Baroque Churches in the Philippines: 500 Years of Christianity (Part 3 of 3)

This is the final narrative (Part 3) about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines collectively known as Baroque Churches of the Philippines. In the previous two posts, I have presented three magnificent Baroque churches, all of which are located in the Philippine largest island, Luzon: San Agustin Church in Intramuros in the National Capital…

Amsterdam: An Urban Center Dependent on the Waters

Many European cities such as Venice, Brugge, Gent, Paris, ​and Amsterdam are entwined with water. A lot of these magnificent cities are twinned with man-made canals, leading to rivers and onto the sea. Of these European cities, Amsterdam is exemplary, in such a way that its canals are significant to the city’s economic development. At…

Historic Centre of Macao and How it “Changed” Me

Macao has a very special place in my heart. My dad used to be an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for about six years. As the eldest of five siblings, I had the responsibility of joining him in familial celebrations such as Christmas and even Holy Week. Sometime in 2006, I even stayed there for about…

Baroque Churches in the Philippines: 500 Years of Christianity (Part 2 of 3)

In an earlier post about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) collectively named the Baroque Churches in the Philippines, I have discussed the impact of Hispanic colonialism in Philippine culture. In particular, I was pertaining to how Catholicism influenced the everyday life of the Filipino people. I also described how the Church through the Hispanic…

Baroque Churches in the Philippines: 500 Years of Christianity (Part 1 of 3)

On 21 March 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Visayas. Some say the landing was an accident. For others, the arrival of Magellan in Cebu was a necessary event in the history of the archipelago. Whatever perspective one believes, one thing is clear: Magellan’s arrival commenced the 333 years of divide et impera in…

Wealth, Power and Madness: Châteu de Versailles (Part 2 of 2)

As stated in the first part of my post about Versailles, the Palace and Park of Versailles (Versailles) today may be visited by tourists, art and history enthusiasts. Located south-west of Paris, trains take tourists and visitors to Versailles for around 45 minutes. A complex of more than 800 hectares, Versailles is the third most visited…

Pampanga Colonial Churches; Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical (Part 1 of 2)

I am Kapampangan and I am proud of my heritage. Most of the time, many Filipinos associate Kapampangan heritage with food. One of the most articulated cultural stereotype (in a positive sense) of a Kapampangan is her skills in cooking (hmmmm, Atching Lilian embodied!). This is also the reason why Pampanga is commonly associated as…

Wealth, Power and Madness: Châteu de Versailles (Part 1 of 2)

Three things come to mind every time Versailles is mentioned: Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and the Treaty of Versailles (1919). Connecting them are wealth, power and madness. During Louis XIV’s reign, France was a leading European superpower. France fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War…

Manila, Entangled!

This post is an excerpt from my book Buhol-Buhol/Entanglement: Contemporary Theatre in Metropolitan Manila (Bern et al: Peter Lang, 2017). ENTANGLEMENT is persistent in Manila’s historical narrative. Travel writer Pico Iyer has observed many contradictions in the city of Manila. For instance, he describes the gallery going to his hotel room as an extraordinary space since: “on…

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, an Indian Architectural Wonder

Early July 2017, a colleague from the University of the Philippines Diliman passed on a daunting task of delivering a lecture on digital humanities in Mumbai, India. The task was terrifying but the thought of Mumbai was seductive. Mumbai is one of five Indian cities in my bucket list (the other cities: Delhi, Agra, Goa,…