The interior of Basílica Menor de San Sebastián or San Sebastian Basilica from the choir loft

The Rarer Treat

Up to the choir loft, we stopped to consider a mural of purgatory. While it still arches over the rose window, its beauty has long since dulled; from the pews of the church, there is no enticing artwork in that darkened space. There was a lone chandelier that hung from the ceiling, its appearance starkly different from the ones below. It is thought that it could be one of the original French oil lamps but could not be confirmed.

Furniture detail

The Museum’s Secrets

The museum houses the collection of Alfonso T. Yuchengco, the recently departed head of the Yuchengco Group of Companies, two of which are the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and the Mapúa University (formerly Mapúa Institute of Technology). He was also the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations and served different presidential administrations.

Blindly buy books?

Blindly Buy Books?

I have been subjected to impulse buys: that moment when I learned that a certain book existed and I have no idea if any other copy is available in that bookstore or any other bookstore and if I would risk the moment of leaving it behind, never seeing it again, and remembering not reading it at all. A number of books in my collection are good impulse buys, a few I even deem serendipitous. And the rest are rejects, regrets, and resentments.

This season's usual sight at the Planetarium

The Overlooked Star

The Planetarium is a gated structure that encloses a 16 meter (52 ft.) dome that lies just on the edge of the Rizal Park Complex facing the Intramuros, the Walled City. Plans for the country’s planetarium came from the Philippine Weather Bureau (now the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) chief and Philippine Astronomical Society founder Maximo Sacro Jr. and were passed along to National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr., who gave it the budget of $100,000.00 from the Japanese Reparation Program.

Book Hunting at Anvil Publishing Inc.

Anvil Publishing Inc. is a local publisher that has been producing books since 1990. They have close ties to National Bookstore Inc., the largest bookstore and office supplies chain in the country. Anvil is the creator of a number of the textbooks that my schools used. Besides the almost 2,000 (and counting) titles they have, they also have gained the title of “Publisher of the Year” eleven times from the Manila Critics Circle.