The Fortress Cross Rome

By: April Joy J. Erestain (2011-23999)

Posted on: March 13, 2012, 2:38 AM




Pope dead. Conclave starts. Preferetti Missing.  Rebirth of the Long Dead Group.  Revenge. Murders every after an hour. Hurt. Sufferings. Revelations. Betrayal. Truth. New Pope. And Peace.

Who can resist? I can’t. The adventure and drama, the mysteries and truth behind these conspiracies, revealed in one awesome sequel written by Dan Brown and made into film by Ron Howard.



The movie, Angels and Demons, captured me through its mysteries and conspiracies.  The great mind of Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) with the scientific findings of Vittoria Vetra (played by Ayelet Zurer)  pulled me to their world, the world of symbols, possibilities, and the search for the truth.  The movie mainly revolved in the conflict between the church and science.  It is said that the illuminati were resurrected from the depths of the past and is starting to take actions on their vengeance against the adversity of their past, against the church.

Ever since I’ve gotten a hold of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, it topped my list and became one of my all-time favourite.  And hearing about a movie being release based on this, it literally awakens every cell in my body to look forward to it. I waited a long time before it got it firsthand. But after watching it to its finest detail, I was really disappointed but at least most of the architectural places and also the remarkable sculptures stated in the book were really exhibited in the movie. It was good but the best part of it was cutback. 


The thing that got my attention in the whole movie was the path of illumination and the headquarters of the illuminati itself.  

After the long search for the preferetti, a new trial has yet to be solved, the illuminati’s threat, the antimatter. It was expected to be in the fortress across Rome, the headquarters, the Castel Sant’Angelo but surprisingly it’s not.  For further details on the story just watch the movie or read the book. But watch it first before you read it, its better that way. 

The path of light or illumination guided by the angels literally means the angels will show the path.  It really gave me this big impact that this may be the real path; how did they figure it out.  The precise position and form of the angels along with the bas reliefs, which were both symbols of the illuminati, have a significant role in the path. 

The Castel Sant’Angelo, a landmark of Rome near the Tiber River, is still towering high in its cylindrical base.  It is also called the Mausoleum of Hadrian for it was specially made for him and his family.  It was erected in the Byzantine Period. It has thick walls small windows. Within this walls have a great history, in 401, it was fortified to protect the pope. Due to this they lost many of the funerary urns and the Passetto di Borgo was made.  After this, it was used as a prison. Then statues were shattered to use as weapons for war. At this time, it is said that the legend came true thus, having its name according to the angel, Michael.

Therefore, the building itself must withstand any force coming from the outside. Before, this was a mausoleum, it was really glamorous with pilasters, lionheads, garlands and so many more made out of marble. But after the fortification, it was really plain and dull to fulfill its main purpose to protect. And maybe there are so many great statues but due to the war, almost all of it was nowhere to be seen.


Castel Sant’Angelo


Michael, the archangel, stands at the top of the fortress due to a legend. Legend holds that the Archangel appeared at the top of mausoleum of Hadrian, with his sword as a sign of the end of the Roman plague in an answer to the prayers of the pope.  This bronze angel was a replacement by Verschaffelt. The original angel wasRaffaello da Montelupo. 


Michael by Verschaffelt



Michael by Raffaello da Montelupo


The Castle Sant’Angelo has this hidden passage to Vatican which is really interesting. The passageway is called the Passetto di Borgo.  This was made as escape routes for the popes during the Gothic war.  This is only a one way passage. This only means that Vatican is sealed from within and can only be opened from the inside. No one can enter without permission.

There is also the Ponte Sant’Angelo which was built with the mausoleum. It span across the Tiber River with 5 arches but originally with 3. The balustrade was built after an incident where many people fell off the bridge and died.  With this bridge came the 10 angels each holding a unique item.


Today, this building encrusted with every memory of the distant past is still soaring towards the sky radiating its pride and glory.





Sources of all Information and Sources:


Alessandra Pabillore


          The movie I decided to watch was Sherlock Holmes. It’s a movie based in 1891 when Eiffel Tower has just been stood and industrialization was expanding more and more.

