something old, something new

Historical Bantay Belfry

We went to the 16th century Bantay Church in a calesa.  My first time to see the bell tower up close and personal. More impressive than I thought.

Alexa walks up and down the long stairway with much ease.

From there, we proceeded to the Vigan market to buy 2 kilos of longaniza from the winner of a longaniza cook-off recommended by the cuchero. Vigan’s longaniza is distinctly different from Laoag’s or Batac’s, though they are all unmistakably Ilocano in taste. I rotate my sources depending on my mood.

The following are the only photos from Baluarte, “a wildlife sanctuary” according to its website. A goose on the loose was enough to freak her out

Local flavor: fresh sugarcane juice.

Back in the heart of Vigan.

I guess Alexa can smell good chocolate cake from afar…

Baked by Gabby’s Bakeshop for The Perfect Cup.

“Dark and  bitter, mmnn!” I knew she loved it because it was gone fast.

Marvelous Braso de Mercedes, the custard filling, not sickly sweet!

If you’re from the northern side of Ilocos, National Bookstore alone is a good reason to go to Vigan. Alexa got notebooks, paper and pencils for the new school year.

Something that caught my attention — a green guide for teens☺

She excitedly wrote her name on one kit  for a less fortunate child.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved

The Juan Luna Effect

“Genius has no country, genius burst forth everywhere, is like light and air — the patrimony of all; cosmopolitan as space, as life as God.” ~ the words of Jose Rizal to the Spaniards who belittled Juan Luna’s exceptional talents because of his brown skin.

In our time, the way to introduce Ilocano painter Juan Luna would go like this: a global talent, Pinoy Pride Juan Luna.

A pioneer in Philippine artistic expression, Juan Luna was the first Filipino artist to receive international recognition for his works. Visiting the restored Luna ancestral house in Badoc and viewing his masterpieces, albeit reproductions, was an amazing experience.

After the recent tragic hostage-taking incident, I was hurt that the world sees mediocrity as the new face of the Filipino people. Today, after studying Luna’s splendid artworks, artworks that were accomplished during the so-called frailocracy, it got through my head… there is so much hope, we can be a great nation again…

The high drama of the Spoliarium. It won the First Gold Medal in the Madrid exposition.
Brother Antonio Luna’s Katipunan uniform.
Juan Luna’s real bed which was retrieved from his Binondo residence.
Juan Luna had 445 artworks. A number of his original works were lost/damaged during World War II.
“Parisian Life” aka “Interior d’un Cafiwas bought by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for 46M at Christie’s auction in Hong Kong in 2002. The details in the chef d’oeuvre are extraordinary. The 1892 painting used to belong to the daughters of Katipunan heroes Julio Nakpil and Gregoria de Jesus. Chris Eduarte, the museum technician at the Juan Luna Shrine, says, “The woman might be the mirror image of the Philippines as seen in a map; Juan Luna was a sailor in his early years.”
“El Violinista” The broken string and the bare feet, if you notice, make it more dramatic. Some say that the boy must be his brother, Manuel, who was a violinist.
The boy is Andrés Luna de San Pedro, the only son of Juan Luna and Paz Pardo de Tavera. His sister, Bibi, died in infancy. Andrés, a painter and an accomplished architect (designer of the Arlegui House, the residence of former president Corazon Aquino during her term), was married to Grace Mcrae. The couple didn’t have a child.
Juan Luna with our beloved Jose Rizal and Valentin Ventura, who lent Rizal money for the publication of El Filibusterismo, the sequel to Noli Me Tangere.
Not Luna’s, but a reminder of our past.
An antique calesa of an unnamed doctor.
The Luna House was fully restored in 1977. Several pillars, made with lime and egg whites, are still the original.

but only if, synchronously, we throw into oblivion the monkey wrenching crab mentality and lift our hands up in the air and reach for the stars.

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Are we losing the heritage we should leave behind?

Heritage Conservation Society: Here Today, Here Tomorrow?

The history of architecture in the Philippines

“What about the generations to come? Given their repeated destruction of the historic structures, will these generations like ours still be able to see our landmarks and make them their own guideposts to their future? How much more will be lost and will disappear? Our built heritage must be protected and cared for if we are to tell a story that is uniquely ours. Our children and theirs should not be deprived of their sense of place nor their sense of belonging. As we look around us,  can we recognize the heritage that must be valued for their beauty, their uniqueness and their significance to our development as a people? Will we allow them to vanish or will we relish their presence and enjoy ourselves in them, employing them for our use, not musky museums of fading memories, but vibrant venues restructured for our current needs and rationalized for our present realities, profiting both their caretakers for their efforts at preserving these monuments and their users who find in them richness of their experience, heirlooms handed down through generations that remind us of the past we came from, the affirmations of our achievements that stand in our present, the beacons to guide our course to our future?”

Read my thoughts on the proposed demolition and transfer of the Laoag Central Elementary School (here)