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

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Traslacion 2017 : Feast of the Black Nazarene

Traslacion 2017 had begun and millions of devotees of the Black Nazarene troop to Quirino grandstand , Manila Cityhall , Santa Cruz , Quiapo and nearby areas .

route of the procession

According to organizers, this year’s feast was centered specifically on the passage from Collosians 3:14, which reads “Pag-ibig ang buklod ng ganap na pagkakaisa.”

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene

The Black Nazarene which left the grandstand at past 5:30am is slowly paraded around the streets of Manila.

Black Nazarene devotees

I was accompanied by my friend Darwin Arnuco and a Black Nazarene devotee since 2009 . He would normally visit Quiapo church and attend the mass before opening his store .

Black Nazarene statues

Aside from the devotion , ambulant vendors , merchants and street vendors are making a brisk business . Selling popular t-shirts , towels , statues , pins , key chains , mugs , calendars among other items.

Quezon Avenue around past 9:00am 

I manage to walk past Liwasang Bonifacio , Mehan Garden , Manila Cityhall and National Museum and back to Quiapo before going home.

 

 

A Visit to Iturralde Mansion in Quiapo

 

730 San Sebastian Street , Quiapo , Manila -Philippines

It was hot and sunny afternoon when we saw Mr. Paul Iturralde , one of the descendants of the clan cleaning the  Iturralde House.  I have featured this mansion way back 2014 when Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista Atbp. or simply called KKB conducted one of the heritage tours within Quiapo district.

 main facade with flag pole

This was possible due to the invitation of Mr. Nicky Legaspi, former art curator of National Museum who had a house beside this mansion. We saw him walking around C.M. Recto street during the fire incident at the University of the East ( S.H. Loyola). Since S.H.Loyola street is impassable the the tour group, We decided to pay them a visit.

A portion of the mansion will be use as  for the movie Gregoria de Jesus . He is quite busy cleaning and moving  furnitures elsewhere.

grand staircase made from hardwood

The compound is quite large with 2 other houses . The family is planning to restore the old mansion and will open the house as museum and center ( with library and resource center) . They are also planning to charge a minimal entrance fees to those who wish to see the family ancestral house and former Consulate of Monaco ( Monegasque ) used to be located.

 

Mr. Paul Iturralde showing vast collection of glassware set

We are among the first group of people to see the vast collection of turn of the century cabinets, sala set, old family photos , memorabilias , kitchen utensils , greeting cards , wooden santos and among many stuffs.

family photos

The family photos will soon be restored

 table with glassware set

Our group was given an exclusive tour of the mansion with large wooden staircase leading to the second floor and balcony area where there is an old flag pole which the flag of the Consulate of Monaco used to be hoisted.

art deco style furniture

We were led to several rooms with interesting furnitures and table sets. One table which is like a jigsaw puzzle and can be fitted into oval shape , round with corresponding chairs . When not in used , the table can easily be disassembled into a separate table .

wrought iron bed

The formal diplomatic relations between Monaco and the Philippines was only established about 10 years ago with the Philippines opening a consulate in Monaco.  But Monaco’s consulate general in Manila is the only Monegasque representation in the Philippines. The current Honorary Consul General is headed by  Mrs. Fortune Aleta-Ledesma.

  • Monegasque Honorary Consulate General in Manila, Philippines2178, Paraiso Street, Dasmarinas Village,Makati City,Manila,Philippines
  • (+63) 2 810-9729
    (+63) 2 812-1173
  • FAX
  • (+63) 2 844-3663
    (+63) 2 812-8895
  • EMAIL
  • fortuneledesma@yahoo.com
  • OFFICE HOURS
  • 09.00-17.00

 

bathroom tub

The bathroom tubs and fixtures were imported from Germany

Mr. Paul Iturralde holding the book

The author and Ms. Tina Paterno were given a complimentary copies of  “Treasured Home Recipes”  written and complied by Ms. Julia A. Iturralde in 2000 . Copies can still be bought at the Iturralde Mansion . The book contained several recipes from family members and acquaintances.  Some of the family heirloom recipes dates back to pre-war Manila .

It is a 72 page book with appetizers, snacks, cocktails,  merienda , drinks,salad,  soup varieties , main dishes and desserts. It was published by Fourway Printing Incorporated in 137 Aurora Boulevard , San Juan City .

For those who might be interested with this book,  contact me for details.

Dining at Grotto Pares in Quiapo

San Sebastian street, Quiapo , Manila -Philippines

It was past 1:00pm when we finished our tour at the San Sebastian Basilica , We decided to eat at the newly opened Grotto Pares shop at the Iturralde Mansion .

