Monday, October 10, 2005


I've always enjoyed old photographs. Back in my University days, I would go all the way behind the tall bookshelves at the very back of the Library and scour the dark, dingy area for Filipiniana, and anything that has photos of the Philippines from the American period.

I would get so excited seeing the classy tranvia traversing Manila streets, the colonial-style school buildings the Americans built in the provinces (I think they are called Gabaldon buildings, but I may be mistaken), and photos of the Intramuros.

I don't know where those books are now. They could have been sold off by now, since the Library has an annual book sale to dispose of old books. Gosh, ang sayang naman :-(

Today, I found some really nice photos from the site of University of Wisconsin. The rest of the photos are just too gruesome to be featured here, but you are welcome to indulge by visiting their website here. Click on any location on the Philippine map.

The Walled City, c. 1925

Women making Alhambra cigars, c. 1920-1930. Cigars are still made in the Philippines and rank among the best in the world

A tank enters the Fort Santiago gate, c. 1945

The Fort Santiago gate today

The Malacañan Palace, c. 1926

Filipino male nurses, c. 1900-1920. Graduating from the Philippine General Hospital, they may have been among the first to serve as Filipino nurses. This photo debunks the old impression that only the women had the choice of becoming nurses in the Philippines. Today, about 5,000 nurses leave the Philippines for foreign shores every year. How time flies.

Binondo, c. 1899. The church is now a Basilica Minore in honor of Filipino-Chinese saint Lorenzo Ruiz. There is now a small plaza fronting the church, and a lone chocolate factory beside it which has been selling chocolate tablets (tablea) for years. Tip: Use your sense of smell to locate it!

Calle Rosario, c. 1926. The church dome in the distance is that of Binondo's. Calle Rosario shops sell 50% U.S. imported textiles and Calle Nueva takes 40%, "making this district one of the most important markets for American textiles in the world." Both streets are still existing, by the way. So does that building with the turret (the turret is not seen in this photo).

Ayuntamiento, c. 1907. I drooled all over the keyboard when I saw this photo. I never realized how beautiful that building looked before it was destroyed in the war!

The Ayuntamiento today. I took this during a rainy night when I attended the wake of Cardinal Jaime Sin. It is currently being restored to house the National Archives

Quiapo, 1946. Army jeeps can be seen infront of the church. This area is now a lovely plaza, more known as Plaza Miranda. Oh, but you all know that already!

1 comment:

Sidney said...

Those are very interesting pictures, especially if you know how things looks like today!
Thanks for sharing. I too love those old Filipino books with old photographs of the past. They are now collectors items and are difficult and expensive to get.
I started a small collection but ran out of money quite quickly :-(