Sunday, June 15, 2008

Manila, Queen of the Pacific, 1938

Seventy years ago! (Looks better then that it does now.)

Thanks, Craig!


J said...

Great video! I'll post this on my blog too.

DJB Rizalist said...

J: You're welcome to it. Beautiful. Let everyone see it.

blackshama said...

It is a good record of what was once Manila. Intramuros was then really alive and not the faux staged one we see today.

Gives us an idea of what we lost because of the Japanese invasion.

The tragedy is that Intramuros could have been raised from the dead if the Friar orders decided to rebuild their churches in the city.

Nick Joaquin couldn't fathom this.

Herson Juego said...

I've just finished reading Joaquin's the woman who had two navels and I can see a bit of what it was about Manila that he's saying in the book.

DJB Rizalist said...

I loved the title of that piece by, though I didn't much care for the story. But how many navels does Manila many!

cvj said...

Too bad the Americans bombed Manila to rubble.

Equalizer said...

Can you imagine the great leaders of our country in the past acting like the present crop of politicians?

DJB Rizalist said...

So why do you think they "bombed Manila to rubble" after spending forty years building it, after thousands upon thousands of their citizens dedicated their lives to uplifting it?

What would Manila have looked like 1938, do you think, if it had been left to the Aguinaldos and Bonifacios and Artachos to fight over it, without education, without sanitation, without America?

cvj said...

DJB, thanks to the Americans, we'll never know, but for a 'Rizalist', your statement betrays too little faith in the Filipino.

DJB Rizalist said...

You don't think that maybe, just maybe, three years of Japanese occupation had something to do with it, or the presence of tens of thousands of them in Manila.

What indeed had become of Manila by 1945 under the Japanese occupation forces? Or do you perhaps think they were building beautiful Zen-like pagodas and turning Manila into lil tokyo, whilst teaching their fellow orientals some origami? Is that why the cruel, nasty Americans invaders decided to "bomb Manila to rubble?"

Maybe they should've just skipped the PHilippines altogether on the way to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, eh?

I am sure you also think they did that so they could reconquer their old colony.

Ah but why after all that trouble would Independence come in 1946.

Oh, they didn't like the rubble?

As for faith in the Filipino, what is your opinion of the last sixty years of their stewardship of these islands, the record of which may have something to do with my faithlessness?

Or is that America's fault too?

Recall that before they came, to be a Filipino was to be a Spaniard born in the colony.

Before America, were we not getting set to be ruled by "Hari ng katagalugan?"

cvj said...

DJB, all i'm saying is that it was American (not Japanese) bombardment that reduced Manila to rubble, according to some accounts, making it the second most devastated city, (after Warsaw) in World War 2.

What the Filipinos would have become after its revolution against Spain was not supposed to be the United States' business. What would have the American Revolutionaries felt if after helping defeat the British, France then proceeded to occupy the 13 colonies?

It is clear to which country your faith rests. I'm not sure if Rizal would have approved.

DJB Rizalist said...

We must put our faith in the goodness of HUMAN BEINGS, in their corrigibility and equality of potential, regardless of nationalisty.

Look at my picture of Rizal. It proclaims my dedication to virtues greater than nationalism. You are apparently wedded to the latter as if it were the endpoint of human evolution.

It is not!

cvj said...

Aren't you putting words in Rizal's mouth or associating him with values that he never espoused? Did Rizal ever ask us to reject our being Filipino?

DJB Rizalist said...

Take it from Rizal himself, not me. Read his epistolary with pablo pastells, -- he had transcended nationalism and was already a full formed global human being by the time he died. Why indeed would he volunteer to serve in the Spanish Military as a doctor in the Cuban War, before the Spanish Taliban decided to execute him?

Perhaps it is you putting words in his mouth, or Constantino putting ideas in your head?

cvj said...

DJB, i haven't read Constantino. As for Rizal's work in Cuba, any OFW knows that working on foreign assignment does not necessarily mean rejecting his/her Filipino identity. When he penned his Mi Ultimo Adios, he did not say Goodbye World neither did he say Good Riddance Philippines. By what was contained in that farewell poem, we know where his heart belonged.

The Nashman said...

Sigh. Beautiful. Manila was so beautiful.

But could there have been another strategy than to carpet bomb Manila and Baguio to drive away the Japanese, killing Pinoys and Japs in the process? We will never know....

DJB Rizalist said...

seems to me you haven't read the Mi Ultimo Adios either. Do you really think it was "nationalist poem" -- and not his personal good bye to the woman he loved? (Read the last line.)

Nationalists have made of Rizal a hero of their own fantasies, fantasies he himself transcended long before they imagined them to be his!

DJB Rizalist said...

Rizal was great a writer, but he was not his best at poetry. Only fools think he could've written such a masterpiece on the night before he died. Actually it was composed BEFORE he left for Cuba, and given to Josephine Bracken, or meant for her. That stuff with the oil lamp...myth!

cvj said...

Your interpretation is tenable only if (1) Rizal believed he would never return from Cuba and (2) 'Filipinas' is code for Josephine Bracken.

DJB Rizalist said...

If Rizal was such the consummate nationalist you imagine him to be, even before the nation itself was born and had a chance to define itself, how do we explain his undeniable act of enlisting in the Spanish Army to serve in its medical corps while it was fighting in the 3rd War of Independence in Cuba. I think he was going as a loyal Spaniard, but of the peninsular variety, which at that time was liberal, progressive and much unlike the fraile Taliban that ruled the islands. Perhaps he intended to go to Spain after military service, to work as he often declared he wanted, for the Philippines to become a State of Spain, a province of the Mother Country, instead of an orphan. Instead of course the Infant Philippine Republic would be kidnapped in its cradle (after his death) to be raised for a while in Hollywood.

No I do not deny that he was indeed the greatest patriot we have ever known.

For just as we cannot love humanity itself without first loving some one real person, how can we deny the progression from tribalism to nationalism to globalism, of the possibility that having truly loved one, we just naturally progress to truly loving all?

Rizal was a compleat European intellectual, who had even traveled to America, who had seen virtually all of the world's great captials and civilizations. His ambitions for the Philippines were greater than the narrow, limited role he has been cast into by our modern day nationalists--who cannot seem to exceed his example of it in the Noli Me Tangere.

I think even Constantinoesque ideology (which has spread like a viruss even to those who have not read him directly!) specifically rejects Rizal as a "mere reformist", preferring instead Andres Bonifacio (but not Aguinaldo!).

marvin said...

Great video! If it were up to me I'd ban all motor vehicles from Manila and make it mandatory for people to walk or take the calesa!

Show-Ender said...


It's acutally possible to make this into a reality. Nuke the whole metropolis and start anew. Rebuild Manila the way Burnham would've envishioned it.

marvin, that's a great idea! How about we ban all jeepneys AND tricycles from the country?