Eleksyon 2013 – I Voted Wisely

Juan Luna Elementary School ,  830 G. Tolentino Street,  Barangay 397, Sampaloc, Manila-Philippines

I am a long time resident  and a voter of Manila.  My family  lived in various districts – Tondo, Binondo, San Miguel , Santa Mesa, Santa Cruz and Sampaloc. I remember our first polling precinct was located in the old PUP  ( Lepanto street ) campus now Sergio H. Loyola street then transferred to the Church of the Later Day Saints compound along R. Papa near Far Eastern University  before moving to the current site.

Paaralang Juan Luna

I wanted to vote as early as possible,  normally would go to the polling station 30 minutes to  1 hour before the opening . But somehow went to Divisoria to do some last minute shopping. Just a little over 7:00 am – I got an sms from a friend that there is a long line at  the polling station and the PCOS machine had a malfunction ! See the exact map : http://wikimapia.org/745738/Juan-Luna-Elementary-School

voters outside of the polling station located within Juan Luna Elementary School

OMG, I don’t want to be stuck in the long lines just like what happened in 2010 Presidential election .  I just took my time roaming around until past noontime when i received another sms message that the polling station line was short. but the PCOS machine still had some problem ( voting had to start by 8:00am after two voters sheet were initially rejected. ) before the BEI allowed the voters to start voting .

barangay number  with  their  corresponding polling precinct

At around past 1:00pm  ( after lunch )  ,  I went to look at the bulletin board  in front of the school .  Since i knew our barangay number and polling station – It just took less than 30 seconds to pinpoint my polling station and it was located on the third floor of the school. While climbing to the stairs – I saw several senior citizens  and person with disabilities having a hard time going up stairs .  One had to be carried sitting on a mono- block chair up to the third floor of the school!

list of voters

It was indeed a very sad incident that COMELEC officials must consider in the next election . Senior citizens and Person with disabilities must be allocated a space preferably in ground floor so that they will not climb up to the second , third , firth and even fifth floor of the polling precinct. Unlike in Quezon City or Makati . Barangays in  Caloocan  , Manila  are based on a numerical number , zone rather than a barangay name.  It is wise for voters to know their barangay number and barangay chairman- A classic example is M.V. Delos Santos street which are divided into 3 barangays with 3 different barangay  numbers .

voting precinct 2027-A -Room 317

I was able to  locate our polling precinct and was assisted by our barangay chairman who happened to be within the vicinity.  I went to the Board of Election Inspector ( BEI) and introduced myself to them, then identified the polling station, barangay number – Then after a quick look , The BEI handed me the ballot sheet and let me  sign opposite my name .  The process is quite quick unlike the 2010 elections! It took less than 5 minutes compared to more than 2 hours and queuing for the long lines .  I  prepared a short list of names of whom to vote , so it just took me about 5 minutes to finish  voting. There were only 5 voters when i voted a little past 2:00 pm , I handed the ballot to one of the member and he just put the filled  ballot right beside a small box beside the PCOS machine , apparently the COMELEC technicians were not able to trouble shoot the machine  . Which caused some confusion and long lines during the morning .  Before leaving the polling station , I saw 2 to 4 people looking at the list and went inside the precinct.

COMELEC reminder

After i voted,  took some time for a quick chat with our neighbors and poll watchers about what happened to the PCOS machine in our polling station,  a nun over heard our conversation and told that that they will surely guard those PCOS machines which had some glitches ( relief on my part )  .

fiesta -like mood outside of the polling precinct

I think the 2013 election is more orderly compared with the 2010 election . I do not have to wait for long lines and wait for more than 2 hours just  for me to vote, Perhaps in the next election ( barangay ) I might  change my voting habits !

people along the G. Tolentino street

 There should be a special voting precinct  place for the senior citizens , people with  disabilities or even those with high blood pressure who cannot endure climbing up the stairs ,  the extreme humidity and hot weather due to cramped classrooms. I must say ‘congratulations ‘ to all Filipino voters for braving the heat and pressure. Same with the teachers who served as board of election inspectors , volunteers , poll watchers and PPCRV!

