Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Philadelphia and Map of Old Cebu

Lauren and I arrived Philadelphia yesterday and toured today: Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and American Constitution were signed, Constitution Hall, Christ Church where Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Betsy Ross, John Adams, Francis Hopkinson and others worshipped; cemetery of Christ Church where Benjamin Franklin and other signers of the Declaration are buried; Betsy Ross house, Benjamin Franklin's house, etc. The history is fascinating of course, but what hit me most of all is the fact that the Constitution is not a done-deal; it is a living document. It took a while before African Americans actually got their freedom, it took a while before women could vote; there is a need for constant vigilance about freedom.

This is my first visit to Phillie and didn't know what to expect. I thought maybe it would look like Boston, but it's different. The old section is gentrifying, and many of the old brick buildings are still intact. We also drove around the downtown section, saw the high rises, and the museums. Phillie is not without charm, at least the old section. It is clearly gentrifying, and even with the restored colonial buildings and the art galleries, restaurants, and hotels, there are still some seedy sections. But it feels safe to walk around even at night, and it feels as if it will develop even more.
On another topic, here is a map of Old Cebu, known as Escondrilla's map, dated 1873, courtesy of Melva Java and Louie Nacorda. Another Cebu trivia: Sangcianko street used to be Vasco de Gama, info courtesy of Resil Mojares and Louie Nacorda.

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