I really must learn how this blog actually works! When I upload photos, they seeem to be posted in reverse order, so I must acquire the knack of starting at the end and moving back. So, in the best Miss World tradition, here are a few photos in reverse order.
After running around with Claus for a day or two, I decided it was time for a day's sightseeing in Manila. To be honest, there is little of antiquity in the city. Fires, typhoons, earthquakes and all manner of natural and manmade catastrophies have seen to that. It was pleasant just to wander around though.
It is impossible to miss the impact of World War 2 in the Philippines. The depradations wrought on the country and it's people by the Japanese are well-documented and none the less horrific for their infamy. More of this in a moment. This monument, standing in front of Manila City Hall details some of the details of the liberation of the city in the latter stages of that war.
And here is the aforementioned City Hall. You cannot actually go inside unless on business but it is a fairly impressive structure and goes a long way back from the facade you see here. One good thing I saw was a number of notaries (lawyesrs) sitting on the street at stalls offering affadavits etc. Good to see damned lawyers out on the street where they belong. A more cautionary note, however, was that many of them offered the legal documents for foreigners to marry Filipinas. Memo to self - be careful!
Close to the national monument seen in the next image is a series of plaques commemorating those killed or "disappeared" under the regime of Marcos. This resonated with me somewhat as it is well within my memory and I remember watching this stuff on the TV whilst I was in my 20's.
Here is the national monument I spoke of above.
This is a very sad little monument. I only came upon it by accident as it is in a fairly forlorn corner of a grubby park with rubbish lying all around. I am not sure if this is a national monument of merely a local observance of what happened but it saddened me to see the lowly place it was situated, almost as if the commemoration of the event was somehow in need of being hidden or hushed up. I can understand that the poor women involved, if any are still alive, may wish to forget but I found it a bit distressing.
Here is a shopping plaza near the large Church.
The interior of the Church of the black Nasareene. Many worshippers were crawling the length of the central aisle on their knees to worship at the altar, as you can see. It is well-documented that I am an atheist. Would the Christ who allegedly annonted the feet of others really have wanted his followers to do such things? I am no theologian but I am not so sure.
And here, back at what was the start of my day's sightseeing, is the Curch itself from the outside. I promise to do my photos backwards from now on so they make sense. More soon.