Escolta Saturday market attracts buyers

First United Building , Escolta street , Santa Cruz, Manila-Philippines

Escolta street early in the 20th century

After several weeks and months of planning and conceptualizing , The big day had arrived.   A guided tour organized by Heritage Conservation Society  , Escolta Commercial Association ( ECA) and various concerned citizens to promote the area  and aimed to revitalized the former glory and splendor of Manila’s premier business district . Heritage Conservation Society Youth  organized a tour at around past 9:00am to  past 12:00 noon  a tour dubbed as  “Escoltara!” to explore the district and get to know its many Art Deco buildings and immense on the rich history of the place.

old magazines, books are on sale

a dealer together with an interested buyer examining an item for sale

The venue was of the Saturday market is the bare-walled space in the ground floor of the First United Building . The  dealers /sellers  area was set up with mats and tables .

stylist office chairs

There are about 30 dealers/ sellers  offering a wide range of items such as old cameras, postcards, old photos, fashion accessories , toys, vinyl records , books, clothes, art pieces  to  old chairs , furniture and even old soda bottles.

Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta also  bought some old postcards of Manila ( circa 1960’s) . The postcards were being sold from Php 200 each to Php 500 each depending on the date of issuance.

a volunteer of 98-B gallery selling T-shirts, customized mugs with escolta designs and umbrella

  a dealer holding vinyl record ( mint condition )

In history, Escolta had a lot of firsts: first ice cream parlor, first cinema, first elevator, first escalator   . The younger generation must appreciate the value of the place . Some of them prefer to go to malls or elsewhere.

The Masonic temple building( PNB) and Escolta  before the onset of the second world war as photographed from Santa Cruz Bridge

Photographer: Harrison Forman 1904-1978

This image is from the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA collections

I would also add to the long list of first, When Far Eastern University was founded by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. in 1928 ( Institute of Accounts Business and Finance ) The institute  rented a space in the former masonic temple within the Escolta street. The review center would eventually moved to Avenida then eventually to its present location .

Old Fajaro Building ( second building occupied by then Institute of Accountancy ) scanned copy from the personal collection of the author

El Hogar building from an old postcard collection: Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club

El Hogar  is a beaux-arts building, designed by architect Senior  Ramon ( may also be spelled Ramond ) de Yrureta-Goyena ( may also be spelled Irrureta-Goyena)   and set by the Pasig River on Muelle dela Industria street in Binondo, was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel daughter and a Peruvian count back in 1914. It housed the offices of the lending company El Hogar Filipino (hence derived the name) and the original headquarters of Ayala Life Insurance Company. After World War II, the building found itself in the hands of the Fernandez clan who still run the building till this day.

present day El Hogar building 

 Darling of Movie and Television

The building and its offices spaces is a favorite shooting place for television commercials , movies and architectural photo-shoots . Some people would refer the building as ” Studio Three ” . The building and its premises  has now become the darling of Manila’s TV and film production design world. Aside from being used as the backdrop for Globe and McDonald’s commercials, it’s also used as the setting for the music videos of indie groups Bamboo (“Hallelujah”), Cueshe (“Stay”), Sarah Geronimo’s remake of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.  It was even used in the opening scenes of  Mr. Peque Gallaga’s recently premiered “Pinoy Blonde”.  Another recent shoot  was the MTV ” Pusong Bato ” of Mr. Jovit Baldivino  . Filipino directors love to shoot the building in different angles,  The place and building can be stimulated to look like those found in  Paris, New York , London or even Madrid.

However the tangled electricity wires and telephone lines makes it difficult for photographers to take pictures. The broken windows of the building adds to the charm .

used soft drink bottles for sale

Space rental  cost P500 for the entire day , However sellers had to bring in their tables and chairs. The same space had been Berg’s Department Store, one of the major stores in Escolta in the 1940s. The concept of holding a Saturday market was inspired by this department store.

Heritage Conservation Society  and Escolta Commercial Association members souvenir shot in front of the First United Building

While the Escolta Saturday Market ( frequency once a week ) can be  similar to Salcedo Sunday MarketEaton Centris ( Sidcor) Sunday Market or  collecting clubs which have a monthly event where members and non-members hold their bourse/swap meeting. The Escolta market  will target the collectors and lovers of art.  The next event is slated on April 27, 2013 . The organizers wanted to have it on a weekly basis activity in the near future.

