Tag Archives: intramuros

Despite the rain

4 Aug

So my friends Marlon, Rhods and I actually braved the rains last night and went to Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

We arrived there at past 11 since they had to wait for me to finish with the Darna presscon.  We were thinking that last night was the best time to go since people would hopefully consider that they had to work early so they wouldn’t dare stay late in Intramuros.  Plus, since tonight’s the last lamay, more people would probably come tonight.

But no.  When we arrived by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila area, we couldn’t find the end of the line.

Guess where we found the end of the line?

Almost at the foot of Jones Bridge!  We clocked in at 12:00 midnight.

And had a painfully slow walking tour of Intramuros, minus Carlos Celdran.

It felt heaven when our line finally reached Manila Cathedral

even when we were pissed that these three old ladies made singit! Inis!


But from there, the line moved on smoothly.

Until we reached the door and the bouncers told us that we couldn’t take any more photos.

We reached Tita Cory by 3:30 a.m.  I was able to say “Bless you” – the moment lasted for only three seconds – and then I had to leave.

Even though I’m not a “Corista” and Hacienda Luisita kept on popping in my head, I already forgave her.  I understood that she was merely a product of her class.  But I couldn’t say that she didn’t give it her all and didn’t mean well.  After all, I somewhat owe her my freedom to write as I wish, whether on this blog or wherever.

Ms. Lala of GMA's old Cory doll

Ms. Lala of GMA's old Cory doll

I went home dead tired but fulfilled.  Thank you Tita Cory.

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!