Old Manila

24 Jul

The best thing about living in Manila is that you’re about one song away from many historical sites. I went to CCP last night to watch Jerome’s Karera and from where I live in Tondo, the taxi drove past Binondo, Jones Bridge, and the Intramuros area on my way there.  I was just looking at photos from Old Philippines’ Facebook the other day and while inside the cab, wished we had preserved the beautiful structures that once stood in these areas.

This was Binondo during the 1900s.

The Binondo Church during the early 1900s

The Binondo Church during the early 1900s

The luxurious Hotel de Oriente, where Jose Rizal once stayed in (Room 22) and La Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory in the early 1900s

The luxurious Hotel de Oriente, where Jose Rizal once stayed in (Room 22), and La Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory in the early 1900s

A closer view of the intricate architecture of Hotel de Oriente

A closer view of the intricate architecture of Hotel de Oriente

Another Hotel de Oriente shot

Another Hotel de Oriente shot

But the Battle for Manila destroyed many of the city’s great architecture.  This is the site of the once grand Hotel de Oriente and La Insular Cigar Factory.

Site of Hotel de Oriente and La Insular Cigar Now

On the Hotel de Oriente site now stands the Tytana Plaza, also known as the Metrobank Building.  On the right, where the La Insular Cigar Factory once stood, are the offices of PSBank and First Metro Investment.  I used to frequent First Metro since my Tito works there.

Hotel de Oriente now

Is this a replica of the old fountain in front of Hotel de Oriente?  When I passed by Binondo last night, I checked the fountain and I think it is now painted white.

On my way home, the cab driver gave me an instant tour of Intramuros just so we could cross Jones Bridge.  So we passed by Ayuntamiento.  This was the glorious Ayuntamiento during the early 1900s, when it was still the headquarters of the Civil Government at that time.

Ayuntamiento 1900s HQ of Civil Govt

This is how Ayuntamiento (right) and Aduana (center) looked like after the Battle for Manila.

Aduana center Ayuntamiento right

And this is Ayuntamiento now.  Sad to see it rotting and unrestored.

Ayuntamiento today

We also passed by Pasig River going to Binondo, with the view of the El Holgar Filipino and the First National City Bank buildings.

El Holgar Filipino Bldg

On Facebook, the Old Philippines owner says, “Looking across the Pasig River to Binondo from the south end of the Jones Bridge. Left to right along Muelle de la Industria Street is the El Hogar Building. Built in 1914, the five story building housed the first Filipino financing institution. The next was the First National City Bank building, it was built in 1915.”

These are the El Holgar Filipino and First National City Bank buildings today.

EL Holgar Filipino Bldg- now

Upon crossing the Jones Bridge, I once again saw the restored Insular Life building, which is said to be the oldest building to have survived in that area.

This is a shot of the old Insular Life (the one with the small dome tower) and Uy-Chaco buildings in 1945 after the Battle of Manila.

Insular Life & Uy-Chaco Building Plaza Moraga 1945

The Binondo Church is now surrounded by buildings, tindahan ng hopias (Eng Bee Tin), and other establishments.  But in 1945, everything around it seemed to have been pulverized.

Binond Church 1945

Buti na lang the church still stands there.  It is now airconditioned.

How I wish we could recreate the great architecture found in old Manila.  After all, it is once considered the Queen of the Pacific.  With that I’m leaving you with a 1938 video of Manila. Notice the intricate design on the foot of Jones Bridge.  Divine!

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7 Responses to “Old Manila”

  1. Ces Rodriguez July 24, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    naku rona you are so primed for a carlos celdran tour. it’s a bit pricey ngayon but in end worth your fascination for bygone manila.

  2. brokenform July 26, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    ganda ng old manila. mabisita nga to sa FB

  3. Ralph Kristian November 8, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    oh god! its very nostalgic. i had goosebumps!how i wish i could go back to that era, the old manila. good blog.

  4. Ralph Kristian November 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    i immediately added old mnila in fb

  5. Ralph Kristian November 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    cno ung carlos celdran?

  6. Ralph Kristian November 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    i just finished watching d video. i had goosebumps during the entire movie.

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