Malate – Ermita District: Part 1

Before I begin this retreat to the past, I must first apologize for using the old street names. It’s what I remember and those memories die hard. I have tried to reference the “new” names in parenthesis but I may have missed one or two. Please forgive.

Living in Manila in the Fifties and early Sixties was an adventure as well as a treat for me. Manila was still rebuilding itself from the damages of war. I still can recall seeing sunken ships out on Manila Bay when they were slowly being removed or perhaps made part of the reclamation of more land around Dewey Boulevard (Roxas Blvd.) The wide boulevard was not choked with traffic as today nor decorated with garishly colored bright lights.

Dewey Boulevard in the Forties

Dewey-Kropek-1950s-logoBacklit by the fabulous Manila sunsets, food vendors would sell kropek, warm chestnuts, and grilled corn from their small kiosks, lit at night only by the warm glow of kerosene lanterns… 

 

… the sorbetes or ice cream sellers would push their brightly colored carts that may have had little bells attached to the metal lids. Not to be confused with sorbets, this particular style of homemade concoction was referred to “dirty ice cream” – I never wanted to find out why. 

Dewey Boulevard in the late Fifties

My family and I lived in the Malate district on Remedios street just down from the Malate Church. Of course, as a kid I had no knowledge of how old that church was nor its infamous history during the Battle of Manila when the Catholic priests were murdered by the Japanese. All of that escaped me as I would take a jeepney that followed its route down the Dewey, past the American Embassy, the Bayview Hotel, the Elks Club and the Rizal monument towards downtown.

So, as I sit here in Seattle looking out my window on a grey, cloudy and a bit rainy day, I think back to my childhood when I would ride in a jeepney with the warm wind blowing through the open-aired cab, looking out over the bay perhaps going by the Manila Yacht Club and daydreaming of better things, I decided to make my neighborhood a part of this blog. I guess that’s what nostalgia’s all about.
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In 1905 , the U.S. Philippine Commission formulated a comprehensive urban plan to beautify Manila and hired Daniel H. Burnham, who had already successfully implanted his design for Chicago and the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. Dewey Boulevard was a part of his vision to widen and extend Cavite Boulevard all the way up to Cavite.

 

“The suburb was envisioned by Daniel Burnham in his vision for the design of Manila as an exclusive residential area.  Burnham was a leading exponent of the then trendy City Beautiful Movement which began in the U.S. They believed that civic loyalty would come through the power of beauty to shape human thought and behavior. Many prominent American and Spanish families resided in Malate, among them the commanders of the American Army, then called the Philippine Department, and the Zobel de Ayala family. ” (source: Larry Ng)

Ermita district – 1935 (click to enlarge)

In the Fifties, Dewey stretched from the Luneta and ended about where the Baclaran Church stands but a 1934 map of Manila shows that Dewey ended quite a bit shorter at Cortabitarte at that time. South of that were residential homes, Harrison Park, and the old Manila Polo Club that stood right at water’s edge.

The photo below shows my mom and her cousins and boyfriends having a swim on the beach probably around Parañaque right after war ended. You can see the Army trucks and jeeps in the background.

It was then a quaint and picturesque neighborhood. Before the war, there were large homes on estates that immediately faced Manila Bay.  Many prominent families turned to the Malate / Ermita district to build their homes, such as the Ynchausti residence on Calle Cortabitarte, the Zobel residence in the Spanish style detailed with bricks and white plaster located along Dewey Boulevard, and “El Nido”, the Perkins residence that won the 1925 Beautiful House contest, also on Dewey.

This overview shows Cavite Boulevard before it was widened and renamed Dewey Boulevard with the El Nido and other landmarks marked (click to enlarge).

Dewey Blvd-1920-labeled

El Nido – the Perkins’ Moorish Castle

Forgive me if I digress, but I found this story of Perkins quite interesting and reminiscent of the Great Gatsby.

E.A. Perkins (right) checking a shipment of 5,400 ounces of Lepanto gold received from San Francisco (valued today at over $8M)

E.A. Perkins, was the first American representative at the court of the King of Siam and partner of the Manila law firm DeWitt, Perkins and Brady.

El Nido entrance - used as the Japanese Embassy in 1960

El Nido entrance – used as the Japanese Embassy in 1960

Perkins and his wife Idona had a huge scandal emanating from their divorce and subsequent legal struggles over jointly-held Benguet mining shares. Perkins was a quiet and unassuming gentleman while his wife “Polly” seemed to lavish her charms on other men. It was the talk of the elite social circles of Manila.