          Starting with the Industrial Revolution, technology was being introduced and being widely developed. It was the time where almost everything was being invented.  The time technology created a intense effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. The Industrial Revolution was the point in history where the world’s average per capita income increased over ten times as well as the population did over 6 times. This was the time iron was developed and had been widely used in building new structures like bridges, buildings and towers for it was proven to have helped made structures stand stronger. More roads, canals and railways were constructed which led to trade expansion. Almost everything transitioned from agricultural-based to machine-powered manufacturing process then leads to the introduction of steam power primarily fuelled by coal. The development of all-metal machineries and tools enabled the manufacture of more production machines for manufacturing industries. In the later parts, the Industrial Revolution gained momentum with the progression of electricity generation and steam-powered ships and railways. Roughly (or not), the Industrial Revolution more or less led to the beginning and the continuing progress of world modernization and technology development.

          In my opinion, Industrial Revolution was kind of a bit of a good thing and a bit of a bad. Yes, technology was being developed which was a great thing because it helped make life a lot easier especially with the use of iron in building in which really made building a lot better then. Then with the expansion of trade in which made economic conditions progress. The establishments of all-metal machineries which made life so much easier for the manufacturing industries because manufacturing was even faster than it being done manually, plus they didn’t need so many manual labor anymore although they did have to pay quite a lot for machineries but it also paid back well. The bad side for me was more and more people were being unemployed though. And as technology developed, well, more pollution was the effect, natural resources are being exploited and depleting more and more while greater attention is given to world industrialization.


          Eiffel Tower, on the other hand is my chosen architecture. It was named after its designer and engineer, Gustave Eiffel. It was constructed by three hundred workers joining together pieces of puddle iron – a bar iron without charcoal which was also later used to develop carbon steel. The Eiffel Tower followed the structural design done by Maurice Koechlin and assisted by engineer Emile Nouguier and architect Stephen Sauvestre. The tower was built as an entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. At first, many did not appreciate the tower, some even hated it calling it an “eyesore” for they felt that somehow, the tower dominated the city and cast a dark, big shadow on everything. But now, it is known for being the tallest structure in Paris and known a classic structure of art.

          I believe the Eiffel Tower is one majestic form of structure. It is an iconic symbol of beauty, elegance and industrialization. It was known to embody the Victorian Structural Expressionist style which is a pure expression of structure preferably made of iron. The tower was nearly never built because the committee of the design competition Gustave competed would only grant a fourth of the budget needed to construct the tower. However, Gustave Eiffel found a way to make it happen by making a deal with several investors but would still make him own more of the tower.  

          Eiffel Tower is a true mark of technology. Although it did not really give a good impression at the start, but in the end, it made a name for itself and for its country which will always be a monument for the brilliant minds of those behind it.

-Alessandra Pabillore 2011-78837





Valtice Castle (The Prince and Me)

Once upon a time… Prince Edvard of Denmark (Luke Mably), a Royal playboy, specifically took interest in the University of Wisconsin in America, to run away from his royal duties. He took after the name “Eddie” to conceal his real identity, and thought he’d live a “life of parties and girls”, but little did he know that he would meet Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles), an average pre-medical American student, who turned his ways around. 


In the movie, there were several buildings featured; although the setting is said to be in Copenhagen, Denmark, the actual shoot for this movie took place vastly in Prague, Czech Republic. Reason to this being, Prague displays hundreds of Baroque and Rococo historical buildings (be it a Chateau, a City Hall or a Castle), which housed Royalties and important people for centuries, for one: The Valtice Castle.


The Valtice Castle, located in South Moravia, near the Czech-Austria boarder, was originally a Renaissance castle and belonged to the Seefeld family, by which later was acquired by the Lichtensteins. At the end of 17th century, the castle is transformed into a Baroque castle, commenced by Prince Charles Eusebius of Lichtensten, with the construction supervision of the Baroque Architect Domenico Martinelli, and later on with its final touches by the Austrian architect Fischer of Erlach.



The castle features an external façade with a dramatic central projection, from the vast garden to the grand steps leading up to building itself, which is very common in Baroque styles. Another obvious pointer is the heavy use ornamental decorations and details, both in the exterior and interior. On a side note, the castle’s massive park includes several romantic buildings from the 19th century, to name: the manor house of Belveder and the Temple of Diana (otherwise known, Randezvous). Because the Valtice Castle is one amongst the other Baroque structures in the area, it falls under the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. Since it had became a UNESCO World Heritage site, tourists have flocked to the area and hence, the development of Hotel Hubertus in parts of Valtice.

