No Place Like Manila

old vintage Manila business ad (5)

Photo Credit: Pinoy Kollektor

I remember one of my friends from high school telling me that Manila used the be the “Paris of Asia” and I was like, “What the hell is he talking about?”  At that time, I had no idea of the devastation of Manila towards the end of World War II.

Then I did research at the National Library and came across books/microfiche that had ads of businesses in Manila from the fin de siècle.  And I was shocked.

I could not understand why I never really heard people talk about restoring Manila until now.  But when we see the poverty that exists, it’s clear that that’s the problem.  We are not at that stage where we can restore these buildings because of the poverty issue.  We have to attend to that first.

old vintage Manila business ad (6)

Photo Credit: Pinoy Kollektor

The government has tried to relocate informal settlers over and over again but they keep coming back because they are brought to areas which aren’t continually developed.  Why not?

I discussed that in my previous post regarding development.

Once the Philippines has a Development Plan that will span several administrations like Malaysia’s Wawasan 2020, and is developing the provinces and industrializing, then we can talk about restoring Manila to its former glory.

old vintage Manila business ad (8)

Photo Credit: Pinoy Kollektor

If Warsaw, the most heavily bombed city of World War II with Manila coming in second, was rebuilt then so can Manila.

This is from a Lonely Planet guidebook of Poland by Krzysztof Dydyński, regarding the Royal Castle of Warsaw:

Given its spiritual importance as the very symbol of Warsaw, no wonder thousands of Poles living all over the world donated funds for the castle’s rebirth, and plenty of volunteers participated in the building’s re-creation.  Although the brick structure is a copy, many original architectural pieces have been incorporated into the walls…It’s pretty remarkable, keeping in mind that there was nothing here just 30 years ago.

It feels good knowing that architectural heritage can be rebuilt and still look great.

old vintage Manila business ad (11)

Photo Credit: Pinoy Kollektor

It’s hard to see how beautiful Manila can be if we don’t even know what it looked like before.  So we have to share images like these to as many people as possible.  These images are not mine because the printer for the microfiche in the National Library had poor quality, so I can’t share mine.  But the ads that I found included areas other than Escolta.  It included areas like Ermita and Tondo…yes, Tondo.  The famous slum of Manila.

Anyway, I was only able to study Philippine History for one year because I grew up abroad.  But in my one year of Filipino History, I did not come across any images like these.  So maybe we should start sharing these in history class.

old vintage Manila business ad (12)

Photo Credit: Pinoy Kollektor

And we should come up with that Development Plan which includes industrial production and development of the countryside ASAP.  Otherwise, the shanties will keep popping up and we will never see the old glory of Manila again.

old vintage Manila business ad (9)

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This entry was posted in Development, Goals & Visions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to No Place Like Manila

  1. Villanueva says:

    wow these are so cool. missing the old glory of Manila 😦

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