In February of 1945, at the close of the second world war, “The Battle of Manila” devastated the capital city of the Philippine Islands. Caught in a clash between the armed forces of the United States and Japan, Manila, once known for it’s architectural beauty and gracious citizens, had been battered and brought to her knees. Collateral damage in a war not of her own making.
By March, the districts from Caloocan to Malate lay in ruins; the 300 year-old walled city of Intramuros was reduced to rubble, and over 100,000 of the city’s civilians lay dead.
But the worst loss of all would happen after the war. In the decades that passed, the people of Manila chose to forget “The Battle of Manila”. Instead of rebuilding the city’s grand churches and monuments, the survivors of this tragedy chose to remove themselves. By the 1980s, the city of Manila, once called the Pearl of The Orient, had become mess of uninspired commercial developments, parochial gated communities, and indigent informal settlements. Manila’s heritage sites fell into neglect and her history dropped from consciousness. A huge gap was blown into the collective national memory. Until today, seventy two years later, there is still no national holiday nor monument dedicated to “The Battle of Manila” nor the 100,000 souls who perished.
For the last eight years, Intramuros Administration, #vivamanila, and Carlos Celdran have hosted a gathering called Manila Transitio as a way of remembering the “Battle of Manila”. This yearly commemoration is defined by a public picnic, an art exhibition, a community ritual, and an open air concert held inside one of the many gardens of Intramuros. This event hopes to remind Manila’s residents that they once lived in a proud, beautiful city and that the memory of the 100,000 civilians who died in the battle should be honored.
Ultimately. Manila Transitio is really all about recognizing the city’s changes; Manila’s transitions from what it was, to what is, and to what it can possibly become in the future.
Guests of Manila Transitio can bring their own blankets, picnic baskets, dogs, friends and family.
Guests can set their blankets out on the grass and spend the day into night watching the concert in front of them, appreciating the art surrounding them, and sharing a community spirit.
There is no dress code; cosplay is encouraged. Filipiniana is recommended.
Food and drink will be available from vendors on-site.
Quiapo candle ladies will also on site to grant wishes and add a spiritual element to the evening.
As a highlight, there will be a surprise community ritual as a symbolic gesture.
Our theme for this year’s memorial is: “Folk Art. Folk Traditions. Folk Music”. Work by artists: Russ Ligtas, Mitch Garcia, Ian Madrigal, Martin Lorenzo De Mesa, Mars Bugaoan, Jodee Aguillon and Hataw, Leeroy New, Derek Tumala, GA Fallarme, Denis Lagdameo, Rosa Mirasol Esguerra Melencio, and Tad Ermitaño will be set all around the gardens.
In line with this year’s theme. the main stage will spotlight the “Tres Marias”, a trio consisting of Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua, and Lolita Carbon. Three powerful women considered to be the country’s foremost voices in rock, folk, soul and protest music.
Paolo Garcia (Parallel Uno) will DJ music between sets.
This year’s food and drink vendors: XO1946, Edgy Veggy, Ralph’s Wines, Distileria Limtuaco, Curry Wurst Meister, Ziazan Mezze/THC, V Hotel, Public School/Kalsada Coffee.
At the door, guests will pay an entrance fee of any amount at their discretion. One peso is appreciated just as much as one thousand pesos. Pay what you can.
We hope to see you there.
THE 8th MANILA TRANSITIO FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 26, 2017
BALUARTE SAN DIEGO, SANTA LUCIA CORNER MURALLA STREET, INTRAMUROS
3:00PM to 11:00PM
ENTRANCE FEE: PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Hashtags: #manilatransitio #vivamanila
Photos of 7th Manila Transitio 2016 by: Ivan Sarenas
Painting of “Sueño de Manila” by Carlos Celdran