American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 3)

Manila and her immediate towns and landmarks were always the main feature during the American regime.

ESCOLTA

Escolta street earn the moniker “Queen of Manila’s street” since this one of the oldest street and a major street of the city.

One of the oldest streets in Manila, Escolta was created in 1594. Its name was derived from the Spanish word escoltar, meaning “to escort”. This was further developed during the late Spanish and American colonial regime when tall buildings were built.

Another important note is this street would host ticker tape parade when visiting dignitaries, crowned beauty queens and heads of states even until the mid-1970’s.

There was an obscure ordinance in Manila that requiring men to wear formal dress when within Escolta. This was finally repealed in the early this millennium.

American Regime Postcards

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Avenida Rizal

Avenida Rizal is one of the important commercial centers of pre-war Manila. This comprises of Quiapo, Santa Cruz district. The business activity from Avenida Rizal is an extension from nearby Escolta. Some businessmen preferred this district since rentals is a little bit lower compared to Escolta, Chinatown or Binondo.

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Bridge of Spain with trolley tracks and industrial area

Bridge of Spain – Is one of the most featured bridge of Manila during the late Spanish and American regime.  This postcard was probably printed before 1914 flood which had almost destroyed the bridge.

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Government Printing Plant– postcards was issued around 1909. This building was one of the casualties of the last war.

philippine general hospital

Philippine General Hospital– This hospital is one of the facilities built by the Americans.

manila hotel

Manila Hotelis the grand dame of hotels in the city, opened in 1912, it was once the residence of General Douglas Macarthur. Ernest Hemingway, to say, ‘It’s a good story if it’s like the Manila Hotel,”. This hotel is one of the most featured hotel in the country.

Most of the landmarks featured were infrastructure built by Spanish and American colonial government. Please try to visit my previous post on postcards issued during the American regime .

Link to “American regime Manila thru Postcards” Part 2 and Part 1

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 2)

The Americans who colonized the country in 1898 saw the opportunity to feature much of their newly colonized territories in the orient via postcards, photos and travel brochures.

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Fort Santiago with newly installed electric post

Fort Santiago is an important military outpost and frequently featured in postcards, stamp during the late Spanish occupation and American regime.

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Plaza Goiti

Plaza Goiti – Is located at the back of Santa Cruz church. This is now called as Plaza Lacson where a post modern statue of Mayor Arsenio Lacson can be found. There is also a tranvia station line where street trolley would ply the route. Plaza Goiti is located near two important streets Calle Escolta and Calle Carriedo. The plaza serves as a demarcation between two district Santa Cruz and Quiapo. One can also notice that in pre-war Manila, drivers use right hand side.

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Pasig River with custom house circa 1908 postcard

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Pasig River with cascos, small boats and El Hogar building circa 1910

Pasig River which is the main river which separates the northern district and southern district of Manila is often featured in postcards even up to the late 1980’s.

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Binondo Canal -This is vital to the trade and commerce in the northern part of the district. According to relatives who lived in Binondo before the war, Estero dela Reina would be vital for transportation and those who buy goods coming from the provinces. The Binondo landmark and estero is still there, but only few ancestral houses survive. The estero is now dirty and subject to periodic cleaning by the MMDA and city.

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Binondo Draw Bridge Lift

Binondo Draw Bridge Lift– This is another landmark in Binondo during the American era which is located near Muelle de Binondo street and Dasmariñas street. During the late Spanish colonial rule and American regime; most of the goods, furniture, vegetables, fruits, fowls, grains ply the canals or estero within the city. Due to heavy river traffic, a drawbridge is needed. These were raise to allow boats, cascos ( native boats) to pass through. Most of these boats would ply major markets in the city like Quinta, Divisoria, Arroceros, Paco and Binondo.

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Pasig river with native cascos ( native boats) circa 1910

Because of the large number of these boats which ply much of the city’s canal or esteros- Manila also earned the moniker “Venice of the East“.

The drawbridges survived the second world war, having in operations until the mid- 1960’s one in Binondo and Divisoria.

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Union landing and custom house wharf

The first collectors were American soldiers, tourists, teachers and personnel who were assigned to the newly founded territory.

Manila During the American Regime

Manila and her landmarks were the favorite topics on postcard issues. While parts of the city is modern, There were several parts which were rural with lots of vacant lots, houses made from nipa huts, trees and light materials.

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nipa hut with laundry

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embroidery

Early topics would also includes people washing clothes in Pasig river, trade, laundry, festivals and local customs.

Local and Foreign Outbound Rates

Postal rates were 2 centavos (US and Islands ) and 4 centavos ( Foreign countries not part of the United States ) for outbound mail. Since the Philippines was a US colony way back then, We can mail postcards to any parts of USA , Guam, Puerto Rico and Northern Marianas.