Linking the structure to the movie, this Baroque castle was evident in the scenes of The king’s study and chambers, the queen’s study, Prince Edvard’s bedroom and the state dining room. They featured the highly decorated and detailed ornaments and paintings with gold-spirally frames.



I have to admit that I used to pay little attention to architectural structures or any of the such detail whenever I watch a movie, but after having to do this, I’ve come to realize that I’ve been taking it for granted. I mean, who would’ve thought that filming for a supposed Castle in a movie, would consist of different angles from existing buildings in reality! Personally, I think that the setting of this movie, although it was based on several different buildings altogether, served as a great combination, to capture the same excitement and nostalgia we get whenever we watch our childhood fairy-tales. Before I bid this post a happy ever after, I’d like to end it with a “fun-fact”: During the release of this movie, the real Danish Crown Prince, Kronprins Frederik, married Mary Donaldson, who was an Australian commoner. 

Who ever said that fairy-tales aren’t real?



Beatriz Vinze A. Ticzon



The Colosseum – The Lizzie McGuire Movie (Ma. Pamela S. Gutierrez)

Who would’ve thought that one of my all time favorite tween movies would feature a famous structure that was built during an era I’ve learned so much about these past couple of months? Who would’ve thought that I would watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie again and say “It’s The Colosseum of Rome, built during the Roman empire!” and think of random historical facts about that era? I certainly didn’t and I’m sure neither of the people who have watched this movie before would think this way as well.

In a nutshell, the movie follows the journey of a girl named Lizzie McGuire who goes off to Rome for a pre-high school cultural experience with her classmates and encounters an opportunity to renew herself after experiencing a tubful of embarrassments during her 2 years in junior high. The storyline may seem a little shallow but for many of the little girls who first watched this movie, they can all agree that Lizzie’s life in this movie was the one to have. Embarrassingly, my 10 year old self thought the same.

I never fully appreciated the setting and historical information the movie gave. All I cared about was Lizzie’s path to becoming a popstar and the mishaps she encounters. But watching the movie 8 years later, I realized that the setting played significant roles in making the highlights of the movie truly memorable. Perhaps the most “goosebump-worthy” scene from that movie was Lizzie’s performance in an event called “The International Music Video Awards (IMVA’s)” , which was set in The Colosseum of Rome!

Originally called “The Flavian Amphitheater”, The Colosseum of Rome was built during 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian, during the Flavian Dynasty of the Roman Empire. The emperor was not able to see his work since it was only completed in 80 AD, a year after his death. Because it was built in a part of “Nero’s huge park in the center of Rome”, it was decided that this structure be called The Colosseum, named after the nearby Colossus statue found in that same park. Emperors held public games that would last for a day or more. Gladiator fights, races, animal slaughtering, circuses, and many other forms of entertainment were enjoyed by the public, therefore increasing the emperor’s popularity among the people.

The facade of this magnificent structure had been destroyed in earthquakes and fires. Parts of it were plundered in order to use its material for the building of churches and cathedrals such as St. Peter’s and St. John Lateran’s. Nevertheless, 1,932 years later, the structure still stands and serves as a reminder of the once glorious Roman Empire! Today, however, The Colosseum is used for less violent forms of entertainment. It serves as a popular tourist destination, a place to hold events, and of course, a setting to numerous shows and movies.

In The Lizzie McGuire Movie, The Colosseum was used as the location for the IMVA’s, where Lizzie, who had been impersonating a famous popstar named Isabella Parigi, “sang” with another Italian popstar named Paolo Valisari, who was actually setting her up to destroy Isabella’s career. The moment she entered the structure, the movie started its turning point – its climax.

