Vintage 1960’s Manila Postcards

Manila is the gateway into the country. A great place to capture her famous city-views, buildings, ruins, historical places, aerial views thru the lenses of a professional photographer and mass producing them for tourist market thru postcards.


Department of Finance, Legislative Building, Manila Cityhall, GSIS building, Manila Metropolitan Theater, Quezon bridge and Luneta park are some of the important buildings captured in this aerial shot – JMC press ( Goodwill Bookstore circa 1967)

The parents of Ms. Maria Teresa Cancio-Suplico, Mr. Manuel and Juana Cancio who founded 3 bookstores at the foot of the Escolta Bridge, Manila. These 3 were named Educational, Goodwill and National.


Chinese garden arch- Luneta park – This postcard was printed by Kruger company and distributed by National Bookstore


Aerial shot of Manila pier, buildings, aduana, intramuros are clearly seen in this postcard. This postcard was printed by Kruger company and distributed by National Bookstore.

Vintage 1960’s Manila Postcards


World Health Organization building located along United Nations Avenue formerly called Isaac Peral is the headquarter of WHO Asia-Pacific


colorful jeepneys which ply the route of Blumentritt- Libertad, Pasay and vice versa within Luneta Park, Manila


Lagoon at the Rizal Park with Daily Star, Volkswagen and Manila Hilton along T.M. Kalaw street was printed by Kruger and distributed by National Bookstore.

There is also a similar postcard print but with Japanese characters at the back portion, probably intended for the Japanese tourist market.


Fort Santiago and Dr. Jose Rizal cell ruins printed by Kruger and distributed by National Bookstore

Goodwill Bookstore also printed several thematic postcards which were distributed in many smaller bookstores in the provinces.

They also have several lenticular or 3-D postcards which were quite popular in the tourist market. These were categorized into Philippine dances, flowers, religious and well-known landmarks.

According to some serious postcard collectors, They have estimated that JMC and Goodwill Bookstore might have issued between 150 to 200 thematic postcards from the 1960’s until mid- 1980’s.


Agriculture and Finance Building (Agrifina) neo-classical architecture, water fountain, Manila Cathedral and MD bus transit had a route from Quiapo to Bangkal in Makati. – JMC 1967 ( Goodwill Bookstore) 

According to a September 12, 2017 Facebook post of Ms. Maria Teresa Cancio-Suplico

Goodwill through its printing arm JMC Press, produced beautiful postcards that were photographed by 2 Japanese experts in photography who stayed for at least a month in the Philippines to go around the country on a mission to photograph our best Philippine tourist spots like Mayon Volcano, Pasonanca Park in Zamboanga, & many others.


Dr. Jose Rizal monument and Luneta Park- printed by JMC 1967 ( Goodwill Bookstore)


Arch of the Centuries- University of Santo Tomas -printed by JMC 1967 ( Goodwill Bookstore)

Some of these postcards were pasted onto greeting cards that were die-cut to fit the postcard & the resulting frame around the postcard was embossed in gold. These greeting cards were works of art in their own way.


Aerial view of Luneta and other government buildings -printed by JMC 1967 ( Goodwill Bookstore)

This postcard showed the other parts of Manila which included portion of Intramuros, post office,newly planted trees and main boulevards.

Manila is much cleaner with less visible pollution 50 or 60 years ago compared today. Some of the heritage buildings are no longer there, But only postcards, photos and collective memories are highly cherished.

Happy 449th anniversary founding of Manila !

Note: postcards were collected by the author. Postcard copyright from JMC Press/ Goodwill and Kruger/ National Bookstore

Bibliography, Sources and References:

Personal interviews with postcard collectors from the Philippines ( Mr. Rogelio de Jesus,  Mrs. Melissa Perez, Mr. Iggy Tuazon, Mr. Dionne Taeza, Mr. Federico Ligon)

Goodwill Bookstore proprietor : Ms. Maria Teresa Cancio-Suplico

Collins English Dictionary : Postal Card

Personal interview from postcard collectors

Philippine Postcards page 130 to 137 Consuming Passions


Puente Colgante. ( 2005). In Virgilio Almario ( Ed.), Sagisag Kultura ( Vol 1). Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts.


