#Throwback Manila

                Have you ever wondered how Manila looked like thirty or fifty years ago? My father used to say that Tondo wasn’t always the slum-filled area like it is now and the Manila Bay was once the best bay in all of Asia. The old Manila is a mix of different cultures from our Malay ancestors to the Spanish influence, it’s a beautiful city of diversity.

Here are some old pictures of Manila and the stories behind them:

Binondo, Manila in 1800’s

#Throwback Manila

 Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world established in 1594. It is located across the Pasig River and is the center of commerce among Filipino and Chinese merchants. Before World War II, Binondo was the center of a banking and financial community which included insurance companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions from the UK and the United States. The place was called the “Wall Street of the Philippines” located along Escolta.

Wash Day at the Pasig River, 1920

#Throwback Manila

  The Pasig River once served as an important means of transport before Manila got overly populated. It was the city’s lifeline and center of economic activity. After World War II, massive pollution invaded the city. Soon, people stopped using the water of the river in the early 1960s, then fishing became prohibited in the 1980s because of its extremely polluted state. It was considered biologically dead in 1990.

University of Sto. Tomas in 1927

#Throwback Manila

                One of UST’s first name is The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines or La Real y Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomas de Aquino, La Universidad Católica de Filipinas in Spanish which later simplified to University of Sto. Tomas.  It was established in 1611 and located within the walled city of Intramuros. It’s the most earthquake-proof building in Manila.

Araneta Coliseum in 1960

#Throwback Manila

Amado Araneta purchased a 35-hectare land in Cubao, Quezon City on the year 1952. Its construction began in 1957 and it was officially finished in year 1959 by Chinese-Filipino architects and Engineers. Now known as the Smart Araneta Coliseum, it is one of the world’s largest covered coliseum with a 23,000 square meters of floor area. It was publicly opened in the 1960 with the construction budget of Php 6 Million.

Escolta, 1900

#Throwback Manila

 Escolta is one of the oldest streets in Manila. It was created in 1594 with its name derived from the Spanish word ‘escoltar’ which means to escort. The residents of this street were mostly Chinese merchants, that’s why it was lined-up with shops and became the city’s central business district. It hosted then Manila’s tallest building which is the Manila Stock Exchange. However, businesses in the area began to decline in the 1960s as business owners started transferring to Makati.


12 thoughts on “#Throwback Manila

  1. Thanks to the author i am 23 years old now but if i were given a chance i will choose to be born on that year i remember my late mother we used to go to market very low prices enough if you have a 100 pesos you will buy more compare what we have now.

  2. Malinis at maayos ang kapaligiran, tahimik ang pamumuhay ng mga mamayan, may paggalang sa nagpapatupad ng batas at may respeto sa mga Pulis at di kinatatakutan…Ay, naku … over population na tayong mga Pinoy sa kasalukuyan kaya marami ng nagugutom…Payak at simple lang ang pamumuhay ng mga Pinoy noon at sagana pa sa pagkain dahil sa inilunsad ng pamahalaan Masagana 99 at Green Revolution Program ng Unang Ginang Madame Imelda R. Marcos.

  3. Wow its a great article! How I wish we could go back to the time that we had before. We have a clean air, low prices in marketing. Unlike before that were over populated, we have now a massive pollution and over pricing! How I wish I can see the clean Pasig river and I wish I was born in that year, maybe I’m rich now..

  4. It’s really nice to bring back the past of Manila but where peaceful and prosperous living can be observed. Just sad to say that too much modernization and development, destroys the natural resources and steals the livelihood of the residents. It also became more susceptible to criminal activities. Hope that I was born during those times and lived in Manila.

  5. Guys you should check out Lou Gopal’s Manila Nostalgia. A lot of amazing photos of old Manila. Google ‘manila nostalgia.’ Also check out the group page in facebook. If only I could turn back the clock. 🙂

  6. Manila is one of these great places that is a really sensual, physically beautiful place but sad to say that modernization brings technology that consumes energy and leads to such things as air pollution and climate change.

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