By Sol Vanzi Timpla't Tikim
PLAZA MIRANDA NOW A FOOD MECCA  

It’s time to gather around and rally for the freshest produce this side of Manila. Plaza Miranda, the square in front of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, was where all national leaders and wannabes launched their political campaigns. Candidates for president held either their first or last rallies there; the place was identified as a park where one could feel the genuine pulse of the masses. Its role in the nation’s life was stressed in President Ramon Magsaysay’s often quoted reaction to any proposed law: “Can we defend this at Plaza Miranda?”

Today, only sporadic demonstrations and lightning rallies march through Plaza Miranda; politicians now depend on live nationwide TV and radio, as well as the Internet, for wide exposure of their speeches and campaigns. The façade of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. The façade of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. (Images by NOEL B. PABALATE)

COMMUTER’S MARKET ---The absence of politicians and cause-oriented activities is good news for hundreds of thousands of commuters who depend on Plaza Miranda who shop daily, after work, for inexpensive fresh vegetables and cooked food brought in daily from the provinces. The goods come in early in the afternoon; vendors sell until seven or eight in the evening.

It is mostly a retail market, where almost everything, except alimango (mud crabs), is sold by the piece or small bundle and priced (P10 to P50) for the working class. Some of the items are rarely ever sold in supermarkets frequented by the well-off. FOOD FOR THE MASSES --* CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: PLAZA MIRANDA TODAY 

PHOTO: Considered the center of Quiapo, Plaza Miranda is surrounded by several shopping buildings and its most famous landmark, the Quiapo Church. BRIEF HISTORY: Plaza Miranda is a public square bounded by Quezon Boulevard, R. Hidalgo Street and Evangelista Street in Quiapo, Manila. It is the plaza which fronts the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), one of the main churches of the City of Manila, and is considered as the center of Quiapo as a whole. Inaugurated in its current form by Mayor Arsenio Lacson in 1961, it is named after José Sandino y Miranda, who served as the Philippines' Secretary of the Treasury between 1833 and 1854.

Regarded as the center of Philippine political discourse prior to the imposition of martial law in 1972, the plaza was the site of the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing, where two grenades were launched at a political rally of the Liberal Party, killing nine people. It underwent a ₱49 million renovation in 2000 after decades of neglect as a result of Manila's urban decay in the 1970s and 1980s, giving it a more modern design despite protests from various historical groups and cultural experts, with a monument erected to commemorate bombing victims and additional architectural elements installed.

Today, Plaza Miranda serves as a freedom park, where assemblies and protests may be held without needing a permit from local authorities, and with thousands of people crossing through it every day, it is considered to be Manila's version of Times Square. Despite fronting the Quiapo Church, Plaza Miranda and the streets surrounding it is known as a center for fortune-telling and the sale of lucky charms and amulets. Most fortune tellers who practice around Plaza Miranda claim that they are able to draw their ability to tell fortunes from their devotion to the Black Nazarene (the patron of the Quiapo Church) despite Catholic Church doctrine deploring the practice.

ALSO: PLAZA MIRANDA IN 1971 BOMBING  

The 89-year-old Salonga smiles at the camera as fellow survivors of the Plaza Miranda bombing flash the "Laban" sign during their gathering on Thursday. Before then-senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was fatally shot at the Manila International Airport in 1983, August 21 was remembered for another tragedy: the bombing at Plaza Miranda in 1971. "We will never forget that evening," said Judy Araneta-Roxas, wife of the late senator and then Liberal Party (LP) president Gerardo Roxas, during the gathering of the tragic incident's survivors on Thursday.

Mrs. Roxas said she was watching her husband, along with other LP candidates who were there for the party's miting de avance, when two hand grenades were thrown on the stage, killing nine people and leaving about 100 injured. Even though she was in the 5th or 6th row, Mrs. Roxas was one of those injured in the blast, with shrapnel wounding her in her kneecap and waist. Long before the age of televised debates, Plaza Miranda was a popular venue for political events, with former President Ramon Magsaysay famously asking about controversial policies, "Can we defend it in Plaza Miranda?" It came as a shock to many then when this symbol of democratic dialog was attacked.

Former Senate President Jovito Salonga, one of those most seriously injured in the blast, recalled: "Not one of the doctors who saw me gave me any chance to live." LP stalwart Ninoy Aquino was late, arriving only after the bombing. Then-president Ferdinand Marcos was immediately blamed for the bombing that injured many of his political rivals, a suspicion that was bolstered by his declaration of Martial Law roughly a year later. In later years, however, the Communist Party of the Philippines, particularly its founder Jose Maria Sison, was blamed for the incident. Sison has long denied the accusations that he was behind the Plaza Miranda bombing. "Many people thought that the one responsible for the bombing was Ferdinand Marcos, but throughout the ordeal I did not think it was good to blame anyone unless we had the evidence," said the 89-year-old Salonga. * CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Plaza Miranda Now a food Mecca

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 8, 2014 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi - It’s time to gather around and rally for the freshest produce this side of Manila.


