Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Sr. Memorial Building Vintage Postcard

Far Eastern University is one of the colleges and universities that is popular feature in many postcard issuance. Her art deco architectural style was an icon during the times.

One of the earliest known postcard feature was from the Philippine Education Company Incorporated, Which is the leading school supply company about 60 years ago.

Far Eastern University -Nicanor Reyes Sr. Building Postcard

The 3 known art deco buildings within Far Eastern University that were featured by PECO.

1.) The most recognizable one were Nicanor Reyes Sr. Memorial Building, 2.) Arellano High School ( Boy’s High School) and 3.) Girl’s High School.

The vintage postcard was bought a couple of years ago at a local stamp bourse for an equivalent of 2 burger meals.

Technical Description

Divided Back (c. 1907-1915) could be reprinted until mid- 1960’s
Type: Printed (Lithograph)

Far Eastern University, Nicanor Reyes Memorial Hall, Manila, Philippines

The postcard is in used good condition. Genuine Curteich-Chicago “CT Photo Colorlit” No. 7B-H1061. Philippine Education Co., Inc. Manila, PI. No. 4028.

Produced with scalloped or straight edges and with a smooth or linen textured surface.

Philippine Educational Company Incorporated

Philippine Educational Company Incorporated(PECO) was the one stop shop for school supplies, postcards, books, magazines, pencils, drafting materials, toys, imported items among other stuffs. Our great grandparents, grandparents or even parents enjoyed the heydays of the premier business district in the country.

The original PECO shop at 101 Escolta Avenue, Manila was founded by Verne Miller, a Thomasite schoolteacher, who landed in the Philippines in 1901. Surviving the American, Japanese and destruction of the last world war.

Their business eventually moved out of the financial district by the mid- 1950’s to Makati Commercial Center and the operations spanned for more than 70 years.

One of the items which was quite popular was their postcards, Some of the postcards were even sold to nearby town, cities and provinces for students, tourists and postcard collectors.

PECO eventually folded-up by the mid -1970’s due to strict competition, import regulations and other problems which affected the operation of the company.

According to some resellers and old time postcard/ stamp dealers, PECO postcards circulated until the mid -1970’s in Metro Manila well up to early 1980’s for far flung provinces. A postcard then would only cost few centavos and some would be send abroad.

I have two aunts which collected stamps and postcards told me that majority of their collection were lost during the great Binondo fire in the late 1960’s.

Written Letter and Stamps

In a letter apparently from an exchange student and her host family back in Philadelphia: “Greetings from Manila. You really should visit these islands someday. It’s wonderful to be back home – my parents are both well, and the city has grown tremendously. There are many new buildings all over, but there is still a lot of poverty and the downtown section is as dirty as ever. Will write again. Best Love, Jo.”

The postcard was mailed from Manila to 9512 Hilspach St, Philadelphia, United States with 3 stamps which featured Marcelo H. Del Pilar ( 5 centavos face value per stamp) dated September 25, 1958.

Note: According to a stamp and postcard collectors- The Marcelo H. Del Pilar stamps were issued in 1952 and might have circulated until early 1960’s.

Sources and References:

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 1)

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 2)

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards ( part 3)

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (part 4)

Personal interview from postcard collectors and dealers

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions

Philippine Postcards.com:

Eyeball of Bottle Collectors Philippines at Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum

It was an overcast weather last September 15 when members of Bottle Collectors of the Philippines ( Mga Lumang Bote) FB group have their eyeball and informal meet at the historic Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum within the historic Escolta street in the heart of old downtown Manila.

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part of the collection

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Halili beer bottle and wine bottle collection

The group had about a thousand members who collects different kinds of bottles ranging from soft drink brands, milk, beer, wine, medicine among others.

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Calvo building

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historical marker

Eyeball and Meeting

The assembly started around 12:00 noon time when members arrived at the mezzanine area of Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum. This is a private collection from the Teotico family.

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members Mr. Joel Bernardo Tempongko, Mr. Miguel Delfin, Mr. Lee Delmo and Mr. Mark Claudio

The informal meeting was presided by Mr. Mark Anthony Kyle Gianan aka Krazy Kyle but more popularly known as “Pinoy Picker“.

Unfortunately some members left before having a group photo. It was a wonderful experience meeting fellow bottle collectors.

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photo courtesy of Mga Lumang Bote fb group by Mr. Anthony Kyle Gianan

Note: the author would occasionally conduct heritage tour in this museum as part of the extended postal heritage guided tour.

How to Commute:

1.) via LRT line 1 north bound take off at ( Carriedo station), One can walk toward Escolta street. ( 15 to 20 minute walk)

2.) Blumentritt -Plaza Santa Cruz jeepney

3.) Baclaran to Blumentritt jeepney

4.) Blumentritt to South Pier jeepney route

5.) Malanday, Valenzuela via Avenida Rizal, Plaza Santa Cruz to South Pier jeepney route

6.) San Nicolas to Escolta jeepney route

7.) via Plaza Lawton aka Liwasang Bonifacio – one can take jeep going to Divisoria

Calvo Memorabilia and Bottle Museum ( Mezzanine area)

Address: 266 Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Monday to Saturday

Donation/ Entrance fees: Php 50 general public, Php 30 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s

Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Santa Cruz Parish

The parish of Santa Cruz which was carved from the growing Filipino-Chinese community started early 18th century. Santa Cruz which also encompass Escolta street was considered as part of the extended commercial, trade and services sector particularly during the Spanish, American, Japanese and early republic which thrives in the district.

