Monday, August 01, 2005

Confirmation at San Miguel

I was one my way to the confirmation of my good friends Gobbie & Lisa Salvana's son Ricky or Rick. The ceremony , or is it celebration?, was to be held at the Church of St Michael the Archangel in the old district of San Miguel. San Miguel is the neighborhood where the Presidential Palace Malacanang can be found. Formerly a summerhouse for the Spanish Governor General it became the official residence after the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros was destroyed by an earthquake. The tale behind the old Palacio del Gobernador is an even more interesting story and it involves a tyrant and a old Spanish soldier, but that is another tale for another time. Ever since Malacanang or Malacanan has been the residence of the topmost political leader of the land. Spanish and American Governor Generals have lived here. Nearly all the Philippine Presidents have resided within the walls of this edifice beside the Pasig River. My own adventure with Malacanang during the height of Edsa I. Marcos had fled the palace and the people were out in the street celebrating. And then for some unknown reason we sped towards Malacanang. Arriving at Arlegui street we found a multitude of people crowding the road. All attempting to get into the palace. One did not have to move to get in if you were in the crowd you seemed to be automatically pushed forward, the whole of mass of people began to act like atom particles propelling forward at the application of an external pressure from somewhere else. The mass movement ended at Malacanang Palace. The whole place was in total bedlam. People shouting and jumping about. Another group destroying officials photos. Other throwing official papers. And there were others carrying off perfumes, chocolates and goats. Going back to the church and getting there. Moving along Legarda Legarda As I said it was inside the Malacanang Complex and as such subject to its security rules. I contemplated on taking the train but idea of security measures and distance of the nearest station from Malacanang developed an unwillingness in me to ride public. Instead I took the car. We passed through Legarda and thru Arlegui. Before that we passed to the outpost near San Jose de Dios. Unfortunately we were unable to enter, lack of security clearance, but the soldiers at the outpost kindly pointed us to the right direction, in the process also try to sell as a hammock. Inside the Malacanang Compound we passed by a lot of residential houses, the neighbors of the president. What were they feeling living close ot center of power? How did it change their lives? And how have they adapted? I am sure they try to live a normal life as best they can. Anyway after a few minutes we sighted the church. According to my mother this church was comparable in status to San Agustin, Manila Cathedral and San Antonio during her days. It was one of the preferred places to get married. Now according to the Sacristan Mayor of the church it was no problem to book the church for weddings. They even celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation twice a week. For June they only had two weddings at the church. Of course there were problems inherent to the location of the place. For one it was difficult to get in especially when the Presidential Security Group is on red alert. But it was the most secure church in the Philippines. San Miguel San Miguel Church The confirmation proceeded without hitch. It was not red alert that day. And I must say it truly is a pretty church.
  • More snapshots of Legarda
  • More snapshots of San Miguel Church

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