Friday, August 28, 2009

An Ambitious Solution to Manila's Flood Problem

August 22, 2009 - flood waters rose up again in Sampaloc, and after a long while of absence, even entered the UST campus, and all it's buildings, even the hospital, even the supposedly "raised" carpark. The multistorey carpark's groundlevel is raised 1 meter from street-level but this did not stop the infamous Sampaloc Flood. This really has to stop. My suggestions are many but all can be classified "wild" and "too ambitious" but will certainly work. I hope we put everything into this because this is flood is really counterproductive to our country. Imagine... Manila is our capital. It's so embarassing!

1. Redig all the covered waterways and even create a lot of new ones. Water has to go somewhere right? We should even build flood reservoirs. They can be underground, under buildings and are left empty until there's a lot of water and it will spill in those reservoirs and then thrown out when the rain has stopped. Malaysia has done this. They build a traffic tunnel which is turned into a flood reservoir whenever the need arises. Build another big canal similar to the Mangahan flood waterway cutting right through the middle of sampaloc, it doesn't have to be open, it can even run through the entire length of streets, the flood waters will be right under our feet...

2. Regrade the entire city. This has been done, although after a really destructive force rapt through a city. Seattle, which was built on a tidal plane was regraded one and in some places two storeys high after its great fire. Imagine if we raised the entire Manila landscape one storey high. No more flood.. LOL... this is really far fetched, too much history will be buried but it will be an enduring solution. And reconstruction doesn't have to be overnight. And we will not be wasting money trying to slowly raise street levels like what Manila is doing now feet by feet. In the long run, it is more expensive. And we'll also have a new tourist attraction... Manila's Underground City. --This is really not uncommon I discovered, Mereyside in UK was raised one storey high, Seattle as I've said one to two storeys high (Seattle Underground City), a large part of Atlanta has been raised one storey high (Atlanta Underground City), Rome is resting on a different Rome more times over, Mexico was raised from a dry lakebed... I can go on and on. I am leaning more towards this suggestion really. And considering the sealevel is rising, it may be our only option soon enough. It's a big sacrifice yes... but it is also a very big opportunity... we could bury all our electric cables making the city beautiful. New monuments... new public buildings, and most importantly flood, never again to be seen... can you just imagine?

Addendum :

This is interesting to share. How exactly did Seattle do it?

After its great fire, the decision was made to forever end the flooding problem of the city. They built concrete walls to line the street leaving the sidewalk at the original ground level at first... The insides of the concrete walls (the street) was filled in to produce the new raised street level. People continued using the old street level. Slowly merchants transferred to their second floors and used it as the new commercial space and used the lower floor for storage. Brick arches were put on the narrow sidewalks and were lined with thick glass to allow light below. There were two levels of sidewalks at that point. Once the people have completely moved out of the "now" underground these sidewalks were closed. Parts of the remaining underground city of Seattle is now available for tours... It's amazing how they did this, and how persistent and determined they were to stop flood from hurting their commerce... I hope we had this vigilance...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Manila Frustration

Pictured above is the proposed Burnham plan for the reconstruction of Manila which never came into fruition save for a few buildings. This is really frustrating. Of course no one can ever tell of the real circumstances during that time, history anyway should always be taken with gigantic boulder of salt. President Quezon scrapped the plans to further his plans of a new capital outside of Old Manila in his name (which by the way also did not materialize). But can you imagine Manila if the plan did go through? Burnham's plan for Manila commissioned in 1901 and completed in 1905 was actually made before those of Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. (with McMillan, they revived L'Enfant's 1791 vision for the US Capital - the crowning feature of which is the National Mall). All these cities have the same perfect symmetrical look with wide diagonal boulevards, intersecting streets, big parks, and awe-inspiring public buildings and monuments.

