Singapura

Finally made it to Istana!

My wife and I have been making plans to visit the Istana for many years. Whenever we’re about to go something comes up, and we end up putting it off. So it was with great relief when we finally pulled it off two weeks ago! It’s only open to the public during the country’s official […]

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Historia | Singapura

Spanish Philippine Armada in Singapore (Part 1)

  According to historian Peter Borschberg (National University of Singapore), “Spanish Governor of the Philippines, Juan de Silva, commissioned the construction of what was arguably the largest European armada seen in Asian waters before 1620. In the course of joint operations scheduled for the years 1615 and 1616, the Spanish and Portuguese sought to evict […]

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Historia | Singapura

That’s a staycation

We have no immediate family here in Singapore, so I thought a two- to three-day family vacation would be a great way to celebrate my son’s second birthday. Last year, we arranged a Jollibee party for him. It was attended mostly by family members and a few of our closest friends in southern Metro Manila. […]

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Historia | Singapura

That grouper was not named after Lapu-Lapu!

  When I heard a relative telling his friends that the fish Lapu-Lapu was named after Lapu-Lapu, the Mactán chieftain who furiously defended his turf against Fernando Magallanes (popularly known as Ferdinand Magellan), I thought of correcting him. But then again, I didn’t want to embarrass him. As early as grade school, I learned from […]

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Historia | Malaysia | Singapura

Sun Yat Sen’s Singapore Villa

Last month, I visited the historic villa that became the Singapore headquarters of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. I found out about this place from a Chinese-Singaporean cab driver who I met three years ago. While he drives his cab here in the Lion City, his Filipino family is in Iloílo. The daughter studies in a Chinese […]

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Muntinglupa | Singapura

Pinoy style toponymy

A young local politician told me that the origin of Alabang is the word abang (tagalog for “to wait”). Bandits during the Spanish era use to ambush unsuspecting people he said. Legends are more appealing than real history. The small Rio Alban (the one in Festival Mall) gave her name to Alabang. Boring story, I […]

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Singapura

Seeing Kranji and my WWII Obsession

My current reading list are mostly WWII books these days. Like “Tears in the Darkness” by Michael Norman, about the horrors of the Bataan Death March. Another is “Counting the Days” by Craig B. Smith, chronicles of POWs and stragglers in the pacific war. I have two more that I haven’t even started reading. WWII […]

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Singapura

The Revere Bell in Singapore’s National Museum

I dropped by Singapore’s National Museum yesterday to see a rare piece of Americana. The Revere Bell. The bell was donated by Maria Revere, daughter of Paul Revere. She was married to the first American consul in the island (Balestier road was named after him). She wanted it to be tolled every night to let […]

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Historia | Opinion | Singapura

Libraries are our Friend

Libraries eventually will all be phased out as information becomes available in digital forms. This institution will all serve as repositories of physical books. One day,  we’ll just borrow digital facsimile online (Google’s on it with GoogleBooks). There will be no need for a visit. And so, enjoy them while they’re still around. Arguably the […]

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Singapura

ACM’s Exhibit on Christianity in Asia

I arrived at the Asian Museum Civilization pass 4 this past Sunday. While there’s hardly traffic here it takes me about an hour to get to the downtown core—the old colonial seat of power. The British are gone but they left behind elegant buildings now utilized to promote art, culture and history. Like the old supreme court […]

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