Lizzie meets Isabella (who was brought by her best friend, Gordo) for the first time and she is informed about Paolo’s plan. Isabella tells Lizzie that he is merely setting her up so that it would seem as if Isabella lip syncs when in reality, throughout his whole career, it is Paolo who has been lying about his singing. Eventually, Lizzie believes Isabella and makes a plan to sabotage Paolo in front of the whole world. The Colosseum was packed with people and the stage was set to perfection.  But nothing went perfect for Paolo for he was exposed for the fraud that he is during their performance of “What Dreams Are Made Of” and in a surprising turn of events, Lizzie becomes a star herself when Isabella gives her the opportunity to sing live.

If this part of the movie was done in The Spanish Steps or the Tivoli Gardens (which were also featured in the film), I don’t think I would’ve felt the impact of the climax as much. The fact that it was done in The Colosseum contributed to the “goosebump” factor I felt when I watched this at 10 years old, and even now that I watched it again. The grandeur of the structure and the way it was set-up really made the movie worth watching, and the climax worth appreciating.

The incorporation of modernity and globalism (although not emphasized) brought about by the IMVA’s gave the structure a whole new life and essence. It gave the viewers a whole new perspective on The Colosseum and its functionality, showing us that it’s possible to think outside of what’s traditional and telling us that something that has been existing centuries back can still have a great impact in someone’s life today. It brought an impact to Lizzie’s life, and it brought an impact to many of the tweens who had watched this movie 9 years ago, without them even realizing it!

Ma. Pamela S. Gutierrez

Posted March 13, 2012 | 12:53 a.m.


This, Madame, is Versailles

Michelle Bacabac


March 12, 2012 11:11 PM


Marie-Antoinette: This is ridiculous. 

Comtesse de Noailles: This, Madame, is Versailles.


I have seen posts on the internet about the 2006 film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola but only had the chance to see it last night. I was interested in seeing the film for I have seen two of Coppola’s previous films, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation which was a brilliant film. It was very timely that the film was set in the 18th century and mostly filmed in the Palace of Versailles.

Marie Antoinette is a film loosely based on the life of the controversial Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. Before watching the film, I did some research on Marie Antoinette. The curious thing about her was that despite being crowned Queen of France, she was convicted of treason and sentenced to be guillotined. 

It is said that Coppola’s highly stylized interpretation was intentional in order to humanize the historical figures involved. So the film isn’t exactly a documentary and showed a modern treatment and interpretation of Marie Antoinette’s story as well as style. This was also evident in the film’s soundtrack. I think it’s a good thing because it has this attraction to it.


The film tells the story of Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), the ill-fated Queen of France who was famous for her lavishness, eccentricity and sumptuousness. She indulges in clothes, shoes, cakes and champagne. This extreme spending was her way to make up for her lack of emotional satisfaction. The film retells the tragic story of Marie Antoinette from her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

The palace shown at the beginning of the film after Marie is awakened by a maid drawing open the curtains of her bedroom is neither Hofburg Palace, where she was born, or Schönbrunn Palace, where she was raised, but the Upper Belvedere portion of Belvedere Palace in Vienna, which, although owned by Empress Maria Theresa, was mainly used for social functions.


The French government granted special permission for the crew to film in the Palace of Versailles. The Palace of Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. The Palace of Versailles was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. It was originally a hunting lodge, built in 1624, by Louis XIII. The film crew had to be extra careful in filming because the place was old and you wouldn’t want to break something. Jules Hardouin-Mansart was the main architect of the palace and particularly the royal stables which are considered to be Mansart’s masterpiece.

The Queen’s bedchamber was one of the largest rooms in the private apartments because protocol required her to give birth in public. During the birth of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s first child, the doctor panicked when 200 courtiers pushed into the room.


The intricate print upholestry set against gold-gilded doors, floral wall coverings and panelled walls dripping with decorative Rococo opulence provide a great backdrop for showing the extravagant life of the teenage queen.


Even though the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles was in restoration – until spring 2007 – Sofia Coppola was allowed to film there a ball scene for the wedding of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI. The Hall of Mirrors contains 17 large chandeliers and 26 smaller ones each made of solid silver. The chandeliers hold about 1000 candles. Wow! I wonder who lights up all these candles.


Evolving with the château, the gardens of Versailles represent one of the finest extant examples of Garden à la française in French Garden design. The Versailles gardens took 40 years to complete; Louis XIV valued them as much as the palace. That is pretty much a long time to make a garden!