Unfortunately, their daughter, was made a pawn in this battle.  Dora was spirited, stylish and drove around town in a stream-lined black Packard coupe. She lived with her father in their Moorish castle El Nido, a highly visible landmark on Dewey Boulevard, where two turbaned Sikhs in full regalia stood sentry at its main gate. Dora Perkins, born in 1914, was herself a highly prized broadcaster over Manila’s Radio KZRH, introducing classical music in her exquisitely modulated voice.El Nido interior

Both E.A. and daughter, Dora were interned at Santo Tomas during the Japanese occupation. Dora was pictured in LIFE magazine with her child when they were liberated in 1945.

Dora Perkins and her daughter Sheila (left) and unidentified girl (right) taken after they were liberated from Santo Tomas.

I interviewed another internee, Jim Rockwell, a few years back about his internment experience. His dad, James Rockwell, Sr. was the first president of Meralco, retiring from that post in 1949. He was also an active member of the Rotary, Manila Golf, Manila Polo Club as well as Manila Yacht’s first commodore. Their family had a beautiful home on Dewey Boulevard and he sent me a picture of it. It was, of course, a lovely home but what was interesting was the bomb shelter they had built to protect them during the Japanese air raids of December 1941.

Jim Rockwell checking out the family air raid shelter.

Ermita and Malate were slower paced residential areas. There seemed to be more space between homes and apartment houses; more breathing room as compared to the teeming crowds and commercial shops found in the Binondo, Tondo and Santa Cruz districts.  The main streets ran north and south, Dewey Boulevard, Mabini, M.H. del Pilar and Taft Avenue. Shady trees lined streets such as on Padre Faura where the Ateneo campus and Manila’s Observatory were once located.

Ateneo campus on Padre Faura-1932

Around 1949, we lived in an apartment on the corner of Mabini and Tennessee (Gen. Malvar) streets. Mom would walk me to my kindergarten class at St. Paul’s College on Herran St. (Pedro Gil) where I’d have to face those very stern nuns with the heavily starched cornette (headpiece) every day and possibly risk a slap on the hand with a ruler as I was quite a headstrong young lad when I was 5.

St. Paul’s College

That’s me in the 3rd row, 3rd from left. (click to enlarge)

 I found the film below at the U.S. National Archives. It was taken early during the Japanese occupation, probably around 1942. As you will see, Manila still operated “business as usual” but things were to change drastically within the next year as basic staples such as food and gasoline were confiscated by the Japanese Army.

Ermita seemed to have a gentle, more people-friendly appeal. The ACME on Padre Faura was one of the first modern grocery stores I can remember, specializing in imported foodstuffs from America, Europe and Australia. For many families like us, that did not have Commissary privileges, the Acme Super Market might have been the first alternative to going to the “palengke”. They also had a branch in the new residential area of Forbes, as this advertisement from 1954 shows.

Acme Super Market-1953

Dress shop on Mabini (click to enlarge)

There were small, quaint dress and gift shops on M.H. del Pilar . Women of that day like my mother, would prefer not to shop at the large department stores of the Escolta, rather they would cut out a picture of a dress style out of Life and Look magazine and bring it down to their local modista (dressmaker) to fashion out the garment, tailored to fit, within a few days.

One of the more popular of streets in this district is A. Mabini, named for Apolinario Mabini, famed Filipino political philosopher and revolutionary. It seemed an  appropriate name because Mabini Street felt like an artsy, Bohemian district with its assortment of stores, coffee shops as well as quaint art shops that you could smell the paint as you walked by.

Mercedes Meliton TeagueMany women patronized the Realistic Beauty Salon and Supply on Mabini between Tennessee and Herran owned by Mercedes Meliton Teague.  Mercedes was an enterprising lady who opened up her store after reading an article about how much money women spent on their hair and hair products. Not only was the store successful but she went on to start the Realistic Institute, a vocational school in Quiapo that taught beauty culture and dressmaking, affecting a positive change to the careers of thousands of women. She was the recipient of the Magsaysay Presidental Award and lived to the ripe old age of 104. Source: France Viana

There were also some pretty respectable restaurants such as New Europe, Swiss Inn and a lovely coffee and merienda shop called “Taza de Oro” owned by Mrs. Hazel Hedrick.

