Tag Archives: Manila Bay

#296 Cultural Center of the Philippines

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas) or simply the CCP is located in the cities of Pasay and Manila and was opened in 1969 supposedly to promote Filipino arts and culture.

During the 1960s the CCP was viewed as one of the most controversial centrepiece cultural projects of the Marcos regime not only for its scale and financing but also for its socio-cultural impact and political objectives.  Since its opening, it has showcased the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal Danish ballets, as well as contemporary American, French, German, and Philippine companies.

Created by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1966 through presidential fiat, with the stated aim of promoting Filipino arts and culture, the building or complex was formally inaugurated on September 8, 1969. The Center’s formal inauguration was attended by a number of international personalities, including then California  Governor and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, who represented US President Richard Nixon. 

Today, the CCP has survived the Marcos era and showcases Filipino artistic achievements, encourages the creation of original works inspired by Filipino tradition and helps makes the arts accessible. It also initiates and supports the establishment of regional or local cultural centers in cooperation with local groups. But the stigma of cultural elitism remains, though not as strong as during the Marcos regime.

The main theatre building located along Roxas Boulevard is one of the architectural highlights in the area, but the construction of the CCP triggered violent protests in the late 1960s when it displaced hundreds of fishing village families displaced by the Manila Bay land reclamation project (Wikipedia and other sources).

Long live Philippine arts and culture!

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#247 Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel is a 570-room, five star hotel in Manila, Philippines, located at the Manila Bay area. The Manila Hotel is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines, built in 1909 to rival Malacañang Palace, where the Philippine president now lives, and opened in 1912. Built on 3.5 hectares (376,736.9 sq ft) of land along Roxas Boulevard, a part of the hotel was the residence of General Douglas MacArthur from 1935 to 1941.

Several foreign news organizations, including The New York Times also has offices at the Manila Hotel. Numerous historical persons and celebrities, including authors Ernest Hemingway, James A. Michener, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, The Beatles, King of Pop Michael Jackson, Actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and John Wayne, publisher Henry Luce, entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, and many various world leaders were guests of the hotel. (Source: Wikipedia)

Mabuhay ang Manila Hotel!

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#93 Corregidor Island

Ruins of military embattlements in Corregidor Island

Corregidor is an island in the entrance of Manila Bay and due to its position it has served as a strategic naval defense  for the capital city of Manila. During World War 2, Corregidor was the site of several battles and its fall to the Japanese forces was instrumental in the subsequent capture of the Philippines and the retreat of the US forces  in the early phase of World War 2 (Wikipedia).

During the Spanish colonial era, Corregidor served not only as a fortress of defense and a penal institution, but also as a signal outpost to warn Manila of the approach of hostile ships. It was also used as a station for customs inspection. Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir, meaning “to correct.”  

Today, Corregidor is known as a historic and tourist site and is managed under the jurisdiction of Cavite City. Geologically, Corregidor Island is a volcanic  remnant of the Corregidor Caldera,  which was active about a million years ago. Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has listed the island as a potentially active volcano.

Tourists can visit the ruins of army headquarters, cannon placements, military tunnels and other defenses used during World War 2. The island is accessible via a ferryboat ride from Manila as a day-trip excursion. 

Mabuhay ang Corregidor!

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#13 Manila Bay Sunset

Almost a cliche, and yet a sunset view of the Manila Bay is one of the genuine,  pleasant freebies in noisy, congested Manila. Recorded in countless postcards, tourism campaigns, the famed Manila Bay Sunset remains a magnet for strollers along Roxas Boulevard, the strip of coconut-lined bayfront located between the Manila Yacht Club and the US Embassy complex.

The Manila Bay Sunset strip used to be longer, but with the condiminium development in Pasay City and the Cultural Center Complex built during the Marcos administration, the famed sunset strip has grown shorter through the years. Some years ago a former Manila mayor even had the whacky idea of creating an artificial white-sand beach on the same strip. But with the polluted waters from Metro Manila ending up in the bay, the idea sizzled off and failed to see, yes, another Manila Bay sunset.  

In the meantime, Manila residents should be on high guard not to allow its whacky politicians install carnival lights, trifles and other annoyances on Roxas Boulevard. That would only give them additional grease money to fund their re-election campaigns. 

Mabuhay ang Manila Bay!

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