The masquerade ball held in the Paris Opera is clearly seen to take place in the Palais Garnier in Paris, built between 1861 and 1875 during the reign of Napoleon III. This impressive opera house, with its lavishly decorated and easily recognizable grand staircase replaced the old and less sumptuous opera house of Rue le Peletier.


Scenes of Marie at the Petit Trianon, a château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. The Queen would go there to escape from the formality of court life. 


While the action happens in Versailles (including the Queen’s Petit Trianon and the Hameau de la reine) and the Paris Opera (which was built after the death of the real Marie Antoinette), some scenes were also shot in Vaux-le-Vicomte, Château de Chantilly, Hôtel de Soubise and at the Belvedere in Vienna. Filiming locations also include vast gardens with beautifully-manicured topiary and lawns.

The style of Marie Antoinette’s time is called Rococo and it was a style popular with the elite who indulged in their extravagant lifestyle while the regular people were starving. The style was very much associated with the repression the people experienced and the whole episode in French history which led to the French Revolution and the demise of the French royal family, including, of course, Marie Antoinette.

I’m glad I watched this film. Although the film was a bit slow-moving, the visuals were absolutely gorgeous. You will love the pretty pastel palette of soft pinks, light yellows, gentle peaches and baby blues. It was very aesthetically pleasing with all the gorgeous costumes, delicious confections and elaborate interiors. The Palace of Versailles is an amazing and beautiful place. I was really enchanted by the aesthetic looks of its interiors especially the intricate patterns on the walls. The architecture and interior design definitely helped set the atmosphere of the film.




The Other Boleyn Girl (2008 film) – Pauline Fernandez


I can’t remember the first time I’ve watch movie this or the number of times that I have. I don’t usually like watching period movies but this one is an exception. The movie is mostly about the Boleyn sisters and is based on a novel by Philippa Gregory. Mary (Scarlett Johansson), the younger and kinder daughter of Thomas Boleyn, became the mistress of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Her older sister, Anne (Natalie Portman), got jealous that the king was more enticed with Mary, plans to steal the king from her and make her his queen.


What made me love this movie is Mary and Anne’s relationship as sisters. After everything Anne has done to her family and to others, Mary was still by her sister’s side ‘til her death.  I may have watched this a hundred times and loved the story but I have never stopped to think about and appreciate the architecture in this movie. Watching this movie again, I have come to notice 2 significant buildings which are the Boleyn manor house and the King’s Castle.


Hever Castle, the original household of Thomas Boleyn, was not used in the film. They substituted it with the Great Chalfield Manor which is not as grand as the original Boleyn household. The building was built in the early Renaissance period from 1465 to 1480 and is located at Great Chalfield, near Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. It is a moated manor house built for Thomas Tropenell who was an English lawyer and landowner in Wiltshire in the west of England. Though the building was built in the Renaissance period, its appearance has sort of a Gothic feel to it. It is fortified by a moat and wall like an English Manor house in the medieval period. It has Y tracery windows and a symmetrical external.  I think they picked this building to show that the Boleyn family are part of the upper class because English manor houses are owned by lords. In the movie, this building is significant because this is where it all started, where the Boleyn girls grew up, and where the King made a visit to the Boleyn family.


After the King’s visit to the Boleyn household, the Mary and Anne were assigned to be ladies in waiting for Queen Catherine, King Henry VIII’s wife. They went to the Tower of London where the King and Queen reside. In the movie, they again replaced Tower of London with 3 different buildings. They would shoot scenes at the Dover Castle, Penshurst Place and the Knole.



Dover Castle has been used to ‘play’ the Tower of London in so many movies. It must be because of the grandness of the castle and the fact that it is the largest castle in England. The Great Chamber on the first floor of the castle was used as the cell of Anne before she goes out to be executed. Believed to be built in 12th century, which falls in the medieval period specifically in the Romanesque period, it shows characteristics that a Romanesque building would have. It is so massive plus its thick walls and its small openings; it’s clearly a Romanesque building.



As for the Penshurst Place, The Great Hall was redesigned to be used as a venue for feasts in the film. Penshurst place is a medieval house built in the 1341 for Sir John de Pulteney, a London merchant and four-times Mayor of London. With its plate and y traceries, massiveness and pointed arches, it is identified as a Gothic structure.