The façade of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. The façade of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. (Images by NOEL B. PABALATE)

COMMUTER’S MARKET

Plaza Miranda, the square in front of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, was where all national leaders and wannabes launched their political campaigns. Candidates for president held either their first or last rallies there; the place was identified as a park where one could feel the genuine pulse of the masses.

Its role in the nation’s life was stressed in President Ramon Magsaysay’s often quoted reaction to any proposed law: “Can we defend this at Plaza Miranda?”

Today, only sporadic demonstrations and lightning rallies march through Plaza Miranda; politicians now depend on live nationwide TV and radio, as well as the Internet, for wide exposure of their speeches and campaigns.

The absence of politicians and cause-oriented activities is good news for hundreds of thousands of commuters who depend on Plaza Miranda who shop daily, after work, for inexpensive fresh vegetables and cooked food brought in daily from the provinces. The goods come in early in the afternoon; vendors sell until seven or eight in the evening.


Sinigang na tulingan

It is mostly a retail market, where almost everything, except alimango (mud crabs), is sold by the piece or small bundle and priced (P10 to P50) for the working class. Some of the items are rarely ever sold in supermarkets frequented by the well-off.

FOOD FOR THE MASSES

* Among the perennial bestsellers are all kinds of dried fish (P20): ayungin from Laguna de Bay, baby tilapia, kanduli, dilis, and sapsap from Mindoro.

They are normally fried and served by themselves or used as condiment for regional vegetable dishes such as Ilongo laswa, Waray lawot-lawot, Bicolano laing, Tagalog bulanglang, Ilocano dinengdeng, and Visayan tinola.


Squash blooms

All the vegetables needed for those dishes are likewise available, all freshly supplied daily: kalabasa (squash) fruit and blossoms, thin eggplants, sitaw (long beans), bean tops, saluyot, ampalaya (bitter gourd), okra, patola (silk gourd), alugbate, and gabi (taro) leaves.

COOKED DISHES

Under the arch where the street of Villalobos begins, a mouth-watering array of cooked food is sold from bamboo baskets and huge palayok (clay pots): large tinapang bangus, juicy sinaing na tulingan (preserved mackerel tuna), ginataang hipon (spicy shrimp in coconut cream), kalderetang itik (Stewed Duck), and laing (taro leaves in coconut cream).

Homemade vegetable specialties (P20) include fresh Lumpiang Ubod (heart of coconut palm fresh spring rolls) and Ukoy (shrimp-bean sprouts fritters).

All cooked food, except lumpia, keep overnight or a day without refrigeration. Though sold to be served as is, most of the dishes could be incorporated as main protein and flavor source for vegetable dishes. Just ask the vendors for suggestions.


A selection of dried fish

CHOPSUEY CORNER

For housewives who favor more modern fare, Baguio vegetables (P10 to P20) are sold around the Plaza Miranda corner leading to R. Hidalgo Street: broccoli, iceberg and romaine lettuce, Baguio beans, carrots, celery, cabbage, and cauliflower.

One enterprising vendor even sells sachets of oyster sauce and gives instructions of how to cook healthy stir-fried vegetables from her stall.

Author’s tips: The best time to visit: 3 p.m. onward. Bring a large eco-bag and lots of change.

PLAZA MIRANDA TODAY From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Coordinates: 14°35′53.49″N 120°59′0.93″E


Considered the center of Quiapo, Plaza Miranda is surrounded by several shopping buildings and its most famous landmark, the Quiapo Church.

BRIEF HISTORY: Considered the center of Quiapo, Plaza Miranda is surrounded by several shopping buildings and its most famous landmark, the Quiapo Church.

Plaza Miranda is a public square bounded by Quezon Boulevard, R. Hidalgo Street and Evangelista Street in Quiapo, Manila.

It is the plaza which fronts the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), one of the main churches of the City of Manila, and is considered as the center of Quiapo as a whole.

Inaugurated in its current form by Mayor Arsenio Lacson in 1961, it is named after José Sandino y Miranda, who served as the Philippines' Secretary of the Treasury between 1833 and 1854.

Regarded as the center of Philippine political discourse prior to the imposition of martial law in 1972, the plaza was the site of the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing, where two grenades were launched at a political rally of the Liberal Party, killing nine people.