Intramuros Open House 2019

It was a hot sunny day when our small blogger group met at Plaza Roma past 7:30 am for the one day Intramuros Open House event.


Manila Cathedral Basilica

They took a chance to explore and enjoy these museums within the walled city. Some of the bloggers are living in northern part of Metro Manila like Deparo,Novaliches, Fairview, Rodriguez, Montalban and San Mateo, Rizal did not have much time to visit the place during ordinary days.

Intramuros Open House

Old Manila Eco Market

Mr. Philip Reyes is one of the early bird at the meet-up place which was the Old Manila Eco Market in front of Manila Cathedral Basilica.


Manila Cathedral Basilica and former Manila Collectibles place


flowering Dendrobium orchids and ornamental plants for sale

Old Manila Eco Market had stalls selling environment sustainable products, flowering plants, handicrafts and food made by locals or ethnic groups.


Manila Cathedral interior


Archbishops of Manila from late 1579 up to the present


Manila Cathedral Basilica – We have waited a couple of minutes and took some time explaining a brief history of the church to the participants.


La Pieta


Fort Santiago entrance

Fort Santiago is our second stop, The well manicured space was a delight to photographers, we saw a lot of intagramers. However it seems hotter compared to what we have accustomed with. It was the paved concrete which gives a heat island effect.


Plaza de Armas


historical marker at the Dr. Jose Rizal’s shrine


Dr. Jose Rizal wax figure




Dr. Jose Rizal cell


lego exhibit- Manila Hotel

The Lego exhibit is one of the MUST See attractions inside the Fort Santiago. I have been there several times. Some visitors keep on touching and playing the lego buildings that some of them have missing parts.



The group met a lot of familiar faces and friends during our tour.

San Agustin church facade

 Except for Philip Reyes and the author. It was the first time for the rest of the group at the museum. The last time i have entered the San Agustin museum was two months ago, when the company that i am working organized a pre-conference tour in intramuros.


columbary units



At the ground floor of the San Agustin Convent and Museum, There was an ongoing Marian exhibit entitled ” Regina Caeli”  which also attracted record number of people.  We saw Sir Jeff Fernando ( a santo devotee and collector).


botanical prints and samples

We also saw a couple of stamp collectors and heritage advocate at the museum.


 immaculate conception carved from elephant ivories – Don Luis Ma. Araneta collection

 The group enjoyed the two hour or so tour inside the San Agustin convent and museum.


Casa Manila and San Luis Complex

Casa Manila is a three -story rich merchant house in the late 18th and early 19th century. According to travel brochures and some books, This  merchant house was replicated from an actual house in San Nicolas district in Manila. Some materials were from demolished period houses in Manila and nearby provinces.


second floor

The collection also included furniture f rom estate and family collection acquired by Intramuros administration in the early 1980’s up to the mid-1990’s




kitchen area




Casa Manila central courtyard

Casa Manila central courtyard is favorite location set for films, television commercial and wedding reception venue.




Instituto Cervantes – There was an art and bazaar at the second floor of the institute.

The group took a short lunch at the nearby convenient stores, It is much cooler inside compared to the karinderia.


Bahay Tsinoy – Bahay Tsinoy is a resource center,venue and museum. The place also had an auditorium area and resource library.


terracota warrior replica from Xian- donated to the museum

We used to include the museum as part of the extended postal heritage tour.


life size mannequin

The group of Mercedes Maata left after the Bahay Tsinoy museum tour. We were able to get some postcards, books and Tulay newspapers at the lobby.  They use to sell the postcards before.


Museo Destileria Limtuaco signage

We continued our Intramuros and visited the Museo Destilleria Limtuaco which opened their door in 2018.  It was my 8th time in this museum and first time for the rest of the participants.

