Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Santa Cruz Parish

The parish of Santa Cruz which was carved from the growing Filipino-Chinese community started early 18th century. Santa Cruz which also encompass Escolta street was considered as part of the extended commercial, trade and services sector particularly during the Spanish, American, Japanese and early republic which thrives in the district.

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Santa Cruz parish main facade

The church architecture is a combination of of California style mission, baroque and Asian- Hispanic style. The last restoration was done in the mid-1950’s just after the war.

The current facade was renovated few years ago and several commemorative markers are found within the facade of the church.

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granite tombstone slab in front of the main entrance

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marker

Santa Cruz Parish History

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left Saint Peter Julian Eymard , center mosaic tiles Blessed Sacrament and Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Santa Cruz parish was erected on 20 June 1619. It was recounted that the Jesuits were called to administer the parish primarily to look after the spiritual needs of the growing Chinese population in the adjacent Binondo district. Binondo is located just within 1 kilometer away from the parish and serves as extension of the Chinatown district.

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interior

A replica of the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) in Zaragosa, Aragon, Spain was enshrined by the Jesuits in this church and in 1743, the Confraternity of Our Lady of the Pillar was canonically established. Nuestra Señora del Pilar eventually became the titular of the parish.

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jubilee cross

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Saint John Paul II statue is one of the saints venerated at the parish

On April 1, 1764 at the ground surrounding Sta. Cruz Church, British commander Blackhouse, surrendered over the keys of Manila to Governor Anda.

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commemorative bust of Simon de Anda installed in June 8, 1958 hidden in one corner of the parish.

The plaque below Anda’s bust are the words: 1764. IN THIS SITE THE PLAZA OF MANILA WAS RETURNED BY THE INVADING ENEMY TO THE EMINENT PATRICIAN D. SIMON DE ANDA Y. SALAZAR. FILIPINAS ERECTS THIS TO HIS MEMORY. May 31, 1764.

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Plaza Santa Cruz with Carriedo fountain, Monte de Piedad and Chinatown Welcome Arch

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Plaza Lacson aka Plaza Goiti during the late Spanish, American and early republic

The area also had a street car station which is located in Plaza Goiti, while LRT Carriedo station is located just a few meters away.

Towards the mid-19th century, Parish priest Ezequiel Moreno ( now a saint) in October 1880 after being assigned in Mindoro, Palawan and Las Piñas. He became Preacher General, was assigned Parish priest assuming the post in February 1881 until the following year.

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columbary units located within the side chapel

The church was burned to the ground during the last world war in 1945 with only the facade, bell tower and side walls remains. Few artifacts which included the venerated Our Lady of Pillar was saved.

Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the Austrian conductor Dr. Herbert Zipper, All the members of the MSO were Filipinos except a young violinist, Manuel “Imo” Wilheim, a Jewish refugee. The other was lead clarinetist Earl J. Smith, of the 37th Division Band held their post liberation concert, fund raising and “Thanksgiving” within the ruins of the church.

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Plaza Santa Cruz – Photo courtesy of Mr. John Tewell from flickr

Concert was given in the ruins of Santa Cruz Church on May 9, 1945. Among the attendees included Jean MacArthur, wife of Douglas MacArthur, Philippine Chief of Staff General Basilio Valdes and his wife, and His Grace Manila Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty

A decree issued on 18 December 1984 by the late Arhbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin reverted the name to Santa Cruz Parish. In the same decree, Saint Peter Julian Eymard was named as the second patron of the parish.

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spiral staircase going to the belfry of the church

Santa Cruz church became a center of eucharistic evangelization and adoration and was informally recognized as a Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

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religious bookstore and supplies within the parish

400th Anniversary Celebrations

Parish pastoral council launched a year-long celebration of the parish. His Excellency, Bishop Sofronio Bancud, SSS presided over the thanksgiving Mass and the blessing of the jubilee door last June 20, 2019.

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jubilee door with 400th anniversary logo

The year round will be capped with the colorful fiesta and several events in which devotees of the blessed sacrament can participate.

It is also worthwhile to those who wanted to help the parish feeding program to coordinate with them, since the parish is known to give indigent community rice porridge “lugaw” and pandesal.

References and Bibliography:

NHCP historical marker

Saint Ezequiel Moreno bibliography
Santa Cruz parish leaflet

Santa Cruz Church : A living Heritage book

” Herbert Zipper”  holocaustmusic.ort.org. Retrieved November 12, 2011

Great Dishes at Ilang-Ilang Restaurant in Binondo

Ilang-Ilang restaurant is one of our top favorites when it comes to great dishes, ambiance and service.

This is one of the century-old restaurants within Chinatown district in Manila. The name of the restaurant was derived from the name of the street which is Ilang-Ilang.

The operations began in 1910 as panciteria or noodle house becoming full fledged restaurant in 1945.

Do not get confuse with Cafe Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel which open a little bit early and is located within Manila Hotel. The place also a a big function room which can accommodate between 250 to 280 people at any given time.

Great Dishes

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dishes

friedrice

Ilang-Ilang fried rice

Ilang-Ilang fried rice– The rice had Chinese chorizo, beaten eggs and pieces of meat topped with chopped spring onion leaves.

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lumpiang shanghai ala Ilang-Ilang

Lumpiang Shanghai ala Ilang-Ilang– is one of the favorite dishes that is usually serve in many restaurants in the country.

There are many stories behind the fried pork roll which is usually called lumpiang Shanghai. One popular tale is that the fried spring rolls takes its origin from Shanghai, China and was popularized by local Chinese restaurants in Manila.

