the extras

Saint Jude Pastoral and Social Center
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila

Every Catholic parish usually have such buildings like this adjacent to their churches.  These buildings contain offices that operate for other activities of the parish. What are those other activities? I have no idea aside from keeping their documents. Maybe tutorials and such.

For the next few day’s I’d be posting images of similar buildings of Manila’s more popular Catholic parishes.


Mendiola Street and Avelino Hall, Centro Escolar University
San Miguel, Manila

The last entry was about the abbey church of San Beda College. Last month I have also posted something about Centro Escolar University. SBC and CEU are neighbors across Mendiola Street, a famous venue for street protests.

2 other colleges along Mendiola Street- College of the Holy Spirit and La Consolacion College Manila complete the list of the 4-member academic group named The Mendiola Consortium, a group that advocates academic cooperation by combining their manpower and resources for better education and public service. The consortium has been around since 1974.

These 4 form the Mendiola block of the core University Belt in Manila. Manila’s traditional University Belt is the subdistrict where the districts of San Miguel, Quiapo, Santa Cruz and Sampaloc meet. If combined with the Intramuros cluster and the Taft Avenue stretch within Manila, the wider University Belt will have University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc on the northernmost end, Arellano University (AU) on the easternmost end, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (CSB) in Malate on the southernmost end and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) in Intramuros on the westernmost end. That area is huge, stretches to almost 2/3s of Manila’s length, and that’s a lot of students, angry and energetic youth.

Malacañan Palace, the official residence of the Philippine President, sitting on the other end of Mendiola Street may be the sorry recepient of the student’s awareness in national issues. But the apathetic youth today may be harassed more when the angry mob take Mendiola to let the President hear their issues.

Out of the last 5 presidents that stayed in Malacañan, Mendiola was only protest-free during Fidel Ramos’ term. When I think of student protests, I always remember the image of that student in Tiananmen Square courageously facing the battle tank. I was surprised, in a really good emo way, that Mendiola had similar heroes.  Four student demonstrators died in the so-called Battle of Mendiola Bridge in January 1970, under Ferdinand Marcos.

Corazon Aquino’s slate isn’t exactly clean. In 1987, 10000 peasant farmers stormed Mendiola demanding an efficient land reform program. The injury of around a hundred and the death of 13 earned this encounter the title Mendiola Massacre. To know more on this tragic event, click on this Wikipedia article.

Because of this tragic event, demonstrations in Mendiola have been banned (so they have Ayala Avenue,  Mabuhay Rotonda, etc now?). But the power struggle at the sudden end of Estrada’s reign and the immediate rule of Arroyo in 2001 caused a rampage in Mendiola of supporters, fans, and like the EDSA 2 concert, normally apathetic people who feel the need to be part of history. Casualties are high among the mob, the police and the military. Aside from this, the street itself and properties within the vicinity have been severely damaged.

In 2007, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Movement of Philippine Peasants) installed a granite marker in Quezon City’s Bantayog ng mga Bayani. The southern half of Mendiola is still with gates and heavily guarded. Protests have been allowed by Manila mayor Alfredo Lim as of January 2008 but they should be limited to the area surrounding Mendiola landmark and on weekends and holidays only. So student’s won’t miss their classes?

This entry is draining. Ice cream, neone?

inside the lion’s den

Inside the Abbey Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, San Beda College
Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila

Constructed in 1926, this abbey church is considered the center of a Bedan’s spiritual life. As El Colegio de San Beda upon its establishment in 1901, the institution’s mission was ‘to defend the Catholic battlements in the field of education’, according to the college’s website. San Beda College is one of the grand old tertiary institutions in Metro Manila that value tradition. But it is always open for new ideas and can adjust to the changes of today’s world, no matter how late.

By 2003, 101 years after its founding, San Beda opens up for female college students. Consequentially, this increase in student population forced the Elementary and High School students out to the suburbs that is Taytay, Rizal. San Beda has high academic standards and has consistently maintained its Level III PAASCU accreditation. Because of this SBC has produced a long list of reputable alumni across various fields. Probably the most prominent would be Benigno Aquino, the hero and figure of the history People Power Revolution of 1986, against the regime of then dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His memorial day was celebrated days ago.

Aside from that San Beda has also maintained a good record in the NCAA, one of the two premier intercollegiate leagues in Metro Manila. San Beda adopted the Red Lion school moniker by 1940, reflecting the English influence of Benedictine Father Sergio Martinez. Red was chosen obviously for its common interpretation- courage, both as a warrior and a martyr (the Catholic part). Reasons for the Lion are no less subtle. It’s the king of the jungle. It’s been said ever since and every National Geographic documentary on African wildlife confirms that statement.

pink and gray

Librada Avelino Hall, Centro Escolar University
Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila

Centro Escolar University (CEU) is a private university. As Centro Escolar de Señoritas, it was founded by two women, Librada Avelino and Carmen de Luna in 1907. It became a university 32 years later.

The original campus, accesible from Manila’s historic Mendiola Street, is composed of 14 academic buildings that house the usual university facilies. The most recognizable off the pink cluster would be the iconic Librada Avelino Hall. Its themes and color schemes have also been the basis for the architectural design of the primary buildings of both its Makati and Malolos campuses.

For more information on Centro Escolar University click here