Museo Destileria Limtuaco facade

( photo courtesy of Mr. Philip Reyes)

Museo de Intramuros– We arrived past 1:30pm at the museum and fall in line to revisit the museum. It was the first time for the rest of the participants. Saw Axl Guinto and Dennis Dy Kho fellow bloggers. According to the security guards manning the museum, The museum is still FREE until the end of the year. Do not the miss the chance to visit the place.

Museo Destileria Limtuaco This used to be an ancestral house of the Limpe family acquired in the late 1970’s. Eventually the ancestral house was converted into a museum and memorabilia center.



Destileria Limtucao company had tucked into their colorful history 5 generations of master blenders.  It was established by a Chinese immigrant born of a merchant family in Amoy, China, Lim Tua Co.






Lights and Sound Museum– The museum opened past 1:00 pm. There were two other schedule held within 1 hour interval.


life-size mannequin


Boy Scout monument  ( photo courtesy : Philip Reyes)

Boy Scout Monument  sometimes called Laging Handa Monument beside Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The monument was featured in a local postcard in the late 1960’s. It was printed by Madonna and distributed by Goodwill Bookstore.

The three boy scout featured were the three boy scout from Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

The group also went to the Parian gate area where is an ongoing Likhaan booths. By this time, most of the participants were tired and could not take any photos.

We accompanied Ms. Darylle and her daughter at the foot of Quezon bridge, where they rode an AUV express going to Fairview and the author took an LRT line 1 Central station. Finally bid farewell after almost 8 hours of walking tour within intramuros.

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.


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.


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.


Pasig River with custom house circa 1908 postcard


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


nipa hut with laundry



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

Grand Marian Procession 2015

Fort Santiago, Intramuros – Manila, Philippines

It was a hot sunny afternoon past 2:00pm when our group arrived near the Plaza Roma within the heart of Intramuros.

Roads that lead to intramuros were closed – Magallanes street , Aduana street aka Andres Soriano street are lined with concert barriers . There is a high mass at around past 4:00pm where there are several dignitaries and high church officials in attendance .

Manila Cathedral and Plaza Roma

The main plaza- Plaza Roma is colorfully decorated with bamboo arch and festive buntings. The electric and cable wires around the plaza had been removed by the Intramuros Administration and with the help of MERALCO and other telecommunication companies.  This makes the area ideal for photography without the electric cables and wires .

Security was strict compared to last year . Plant boxes and concrete slabs were neatly arranged to form a barrier along the main street. The adjacent streets were closed to traffic and people had to walk several meters just to queue to the parades routes.

ladies in colorful balintawak and native hats

Santa Ana de Hogonoy devotees

beautiful lady in white terno

Fort Santiago marker

students from Cagayan province

participants in colorful ternos and barong tagalogs

foreigners and devotees

The festival had attracted several thousands of devotees from far flung provinces , balikabayans and even foreign tourists. The mood is very festive and the sweet smelling flowers even attracted bees and insects.

There were about 100 Marian images from different congregations and canonically crown images.

The images were festooned with fresh flowers and accompanied by devotees.

some of the processional carriage had even live fruits such as red apples and pineapples as part of the arrangement

 Our Lady of Hope

 live strap leaf vandas and white phalaenopsis orchids add colors to this processional carriage

Metro Manila Development Authority marching band

Ina Poon Bato

Our Lady , The Untier of Knots

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Turumba -Our Lady of Turumba

different kinds of cut flowers guzmanias

Nuestra Señora del Mar Cautiva from La Union

We were given some estampitas by a devotee from La Union . He said that the image was at least 100 years -old .

Philippine Navy

There are also several schools within Intramuros which send student cadets and marching bands during the procession.

We have to leave past 4:00pm when the procession is about to start and have a very fond memories of the Marian festival. Congratulations to all the people behind the annual traditional procession.

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