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Manila's Churches

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Manila is a city of churches. China has her walls, India her pagodas, her carved shrines and gilded images, but the distinguishing feature of Manila is her churches. She alone, of all the cities in the East, is rich in sanctuaries and symbols of the faith of the civilized world.

Most of the churches now standing are modern in construction, but the restoration were in strict keeping with the originals.

The austerity of the Augustinian seems to hang about the somber shadows of the old church, and the sincerity of life of the great order finds fitting expression in the building of genuine stone with no plaster or make-believe in its construction.

The higher culture of the Jesuit is nobly expressed in the most beautiful interior of all the churches of the Philippines, comparing wel with the carved-wood interiors of Belgian churches. The Gothic of old Sto. Domingo are the purest type of that most striking of all forms of churh architecture.

The oldest church in Manila stands at the intersection of General Luna and Calle Real in Instramuros. The strength of the walls is attested by the fact that it has withstood all the storms and earthquakes which have ruined so many fine buildings through centuries.

The church of the Recollect Order at the south end of Calle Cabildo is probably the next in age, the present buildings having been completed early in the seventeenth century.

The church of the Franciscans is located on Calles Solana and San Francisco. Its architecture is of the Tuscan form, so with all churches of the Franciscan Order. Across the court of the Third Order, with two fine towers and a rare altar service.

Three churches are especially worthy of attention. Of these the Cathedral takes precedence and is the best known of all the shrines of the city. Like most of the other large buildings, the present structure is the successor of three or four predecessor which were destroyed by earthquakes.

The bijou of Intramuros is the Jesuit Church on Calle Arzobispo. It is thouroughly modern in design and execution, and its exterior is destitute of comeliness; but the interior leaves nothing to ask in ravishing beauty of decoration.

One of the most impressive and interesting of all the Manila churches is old Sto. Domingo The exterior, with its embattled towers and climbing buttresses, is stately and massive. The view from the Ayuntamiento is striking, and the old Gothic windows of the semicircular apse have strong ecclesiastical flavor.


Why Rizal Wrote Noli Me Tangere?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

[This letter was written in French, which Rizal knew well. Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian ethnologist, was of Rizal's good friends.]

Berlin, March 5, 1887

My dear friendd:
In your letter you chided me for my silence. You are right: forgetfulness is the death of friendship, but I would like to add that in true friendship, forgetfulness has no place, and this fact I will prove right now. For a long time past you have been wishing to read a novel written by me. you have been telling me that I should write something more serious, more lasting than articles that live only in the pages of the newspaper. Very well; in response to your wishes and letters, I am sendingyou by this mail my novel Noli Me Tangere. "Noli Me Tangere", words from the New Testament, means "Touch me not." The book contains subjects which until now nobody has dared talk about; so delicate are they that they cannot bear any touch. In this book I have attempted to do what no other person has been willing to do; I have tried to answer the calumnies that for centuries have been heaped upon us and our country. I have also descibed our social conditions, our mode of living, our belies, our hopes, our longings, our complains, and our sorrows.I have unmasked the hypocrisy which under the cloak of religion has impoverished and brutalized us. I have tried to show the difference between true religion and false religion, which fosters superstition and uses saintly words to draw our silver, to make us believe things which the true Catholic religion would never sanction if it only knew. I have brought to light evils which have been hiding behind external grandeur and brilliance of our government. I have dwelt at lenght on our mistakes, our vices, faults, and our holy resignation to what we think are inescapable miseries. Where I have found virtue, I have given sufficient praise for it; but I have not not wept over our ills. Instead, I have laughed at them. No one would like to read a book full of tears, and besides, laughter is the best means of concealing pain. The incidents which I have related are true and have actually occured; I can readily give proofs. My book contains defects from the literary or aesthetic point of view, but no one can rightly accuse me of not being impartial.


Twin Born 95 Days Apart from Each Other

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Celeste was born vaginally at full term and was doing well, but her brother was 15 weeks premature when he was born Oct. 15 and is at risk for such neurological problems as learning disorders and mild celebral palsy.

You can imagine these kids 10 years later - "He's my twin but he was born in 1994 and I was born in 1995, three months later!"

Their mother, Simone Keys, has a history of highblood pressure, a heart rhythm irregularity and childhood rheumatic fever. All can complicate pregnancy, and Mrs. Key's pregnancy was further complicated by two fetus.

The hospital's doctors said that 95 day period between the births is the longest in which all babies in a multiple pregnancy survived. The previous record - 56 days - was for twins born in 1953 to a woman with a double uterus.


Bilaans of Southern Cotabato

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Although they belong to the same ethnic group as the Manobos and Tagabili they differ from them not only in the legend creature, but also in language and the design of their abaca clothes. The father has the last word in the family and polygamy among the affluent is quite prevalent. A man can have as many wives as he can afford provided he pays the Sungog-Dowry to the father of the girl. A man is not allowed to marry another until the first wife borne him a child. The first wife is the favorite and she allots the work to others. close bloog relationship forbids marriage.


St. Pants

St. Pantaleone was orginally the patron saint of Venice. His name was used as a Christian name and later for a character in Italian comedy - a tall thin silly old man who wore long trousers. From this character, trousers became known as pantaloons, shortened later to just "pants".


9,000-Year-Old Cloth Discovered

Monday, May 4, 2009

Scientists have reported finding what they say is the oldest piece of cloth ever discovered. It is believed to be about 9,000 years old. That is at least 500 years older than any other ancient cloth found. The cloth was found in southern Turkey near the area where the Tigris River rises. The piece of cloth is about one-and-half inches wide and three inches long. It was wrapped around the bottom of a tool made from an animal horn. Calcium from the horn hardened the cloth. That was what helped keep the material in good condition for so many years. Scientists say the material provides valuable information about the development of early civilization. Weaving cloth is one of the most important inventions of early humans. Scientists say 9,000-year-old piece of cloth gives a clearer picture about the period when humans changed. Researchers believe that making cloth is a skill that could develop only when societies became agricultural. The piece of material found at Cayonu was made from part of the flaxplant. Therefore, scientists believe that people in the area knew how to grow flax.


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