Saturday, May 26, 2007

Miguel and Antonio go to Manila

Facing the Rizal monument, with your back to Manila Bay, a simple, ornate statue emerges at the corner of Padre Burgos St. and Roxas Boulevard, just as the latter becomes Bonifacio Drive. It commemorates the arrival of Miguel Lopez De Legazpi and his chronicler Antonio Pigafetta and consequent founding of the city of Manila on June 24, 1571. The main subjects of the monument are depicted as two victorious figures holding on to the Flag and the Cross. The base also contains rich ornaments detailing adjunct facets and events to the city's founding.

I came to know about this piece of history while watching the Living Asia channel one morning several years ago. I caught a feature on Manila's forgotten landmarks, structures which are overshadowed by their more famous contemporaries because or hence they have fallen to neglect and disrepair. The Legazpi-Pigafetta monument is practically a stone's throw away from Rizal Park and yet its moat-like water feature is murky and the grass around it unkempt. If it weren't daytime, I would be too afraid to approach it.

The gray, overcast sky shrouding us as a co-worker and I endeavored to visit the monument one afternoon seems to be commiserating with the our poor appreciation of history.

P. Burgos cor Bonifacio Drive/ Roxas Boulevard, Manila, November 2006, using my Canon A430 digicam.

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