Everybody who have lived in the City of Manila for years know Escolta like the palm of their hand. Dubbed as the principal business district of Binondo and the whole of Manila for that matter during the 19th century up to about the 1950s, it was said to be comparable in those day-terms with the Ramblas district of Barcelona. Escolta connects two historic districts: Binondo and Sta. Cruz.
I have no idea how the name Escolta came about. Suffice to say that the word escoltar (verbo transitivo; a transitive verb) exists in the Spanish language which means "to escort" and escolta means "body guard". A quick visit to the Images of Asia site reveal that this thoroughfare was initially used by the British Commodore as a convoy route during the years 1762 to 1764.
Looking at Escolta now, I suppose Escolta and the surrounding districts eventually lost their appeal when Cubao in Quezon City and Makati City started to develop. Or so that's what the stories say.
In 2006, former Mayor Lito Atienza signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., headed by its President Francis Chua, and the Escolta Commercial Association, Inc., headed by its President Arturo C. Dy, to collaborate efforts to immediately develop and promote Calle Escolta as an ultra-modern IT hub. This is part of the plans to reinvigorate the once prosperous street. An Escolta Waterfront Development Plan was also hatched, part of which is already in place.
Today, Escolta remains to be a busy street thanks to some banks, restaurants, and condominiums that remain to exist here. Notable among the more recent developments is the new Escolta Pasig River ferry terminal which brings to life that area of the street near the bridge.
This is an attempt to record through photographs the continung saga of this famous Manila street. A disclaimer: I am not a historian; therefore, should there be errors in the data presented in the series below, I will be most happy to correct them. Data presented here that may be similar to what is written in other Manila travel blogs is not a coincidence: the data is all over the internet anyway.
Thank you very much and welcome to Manila's Calle de la Escolta.