Hazel Hedrick – owner, Taza de Oro

Hazel came to Manila in 1936 enticed by an offer to manage the dining room at the Bay View Hotel. When war broke out, she was interned at Santo Tomas by the Japanese. After the internees were liberated in 1945, Hazel bought the Taza de Oro and started operations in the “El Nido” mansion mentioned above. It was moved several times before relocating to the Isaac Peral location I remember. In 1965, it was moved again to the VIP Building on Dewey Blvd. across from the U.S. Embassy. Hazel sold the restaurant in 1975 and moved to San Jose where she died in 1990 at age 97.

 

 

 

Interior of the Swiss Inn (click to enlarge)

Every baby boomer will remember the Swiss Inn, owned by a Swiss national by the name of Emil Landert. It was one of the more elite restaurants in the Manila of the Fifties, known for having the longest bar in town.

Swiss Inn bar

Swiss Inn bar

Back then, they were known for their fresh corned beef and pig’s knuckles. The fresh corned beef was (and still is) just thick slabs of boiled beef, served with fat wedges of boiled cabbage and whole boiled potatoes served alongside the beef. The broth where they boiled the beef, flavorful and clear, was served separately in a bowl. The whole dish can be enjoyed with strong mustard and horse radish on the side. This dish, simple as can be imagined, was the stuff most of our dreams were built around. It was a huge treat to have a fresh corned beef dinner at the Swiss Inn, and dinners here were always reserved for a special date, or a momentous family occasion. Source: Ray Butch Gamboa

Countless food lovers will remember Nina’s Papagayo, a restaurant and bar on 1038 A. Mabini, that in the 50s up to the 70s was the place to go for Mexican food, music and dancing. It was a favorite hangout of officers and servicemen from the Navy and Air Force, and members of Manila’s 400. Visiting dignitaries and world celebrities were taken there as a matter of course; like Hollywood actors Van Heflin and Raymond Burr, bandleader Xavier Cougat and actress-dancer Shirley Maclaine.

The food was the owner’s version of Mexican fare, and everyone savored it; chili con carne, tacos, frijoles and refritos, tamales, enchiladas, guacamole, nachos and steak. The ambience was magical. The late Nina Villanueva was awarded a citation from the tourism industry as “ambassador of goodwill.”

Nina's Papagayo - Mexican Cuisine

Nina’s Papagayo – Mexican Cuisine

Nina was a vivacious lady who was born in Shanghai to a Peruvian couple and was brought to Manila at the age of 9 and studied at Holy Ghost College. Her daughter, Connie Lacson reflected on her mother’s presence: “She had a very good personality, she liked to entertain – admirals and young sailors, movie stars, celebrities , company executives; everyone who stepped into her restaurant.” Source: Domini Torrevillas

Readers have also reminded me of the Country Bakeshop, Cucina Italiana, and not to forget the Dairy Queen on Taft Avenue that served the best soft ice cream chocolate sundaes with chopped nuts. 

Di’ Mark’s on Menlo Street

Di’Marks on Menlo Street was just a minute walk up from the American School where we would go for lunch and have those wonderful pizzas and San Miguels.

Guernica’s on Remedios Circle

One of the fancier restaurants I remember going to was Guernica’s on Mabini founded by Jose Hormacchea, a retired pelotero, in 1955. They had a marvelous trio that sounded like Trio Los Panchos, excellent paella, and a huge selection of wine. Then La Cibeles on Mabini, the A&W drive-in on Isaac Peral, the Garden Terrace at the Bay View hotel, and the Aristocrat, one of the most popular spots on the boulevard which was billed as a “restaurant and soda fountain”.

Flying Saucer sandwich (courtesy Larry Ng)

Doña Engracia “Aling Asiang” Cruz-Reyes, wife of Justice Alex A. Reyes, started it all as a mere snack mobile operation and has since grown to a food network with branches all over Metro Manila. This restaurant has the distinction of making what was then considered everyday fare so attractive that people would dress up and leave home for some home-style cooking.

The Aristocrat around 1960.

Walking along the seawall, one would see the double-decker Matorco buses, winding their way from the Luneta up to Parañaque, chocked with kids and families always vying for the top deck. Was it a more carefree time or perhaps it was just because I was a kid enjoying the simpler pleasures?