It underwent a ₱49 million renovation in 2000 after decades of neglect as a result of Manila's urban decay in the 1970s and 1980s, giving it a more modern design despite protests from various historical groups and cultural experts, with a monument erected to commemorate bombing victims and additional architectural elements installed.


Plaza Miranda Open Grounds 2013; Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Currently, Plaza Miranda serves as a freedom park, where assemblies and protests may be held without needing a permit from local authorities, and with thousands of people crossing through it every day, it is considered to be Manila's version of Times Square.

Despite fronting the Quiapo Church, Plaza Miranda and the streets surrounding it is known as a center for fortune-telling and the sale of lucky charms and amulets.

Most fortune tellers who practice around Plaza Miranda claim that they are able to draw their ability to tell fortunes from their devotion to the Black Nazarene (the patron of the Quiapo Church) despite Catholic Church doctrine deploring the practice.

PLAZA MIRANDA IN 1971 BOMBING

Before Ninoy's death, there was Plaza Miranda JAM SISANTE, GMANews.TVAugust 21, 2009 8:17am


The 89-year-old Salonga smiles at the camera as fellow survivors of the Plaza Miranda bombing flash the "Laban" sign during their gathering on Thursday.

Before then-senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was fatally shot at the Manila International Airport in 1983, August 21 was remembered for another tragedy: the bombing at Plaza Miranda in 1971.

"We will never forget that evening," said Judy Araneta-Roxas, wife of the late senator and then Liberal Party (LP) president Gerardo Roxas, during the gathering of the tragic incident's survivors on Thursday.

Mrs. Roxas said she was watching her husband, along with other LP candidates who were there for the party's miting de avance, when two hand grenades were thrown on the stage, killing nine people and leaving about 100 injured.

Even though she was in the 5th or 6th row, Mrs. Roxas was one of those injured in the blast, with shrapnel wounding her in her kneecap and waist.


LP senatorial and local candidates are all smiles in this file photo of their miting de avance in 1971. Grenade blasts on the stage shattered the celebratory mood later that day. Photo courtesy of the Liberal Party

Long before the age of televised debates, Plaza Miranda was a popular venue for political events, with former President Ramon Magsaysay famously asking about controversial policies, "Can we defend it in Plaza Miranda?" It came as a shock to many then when this symbol of democratic dialog was attacked.

Former Senate President Jovito Salonga, one of those most seriously injured in the blast, recalled: "Not one of the doctors who saw me gave me any chance to live."

LP stalwart Ninoy Aquino was late, arriving only after the bombing.

Then-president Ferdinand Marcos was immediately blamed for the bombing that injured many of his political rivals, a suspicion that was bolstered by his declaration of Martial Law roughly a year later.

In later years, however, the Communist Party of the Philippines, particularly its founder Jose Maria Sison, was blamed for the incident. Sison has long denied the accusations that he was behind the Plaza Miranda bombing.

"Many people thought that the one responsible for the bombing was Ferdinand Marcos, but throughout the ordeal I did not think it was good to blame anyone unless we had the evidence," said the 89-year-old Salonga.

* He said one of the biggest reasons why he ultimately believed Sison was the culprit was the account of American journalist Gregg Jones in his book "Red Revolution: inside the Philippine guerrilla movement."

"I came to the conclusion it was not Marcos responsible for the Plaza Miranda bombing, but that the architect, the author of the Plaza Miranda bombing, was none other than Jose Maria Sison," he said.

Media personality Eddie Ilarde, who was one of the six LP candidates who won Senate seats in the 1971 elections, also said he did not think Marcos was behind the bombing. "I don't think Marcos is the mastermind because it's so stupid. For all the sins we attribute to him, he is not politically stupid," he said.

But Ilarde, whose leg still carries a metal fragment from the blast, said he believed the Plaza Miranda bombing was the "precursor" to the rage of the Filipino people that grew with Aquino's death and eventually peaked at the 1986 People Power Revolution.

"Yun pala, mga kaibigan, ang simula ng pagkakaroon ng tinatawag na rage ng taumbayan. At ang pinal na nangyari ay nung patayin nila si Ninoy Aquino, and that was the time we had People Power (That, my friends, was the beginning of the public's rage, and the final event was the death of Ninoy Aquino that led to People Power)," he said.

"But the precursor of that was Plaza Miranda, when the whole country did not sleep that night. Some were praying, some were crying, some were angry," added Ilarde.

Former Manila mayor Mel Lopez, who was a young councilor then and one of those injured in the bombing, said the incident should remind Filipinos to always be politically vigilant. "Kahit kailan 'wag tayong pipikit (Let us never close our eyes)," he said. - GMANews.TV


SOL JOSE VANZI'S CORNER
LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST OF THE MANILA DAILY BULLETIN & PANORAMA
'TIMPLA'T TIKIM'


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