Thursday, August 13, 2015

Plaza Dilao

Plaza Dilao is a public square in Paco, Manila, bounded by Quirino Avenue to the east, and the rest of the plaza surrounded by the Plaza Dilao Road and Quirino Avenue Extension. It is one of two open public spaces in Paco, the other being Paco Park.

Currently, Plaza Dilao is one of five freedom parks in the City of Manila, where protests and rallies may be held without requiring permission from local authorities.

Plaza Dilao (present photo)
In Spanish colonial times, Paco (originally Dilao) was home to one of two Japanese settlements in Manila, with the other located in San Miguel. While the Japanese community of Plaza Dilao began with Dom Justo Takayama and his family settling in the surrounding area after they were exiled from Japan in 1615, most Japanese in Manila at the time were settled around the area now presently occupied by the Philippine Normal University.

Statue of  Justo, Ukon  Takayama

However, in 1762, the Japanese residents of Manila were later relocated here by the Spanish authorities, although after then the community's population began to decline owing to reduced Japanese immigration to the Philippines and Japan's policy of sakoku. It is believed that the presence of the Japanese community around the plaza eventually led it to being called "Plaza Dilao", referring to the yellowish (dilaw in Tagalog) skin tone of the area's inhabitants

During the American period, Plaza Dilao becamea transport center with the construction of the Paco railway station in 1915, directly across from the plaza. During World War II, the area was the site of an intense battle between Japanese and joint Filipino and American forces led by Cleto Rodriguez. The plaza is still considered a transport center today: when former President Joseph Estrada became Mayor of Manila in 2013, he ordered a ban on city buses entering Manila, with buses for a while terminating at the plaza instead of their usual terminus at the Liwasang Bonifacio.

Justo, Ukon Takayama is said to be beatificated in Vatican on 2016 with the title of "Servant of God".
Today Plaza Dilao (Philippines-Japan Friendship Park) the monument was erected as a sign of friendship and cooperation between Filipino and the Japanese people.

The best way for this landmark to be safe is that it should have policemen guarding near the area during day and night.