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Santa Cruz parish main facade

The church architecture is a combination of of California style mission, baroque and Asian- Hispanic style. The last restoration was done in the mid-1950’s just after the war.

The current facade was renovated few years ago and several commemorative markers are found within the facade of the church.

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granite tombstone slab in front of the main entrance

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marker

Santa Cruz Parish History

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left Saint Peter Julian Eymard , center mosaic tiles Blessed Sacrament and Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Santa Cruz parish was erected on 20 June 1619. It was recounted that the Jesuits were called to administer the parish primarily to look after the spiritual needs of the growing Chinese population in the adjacent Binondo district. Binondo is located just within 1 kilometer away from the parish and serves as extension of the Chinatown district.

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interior

A replica of the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) in Zaragosa, Aragon, Spain was enshrined by the Jesuits in this church and in 1743, the Confraternity of Our Lady of the Pillar was canonically established. Nuestra Señora del Pilar eventually became the titular of the parish.

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jubilee cross

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Saint John Paul II statue is one of the saints venerated at the parish

On April 1, 1764 at the ground surrounding Sta. Cruz Church, British commander Blackhouse, surrendered over the keys of Manila to Governor Anda.

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commemorative bust of Simon de Anda installed in June 8, 1958 hidden in one corner of the parish.

The plaque below Anda’s bust are the words: 1764. IN THIS SITE THE PLAZA OF MANILA WAS RETURNED BY THE INVADING ENEMY TO THE EMINENT PATRICIAN D. SIMON DE ANDA Y. SALAZAR. FILIPINAS ERECTS THIS TO HIS MEMORY. May 31, 1764.

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Plaza Santa Cruz with Carriedo fountain, Monte de Piedad and Chinatown Welcome Arch

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Plaza Lacson aka Plaza Goiti during the late Spanish, American and early republic

The area also had a street car station which is located in Plaza Goiti, while LRT Carriedo station is located just a few meters away.

Towards the mid-19th century, Parish priest Ezequiel Moreno ( now a saint) in October 1880 after being assigned in Mindoro, Palawan and Las Piñas. He became Preacher General, was assigned Parish priest assuming the post in February 1881 until the following year.

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columbary units located within the side chapel

The church was burned to the ground during the last world war in 1945 with only the facade, bell tower and side walls remains. Few artifacts which included the venerated Our Lady of Pillar was saved.

Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under the Austrian conductor Dr. Herbert Zipper, All the members of the MSO were Filipinos except a young violinist, Manuel “Imo” Wilheim, a Jewish refugee. The other was lead clarinetist Earl J. Smith, of the 37th Division Band held their post liberation concert, fund raising and “Thanksgiving” within the ruins of the church.

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Plaza Santa Cruz – Photo courtesy of Mr. John Tewell from flickr

Concert was given in the ruins of Santa Cruz Church on May 9, 1945. Among the attendees included Jean MacArthur, wife of Douglas MacArthur, Philippine Chief of Staff General Basilio Valdes and his wife, and His Grace Manila Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty

A decree issued on 18 December 1984 by the late Arhbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin reverted the name to Santa Cruz Parish. In the same decree, Saint Peter Julian Eymard was named as the second patron of the parish.

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spiral staircase going to the belfry of the church

Santa Cruz church became a center of eucharistic evangelization and adoration and was informally recognized as a Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

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religious bookstore and supplies within the parish

400th Anniversary Celebrations

Parish pastoral council launched a year-long celebration of the parish. His Excellency, Bishop Sofronio Bancud, SSS presided over the thanksgiving Mass and the blessing of the jubilee door last June 20, 2019.

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jubilee door with 400th anniversary logo

The year round will be capped with the colorful fiesta and several events in which devotees of the blessed sacrament can participate.

It is also worthwhile to those who wanted to help the parish feeding program to coordinate with them, since the parish is known to give indigent community rice porridge “lugaw” and pandesal.

References and Bibliography:

NHCP historical marker

Saint Ezequiel Moreno bibliography
Santa Cruz parish leaflet

Santa Cruz Church : A living Heritage book

” Herbert Zipper”  holocaustmusic.ort.org. Retrieved November 12, 2011

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.

Escolta walking tour and vintage items sale

The event slated on March 9, 2013 was organized by Heritage Conservation Society ( Youth ), Escolta Commercial Association, 98 -B Gallery , and group of concerned citizens which aimed to revive and promote Escolta and nearby streets . There will also be a ” Saturday RETRO Sale ” were old items ranging from clothes, fashion accessories , books and other collectibles items will be on sale.

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