The Boleyn sisters may be the stars of the film, but without the right structures the movie won’t have the right feel to it. The fact that they shot in different locations just to get the vision of each scene, shows that they’ve put as lot of work into making the movie right. With the right architecture, they made the setting feel more authentic and real. With this I have come to realize the importance of incorporating the right structures in a movie.

Pauline Marie F. Fernandez

Sources of Information and photos:

Fontana di Trevi (La Citta Eterna) – The Lizzie McGuire Movie (Kristel Anne B. Poyaoan)


Lizzie and Gordo at the Trevi Fountain


Hey now! Hey now! This is what dreams are made of.

 I’ve got somewhere I belong. I’ve got somebody to love.

This is what dreams are made of.

Lizzie McGuire is my childhood. I think every girl of my generation once had wished to be like her, the cute, sweet, and smart girl who loves adventures. As a child who grew up watching Disney Channel, I think Lizzie McGuire is the best series ever. Even before Hannah Montana, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez appeared, Lizzie McGuire, played by Hilary Duff, is the most adorable girl in Disney Channel.

I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve watched the movie. I think I’ve seen it more than ten times already. I will never get tired watching it because it reminds me so much of my childhood. From the first time I’ve watched it, it made me believe that dreams do come true. From an ordinary high school girl, she became a famous pop star for a night.

Time passed. I grew up and watched the movie again. I saw the movie in a different perspective. It’s not just about dreams coming true. The movie also includes romance. It was filmed in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Rome. I’ve read from a website that when you spell Roma inversely, it will result to Amor. Amor, in Italian, means Love.

I grew up again, went to college, and studied ID14. I became familiar with the history of western art and architecture. When I watched the movie again, I was able to identify historical landmarks. It includes the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and of course, the Trevi Fountain where it all started.

“The Trevi Fountain was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona in the 17th century. And it took about years to finish this bad boy. Throughout history, people have come all over the world to make a wish and toss their coin in the Trevi Fountain.” This is how Miss Ungermeyer, Lizzie’s high school principal, introduced the Trevi Fountain to them in their two week stay in the La Citta Eterna.

The Trevi Fountain was the most beautiful Baroque fountain in Rome. Pope Urban VIII asked Bernini to design the fountain. When the pope died, Pope Clement XII commissioned Nicola Salvi to build the fountain at the Trevi Square. Salvi followed Bernini’s design with Cortona’s influence. The monumental fountain was completed in 1762. The central figure of the fountain was Neptune. He was riding a chariot with two horses. One horse is calm and obedient. The other was the opposite. The difference represents the moods of the ocean. In the right is the statue of Health and in the left is the statue of Abundance.

It was a class trip that brought Lizzie to Rome to visit different historical landmarks. Lizzie tossed a coin into the fountain for good luck and it was then when she met Paolo Valisari, a famous pop star. Paolo asked Lizzie to meet him again at the Trevi Fountain because he claims that his singing partner, Isabella Parigi, really looks like her. The next day, Lizzie pretended to be sick so she can go on a drive with Paolo. Paolo asked her if she could present the award in the International Music Awards as Isabella to prevent Isabella from being sued. Paolo taught her the things she needed to learn and do for the event. She figured that they needed to sing in the IMA so Paolo told him to lip-synch like what Isabella was doing. She continued to go out with Paolo and rehearsed for the event up to the point that Gordo, her best friend, needed to cover up for her by admitting that he was the one sneaking out of the hotel. Gordo did it because he was in love with Lizzie and he cares a lot about her.

On his way to board the plane back to the U.S., Gordo saw the real Isabella. He explained to her what was going on. It was revealed then that Paolo is only using Lizzie to destroy his ex-girlfriend’s career. Isabella was the one singing live while Paolo was the one lip-synching. In the end, Isabella, Gordo and Lizzie made Paolo sing, “really sing, not lip synch.” Lizzie ended up conquering the stage and singing “What Dreams Are Made Of.”

Tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain really brought Lizzie good luck. It made her into an international pop star. However, the legend says that when you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will be able to return to Rome. It neither brings good luck nor makes a person’s wish come true. Lizzie made her own destiny. We should also make our own.

