In every student’s history classes, their teachers must have taught them about the Philippine’s rich culture and history even before the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines. The Philippines also continued to develop through the cities on which people now see whenever they go around the country to travel, especially around Metro Manila. But there’s this once well-known street in Binondo, Manila that, in my own opinion, needs to be remembered by the Filipinos because of its historical value. Escolta Street is its name.

Being able to visit the Escolta Street, for the first time last year, I felt as if I was stepping into a precious street in Manila. It was known to be the business district of the Philippines because of the widespread trading in Binondo City. Being the business district during the American colonization times, the old buildings in the street showed how it was so alive in the last 50 years.

September 1930, Escolta (photo credit: www.lougopal.com/)

September 1930, Escolta (photo credit: www.lougopal.com/)

First United Building (Photo by Paolo Bustamante)

First United Building (Photo by Paolo Bustamante)

Fact: The late Comedy King, Sir Dolphy, had his office located in the First United Building.

Inside the Juan Luna E-Services building

Inside the Juan Luna E-Services building

Going back to my observations in this valuable street, there are a number of abandoned buildings. It’s already unimaginable how it looked like Makati City before! It is sad that recently, rumors spread that the El Hogar will be soon demolished (read more about this here). Another sad news came last January 07, 2015 (Wednesday) about the fire that burned the building where the City College of Manila and Philippine National Bank were once situated (read more here). But gladly, people (organizations) that advocate for the restoration of Escolta are always on the move to revitalize the street. Part of revitalizing Escolta is the Saturday x Future Market organized by the 98B COLLABoratory. Make sure to watch out for it every month!

Chalk art inside the Saturday x Future Market

Chalk art inside the Saturday x Future Market

Escolta is a Philippine cultural heritage that needs to be conserved. The stories that echo in each of the buildings still needs to be heard by the future generations of people.

Have you been to Escolta? Or maybe you have also been to the projects done to reviving Escolta’s beauty. Let us know through our comments section below!

References:

http://www.lougopal.com/manila/?p=83

http://www.imagesofasia.com/html/philippines/escolta-road.html

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/03/22/14/how-artists-entrepreneurs-are-reviving-escolta

Be updated about Escolta through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EscoltaOfficial