The early postcard senders have a peculiar way of affixing stamp. They would post the stamp in front view rather than the backside of the postcards.

Note: postcard were from the personal collector of the author and some of his friends, who would like to remain anonymous.

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 1)

Manila is known by travelers,expats,scholars earn several accolades such as “Pearl of the Orient”, “Paris of the East”, “Milan of the East”, ” Little Vatican”, “Venice of the East ” among others.

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old Spanish watch tower, Intramuros postcard

Philippine Postcards

Postcards in the country were distributed during the mid-19th during the Spanish colonial regime and were known as tarjeta postal, even until now by old time collectors. Early postcards, bear features of Spanish monarchs and it was only in the late 1890’s when photo type postcards were printed and distributed by stores within Escolta, Binondo, Intramuros and large cities.

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old Spanish wall printed by Photo Finishing Corporation, Manila

The Spanish government produced series in various printed denominations specifically for the country. Unfortunately thru time, revolutions, tropical weather, poor quality of the paper, printing quality available during that time. A lot of the postcards printed during this era barely survived. Early collectors would just put them on book shelves or any place. Most of the Spanish era postcards are hard to come by, even in specialized local bourse or club’s auction.

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Binondo canal

I have seen a handful of these trajeta postal mostly from specialized postcard collectors and bought 2 pieces Spanish -Cuban tarjeta postal printed around 1883 which bear the portrait of King Alphonso XII /Alfonso XII (pre-stamp). Some of the tarjeta postal printed in other Spanish colonies would also circulate in the country, since there are some Filipinos who lived and worked in those countries.  The country is under the Spanish crown, postcards printed in those countries may also been used in the country and coveted by some collectors.

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Insular Ice Plant postcard

Insular ice plant is one of the major building infrastructure built by the Americans in Manila.

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Manila Central Post Office in 1930

Manila Central Post Office used to be a horse stable and post office which serves the southern part of Manila during the last decade of the Spanish regime. The building depicted at the postcard was built from 1926 to 1930 under the supervision of Pedro Siochi and Company. The triumvirate of Ralph Harrington Doane, Tomas Mapua and Juan Arellano were the architects behind this magnificent building.

Malacañang Palace

Malacañang Palace

Malacañan /Malacañang Palace is another favorite subject in postcard and even  had a commemorative stamps issued during the commonwealth time. Several bookstores like Goodwill bookstore, National bookstore featured the palace during post war period.

American Regime

The Americans started printing new postcards and were quickly bought by American military personnel or service personnel that were stationed in the country.
Since travel to the country became easier with faster steam engine vessels and larger commercial steam boats which ply the islands. More and more postcards
with different interesting topics were printed.
manila cityhall
Manila Cityhall
The most popular were Manila carnival queens, ethnic groups, landmarks, public executions, people in filipiñiana costume among others.
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Calle Bagumbayan postcard
Some of the postcards were printed in the Unites States during the early part of the colonial regime, while some are printed in the country.
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Bureau of Science building
Bureau of Science is the precursor of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during the American colonial regime. The building was  designed in 1901 by the first American resident architect Edgar Bourne.
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Bureau of Science building
The colonial government needed a laboratory to study and store the colony’s rich store of minerals, forest and agricultural products as well as manufactured goods like tobacco and rope. The California Mission-style Neoclassic building graced the PGH Complex off ,Taft Avenue until the war when it was destroyed.
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University of Santo Tomas– This pre-war postcard was probably printed around 1930. This is the newly built building at the Sampaloc campus.
Postal Card
Most businesses and the general public during the commonwealth regime would prefer using postal card. It is a type of postal stationary with pre-paid stamp affixed on the card.  These were classified under postal stationary of Philippine Islands under US Administration. Printed by the US Bureau of Printing and Engraving for use in the Philippine islands.
One can write short messages on the postal card and can be send very quick.
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postal card issued during the commonwealth era with 2 centavos face value
Postal cards had a very interesting story. A lot of the postal card were hidden during the Japanese occupation and were brought out when the American or Allied forces began liberating major cities , hence there are popular cancellation and slogan  marks.
Sometimes these bear overprint cancellation marks of “V Day” ( Victory Day) postal card of 1945, marking the return to power of the commonwealth from the Japanese which occupied the country.
These became popular souvenir items by Allied forces and American troops which were stationed in the country between 1944 to 1946. Approximately 250,000 American service and Allied forces were stationed in the country during this time period.
These type of postal card is commonly used by business, personal and quite popular even until the late 1960’s.

Sources and References:

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Littrell, Robert, Ed; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010.