                                                                                      – Kristel Anne B. Poyaoan


                                                                                         March 12, 2012  10:41 pm


Sistine Chapel (featured in “We Have A Pope”) by Georanni Gingoyon

Georanni May B. Gingoyon


Renaissance is known for the period when men started spending most of their time on acquiring new knowledge and studying the ancients—the time when men shifted their focus from God to man. But despite all these, many of the Catholic world’s most sacred buildings were built during this period, and one of them is the Sistine Chapel. This chapel which I think is the most famous of all chapels, holds the most awaited election in the Catholic church—the election for the next pope. It’s no surprise that this election would be the talk of the town whenever this occurs because it is not actually known when the next election will be. History tells us that it can take 13 days to 31 years before the next one. It all depends on the recent pope–the time he resigns or dies. The tradition in this papal election is that the cardinals lock themselves up inside the Sistine chapel and do not go out until a pope has been successfully elected.

There’s this recent movie titled Habemus Papam or We Have A Pope. Its title is the Latin phrase used during the announcement of a new pope. So it’s clear that I was not babbling about off-topic things in the first paragraph. It’s related to this movie which was filmed at, guess what—Sistine Chapel. Well it’s not exactly filmed inside the real chapel, they just made an (amazing) replica of it in Cinecitta Studios in Rome. The movie centers on this cardinal who was surprisingly elected pope. Before facing the crowd, he suddenly freaks out up to the point that a psychoanalyst was hired by the cardinals to help calm the newly-elected pope. It’s a comedy and the plot’s pretty much it.

Poster of We Have A Pope

Anyway–everyone who went to school must be at least familiar with Michelangelo right? Well then, everyone who has knowledge about him must at least know that this sculptor was the one who painted the world’s most famous ceiling. And what structure is that ceiling from? It’s from the Sistine Chapel! And that’s the only thing some people normally know about the Sistine Chapel, that one and only ceiling. Well the Sistine Chapel is not just all about that! It’s actually visited by many tourists because of its beautiful interior architecture with paintings and frescoes by great Renaissance painters.

The Sistine Chapel is actually named after Pope Sixtus IV who commissioned its construction in 1475. (Honestly, back then, I thought it was named after a female saint or something). The Chapel is a high rectangular brick building with an exterior which is unadorned by architectural or decorative details which is common to Renaissance churches in Italy. Interestingly, this chapel has the same dimensions with the Temple of Solomon in the Old Testament.


The exterior of the Sistine Chapel

Contrast to its plain and simple exterior, the Sistine Chapel is mostly praised by its interior. The chapel is symmetrical, and the clear-cut proportion of the one room is a feature of most Renaissance Architecture. The ceiling appears as a flattened barrel vault which has been cut transversely, creating a sequence of pendentives on the ceiling. Three tiers make up each wall, the first tier with fresco paintings, and the second tier, on either side tell a similar story, the life of Moses and the life of Christ. These frescoes were made by Boticelli and Signorelli. However, the artistic highlight of the Sistine Chapel is the frescoes painted on the ceiling of the Chapel by Michelangelo who worked on it for four years, starting from 1508. The ceiling is a series of nine different paintings each depicting a different scene from the Old Testament beginning with the separation of night from day and the creation of Adam, up until the great flood at the time of Noah. On the large pendentives that support the vault are painted twelve Biblical and Classical men and women who prophesied that God would send Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. Another masterpiece of Michelangelo, The Last Judgement, is also inside the walls of the Sistine Chapel.


A scene from the movie We Have A Pope; Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement is in the background

At this point, I can say that the Church, even with all its controversies and attacks from others, played a very large part in the arts we know and study today. Western art was mostly shaped by them! And when I get the chance, the first places I would visit outside the Philippines will be Rome and its surrounding countries. Besides the idea that every Catholic should at least try to visit the Catholic capital of the World, (like every Muslim must go at least once in their lifetime to Mecca or the scattered Chinese to China) I believe that these places contain many of man’s greatest works. Through art made by man, we can see the development of man himself.



Arc de Triomphe

“In Paris everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator”.