Matorco (click to enlarge)

I usually caught the latest movies at theaters down at the Escolta or on Rizal Avenue but you could also catch a second-run show, complete with newsreels and cartoons, at the Gaiety Theater, located on M.H. del Pilar. It was designed by Juan Nakpil in 1935, then owned by an American, H. Brown.

“The Gaiety movie theater’s main attraction had always been its ticket prices – much less expensive than the more modern, air-conditioned movie houses in downtown Manila. Karl Nathan, after many months, finally obtained permission from Japanese authorities to reopen the Gaiety, which at the time was owned by a prominent Filipino family with whom Nathan had struck an agreement, provided he could get the Japanese permit.

 The project equipment was, however, stored in Baguio. More negotiations with the Japanese official were necessary, but finally the movie projectors and films came together with the permits – and a lease agreement with the Filipino owners – and the Gaiety could open. People streamed in to sit on the woven-straw, lice-infested seats and watch American westerns. Each performance began with serials of Dick Tracy or Flash Gordon, to the delight of the younger viewers, who eagerly followed the adventures of these comic strip characters from week to week as the serials progressed. When the available inventory of westerns was exhausted, they were simply shown over again – and again.” Frank Ephraim, Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror

“The Gaiety was our neighborhood cinema. Tickets for small people were only 15 centavos but as we grew older they increased to 25 centavos. Still, it was a bargain price to pay for second run movies, at least better than the enormous price of 40 centavos for the downtown air-conditioned theaters.” Source: Larry Ng

Gaiety Theater today

Gaiety Theater interior.

It was still operating when I was in Manila in the Sixties. I don’t remember when it shut down although it still stands today albeit in sad disrepair. 

This is the end of the first part of the Malate – Ermita post. Please look for Part II coming in the next few weeks.

If any of you would like to share your stories or photos of Manila, please write in the comments below or email me at:
manilanostalgia@gmail.com

I would love to hear from you !
Lou Gopal

 

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329 Responses to Malate – Ermita District: Part 1

  1. John Del Gallego says:

    Wonderful! I look forward to the next installment.

    Quite nostalgic.

  2. Wm Marvin Rose says:

    Splendid “Manila Nostalgia” video with musical theme “Long ago & Far Away” really set a warm tone while watching it….Well done, my friend…!!!

    • lougopal says:

      Thank you Marvin !!

      • Sir, this if Cynthia from the Philippines. May I have your permission to share your blog to my friends. This is very informative as well as educational. Younger generations don’t know about this.

        • lougopal says:

          Of course. Please feel free to share. I’m glad you found it interesting.

          • willy palarca says:

            Those recollections of Ermita-Malate and the other postings are just great! I lived there for 20 years; attended grade 1-3 at Malate Catholic, had first communion at Malate Church and countless relatives and friends along A. Mabini. But as I recall, Acme was at Herran (now Pedro Gil); Taza de Oro at VIP Building then owned by the Ortolls at Plaza Ferguson off Ermita Church. Regarding “El Nido”, didn’t it eventually housed the Dutch Embassy along Dewey, just beside the British Embassy, a few meters away from Aristocrat?

            I’d like to refer you to an interesting book “Daluyan”: A Historical Dictionary of the Streets of Manila published by the National Historical Institute (I think NHI has a new name now; TM Kalaw , Ermita, Manila; tel 523-1037; NHI must have a new email address with its name change). Just some samples: Cortabitarte: “Named after Modesto Cortabitarte, well known businessman during his time, and manager of the Central Luzon Milling Company Inc”; Isaac Peral (now UN Avenue): “in memory of a Spaniard who successfully experimented on a submarine in the port of Cadiz in 1889”; Isaac Peral was changed to UN Ave in 1962; my mom used to work at the WHO, still in the same place, at the end of UN Ave to the Taft side. The book also has old photos of Manila’s streets. Manila’s city council was then known as the “Municipal Board” because the City had the status of a province, that is, as a local jurisdiction, it didn’t belong to any province.

          • lougopal says:

            Thanks for writing Willy.
            Taza de Oro was in several different locations. Before the war it was in the Bel Air Apartments on Dewey Blvd. across from the Elks Club. After the war, it was temporarily housed in El Nido, owned by E.A. Perkins. Then it was moved to the Peralta Apts. on El Guerrero. In 1948, Hazel Hedricks moved it to the location I was familiar with on Isaac Peral which lasted for about 17 years. In Nov. 1965, Taza de Oro opened in the VIP Bldg right across the US Embassy. Hazel left Manila in 1975, selling it to Mr. Que, owner of several drug stores who later sold it to Mr. Fajardo.

