American Regime Manila Thru Postcards (Part 4)

The arrival of the Americans in 1898 saw the increase number of colorful postcards, these gradually replaced printed postcards during the last decade of the Spanish regime. The postcards were first printed in the United States, while other foreign postcards like French photo postcards, British painted postcards, Germany and Japanese sponsored postcards followed in the local market.


Paco River with bamboo raft

American Regime Postcards

There were at least 30 known companies which printed and distributed postcards from the early 1900 to the mid- 1950’s in the country. This does not include the Japanese sponsored postal cards which were printed during the Japanese controlled republic from 1943 to 1945.


Raphael Tuck and Son Postcard printed in England ( Suspension Bridge )

 The first bridge started its construction in 1849 and was completed in January 4,1852. It used to be called Puente de Claveria (Claveria Bridge)named after the Governor General Narciso Claveria y Zaldua; who was governor-general of the Philippines from July 16, 1844 to December 26, 1849. It was built and owned by Ynchausti y Compañía.

It was built to ease the traffic going to the north side of the Pasig river which includes Binondo, Quiapo and Santa Cruz districts.

the old suspension bridge had two lanes that allow passages of horse and carabao drawn carriage during that time. It was also opened for pedestrians from Quiapo going to Intramuros and nearby areas. The total length of the bridge was 110 meters.

Its old name was Puente de Colgante, and became the first suspension bridge not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia as well. This was later replaced by Quezon bridge in 1939.

The suspension bridge was one of the famous landmark in Spanish and American era, Manila.


Pasig river postcard

Mr. Raphael Tuck and his wife started the business in Bishopgate in London in October 1866, The company eventually expanded into printing, distributing and featuring landmarks from all over the world.


Denniston’s Manila, Philippines ( Binondo Canal)

Denniston is one of the printer and distributor of American era postcards in the country.  The code for the company Denniston Philippine Postcards with numbered “D” with at least hundreds of featured landmarks from different parts of the country.


Binondo canal with native cascos and rice

Binondo canals and Pasig river was very popular subject in many of the early postcard issuance. The river is still clean and there are native cascos which ply the river.


Quinta Market is located in the Quiapo district, It is one of the larger public market and it is still around. However the old structure was demolished few years ago to pave way for a newer public market.


Plaza Lawton or Liwasang Bonifacio during the early part of 1900 during the early part of the American administration.


Old Spanish Gate within Intramuros – This was printed by Philippine Educational Company ( PECO).


Botanic Garden– This is one of the oldest known botanic garden not just in the country but in Southeast Asia.  This used to be called Jardin Botanico de Manila then changed the name to Mehan Garden.


Botanic Garden by Photo Supply Co.


Manila Central Post Office – This building is one of the first neo-classicial style built during the American regime.


Tanduay Fire Station – This fire station is another iconic landmark and still around.


Calle Palacio – This is one of the most important street in Intramuros.


Manila Cathedral – This is one of the most featured cathedral in the country.


Manila Cathedral with Pope Pius XI

This was a postcard issued sometime in commonwealth the mid- 1930’s. Pope Puis XI served from 6 February 1922 to his death in February 10, 1939.


Manila Cathedral facade


Bilibid Prison –  This correctional institution is another well-known landmark in Manila.


Rotunda Fountain and Tranvia – The fountain was built in 1884 to commemorate the inauguration of Manila’s waterworks system. However, in 1976 the Rotonda de Sampaloc paved way to ease traffic congestion and was eventually moved the fountain to the MWSS office in Quezon City. Where it stayed for almost 20 years, until it was moved again in Plaza Santa Cruz in 1995 during the second term of then Mayor Alfredo S. Lim.


YMCA Building Postcard– This was the old building by  Young Men’s Christian Association in Manila issued in the 1907.  The old building location is near Sm Manila which is at the back of the Manila Cityhall.

According to a postcard and stamp collector, This type of postcards used to be quite common in many curio stores and even old bookstores in Metro Manila even until the mid- 1970’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)

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


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

Joyful FREE Ferry Ride from Lawton to Cavite City

We took a chance to take a leisurely ferry ride from Plaza Lawton/ Quezon bridge to Cavite City last January 4, 2020.


Quezon bridge and Plaza Lawton Ferry terminal ( about 5:30 am)

There was already a sea route even before they have relaunched this program, But some commuters still prefer the land route. Buses which ply the route fare only cost Php 63 for the general public and Php 50.00 for students, people with disabilities (pwd) and senior citizens.

FEATI University and LRT line 1

The Department of Transportation and Communication  (DOTR) announced that shipping companies Seaborne Shipping Company Inc. and Shogun Ships Co. Inc. agreed to have the Manila to Cavite ferry service.

Quezon Bridge/ Plaza Lawton Ferry Terminal entrance

The schedule had changed since it was first posted last December 7, 2019. There were two ferry service ride station. Plaza Lawton and another one from Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP station)

Island Water ferry

The original first trip from Plaza Lawton to Cavite City schedule of 5:15 am changed to 6:45am. We instead took the 6:45 am first trip. The shipping company which handles the service was Island Water and the sitting capacity of 54 passengers.


