Benitez Hall

7.) University of the Philippines campus – There were several buildings within the campus that had some ethereal spotting among which is the Benitez Hall (College of Education) had its share of haunted stories. One of which claims that former Dean Francisco Benitez is seen observing classes.

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Melchor Hall

Some of the buildings which had their own share of haunting tales also included the Quezon Hall,College of Music,Vanguard Building, Palma Hall and Guerrero Theater.

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Quezon Hall

6.) Ateneo de Manila University – Employees, students, professors and those with strong psychic vibes would say that the old Communication Department Building is the most haunted place in the university. Ghost sightings includes a mother and child figure climbing the stairs to the second floor, a deceased Jesuit priest,old janitor and several Japanese soldiers.

Other spooky place within the campus were the Cervini, Eliazo dormitories, Rizal library , Jesuits Retirement House and Old Mango Tree at High School Oval. According to old time residents which lived near the present day campus, it was formerly a military camp during World War II and had a cemetery before the remains was re-interred somewhere.

Paranormal experts would say that the campus were home to some unseen spirits that were disturbed during the construction of the campus. While another spirit questor advise that there were some people that got emotionally attached to the place that their spirits would dwell on these buildings long after they were gone.

5.) Balara Filtration Plant – It is a 60 hectare property which houses filtration plant, several art deco style building and Balara Filtration Windmill.

According to some paranormal experts, parts of Balara, Ateneo, UP campus, Miriam College and La Vista Subdivision used to be forest areas during the Spanish and early American colonial regime. Many areas were home to these spiritual beings who were disturbed when development took place. The spirits which dwell on trees and surrounding areas were not properly cast away. Hence some of the elemental spirits have moved to the buildings and built areas with ease.

4.) Children’s Hospital – There are some reported ethereal sightings of children at the 3rd floor of the hospital. Some say that it was the spirits of the unborn babies who died without proper burials or blessing that still lingers some of the rooms of the hospital.

3.) Veterans Memorial Medical Center (formerly known as Veterans Memorial Hospital) was established in 1955. Nurses, employees,security guards and even visitors would gave some accounts of stories. One retired employee say that a well -known gentleman who dress in a period dress is General Emilio Aguinaldo. Some say that it was the former president Sergio Osmeña Sr. seen walking in the hallways.

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Goodah

2.) Ozone Disco now Goodah -On March 18, 1996 a tragic fire in which 150 people died  inside Ozone Disco, a go to club located in the corner of Timog and Tomas Morato Avenues in Quezon City.  Despite the new management, new building employees can still hear voices during wee hours of the night. Residents from nearby townhouses and condominium units can still hear faint ghostly disco music and faint apparition of teens.

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Balete drive

1.) Balete Drive derives the name from Balete or Ficus trees which used to be abundant within the street. balete tree is believed to be the dwelling place mythological creatures like kapre, tikbalang or any ethereal being. The narrow road is about 1.4 kilometers long which intersect major thoroughfares like E. Rodriguez Sr. , Aurora Boulevard and Nicanor Domingo street.

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Balete drive corner 9th street

There were several takes of white ghost, tikbalangs and Japanese era soldiers lurking on some ancestral houses and along the street.

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Balete drive

 The white lady story started in the early 1950’s with at least 3 to 4 versions. Some say that the tales were magnified in films, taxi drivers and urban legend.

A more detailed story came from a distant relative who lived near E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue said that there were local gangs who would victimized unsuspected passersby and maybe carjacked private vehicles coming from Highway 54 (now EDSA). The area used to be dimly lighted in the 1950’s. This is also to deter people from passing or taking that route.

There were also some skeptics who told us that it was real estate agents or companies who would magnify the story so that the land value within the area would not increase.

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Balete drive also host to several old mango trees, acacia tree and frangipanis (kalachuchi) in which many parts are poorly lighted. Most of the walls had Ficus pumila growing. There were parts of the street which had blind spot which are accident prone to motorist and drivers.

Some residents and even taxi drivers say that the white lady tends to be spotted after heavy downpour, full moon or during intense heat between 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am in between Mabolo, Sampaguita and Bougainvilla streets.

Note: This is an incomplete list of spooky places in Quezon City in which were given by relatives, friends , paranormal experts,stories from employees, students, alumni and other personal accounts.

Intramuros Open House 2019

It was a hot sunny day when our small blogger group met at Plaza Roma past 7:30 am for the one day Intramuros Open House event.

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Manila Cathedral Basilica

They took a chance to explore and enjoy these museums within the walled city. Some of the bloggers are living in northern part of Metro Manila like Deparo,Novaliches, Fairview, Rodriguez, Montalban and San Mateo, Rizal did not have much time to visit the place during ordinary days.