            The Acme Supermarket was on Padre Faura between Mabini and M.H. del Pilar next to a gas station. Herran was the next main street south. Besides my aging memory, here are two other sources you might check:
            http://www.philstar.com/sunday-life/183400/do-you-remember-berg%C2%92s-banlon-and-coco-banana

            http://www.spot.ph/print_article.php?id=51881&post_name=my-manila-hotdog-band

            You may be right about the Dutch Embassy being in El Nido. I’m not aware of that.

          • willy palarca says:

            Lou, thanks for clarifying Acme’s location at Padre Faura; I mistook it for International Supermarket at Herran. I’ve been working my tail off preparing a project budget at my home office today and decided to pay a visit this website; it’s relaxing, sort of provides a way to rest one’s mind; visitors to this site will live longer! Many thanks.

          • Oliver Nolasco says:

            You forgot to mention Country Bake Shop at Isaac Peral Street next to Acme Supermarket. They served the best hamburgers, milkshakes and coffee in that area back in the 50’s.

  3. Skip Haven says:

    What memories! I can pin point the exact location of my house at Padre Faura and Colorado Street. The Acme Market was within running distance nearly every day.

    • lougopal says:

      Glad you liked it, old buddy ! I can still see us going up to your old house in Paco and finding out it was gone then to my house in San Lorenzo and it was gone. Man, they should have had at least some bronze plaque to memorialize our abodes !

  4. Nena Blanco Suchy says:

    I was born in Manila, now I live in Canada.
    What great pictures and so many memories. I loved Aristocrat for Hal Halo, luneta for the view and all the great restaurants you mentioned, went to all. My favorito was Guernicas. Continue your great work, God bless you now and always.
    Salamat.
    nena

    • lougopal says:

      Thank you so much. When we went back to Manila recently I had the chance to introduce my wife to freshly made bibinka at the Aristocrat. She absolutely loved it !

    • Gordo Catala says:

      Hola Nena, saw your post on this blog. Those were wonderful growing-up days. Remember Wilson Street where we lived. Where in Canada do you live. Pacquito is in Vancouver & I’m in Brentwood Ca. Sure would be nice to hear from you. Recuerdos Gordo. BTW donde esta Katy?

    • Rene Goyena says:

      Nena, This brings back memories!! How is Katy? Remember me? email me cqk7yg@yahoo.com
      Abrazos
      Rene

    • Oliver Nolasco says:

      Do you remember the time in Luneta where there were food carts (like Brown Derby) which served hotdogs, hamburgers and pineapple juice in dixie cups? Brown Derby used to have a restaurant along Taft Avenue in front of Philippine General Hospital and was owned by the Custodios. Next to Brown Derby Restaurant was Fairmont Ice Cream (the first ice cream parlor) for as long as I can remember.

  5. Connie says:

    Lou, what a wonderful article. It brings back so many Manila memories for me. One of the first restaurants my parents brought us to when we got to Manila in 1957 was the Taza de Oro. In high school in the late ’60s, Di Marks was a great pizza restaurant. Mom took me shopping with her on Mabini. We went to the Gaiety Theater too. In fact, just before she had my sister Mila in ’59, my little brother and I were with Mom at a movie downtown. The movie trip was cut short for a quick trip to the hospital.

  6. Noelle Ayres Banser says:

    Absolutely fabulous! That was the Dewey Boulevard that we all grew up with, and today you can’t even see Manila Bay from it! And all those wonderful restaurants that we all loved! You’ve brought back so many memories, all of them good! Weren’t we blessed to grow up in such a magnificent place! But the Gaiety of today is so sad…I wish someone would make it a movie theater again. Thanks Louie, for another job well done!