Note:  parking space is limited within the Escolta area.

Far Eastern University stamp design contest

Far Eastern University stamp design contest

Far Eastern University and the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF) in partnership with the Philippine Postal Corporation, will be  launching the Tamaraw Stamp Design Competition. The winners will be announced on October 1, 2013 ” World Tamaraw Day

For more information about the contest :

Website: http://www.feu.edu.ph/index.php/tamaraw-stamp-design-competition/

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/FarEasternUniversity/posts/351160344968458

6th Philippine Towns and Cities Conference

 poster of the event

The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), Urban Partnerships Foundation (UPF), Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP), the City Government of Manila, the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission, together with Far Eastern University, invite you to the 6th Annual Conference on Philippine Towns and Cities (PTC) at the FEU Auditorium, Far Eastern University on November 4, 2011, Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the past six years, PTC has enhanced civic engagement with local governments units in order to inform and guide the LGUs on the proper care and utilization of a valuable asset — built heritage resources. This year’s focus will be on the revitalization of inner city districts, particularly those in the City of Manila.

We encourage architects, urban planners, property developers, policy makers, national and local government officials, engineers, planners, building officials and tourism officers, heritage property owners, and all those interested in heritage to attend. The urban revitalization of old city centers and historic districts is the new big thing for urban planning, property developers and local government policy. This would be a good opportunity for everyone to get insights on opportunities in the revitalization of historic districts.

Conference fess are Php1000 for both government and private participants; and Php200 for undergraduate students with IDs. For more information, contact Ms. Dorie Soriano or Ms. Luz Regalado of the Heritage Conservation Society at (02) 5466367, (02) 3534494, (0917) 8668853, (0906) 2625631 or e-mail hcs_secretariat@yahoo.com .

Far Eastern University 83rd founding anniversary

Last January 17, 2011 . The author was one of the invited guest to come on the occasion of the  floral offering at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque.

Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. was the special feature on January 31, 1970 Manila Chronicle Magazine issue

personal collection of the author

Nicanor I. Reyes, Sr. Founder, 1st President of the University . He envisioned a school that would promote the teaching of accounting to Filipinos, a profession formerly available only to foreigners. He wanted to prove that Filipinos were capable and trustworthy in handling the hundred of enterprises that would result with the coming of the independence of the country.

Far Eastern University -75th anniversary commemorative stamp issued by Philpost in 2003

He earned an A.B. in 1915 from the University of the Philippines , a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Science from New York University in 1917, and a Master of Arts degree in Business Administration from Columbia University the following year. He received his Ph.D. in Accountancy from Columbia – the first Filipino to do so, which was also the first degree of its kind to be awarded by Columbia. During the Pacific War, the Japanese killed Dr. Nicanor Reyes and some members of his family. His son, Nicanor M. Reyes, Jr., later became president of FEU.

Pre-war Far Eastern University building  – above ( The building was later demolished in 1937 to pave way for the construction of  Colgante  Boulevard now known as Quezon Boulevard , the present FEU building facing Quezon Boulevard was finished in 1939 .) At present , this is known as Nicanor Reyes Sr. Building .
























Mrs. Amparo Mendoza Reyes – wife of Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. in a rare picture with fashionable circa 1930’s  Philippine terno .

Paying tribute to Far Eastern University founder Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. tomb  is one of the activities highlighting the founding anniversary of the university.

FEU drum and bugle choir led the procession

The memorial park was open in 1964 and is the final resting place of various notable Philippines who’s who . The total area is about 427 hectares.

colorful array of Dendrobiums and Phalaenopsis orchid hybrids  were part of the floral offering to the founder’s tomb

honor guards lining -up for the formal gun salute to the founder

FEU choir

Dr. Lourdes Reyes Montinola – FEU board of trustees chairman

group picture at the Reyes Mausoleum


tomb stone of Dr. Nicanor Reyes and family

his family was massacred by the Japanese army on February 9, 1945