Some of the amazing features of the Burnham Plan?
  • A 75 meter baywalk/park from the national mall all the way to Cavite with a wide scenic boulevard spanning the entire route. This actually "sort of" made it through as the Dewey/Roxas Boulevard.
  • A park, canopy covered scenic drive covering the entire length of the Pasig River terminating in an park at the edge of the Laguna Lake. Sigh... wonderful right?
  • Wide boulevards radiating from the center of the National Mall right behind the capitol. This is very similar to Paris' and DC's layout and it would have been amazing.
  • The capitol will surround a gigantic plaza which I imagine would look like Plaza Mayor in Spain.
  • Big parks surrounding the city edge.
A key feature of Burnham's concept of urban planning is taking advantage of waterfront scenery. Other big unplanned cities have covered waterfronts, filled to the brim with buildings whilst those of Burnham's like Chicago and DC has given the waterfront "to the people" with parks and public spaces which is ideal, since tall buildings built farther away can actually still see the view right? Burnham envisioned Manila as a walk-to-everywhere city just like Paris with more canopy cover, which would have been ideal, healthier citizens, with less pollution.

It's really frustrating. Chicago, after 100 years since Burnham's plan for it, is still implementing and finishing his fantastic vision, with building the eco-bridge that will cover the mouth of it's harbor in a bid to host the Olympics on 2016. Imagine, our city, with buildings rivaling those of Washington D.C. and Paris. Is it too late to reorganize our congested city? Do wee need the destruction of war just to fix our urban jungle? I'm actually loving Imelda in that she sees no boundaries nor limits in what she wants to accomplish. I want more architectural monuments in our capital, I want to bring Manila the glory she deserves.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Board Victory

August 19, 2009 - Marco, April, Me-An, Sandy, Marga, and Niña were victorious at the Physicial Licensure Exam. We ate at Dencio's and waited at Coffee Bean Trinoma for the results. On february, it will be Alexs, Roxie, Kim's and my turn !!!

At Dencio's

Bored ?! Passers ^_^

April Shrieked when she heard the news...

Prayer of Thanksgiving at the Santo Domingo
Perpetual Adoration Chapel

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Pater Noster, Emitte Spiritum Tuum Pro Scientia Et Sapientia
Ave Maria, Regina Caeli, Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, Ora Pro Nobis

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

An Old Friend

Welcome my old friend!
I thought we've left each other for good.
I embrace you now with no animosity.
I welcome you with no malice.
Fill every muscle, joint and bone as you now do...
Fill me and consume me...
for you bury deeper pain still
that no amount of your physical prowess can supersede.
Hurt in thought of what reason may force me to accomplish.
But must I, when your presence makes me want to seek consolation?
When you should be my enemy and not my redeemer.
A reminder of the limits of my humanity?
You make me strong, I agree.
But what will make me stronger still?
A tender visit from you every now and then?
Or a perpetual presence of an angel of comfort?
Who can crush you like clay against a mallet.
Hearken, seed of agony
Your arrival is most appreciated!
It is timely and imperative
A reminder of presences
I must choose to keep or discard
To inflame or to douse
To sow or the hack
Welcome! I embrace you!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

But I don't want to forget...

So sad. Just had a third of a series of dreams if I understand correctly but cannot recall it. And to my dismay, I've also forgotten the first two already since weeks have past. Urggh... It's so frustrating...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

RIP Tita Cory

Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino
1933 - 2009

May you find eternal peace in the high heavens Mrs. Aquino. My deepest sympathies to her remaining family.

Addendum (August 3, 2009):
I decided to add her so I'll not pull the post with her picture down. I just thought Mrs. Aquino is so like Mama Mary. Had she not given her "yes" salvation at that time would have been doubtful at best. She has made a big sacrifice for people who are not even her kin. I don't know what Ninoy made her promise before he left for the Philippines but those must have been powerful words. Powerful enough to make her leave the kitchen and go to Malacañan. That must have taken all the courage in the world. I admire you our Tita Cory. I wish I'll have your courage and principle to uphold what is right and moral.

Earlier when Bishop Soc Villegas told a story of a meeting between Sister Lucia (one of the Fatima Children) and Cardinal Sin. She told him that she wanted him to give a rosary she has made herself to her and that she is a God's gift to her people. Cardinal Sin said "...but she is suffering." Sister Lucia answered "Like all God's gifts, she will suffer..." Bishop Soc said he thought that during her presidency he already saw the suffering but only realized that Sister Lucia seemingly foretold of events later in her life. I cried then. God's intention is really beyond man's reason I suppose if those He loves most must suffer the most. If then... Whatever I must suffer Lord. I embrace.

You rest in peace Mrs. Aquino. We can take care of ourselves.