  7. Carol Lim says:

    A most wonderful and engaging photo and video essay! I was totally moved because it reminded me of Manila, my Manila of the past. If only people remember how beautiful she was! My mother grew up in Ermita on Sta. Monica street till she moved with my dad in New Manila, QC when they got married. We would visit our grandfather & grandmother in Ermita and our other aunts and uncles. Almost every morning in the late 50s and early 60s my dad will drive from New Manila to Dewey Blvd (and I dont recall any traffic then) so I can take in the fresh air from the Manila bay because I had such horrible asthma & was always stricken by bronchitis. Our family business was located in Rosario St in Binondo, then moved to Nueva st near Escolta. I remember eating at Savory chicken & Taza de Oro. My Lolo and I would walk down to the Chinese sari-sari store to buy American chocolates (Php 1 for 3 pieces!) The dollar and peso was P2:$1 then. He introduced me to his Chinese friends, Mr. Yuchengco, Mr. Henry Sy, Lims, Tans, Dybuncio, etc. They were all outside their stores too, chatting away with fellow store owners. How I long for the old Manila! I know our new mayor Erap and Carlos Celdran have great plans in reviving Manila. I fully support them. I urge all Filipinos to do their part in making Manila great again. Let’s keep it clean and safe, let’s support our local establishments, and please let us not destroy our old buildings…. but let’s rev it up!

    • lougopal says:

      Thanks Carol for sharing your wonderful memories. Your Lolo had some fine company. I do hope the blog stirs up some interest in getting our beautiful Manila back on track ! You know what I miss here in Seattle is the fine Chinese cuisine we would find at the Panciterias, then at the end of the meal you would get a hot towel to clean up. Ah…those were the days !

      • Cynthia Asinas says:

        Now that you are in Seattle, you should try Chocolati. Best handmade chocolate truffles. They have it at their cafes in Greenlake, Greenwood, Wallingford, Seattle Library and the Factory. Try their summer specialties as well. You have to meet Christian

        Thanks for sharing Manila as it used to be. Indeed brought good memories especially during school days at St Paul College of Manila where I was nurtured by the nuns from Kinder to College from 1955 to 1968. Remember specially our escapades to Aristocrat for their sate babe!!! My dad was a fireman in Manila in the 50’s.

        .

      • Horacio Torres says:

        Our family would almost always patronize Toho or San Jacinto on Tomas Pinpin Street or else just buy the famous Ramon Lee Fried Chicken in front of Sta. Cruz Church. During Thanksgiving Day, La Perla Restaurant would offer Turkey dinners at a reasonable Price located on the side street where Good Earth was on Rizal Avenue. Their Pancit Lomi was to die for!

      • Oliver Nolasco says:

        Hi! Do you remember Rice Bowl, Panciteria San Jacinto & Tojo Restaurant Antigua along T. Pinpin St.? How about Panciteria Moderna & Wah Nam Panciteria at Plaza Santa Cruz. I still remember the original Ma Mon Luk along Benavidez Street in Chinatown. I heard they changed the name but still at the same location.

  8. Carol Lim says:

    I lived in the California for 25 years and now I’m back in the motherland…. because its really more fun here. I love Manila and went to school in UP Padre Faura so my old stomping ground is there: La Solidaridad bookstore, the beer places along Roxas, Aristocrat and those funky panciteria in Binondo. We are doing our share to revive Manila and my cultural adventure anthropologist daughter even opened up a new destination and boutique called Manila Collectible Co. It is an artisinal store which sells and supports the Philippine indigenous groups (its art, craft, food, etc) , pre-colonial Philippines and the local artists. I do hope the plans of our new Mayor Erap and Carlos Celdran plans to revive Manila is fully supported by not only Manilenos but all Filipinos! Mabuhay ang Maynila! I commend your fabulous work and Im looking forward to seeing more! I do hope you can dig up more vintage stuff from the National Archives….

  9. Baqbahj says:

    A wonderful commentary of a nostalgic past which I believe can still be recaptured if the new leadership exercises political will.

  10. Francis says:

    Thanks a million Lou for posting this, thank you for sharing the part of the past that now only exist in photos and in our memories, Our family lived in M.H. del pilar for years I was born in the late 60’s and I think the hospital is not existent anymore it was the Marian Hospital. I miss the old Manila clean and quiet we used to go to school in Malate and my sisters in St. Pauls College Manila. Ermita used to have lots of Churches around we used to go to Ateneo chapel in padre faura which is now where robinson’s manila is occupying. I could still remember the cool sea breeze coming through our window from dewey blvd. I am excited for more.

    • Horacio Torres says:

      Marian Hospital was the one along Isaac Peral (UN Avenue) and is now called De Ocampo Hospital. At the ground floor of this hospital is a famous Bibingka Shop called “Juanchitos” which sells hot bibingkas cooked on the spot. They taste as good as Ferino’s.

