Tag Archive: Siri



Another one of those afternoons. No cams. Not even a Point & Shoot. Just Siri and Me. Just another hour to “waste”. So here we are, revisiting Paco Park. That lovely, tiny, circular chapel. And the cemetery that could have, SHOULD HAVE earned more attention, respect and recognition other than as a popular wedding venue. 😦

 

 

20121028-163445.jpg

 

 

I confess to my own ignorance too. Not that I lacked interest. More like I truly feel there is something grievously wrong about how our history has been written and our own education and school system. Whatever I know of Philippine history, I gained from the books I bought and read. What I learned from school hardly went beyond Rizal’s martyrdom. Let’s admit this. Many history lessons stopped with Magellan’s death courtesy of Lapu-Lapu (so, what happened to Lapu Lapu after? Any guess?), or with Rizal’s martyrdom in Bagumbayan (where was our national hero interred following the 1896 execution?). Or how many Philippine heroes can you name and how much do we know of each? If we hardly know Rizal our national hero, I do not expect we can say much of Bonifacio, Mabini, Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora.

 

 

20121028-164322.jpg

20121028-164349.jpg

 

 

For some, if not many, it would come as a surprise that the 3 martyred priests are actually buried here. It may even surprise some that their execution in 1872 inspired our national hero to write El Filibusterismo.. Today, this marker may not spark as much enthusiasm and evoke much significance among many locals. How sad.

 

 

20121028-164826.jpg

20121028-164851.jpg

 

 

Circling the same Paco Park, a patch of land bears another marker. This is the very spot where our national hero was SECRETLY buried soon after the December 30, 1896 execution in Bagumbayan. Zoom in on that marker to know more! 😉

 

20121028-165404.jpg


My afternoon was suddenly freed up, so how best to spend the time? The sun’s out and a walking tour is out of the question lest I feel like having a heat stroke. Shopping is not an option. I’ve also met my quota of 2 movies max in a week. I don’t feel like reading a book as the one I’m reading now is way too serious, too profound for my taste but nevertheless deserving of a read. I’m not hungry (yet) and I’ve been considering a walk in Chinatown when the heat is more bearable. Between NOW and a dimsum and lumpia fix in Chinatown, there’s the National Art Gallery.

 

20121024-010752.jpg

Juan Luna’s Spoliarium

20121024-010828.jpg

Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo’s “Assasination of Governor Bustamante”

 

In my first entry, I advised going to the Museum on a full stomach. This time around, I did the rounds while my stomach constantly reminded me of kutchay dumplings in this “hole-in-the-wall” dimsum place” off Ongpin Street. Without breaking a stride, I walked up the stairs to the Art Gallery. Sans camera. Sans bag. What I needed filled my pockets.

 

 

20121024-011003.jpg

20121024-011049.jpg

 

 

Siri was good company when I was strolling around Madrid as it is here within Museum walls. There was no crowd so I was able to spend as much time in the Hall of Masters Luna and Hidalgo. Almost mindlessly, I walked right up to the center of the hall between Luna’s “Spoliarium” and Hidalgo’s “Assassination of Governor Bustamante”. With each masterpiece, I inched closer, as if I’d find new meaning as I view the painting up close. I took my time snapping photos with my iPhone camera. Easily, I spent 10-15 minutes in this single hall. It’s not everyday after all that you find yourself ALONE in the Hall of Masters. No crowds. No student groups. No noisy chatty teenagers! No DLSR-toting tourists. 🙂

 

 

20121024-011156.jpg

20121024-011223.jpg

 

 

Both masterpieces have so many characters and it is quite interesting to read the facial expression, mannerism, body language and “aura” of each character. Now, that’s coming from a layman. I have neither the aptitude nor the training for art but I see what I see. Whatever and however the painting makes me feel is completely my own. Regardless of who painted what, I derive a certain sense of meaning. Intended or not by the artist, this is WHAT or HOW this and that painting made me feel.

 

 

20121024-012154.jpg

20121024-012230.jpg


 

I dare not share my sentiments and personal interpretations with anyone. No pretensions here. Both Luna and Hidalgo intended those masterpieces to convey a message. Whether i did get that message or not is my problem. But some may wish to dwell on the “separation of Church and State” or lack of it upon viewing Hidalgo’s “Assassination of Governor Bustamante”. Or how Luna’s very Roman scene in Spoliarium may invite discussions on human rights violations or the Filipinos’ sufferings during that time. The serious artists may deliberate on the significance of the red shade and the dominance of bodies throughout the painting, the interplay of light and shadows or whatever sounds artsy. I have no interpretation. I asked Siri and Siri delivered a well-researched Wikipedia spiel. Then I snapped away. So what I have to share with you are these close up photos from my iPhone cam. Tell me what you think!