Grotto Pares

This is a newly opened pares and small eatery in San Sebastian street . We decided to try out this eatery and looked at the menu.

servers with red ice tea

There are 2 types of ice tea ( red and ordinary )  which sells for just Php 12 .00! We ordered red ice tea that the servers served in a mason jar with plastic  drinking straw.

Shangsilog Meal

The group decided to order different value set meals that the eatery serves at the menu. I ordered ShangsilogLumpiang Shanghai (spring roll )  , Fried Egg  and Fried Rice –  Php 35 with FREE beef stock soup . ( soup is made from real beef stock with 5 spice herbs) .

Mr. Allan Martinez , Ms. Lon Guevarra  and Mr. Ivan Sarenas

participants enjoyed the simple student value meal

Some of us ordered halo-halo and when the tour participants saw the size of the serving , They all ordered the halo- halo. There are 2 serving the small one in plastic which cost Php 20 and Php 30 in glass mason jars.

halo-halo in mason jar

I paid Php 77 for the value meal , plus Halo-halo and Red ice tea . The others ordered Php 50 value meal (chicken  or liempo)  , Halo-halo and red ice tea .

The eatery is open everyday from 7:00am until past 11:00pm , They are also open for catering and reservations . Their store is just located beside San Sebastian Basilica .

Contact Persons: Mr. Noel/ Ms. Aileen – 0916-5144064 / 0915-3021253

San Sebastian Basilica Advocacy Tour: Help Save and Restore the Basilica

San Sebastian Basilica , Quiapo , Manila -Philippines

We organized a couple of tour around Far Eastern University  last September 26 and another tour held last October 3 FEU campus and San Sebastian Basilica .

September 26 participants

It was supposed to be a more comprehensive tour which also involves some historical houses , schools and museums on September 26 but some of the houses around Quiapo had some events and San Sebastian Basilica had a wedding  on that day so majority of the participants decided to move the date of the tour to mid- February 2016 .

FEU cheerleaders and dancers- October 3

I decided not to cancel the event due to the request made by some cause oriented groups , students ( case study ) , bloggers and other NGO groups. However due to monsoon rains  and UAAP cheerdance competition , only a handful participants managed to come to the walking tour .

tour group- October 3

We were met by the dynamic members of the San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation . There were 2 groups that was given access to the Basilica- We were quite lucky to be the first group –  arrived past 10:30am and some of us bought some interesting postcards. While the second group are Instagram users at around past 2:00pm .

stain glass windows by Heinrich Oidtmann Company, Germany

Hand-painted in extreme detail with vitreous paints and fired so that paints fuse with the glass. This is why the paintings are stable, and remain fairly well-preserved today.

photo courtesy of San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation

This is the original drawing designed in 1881 by Spanish engineer Genaro Palacios, a good friend of the Augustinian Recollects. He envisioned a steel church to withstand Manila’s earthquakes and was made possible by the advancements of the 2nd Industrial Revolution. Today it remains the Philippines’ ONLY all-metal building.

 San Sebastian Basilica

The church was raised to the status of a minor basilica by Pope Leo XII  on June 24, 1890. When it was finished a year later  on August 16, 1891, the Basílica Menor de San Sebastián was consecrated by Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa OP , the 25th Archibishop of Manila . It was the first Basilica consecrated in the country .

 San Sebastian Basilica interiors, looking towards the choir loft, – courtesy of San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation and Mr. Estan Cabigas

The Foundation has ties with many international parties,They also have local friends like the Escuela Taller, a trade school in Intramuros that trains out-of-school youth in traditional building methods used in the preservation of heritage sites.

spiral staircase

The Basilica is on its 10- year restoration .  The foundation carefully considers every repair and intervention, because they know that everything they di will affect the building decades from now. By careful research, testing, documentation, design and mock-ups, its architects, engineers, conservators, historians and metallugists hope to extend the lifespan of the building. In the team’s study, they found many well-intentioned repairs that did short-term good, but long-term damage.

pipe organ

This is another rare jewel of the Basilica – unfortunately – It is not in working order.

upper floor

rust

This is one of the major problems that is plaguing the steel basilica

We manage to get some of the awesome view on top of the church belfry,

The team has found, for example, that a small set of cement repairs on all columns is now causing the extensive damage that will cost millions to repair. So far it is on its 3rd year and more volunteers and donations are required .

For those who are interested with the project causes and donation, You can visit the link below.

Facebook Page: San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation Inc.