Escolta Saturday market attracts buyers

First United Building , Escolta street , Santa Cruz, Manila-Philippines

Escolta street early in the 20th century

After several weeks and months of planning and conceptualizing , The big day had arrived.   A guided tour organized by Heritage Conservation Society  , Escolta Commercial Association ( ECA) and various concerned citizens to promote the area  and aimed to revitalized the former glory and splendor of Manila’s premier business district . Heritage Conservation Society Youth  organized a tour at around past 9:00am to  past 12:00 noon  a tour dubbed as  “Escoltara!” to explore the district and get to know its many Art Deco buildings and immense on the rich history of the place.

old magazines, books are on sale

a dealer together with an interested buyer examining an item for sale

The venue was of the Saturday market is the bare-walled space in the ground floor of the First United Building . The  dealers /sellers  area was set up with mats and tables .

stylist office chairs

There are about 30 dealers/ sellers  offering a wide range of items such as old cameras, postcards, old photos, fashion accessories , toys, vinyl records , books, clothes, art pieces  to  old chairs , furniture and even old soda bottles.

Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta also  bought some old postcards of Manila ( circa 1960’s) . The postcards were being sold from Php 200 each to Php 500 each depending on the date of issuance.

a volunteer of 98-B gallery selling T-shirts, customized mugs with escolta designs and umbrella

  a dealer holding vinyl record ( mint condition )

In history, Escolta had a lot of firsts: first ice cream parlor, first cinema, first elevator, first escalator   . The younger generation must appreciate the value of the place . Some of them prefer to go to malls or elsewhere.

The Masonic temple building( PNB) and Escolta  before the onset of the second world war as photographed from Santa Cruz Bridge

Photographer: Harrison Forman 1904-1978

This image is from the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA collections

I would also add to the long list of first, When Far Eastern University was founded by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. in 1928 ( Institute of Accounts Business and Finance ) The institute  rented a space in the former masonic temple within the Escolta street. The review center would eventually moved to Avenida then eventually to its present location .

Old Fajaro Building ( second building occupied by then Institute of Accountancy ) scanned copy from the personal collection of the author

El Hogar building from an old postcard collection: Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club

El Hogar  is a beaux-arts building, designed by architect Senior  Ramon ( may also be spelled Ramond ) de Yrureta-Goyena ( may also be spelled Irrureta-Goyena)   and set by the Pasig River on Muelle dela Industria street in Binondo, was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel daughter and a Peruvian count back in 1914. It housed the offices of the lending company El Hogar Filipino (hence derived the name) and the original headquarters of Ayala Life Insurance Company. After World War II, the building found itself in the hands of the Fernandez clan who still run the building till this day.

present day El Hogar building 

 Darling of Movie and Television

The building and its offices spaces is a favorite shooting place for television commercials , movies and architectural photo-shoots . Some people would refer the building as ” Studio Three ” . The building and its premises  has now become the darling of Manila’s TV and film production design world. Aside from being used as the backdrop for Globe and McDonald’s commercials, it’s also used as the setting for the music videos of indie groups Bamboo (“Hallelujah”), Cueshe (“Stay”), Sarah Geronimo’s remake of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.  It was even used in the opening scenes of  Mr. Peque Gallaga’s recently premiered “Pinoy Blonde”.  Another recent shoot  was the MTV ” Pusong Bato ” of Mr. Jovit Baldivino  . Filipino directors love to shoot the building in different angles,  The place and building can be stimulated to look like those found in  Paris, New York , London or even Madrid.

However the tangled electricity wires and telephone lines makes it difficult for photographers to take pictures. The broken windows of the building adds to the charm .

used soft drink bottles for sale

Space rental  cost P500 for the entire day , However sellers had to bring in their tables and chairs. The same space had been Berg’s Department Store, one of the major stores in Escolta in the 1940s. The concept of holding a Saturday market was inspired by this department store.

Heritage Conservation Society  and Escolta Commercial Association members souvenir shot in front of the First United Building

While the Escolta Saturday Market ( frequency once a week ) can be  similar to Salcedo Sunday MarketEaton Centris ( Sidcor) Sunday Market or  collecting clubs which have a monthly event where members and non-members hold their bourse/swap meeting. The Escolta market  will target the collectors and lovers of art.  The next event is slated on April 27, 2013 . The organizers wanted to have it on a weekly basis activity in the near future.

Note:  parking space is limited within the Escolta area.

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One thought on “Escolta Saturday market attracts buyers”

  1. Perhaps u guys can visit us at Philpost lobby, at Liwasang Bonifacio, just at the end of the bridge, Every 3rd Sunday @ the afternoon. Auction and bourse tables are available there, courtesy of Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club.

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