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Forgotten lives and times.

Rizal's Noli me Tangere was published (Berlin, 1887) in a print run of 2,000 copies. It retailed for R4 a copy but sales in Europe were poor. Copies were smuggled to the Philippines and sold at a large markup.

The Katipunan was exposed in August 1896 when the wife of Teodoro PatiAaAaAeA~ a laborer at El Diario de Manila, confessed to Augustinian Fr. Mariano Gil that her husband was the secret society's member. Padre Mariano hurried to the printers and revealed all to manager RamAaAaAeA n MontAaAaAeA@ tisAaAaAeA y). Montes and his assistant and fellow tisAaAaAeA y JosAaAaAeA@ Trillo s the place and found incriminating lithographic stones and flyers on admission requirements, oath for signature applicants' blood, ORs, a notebook recording contributions received, etc.

Of course the Establishment got alarmed. Rondas were organized to arrest suspicious persons and Roxas joined the San Miguel Guerillas. He was issued a horse, a saddle, and a saber. Says he, "I brought my saber home and in so doing frightened my houseboy." With Fernando ZAaAaAeA be he patrolled Aviles from Ayala Bridge to Nagtahan.


The Ayuntamiento building was rebuilt after the 1863 and 1880 earthquakes, its Marble Hall inaugurated in 1892 with a Ball. It had always been called Casas Consistoriales and occupied principally by the Governor General (who was concurrently Manila mayor) and national offices. Only a part was used for city administration. The building was called Ayuntamiento (which means city or municipal council) by the Americans "when everything went out of kilter."

City offices eventually moved to a two-story building at what was still part of Mehan Garden (the Spanish Regime's 1858 JardAaAaAeA n BotAaAaAeA nico). T were suggestions to transfer City Hall to the Bilibid compound on Azcarraga after the prison moved to Muntinlupa. Nothing came out of it and the existing building was built, eating up a good part of the old JardAaAaAe BotAaAaAeA nico/Mehan Garde

Government commissioned Daniel Burnham to draw up a physical framework plan for Manila. The JardAaAaAeA n BotAaAaAeA nico became a park under John C. Me The Manila North Cemetery was one of his projects, built partly on land carved out of Caloocan. It was designed as a park comparable with the best anywhere, e.g., Paris' PAaAaAeA?re Lachaise. Mehan suffered financi reverses and was one day found dead in the cemetery.

In 1905, government improved Manila's water supply with "titanic hydraulic construction" conveying water from Montalban to the San Juan Reservoir. The authorities expropriated the forested Pinugay Estate (BosAaAaAeA BosAa as watershed.

With proceeds from a Bond issue, Manila had bought land in Muntinlupa for orphans and juvenile delinquents who had previously been sent to LolombAaAaAeA y in MarilAaAaAeA o, BulacAaAaAeA n. The place became redundant with the constr of facilities at Mandaluyong's Welfareville. Meanwhile, the National Government had wanted to move the national prison from the already well-populated Santa Cruz/Sampaloc. Manila sold the land (for R27,000) to the national government and in 1936, Bilibid moved.

That may have been the last government land purchase. Nowadays, one hears only of public land sales.

Notes: (a) Felix Roxas' recollections were in his column (Hojas Sueltas and De Ayer a Hoy) in the periodical El Debate. These were compiled, translated from the Spanish and published by the Filipiniana Book Guild, The World of Felix Roxas (Manila: 1970); (b) Calle Azcarraga is now C.M. Recto; and (c) LolombAaAaAeA y was a Dominican haciend

Comments are cordially invited, addressed to


SNAPSHOTS OF HISTORY Counterclockwise: Aerial view showing the newly constructed Legislative Building, with Manila City Hall still a two-story building at middle right and empty space where YMCA and SM City Mall were to later rise; the cover of Noli me Tangere's manuscript (National Library); Dominican Friars by Juan Luna (National Museum, Gift of Far East Bank and
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Title Annotation:Lifestyle
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 21, 2015
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