Mr. Al De Vera – a fellow passenger

We met Mr. Al De Vera from Skynet Moonwalk , Las Piñas City and his family is in Sorsogon

Ferry Station FREE Ride Promo

There were only 10 passengers when we finally left Plaza Lawton terminal past 7:03 am then a mandatory 5 minutes safety video was shown inside the ferry before we left the terminal.

Quezon bridge around past 6:50 am

It was fully air-conditioned, with nice seat, clean comfort rooms and life vest for every passenger.


Ms. Lin Deres, Ms. Vonnette Fernandez, Mr. Paulo Ortega and Mr. Philip Reyes -fellow companion and bloggers


custom warehouses along Pasig river

We pass several landmarks within Metro Manila and seascapes, The ferry boat finally reached Cavite City by 7:45 am. Travel time was reduced from the usual 1 hour and half to two hours during morning rush hour to just barely 40 minutes.


staff and crew

The FREE ferry service will be until January 31, 2020 from Plaza Lawton / Quezon bridge terminal to Cavite City. The CCP terminal to Cavite city and vise versa will be FREE until January 9, 2020.

Ferry Rates

Regular fare is Php 200 for the general public while a discount for students, senior citizens, and children will be P160, P143, and P125 at the CCP terminal.


safety video


Cavite City ferry terminal


Cavite Cityhall and terminal

Cavite City-Lawton route, which is operated by Shogun Ships, fares will be P160 for adults, P128 for students, P114 for senior citizens, and P80 for children (4-11 years old) starting February 1, 2020.

Historic Flagpole within the Philippine Postal Corporation compound

Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio , Ermita , Manila -Philippines

Manila Central Post Office with tranvia  and a flag pole circa 1930’s

History tell us a lot of  stories and historical moments . One such historical spots within the Philippine Postal Corporation is the flag pole or flag post area.

Local philatelists , History buffs and  Philpost employees would recount a lot of VIP’s visiting  within their premises  from national artists ,  ambassadors, government secretaries ,  first ladies , presidents among others.

Manila Central Post Office , Insular Ice Plant , Escolta and Aerial View of Manila circa 1931 from the photo archives of the Philippine Postal Corporation

General Mac Arthur during the final days of the second world war would also inspect the Philippine Postal Corporation compound . Old World War 2 videos  found in the internet sites would also reveal a lot of hounding stories of the last world war .

WW 2 Japanese War Crimes – Manila link:

Manila Central Post Office circa July 14, 1946

This is the  Plaza Lawton aka Liwasang Bonifacio during the military troop review with the old flag pole . The old flag pole used to be located beside the building.

Liwasang Bonifacio and Manila Central Post Office in the 1950’s photo credit Mr. John Tewell

But this is just a story,  without any photos or person who would chronicle these auspicious occasion most of the stories are just a moment in passing.

photo from the personal collection of the author

Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino together with former President Diosdado Macapagal along with prominent opposition leaders held a rally within the flag pole on August 21, 1984 one year after the death of Senator Benigno Aquino.  In this photo : Senator  Lorenzo Tañada , Jovito Salonga, UP Dean Armando Malay and former President Diosdado Macapagal  Not seen anymore because they have already spoken were Jose Diokno, Ramon Mitra, Francisco Soc Rodrigo, Salvador Laurel, Student Leader Lean Alejandro.  Concerned Artists of the Philippines included among others Directors Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes

current flag pole in front of Philippine Postal Corporation

From the time the historic building was built in 1926  countless of historical figure were able to visit the compound. But unlike the former location of the flag pole in the 1930’s . The present flag pole is located in the middle of the building.

flag raising ceremony held at the Philippine Postal Corporation flag pole

After more than 27 years,  President Benigno Simeon Aquino – the son of former President Corazon Cojuangco -Aquino visited the same flag pole and led the flag raising ceremony on the same spot where his mother and other opposition leaders stood the grounds and held a big rally which hundreds of thousand of people had witness .

Liwasang Bonifacio

This was the same plaza and the flag pole a few minutes after the flag raising activities .

References :

Bibliography : The Greatest Democracy Ever Told ” People Power by Kyodo Printing Company 1986 page 40 to 41

Lorenzo M. Tañada : website :

Wiki . iraia:

History stroll thru postal stamps

Walking tours of city’s rich heritage
By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:41:00 04/25/2009

Photos : Renz

Filed Under: Tourism, Hobbies, Culture (general), history

Liwasang Bonifacio

MANILA, Philippines — It could be a magical mystery tour with a slight twist and a different setting.

The postal heritage walking tour around Manila hopes to resurrect the dying art of stamp collecting in an age of e-mail and instant messaging through leisurely strolls around historic sites around the country’s capital.

