Iconic Manila Hotel real photo postcards

Manila Hotel is one of the most photographed hotels in the country since her establishment in 1912.

With the advent of photography. First known photo studios were introduced in Manila in the later part of the 19th century. Taking photos of people, fiesta, landmarks, recuerdo de patay (memories of the dead) became more popular. Manila hotel postcard with the use of photos became an instant hot commodity among collectors of Filipiniana, memorabilia, postcard, photo collectors not only in the country but also from all over the world.

Manila Hotel photo postcard circa 1925

Manila Hotel real photo postcards

The Manila bay harbor was dredged with millions of tons of mud, gravel and sand were used to reclaim and extend the Luneta, making room for the Elks Club, the Army Navy Club and the crown jewel of the project was a premiere hotel with modern amenities that soon to be called the Manila Hotel.

The Malecon drive which was popular as seaside passageway and promenade area during the Spanish regime was widen and reclaimed. Eventually the drive became Dewey boulevard or Roxas boulevard.

The moat which connects parts of intramuros or walled city to the Manila bay was filled and turned into a municipal golf course and garden.

The site of the hotel was next to Pier 7, where it was now possible to berth four large passenger ships.

Pier 13 is also near the hotel which added more traffic and guests to the hotel.

Visitors can book a room at the hotel and short calesa ride into the historic city centers like Intramuros, Ermita, Malate and Luneta park. During those times, the social event would center in escolta. Eventually the grand social hall of the hotel serves as a nerve center to even the political meetings and gatherings.

It was the in-thing for the wealthy and socialite during American colonial regime to be spotted within Manila Hotel, much of today’s Bonifacio Global City or BGC.

Mr. Daniel Burnham commissioned American architect William Parsons to design the Manila Hotel as well as many buildings with the California style mission which was in vogue in many parts of the United States and Europe.

Manila Hotel circa 1947 photo postcard

Manila Hotel circa 1957 with post war cars and trees growing

Manila Hotel with large acacia and narra trees circa 1959

Please try to visit the other previous article links for Manila Hotel :

American Regime Manila thru postcards part 3: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/american-regime-manila-thru-postcards-part-3/

Manila Hotel postcard by Cardinell Vincent :https://renz15.wordpress.com/2020/10/27/manila-hotel-postcard-cardinell-vincent-company/

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:

Collection of Catholic Religious Chalkware in Marinduque

During this pandemic and home quarantine, people are stuck in their homes have time  to reflect and pray. An FB friend and also a member of the religious group send some photos and recounted the tales of their cherish Catholic religious statues made from chalkware or eskayola/ escayola.

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Marian statues and religious chalkware ( photo courtesy of Mr. Arwin Jones Epa)

Collection of Catholic Religious Chalkware

Mr. Arwin Jones Epa’s family who hails from Boac, Marinduque shared in his FB post on their collection of Catholic religious chalkware.

Most of their Catholic religious statues were handed down from his grandmother and parents. His father was Social Studies ” Araling Panlipunan” teacher and serves as the local town’s historian recounted that most of the chalkware were bought from peddlers from Pampanga, purchased from Catholic Trade in Tayuman, Manila and elsewhere.

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Our Lady of Caysasay made from eskayola – is one of the cherished religious statues by the family

There were at least 50 to 60 Catholic religious chalkware, among the oldest was Our Lady of Caysasay made in 1954, Christ the King purchased from Catholic Trade in 1955.

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Among the cherish collection is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help inside a wooden container ” Urna“.

He hopes to preserve the religious chalkware statues and sharing some his their family heirloom collection.

Dying Art of Funeral Joss Paper Crafts

We visited a distant relative of a family friend who died an old age, lie in state on 3rd floor at Sanctuarium located along Gregorio Araneta corner Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

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Mansion made from paper with Christmas lights and funeral wreath

The person was his great grand father was 95 years-old and the family wasted no time to give him a grand send off in the after life. Instead of the usual black and white cloth which covered the room, most of the cloth were colored red and white.

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Sanctuarium

According to the expert, the person lived his life to the fullest. He was able to produce 6 generation of descendants. In a country which had an average life expectancy of just 71 years-old ( 2017 data) living beyond 71 is already a big blessing.

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servants are found in the entrance of the paper mansion with small photo of the decease person and special sleeping chamber

Dying Art of Joss Funeral Paper Building

In my previous article about recuerdo de patay few years ago. The funeral wake of my maternal grandmother had some funeral paper building, mercedes benz, rickshaw, sedan chairs, mahjong table, paper lanterns and airplane was held few decades ago at Funenaria Paz in Quezon City.

IMAGEMercedes benz made from paper

Burning the traditional paper ‘money’ along with miniature items like houses, cars,  appliances, all the modern amenities are also burned to make sure the deceased continues to enjoy the same things in the afterlife. However, fewer Filipino-Chinese are practicing Taoist and Buddhist. Hence, the art of making these paper joss funeral items are getting rare.

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paper sedan chair with carriers

They immediate family members bought an elaborate mansion made out of bamboo and paper. The entire structure was about 7 feet high complete with television set, appliances, rooms, servants and is well lighted during the entire wake.

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a small photo of the decrease person, polo shirt, airplane ( partly hidden) to be burned along side the decease person

This happened when Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was lifted. Since most of their relatives, friends and business associate were already within Metro Manila. The family decided to have a short mourning person of just 6 days.

According to the geomancer whom the family have hired, It is important that the dead person have the 5 M‘s to bring in the afterlife.

The burning of joss paper ‘Money’ equates to making advance deposits in order to bribe the keepers of hell or to be use in the afterlife. A specialized marker was made to indicate the name of the decease person in Chinese characters.

The practice of burning paper luxury goods is believed to keep the spirits of ancestors happy and prosperous as they continue to watch over living relatives.

Mansion – Having a big mansion or building to bring to the afterlife.

Mobility – These includes sedan chair with people to carry the dead, airplane, car and even wheelchair.

Material Wealth – appliances plus all the necessities is a MUST. Some may include air-condition, electric fan, television set, cellphone, washing machine, animals, mahjong table and even a personalized ATM machine!

Maids or Men in order to lead a comfortable life. Other props may also include paper lantern and other stuff that the decease person wanted or have.

The art of making funeral joss paper craft is slowly dying with fewer craftsmen were able to make these items. Having these extra joss paper building add cost to the funeral expenses. Some elaborate master pieces can run thousands or even tens of thousand of pesos.

It is good that Sanctuarium also had a crematorium and columbary units at the upper floors. The family decided to keep the ashes in a Chinese temple nearby after he was cremated.

Filipino Frontliners on Stamps Featured by PHLPOST

Filipino front line workers like nurses, doctors, army, police, postal workers were featured in the current stamps issuance. The stamps and first day covers were supposed to be release last April 2020 but since the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) had taken effect last March 15 it was further moved to July 13, 2020 ( Monday).

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Filipino Frontliners on Stamp and First Day Cover

PHLPost is also committed to fulfill its universal mandate of continuous delivery of important mails from various government and private sectors who are important clients of the agency.

The stamps, first day cover will be available in Manila Central Post Office and other major post office nationwide.

They will also launch the “Stamps on Wheels” program which enables roving van from PHLPOST to sell new stamps, first day covers and other collectibles to far flung areas of Metro Manila and other areas of the country.