-Jean CocteauImage


            Each country has something to offer. Some are noted for their advanced technology like Japan and US.  Others are renowned as hometowns of biotic organisms promoted by rich ecological biodiversity like Indonesia, and our very own, Philippines.  But as for Paris, infinity has defined its attractions. For many tourist, Paris is not only about the fashion trends and shopping sprees, nor the preserved tradition of French cuisine reflected in their gastronomic restaurants, but also the historical landmarks and architecture that sometimes serve as visual short hands in films like the “Eiffel tower”, and definitely the “Arc de Triomphe” from the movie: G.I. Joe, “The Rise of Cobra”.



                  Understanding the culture of a city also means browsing through the pages of its history. If you are one of the 44 million tourists that visit Paris each year, viewing the 164 ft Arc de Triomphe monument in the center of the city is just the right place for you to understand how the shopping capital of the world achieved its current development. Located on the right side of Siene at the origin of the dodecagonal contour of twelve radiating avenues, the triumphal arch commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 was designed by Jean Chalgrin to commemorate the emperor’s victorious battle. Sad to say, Napoleon banished before the megalithic structure was completed and in fact, it took 30 more years before the monument had its first view of Paris. The 12 streets that emanate from the center were named after the 12 French military leaders who fought side by side with Napoleon. The Neoclassical design of the arch was based from the Arch of Titus, ornamented with different reliefs that reflect Napoleon’s greatest conquests like the battle of Aboukir, Napoleons victory over the Turkish and the Battle of Austerliz, where Napoleon defeated the Austrians. Yet it is 35 meters higher than Titus’ arch, studies have shown that it has exactly the same proportions. 

The Tomb of the Unknown SoldierImage

             Beneath the tunnel vault of the arch lays “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” from World War I. After the occurrence of First World War from 1914 to 1918, many unidentified bodies were found, reaching up to 10 million carcasses. Following the bloody massacres, a movement arose to honor all those soldiers who sacrificed their life to protect their country. Thus, it resulted to the ceremonial commemmoration of the symbolic funeral of an “Unknown Soldier”. The tomb is primarily composed of an unidentified body that serves as a symbol for the entire unknown dead wherever they died, with an inscribed writing which means “known but to God only”. In Britain, the “Tomb of the Unknown Warrior” was built at Westminster Abbey. In Ukraine, a second tomb was created to commemorate “The Unknown Sailor”. But as for Paris, it lies beneath the Arc de Triomphe. Celebrated every November 11, the tomb carries a French inscription: “ICI REPOSE UN SOLDAT FRANÇAIS MORT POUR LA PATRIE 1914–1918” which means “Here lies a French soldier who died for the fatherland 1914–1918“.

Myth BustersImage

              For someone who always watch myth busters in Discovery Channel, this scene is not different from him/her. On July 14, 1919, marking the end of World War 1’s nightmare, the French military commanded a celebration to honor pilots as “heroes of the air”. In their rendezvous, the aviators decided to address this celebration by flying a plane through the Arc de Triomphe. And three weeks after the victory parade, with perfect timing and speed, Charles Godefroy was able to pass through the arch with a biplane. He did not have much clearance – the width of the Arc is 47.57 ft / 47’6’’ (14.50 m) yet with his undefinable skills he was able to fly through the colossal structure. Jacques Mortane, the journalist who was able to witness the event, had the breathtaking scene filmed and photographed.The authorities disapproved of the event and were afraid of it being imitated, but Godefroy escaped with only a warning.

Holiday SpecialImage

                 For those gentlemen who plan the best wedding proposals for their future wife, proposing around the famous Napoleon’s triumphal arch during the holiday season is the best. During Christmas, the historical monument of Arc De Triomphe becomes enchanting and romantic. Lighted up by thousands of astonishing light like swarm of fireflies gathered, illuminating the center of the city, Paris, the city of lights, really proves its nickname. Competing for the prize of the most extravagant Christmas decoration annually, no one should really miss the holiday special of this monument. Just imagine how love floats around the city, and I’m pretty much sure that success will guarantee your proposal.

                  Arc de Triomphe in Paris is only one from the hundreds of attractions if offers. Defined by its historical legacy; colored by its cultural heritage; and renowned by its commercial industry, Paris, the city of light, is really a unique tourist destination to visit.    

By: Neil Dela Mines(2011-42847)