What’s magical about the tour is the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club’s (FSCC) ability to uncover hidden gems of history around Manila using postage stamps as its guide.

back view of the Main Post Office and Postal Bank

Lawrence Chan, FSCC vice president and tour guide, conceded: “Stamp collection is a dying art. Let’s face it, people would rather send an e-mail rather than send snail mail.”

Chan told the Inquirer that the primary aim of the postal heritage walking tour is “to promote through philately our rich cultural heritage.”

Philately is defined by the Philippine Postal Service in its website as “the world’s most fascinating hobby. Through philately, you can learn of a country’s history, art, culture, and industry as depicted in special commemorative stamps.”

Chan said his group has organized the walking tours to “show participants how diverse and rich our culture is.” The tours are usually scheduled every third Sunday of the month but can be held on other days depending on requests made by students or other interested groups.

He pointed out that sometimes, they even spend for the participants just so they could join a tour.

The FSCC officers and members usually meet every third  Sundays at the Postal Museum and Philatelic Library to trade or sell stamps.

Josie Cura, FSCC president, told the Inquirer that her group accommodates people who want to start their own stamp collections.

Cura, who has been collecting stamps since 1966, said that people can write them through snail mail and ask for free stamps to start the hobby. “As long as they enclose self-stamped envelopes, we can give them stamps.”

The FSCC was first organized by stamp collectors in October 1994 as the Manila Stamp Collectors’ Club aimed at catering to beginners and intermediates at the hobby.

It was later renamed as the FSCC in January 2000 and has some 70 active members to date.

The Philippine postal heritage walking tour kicked off at the Aduana or the Customs House, where goods including mails were brought from overseas and declared.

Aduana ruins

What could be seen now of the then “Intendencia” is its ruins at the heart of Intramuros. The building was built from 1823 to 1829 , was demolished in 1872, and a new one replaced it four years after to house the customs offices, the Intendencia General de Hacienda (Central Administration), the treasury, as well as the casa moneda (mint).

First day cover of the Intendencia building circa 1974 -25th anniversary of the Central Bank of the Philippines

It was destroyed by American artillery in 1945 and was restored and used by the Central Bank of the Philippines, the national treasury, and the Commission on Elections until it was completely ravaged by a fire in 1979.

The Puerta Isabel II monument and gate is marked by the bronze statue of the Spanish queen which was first erected near the Teatro Alfonso XII (now the Metropolitan Theater) in Arroceros (now Plaza Lawton) on July 14, 1860.

Moves to dismantle the statue after the queen’s downfall was thwarted by a sympathizer who hid the monument in his home.

Puerta Isabel II gate and monument

In 1896, the statue resurfaced and was erected in front of the Malate Church for some 70 years until Typhoon “Yoling” (international code name Patsy) toppled the statue. It was only in 1975 during the visit of then Prince and now King Juan Carlos of Spain that the monument was erected on its present site.

Reina Isabel II of Spain- portrait and stamp issued in 1854

Liwasang Bonifacio was also part of the itinerary. The park which is known as the venue for most rallies used to be known as Plaza Lawton until it was renamed in the 1960s after the Plebeian hero Andres Bonifacio.

The Manila Cathedral inside the walled Intramuros was also part of the tour as it was also previously featured in stamps when its bell tower has not yet been constructed.

The final leg of the tour showed a virtual trove of philately in the form of the Postal Museum and Philatelic Library which is located within the Manila Central Post Office compound.

The postal museum is hidden at the third floor of the building of the Security Inspection Services Division and Postal Police Force that any Manileño would scratch his head in wonder at not knowing that it exists and is in fact the oldest museum in southeast Asia.

It was organized in 1992 to enable the public to view the country’s rich repository of stamps and items used by the post office through the years including: Old mail boxes, typewriters, awards, paintings, stamps, philatelic magazines, as well as books and catalogues.

Chan revealed that the Philippines is the first country in Asia to issue stamps, printing and releasing them on Feb. 1, 1854.

He disclosed that the first stamp is highly collectible because of the error in printing where “correos” was misspelled as “corros” and could fetch a price ranging from P5,000 to as much as P25,000 a piece.

Another collectible stamp is the June 30, 1981 Philippine issued stamp and souvenir sheet without any indication of the country of origin and carried “new republic” on its face.

A Sept. 25, 1995 issuance honoring Cesar Bengson bore the picture of his brother instead. When the error was discovered, 2,070 stamps had already been sold while the rest were recalled and replaced.

Chan pointed out that errors and mistakes in printing of stamps make them precious to stamp collectors.

He lamented that the hobby is no longer as thriving as it was during the snail mail era and the museum is not being promoted when other countries take pride in their culture.

“We have a very rich history. We should just take time, take it slow to enjoy what we have,” Chan stressed.

The FSCC can be reached by prospective hobbyists through Manila P.O. box 2986 or through 7355001.

Reprinted from Philippine Daily Inquirer – April 25 issue

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