Another tale is that the fried spring rolls began its humble origins from Filipino-Chinese immigrants in Chinatown, Manila. Where it was serve and introducing them to many places giving the pork rolls an international appeal and name.

Their version is slightly different with large portion of pork meat and ideal dipping condiment is the tomato ketchup.

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chami noodles

Chami – This is another Must try noodles dish, when you are within Chinatown district. Their noodles are the fat ones with pork, cabbage, pieces of meat, pork liver and topped with spring onions.

buttered chicken

fried buttered chicken

Fried Buttered Chicken– This is one of the Must try cuisine serve in restaurant. This is serve hot and you can taste the butter. The portion is big and you can taste the butter.

What we liked about the restaurant is the attentive staff, great dishes and ambiance.

The restaurant also is listed under popular review sites tripadvisor, munchpunch, zomatoph, yelp among others.

Address: 551 Ilang-Ilang street, Binondo, Manila

Contact : (+02) 241 9297, 241-92-98, 242-32-66

Cellphone: 0922 841 9298

Operations: Everyday 8:30 am to 10:30 pm

Delightful Sip at ChawadiCup Tea in Ongpin Street

It was hot sunny day on September 5, When a small group of heritage advocate went and have an impromptu Chinatown heritage and food stroll.

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ChawadiCup stall, Ongpin street

It took us sometime to walk from Santa Cruz church ground towards Chinatown LaiLai Hotel then thru Ongpin street. We  saw a well-lighted signage and two friendly sales personnel. They told us that they just opened about a month ago.

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Cha Yen and Chewy Watermelon

My friend, Ms. Lin Deres decided to take a short break and opted to order their best selling drink Chewy Watermelon ( Php 138), while i ordered their famous Cha Yen ( Php 108)- We told the sales personnel to only use 20% sugar syrup with less amount of caffeine. Since we do not like sweet tea or milk teas before we ate lunch.

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ChawadiCup menu board

The packaging is neat and the plastic containers is quite sturdy, unlike the other milk teas in the market. We are their first “suki” customers of the day.

Their name is also quite catchy- It is like Sawasdee Kap- which is a greeting in Thai language.

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sales personnel

ChawadiCup Tea History

ChawadiCup, Ken and Wilson, met by a chance when they were working in the same district in Bangkok. It wasn’t long before the friends found that they shared a common interest in tea, and soon started a journey of tea-sampling across Thailand.

In the Philippines, They opened a store in Araneta Center and their Ongpin street branch is one of the first franchise to open. According to Mr. Vince ( sales personnel) ChawadiCup is planning to open more store within Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The have 16 flavors to choose from, Unlike the other powdered milk tea which proliferates within the city, They would use natural ingredients sourced from local and within Southeast Asia.

The stall is located just beside Friendship Drugstore near the famed Ongpin estero. we had a wonderful experience at this stall.

Note: Prices quoted are based on the time that the author went to the branch in Ongpin street and are subject to change without prior notification. The author is not connected with the branch nor is paid to do marketing in behalf of the company.

ChawadiCup Tea- Ongpin Street branch

Address: 755 Ongpin street, Chinatown, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Everyday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

5 Exciting Booths at RetroCon 2019 at Lucky Chinatown Mall

RetroCon 2019 had a successful  three day event from August 2 to 4, 2019 which held a trade show, bazaar, eyeball, comic autograph signing, live entertainment and on the spost raffle at the iconic Lucky Chinatown Mall along Reina Regente street and De La Reina street, Binondo, Manila. 

Funko Pop toys for sale

There were several booth selling toys, postcards, stamps, coins, soft drink bottles, poster, photograph, figurines, game console, stickers, comics, funko toys among others at the RetroCon 2019.

crowd at the RetroCon 2019 in Luckytown China Mall

Philippine Christmas greeting card probably printed circa late 1950’s to 1960’s

banknotes

5 Exciting Booths at RetroCon 2019

5.) Modern Vintage Collectibles– This is the booth which specializes on modern, vintage toys and other stuff which are collectible.

Mr. Jan Kevin Lao

4.) Pixel Hero PH– This booth specializes on pixel art, button pins and stickers with hundreds of different designs to choose from.

Ms. Christel Manalo and Mr. Glenn Mallari

3.) Dekada Collectibles and Antiques– This booth had a lot of items for sale. I have bought several old postcards.

2.) Kikosky Toys and Collectibles – Nice booth with a lot of interesting stuffs and collectible items.

Pugad Paboy comic books

Mr. Pol Medina Jr.

1.) Pol Medina Jr. and Comic book artists booth- One of the best time to meet these people who illustrate creative works of art.

RetroCon 2019 will be having a much bigger event slated next month at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

 

Retrocon 2019 at Lucky Chinatown Mall

Retrocon 2019 is a gathering for all collectors, fans, enthusiasts and admirers of vintage items, collectibles, memorabilia and anything of value which remind them of not so distant past.
Retrocon

Retrocon 2019 poster

There will be a lot of side events like meet and greet, stalls, talks, games at the three-day event which will happen on August 2,3 ,4 at Lucky China Mall in Binondo, Manila.

This will be the 4th time that the Retro Con will be held, the first two edition was held at the iconic Ali Mall in Cubao, while the last one was held in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

Retro Con 2019 is one of its kind and is aiming to bring in collectors and vintage collectibles in one venue for the appreciation of the public.

Unlike other trade fairs, the convention is FREE and open from 10:00 am till 8:00 pm. Hope to see you all !!!!