 

 

20121024-184605.jpg

20121024-184644.jpg


I only meant to walk off all those chocolate bars I ate. Perhaps even contemplate a little after visiting a convent. No camera strung around my neck. Today I’m a local enjoying Madrid’s gardens and parks. I tried talking to Siri but she just kept misunderstanding every word I said. I finally gave up.

 

 

20120502-204055.jpg

 

 

From Atocha Station, I crossed the street towards Prado. As I passed the Botanical Garden, I glimpsed tulips in lively colors and knew I couldn’t skip a visit here. Yellow, deep red, pink, even purple! From the flower gardens to the forest of trees surrounding a pond, the tranquility of spending a good hour here is just what I need. I only wish I brought my book!

 

 

20120502-205812.jpg

 

 

Siri, who couldn’t understand a word of what I’m saying 😄 proved handy as I snapped photos with my iPhone cam. From the Botanical Garden, I strolled towards the Iglesia de San Jeronimo. A lovely church especially at night when it is illuminated as a perfect background to the Prado Museum. Turning right as I passed the church, I crossed the street to enter Parque de Retiro. This park is more easily accessed from the Metro Line 2 (Red) Retiro Station, but if you’re guilty over some chocolate pleasures lately, it’s a better, longer stroll from this gate towards the metro station.

 

 

20120502-210138.jpg

 

 

Rather than walk straight towards the boating lake, I strolled off towards Palacio Cristal. There is a smaller, charming pond here complete with geese hungry for potato chips and cheese curls. I saw some tourists feeding them such and I can’t say that’s good for these geese. With the same iPhone cam, I took a video of a street artist whose music is so apt for a lazy afternoon like now.

 

 

20120502-210345.jpg

20120502-210509.jpg

 

 

Finally, I passed the boating lake till I reached the Retiro Station for my metro ride home. But not without stopping for a snapshot of Plaza de la Independencia and Puerta de Alcala. Not the best shot as it is against the light. But who’s complaining? Siri was such a lovely companion today. Esta bien!

 

 

20120502-210600.jpg

20120502-210735.jpg


I only meant to walk off all those chocolate bars I ate. Perhaps even contemplate a little after visiting a convent. No camera strung around my neck. Today I’m a local enjoying Madrid’s gardens and parks. I tried talking to Siri but she just kept misunderstanding every word I said. I finally gave up.

 

 

20120502-204055.jpg

 

 

From Atocha Station, I crossed the street towards Prado. As I passed the Botanical Garden, I glimpsed tulips in lively colors and knew I couldn’t skip a visit here. Yellow, deep red, pink, even purple! From the flower gardens to the forest of trees surrounding a pond, the tranquility of spending a good hour here is just what I need. I only wish I brought my book!

 

 

20120502-205812.jpg

 

 

Siri, who couldn’t understand a word of what I’m saying 😄 proved handy as I snapped photos with my iPhone cam. From the Botanical Garden, I strolled towards the Iglesia de San Jeronimo. A lovely church especially at night when it is illuminated as a perfect background to the Prado Museum. Turning right as I passed the church, I crossed the street to enter Parque de Retiro. This park is more easily accessed from the Metro Line 2 (Red) Retiro Station, but if you’re guilty over some chocolate pleasures lately, it’s a better, longer stroll from this gate towards the metro station.

 

 

20120502-210138.jpg

 

 

Rather than walk straight towards the boating lake, I strolled off towards Palacio Cristal. There is a smaller, charming pond here complete with geese hungry for potato chips and cheese curls. I saw some tourists feeding them such and I can’t say that’s good for these geese. With the same iPhone cam, I took a video of a street artist whose music is so apt for a lazy afternoon like now.

 

 

20120502-210345.jpg

20120502-210509.jpg

 

 

Finally, I passed the boating lake till I reached the Retiro Station for my metro ride home. But not without stopping for a snapshot of Plaza de la Independencia and Puerta de Alcala. Not the best shot as it is against the light. But who’s complaining? Siri was such a lovely companion today. Esta bien!

 

 

20120502-210600.jpg

20120502-210735.jpg