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

Postcards from Different Countries

I would like to THANK those gracious postcard swappers , collectors, travellers which send me postcards and being part of their travels. Special mention are the couple Ms. Pamela Marcelo Lumagui and husband who gave me postcards and paper money from Turkey , Ms. Febe Sevilla for the Singapore postcards , Mr.Mac Pagsolingan for the Indonesian, China and Singapore paper money , Mr. Frandel Recto ( stamp and Pope Francis coin)

I received some postcards from different parts of the world.  It took a while before those postcards arrived our club’s Manila Central P.O. Box 2986 due to the long Christmas holidays , other official and unofficial holidays.

Europe map postcard- This is one of the cute ones that i got

I have been quite happy and sad for all those postcards that did not arrived on time, the ones that i have send and still waiting until now , There are some bad swappers ,   slow postal delivery system and maybe theft ???? . While there are some postcards that did not arrive at all! I have an aunt ( she lived in Atlanta , Georgia- USA)  who send me 3 postcards last year and none arrived!

There are a couple of postcard collectors SWAP from the Middle East and India which i never got any of their swap items at all.

I always got some peculiar emails from different parts of the world ,  In particular ( Canada) last April 2015 inquiring about the Philippines-Israel stamp and FDC’s , Since I am not a stamp nor an FDC ( First Day Cover ) dealer or seller . I had to wait until the Easter Holidays just to know the availability of the FDC.   Got no email for this person on what items she wanted to swap or exchange for the FDC’s and stamps.

cat postcard from Netherland send by Ms. Wilma van Vegten( Postcard Lotteries for Real Facebook Page)

( Unfortunately , I got this after more than a month with ugly postal mark ) This was send last July 2015 but i manage to got them past September 2015

To cut the story short , Our swap agreement did not materialized and this same person, emailed several local stamp dealers and collectors wanted to buy or swap items which did not even materialized at all.

When we compared notes and stories , We all got the same person with same email address  ( Ms. IB)  The moral of the story is that , If you want to swap items from the Philippines , You have to know how to properly transact and deal with local people.

Buying stamps and even postcards is not a fast one, especially in the Philippines – Not all post offices carry new stamp issues and you must know how to wait. If you do not want to transact with local stamp collectors , there are several internet , facebook and buying sites which sells Philippine stamps at a certain profit margin. I do not know if PHLPOST website is active selling newly issued stamps and FDC’s internationally, perhaps why try those services?

I only keep a handful of  stamps and FDC’s especially the souvenir sheets and FDC’s had additional 12%  Value Added Tax imposed by Bureau of Internal Revenue ( BIR) implemented by PHLPOST since last January 2015.

Those people who wanted to dispose their stamps, appraise their collections must try to take photos of their collections and send them to my email for proper consultation with local collectors. I  serves as a bridge for sellers and buyers of stamps. Most of the time , There are no takers since stamp being sold is too expensive and there are no stamp collectors willing to buy them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jorge Pineda postcards from Luxemburg and Mexico

Quezon City – Philippines

I started to collect postcards since i was in grade 1 ,  It started when our social studies teacher would require them as a semestral project which would require students to pass a  couple of scenic spots , national heroes or folk dances. We would troop to the nearest bookstores and buy the cheap postcards.  Paste them in a  white bond paper size with all sort of captions and art papers to highlight a particular scenic spots , national heroes or folk dances.  We would write the captions  in colored pentel pens!

I would buy 1 or 2 more postcards as additional for my personal collection, I would later know that some of my aunts and even my mom had some postcards hidden in some photo albums or containers somewhere in our house. Some of my personal collection were lost over the years ( some eaten by termites, some were given away to friends and relatives )  I would only buy postcards intermittently . over the course of several years until i reached high school and college.

Luxemburg ( top ) Mexico ( bottom)

In a local bourse/ auction i chance upon a 2 postcards on sale about 2 years ago , With some inscription Jorge Pineda from Luxemburg and Mexico dated 1908 and 1909 respectively .

back portion of the postcards

Mr. Jorge Pineda is an artist which lived in Manila and based on personal accounts by deltiologists ( postcard collector ) and stamp collector – He seems to be a very prolific artist, stamp and even postcard collector.

He also drew cover illustrations for Renacimiento Filipino as well as ads, and designed sweepstakes tickets, postage stamps, and the prewar 20-peso bill showing the Mayon Volcano . He did illustrations for many books, such as Bajo los cocoteros (Under the Coconut Trees), by Claro M. Recto.

Artist

He was born (26 July 1879-12 Sept 1946) and  won the awards at the Universal Exposition in St Louis, Misouri, USA: bronze for Campesina (Farm Girl), showing a solidly drawn head of a rural lass, and honorable mention for Las buyeras (Women Preparing Betel Nut Chew) in 1904. As a painter, He is considered as a peer and contemporary of  Fernando Amorsolo but less prolific, being an occasional painter and he explored subjects outside those of the Amorsolo school. Among his most charming genre scenes are those depicting Filipino games like siklot and sungkaan.

Reference:

CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, Vol 4. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1994.