Intramuros Open House

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Old Manila Eco Market

Mr. Philip Reyes is one of the early bird at the meet-up place which was the Old Manila Eco Market in front of Manila Cathedral Basilica.

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Manila Cathedral Basilica and former Manila Collectibles place

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flowering Dendrobium orchids and ornamental plants for sale

Old Manila Eco Market had stalls selling environment sustainable products, flowering plants, handicrafts and food made by locals or ethnic groups.

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Manila Cathedral interior

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Archbishops of Manila from late 1579 up to the present

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Manila Cathedral Basilica – We have waited a couple of minutes and took some time explaining a brief history of the church to the participants.

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La Pieta

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Fort Santiago entrance

Fort Santiago is our second stop, The well manicured space was a delight to photographers, we saw a lot of intagramers. However it seems hotter compared to what we have accustomed with. It was the paved concrete which gives a heat island effect.

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Plaza de Armas

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historical marker at the Dr. Jose Rizal’s shrine

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Dr. Jose Rizal wax figure

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tribunal

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Dr. Jose Rizal cell

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lego exhibit- Manila Hotel

The Lego exhibit is one of the MUST See attractions inside the Fort Santiago. I have been there several times. Some visitors keep on touching and playing the lego buildings that some of them have missing parts.

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tranvia

The group met a lot of familiar faces and friends during our tour.

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San Agustin church facade

 Except for Philip Reyes and the author. It was the first time for the rest of the group at the museum. The last time i have entered the San Agustin museum was two months ago, when the company that i am working organized a pre-conference tour in intramuros.

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columbary units

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retablo

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At the ground floor of the San Agustin Convent and Museum, There was an ongoing Marian exhibit entitled ” Regina Caeli”  which also attracted record number of people.  We saw Sir Jeff Fernando ( a santo devotee and collector).

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botanical prints and samples

We also saw a couple of stamp collectors and heritage advocate at the museum.

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 immaculate conception carved from elephant ivories – Don Luis Ma. Araneta collection

 The group enjoyed the two hour or so tour inside the San Agustin convent and museum.

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Casa Manila and San Luis Complex

Casa Manila is a three -story rich merchant house in the late 18th and early 19th century. According to travel brochures and some books, This  merchant house was replicated from an actual house in San Nicolas district in Manila. Some materials were from demolished period houses in Manila and nearby provinces.

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second floor

The collection also included furniture f rom estate and family collection acquired by Intramuros administration in the early 1980’s up to the mid-1990’s

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sala

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kitchen area

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toilet

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Casa Manila central courtyard

Casa Manila central courtyard is favorite location set for films, television commercial and wedding reception venue.

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bambike

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Instituto Cervantes – There was an art and bazaar at the second floor of the institute.

The group took a short lunch at the nearby convenient stores, It is much cooler inside compared to the karinderia.

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Bahay Tsinoy – Bahay Tsinoy is a resource center,venue and museum. The place also had an auditorium area and resource library.

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terracota warrior replica from Xian- donated to the museum

We used to include the museum as part of the extended postal heritage tour.

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life size mannequin

The group of Mercedes Maata left after the Bahay Tsinoy museum tour. We were able to get some postcards, books and Tulay newspapers at the lobby.  They use to sell the postcards before.

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Museo Destileria Limtuaco signage

We continued our Intramuros and visited the Museo Destilleria Limtuaco which opened their door in 2018.  It was my 8th time in this museum and first time for the rest of the participants.

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Museo Destileria Limtuaco facade

( photo courtesy of Mr. Philip Reyes)

Museo de Intramuros– We arrived past 1:30pm at the museum and fall in line to revisit the museum. It was the first time for the rest of the participants. Saw Axl Guinto and Dennis Dy Kho fellow bloggers. According to the security guards manning the museum, The museum is still FREE until the end of the year. Do not the miss the chance to visit the place.

Museo Destileria Limtuaco This used to be an ancestral house of the Limpe family acquired in the late 1970’s. Eventually the ancestral house was converted into a museum and memorabilia center.

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bottles

Destileria Limtucao company had tucked into their colorful history 5 generations of master blenders.  It was established by a Chinese immigrant born of a merchant family in Amoy, China, Lim Tua Co.

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visitors

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barrels

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Lights and Sound Museum– The museum opened past 1:00 pm. There were two other schedule held within 1 hour interval.

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life-size mannequin

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Boy Scout monument  ( photo courtesy : Philip Reyes)

Boy Scout Monument  sometimes called Laging Handa Monument beside Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The monument was featured in a local postcard in the late 1960’s. It was printed by Madonna and distributed by Goodwill Bookstore.

