Wednesday, December 12

Landscape by Google

While browsing the internet for more inane reads, I accidentally discovered that the Manila City Hall is shaped like a coffin with a cross when viewed from above. See for yourself here.

According to this page in the threads of Pinoy Tambayan: "The original Manila City Hall was a rambling structure made of Oregon pine. It sat on the same site as today’s structure and lasted till the late 1930s when an Antonio Toledo-designed structure replaced it."

Somebody else said that the architect responsible for the reconstruction wanted a memorial for those who perished during the Second World War, when the city hall was turned into a Japanese garrison and lots of people died, especially on the clock tower side.

There's also a testimonial to the place's haunted status. A bunch of guys on the night shift working on a project decided to go ghost-hunting, but they didn't even get to the 5th floor. One of the ghost hunters screamed, and while the building security knew they were there, the security people opted to wait for them in the first floor. They didn't want to go up because of the creepiness of the place.

I wish I knew this when I played GRO during our department's international conference a couple of weeks ago. I sat in the back of a van with some of the participants and I can tell you, my vocabulary level dropped to the level of 'Hey Joe, you wanna buy watch? Me love you long time." (I was apparently not alone. For some reason most of us younger instructors found ourselves using very basic sentence structures. We all wanted to tell our guests that usually we were engaging conversationalists, but our collective syntax short-circuited just then. I digress.) All I could say when we passed by City Hall was that it was built in the late 1930s, got bombed and rebuilt again. Not much help really.

But really, the things that you learn from Google. Just simply fascinating. I don't mind I spent a few minutes on the web for it.


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