The three boy scout featured were the three boy scout from Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

The group also went to the Parian gate area where is an ongoing Likhaan booths. By this time, most of the participants were tired and could not take any photos.

We accompanied Ms. Darylle and her daughter at the foot of Quezon bridge, where they rode an AUV express going to Fairview and the author took an LRT line 1 Central station. Finally bid farewell after almost 8 hours of walking tour within intramuros.

Regina Caeli: Pontifically Crowned Marian Statues in the Philippines at San Agustin Convent

San Agustin museum and convent became the site of the Marian exhibit entitled “Regina Caeli”.

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part of the exhibit also included some Santo Niño de Cebú

The marian exhibit aims to show that the Philippines is “Pueblo Amante de Maria” or a people in love with Mary.

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San Agustin church museum and convent

There were 35 pontifically crowned Marian images are on display at the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros, Manila.

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Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario- La Naval de Manila- the first canonically crown marian statue in the country in 1907.

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list of exhibitors and santo devotees

The exhibit opened last October 10. It is a joint undertaking of the museum and the different Marian shrines, parishes and santo devotees in the country with special partnership with Intramuros administration.

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Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia

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Nuestra Señora del Rosario

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Nuestra Señora de la Vicitacion de Piat

Camarero : Mr. Jeorge Allan R. Tengco

We visited the shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Vicitacion de Piat few months ago in Cagayan province.

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Nuestra Señora de la Regla de Opon

Camarero: Mr. Noel B. Abquilan

We were fortunate to visit the exhibit and met some of the Marian devotees and camarero who gave us some devotional pamphlets and leaflets. Saw some familar faces at the site.

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Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculata Concepcion de Caysasay

Camarero: Mr. Jake Sylvestre

Regina Caeli Exhibition

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Nuestra Señora de la Caridad

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Virgen de los Remedios de Pampanga

Exhibitor: Cofradia ning Indung Virgen delos Remedios

Camarero: Mr. Jeffrey Popatco

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Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Santa Cruz de Manila

Camarero: John Felix Santos

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La Virgen Divina Pastora de Gapan

Monsignor Gabriele Viola, secretary of papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, led the opening and blessing of the exhibit with several dignitaries, Marian devotees, and art enthusiasts.

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Government officials from the country’s cultural agencies were also present, including Intramuros Administration Director Atty. Guiller Asido.

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Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Orani 

Camarero: Mr. Roland De Guzman

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Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Origin : Spain made of silver 1870

from San Agustin Museum collection

This statue was given by the 87th Spanish Governor General Domingo Moriones y Murillo ( February 1877 – March 1880) to the Augustinian friars of Convento de San Pablo in Intramuros, Manila

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Our Lady of Lourdes

Camarero: Mr. Roger Lou Salva

Canonically Crown Marian Images and Statues

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Nuestra Señora de la Caridad de Agoo

Camarero: Mr. Carlo Verdadero

There are at least 42 Marian images that have been granted a pontifical coronation and enshrined in shrines and churches across the country: 37 in Luzon, four in the Visayas and one in Mindanao.

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La Inmaculada Concepcion de Malabon

Camarero: Mr. Jun Ortega

Three more will be crowned in 2020: La Purisima Concepcion de Santa Maria in Bulacan on Feb. 1, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in Quezon on March 25 and Nuestra Señora de Lourdes of Quezon City whose date has yet to be announced.

The ongoing exhibit runs until October 31, 2019.

Comparison of Roasted Chicken Prices in Goodwill Homes 1 Community

Roasted chicken within Goodwill Homes 1 community in Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City  had increase between 5% to as much as 10% within two months time period.

According to the employees manning these stalls, the demand for roasted chicken had increase over the past several months. Second is the African Swine Flu (ASF) which also affected the supply chain. Another reason is the freak weather which also affected growth and health of the chicken.

Transportation cost and utility costs also affected the price. There were 4 roasted chicken stalls within the community. Lemon and Pepper closed their stall late June 2019.

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Price Comparison

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Andoks-The price of their roasted chicken is relatively stable at P290, But some customers do not like the spices and sauce of their roasted chicken. Andoks had the higher price range among the 4 roasted chicken stalls within the community.

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Don. C specializes on roasted pork liempo and chicken. The retail price of their chicken was Php 230 few months ago then increased to Php 245 about 1 week ago.

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Chooks to Go – Goodwill Homes 1 outlet

Chooks to Go – The price of their roasted chicken is Php 259 for the past several months.

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Sr. Pedro – The price of their roasted chicken also rose from Php 235 to Php 255

Lemon and Pepper roasted chicken- This roasted chicken stall closed down late June 2019 with the retail price set at Php 230.  Lakay’s Ilocos Empanada took over the stall.