      • roy519 says:

        I grew up in Manila 70s . I think though that the Marian Hosp where you were born is now The Medical Center of Manila or that hosp run by Emilio Aguinaldo College.

        I luv this forum though.

        • Oliver Nolasco says:

          Marian Hospital is nearer San Marcelino St. along UN Ave. across from the Police Headquarters.

  11. Thelma DeVilla says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful walk on memory lane. I was born and raise in Manila and I always long for the Manila I was used to. Our family lived in Sta. Cruz and we always eat out in Binondo. My father used to have a store along Teodora Alonzo and he has many Chinese friends. Every weekend we eat out and I remember then there was Wanam Panciteria and many others I just can’t recall the names . How we love the different meats on displayed in front of those panciterias like pork asado, isaw, etc. I remember the times we have to drive to Padre Faura and buy our groceries at Acme Supermarket. I used to worked at one of the government office on Padre Faura attending evening classes at the PWU was just a short walk while I enjoy the sight of the huge acacia trees lining Taft Avenue. Yes, I remember attending the noon mass at the Ateneo Chapel. There was Talk of the Town on Isaac Peral from the Manila Doctors Hospital. I also missed the old familiar Rizal Avenue, Carriedo were Lyric and Ideal Theater were we watched first run movies. There were fresh apples, oranges pears, grapes from stores just across these theaters. My mom’s favorite department store was Byrd’s and Botica Boie drugstore on Escolta. They’re all gone now. I really hope Mayor Erap will try to restore the glory of Manila as well as the Metropolitan Theater which is the only one remaining historical landmark. I will always go back to the city I know and I love inspite of having live in different places and countries. Yes, I am excited to get more of my Manila next time. You’ve done a great job!

    • Jess says:

      Thelma, the department store on Escolta was Berg’s, not Byrd’s, and it is the first store on your right coming from the Santa Cruz Church side, right down the short bridge, where there was always a sale. I was in Manila in 2011 and it was so sad what has happened to Escolta. I was working in that area in the 60s when the sidewalks were paved with mosaic tiles. In front of the building where Syvel’s and Oceanic Commercial used to be was a line of people waiting for something, I did not find out what. The corner of Escolta and T. Pinpin where Botica Boie was is now a parking lot. Sad, sad, sad. I did not know till now that there are proposals to bring Manila back to its old glory. It will be a big job and I hope it happens soon.

    • SIANO BAITO says:

      LYRIC AT ESCOLTA AND IDEAL AT AVENIDA RIZAL

      BERG INSTEAD OF BYRD

  12. Manolo Abella says:

    You made my day! What a joy and thrill to see the old places again, liberated at least in my mind from the din and wreckage that Ermita and Malate look today. Rizal park at that time was not well kept nor well lit but seemed more natural or less artificial than what it is today. I was a young boy growing up in Isaac Peral and still remember the nice ironworks on the balconies of Luneta Hotel, marvelling at the modern Bayview Hotel and Melbourne Hotel lobbies and liking the feel and smell of air conditioning or staring at New Europe Restaurant one afternoon, imagining myself inside with a beautiful date sipping wine. Yes I remember the nice little park in front of Ermita Church, the tall leafy trees along residential neighbourhoods of Malate, shading gardened lawns where children played in their swings. All the acacia trees inside the Ateneo campus and Assumption College, now sadly gone to make room for shopping malls. There was the elegant Rosaria Apartments on Dakota St. which housed many expats and Manila old-timers. I remember the transvestites in Remedios Circle who used to taunt us when we were teenagers, the nights we loitered around Gaiety Cinema hoping to encounter and meet new girl friends, the trendy shops along Mabini where I remember seeing and being mesmerized by the beauty of Chona Recto coming out of beauty salon. I should stop and get back to work, but thanks a million for arousing these old memories. Manolo

    • willy palarca says:

      I don’t recall a “Melbourne Hotel” in Ermita; where was it located?

      • lougopal says:

        I believe the reader who left that comment meant to say Shelbourne Arms Hotel on San Luis. Before the war, it used to be the University Club apartments next to the Luneta Hotel.

        • willy palarca says:

          Yup, I remember Shellbourne Arms; it kinda had this underground (certainly below street level) bar-dancing place. It’s a condominium building now owned by one of the Lucio Tan companies. The owner of New Europe retired in Baguio; he’s passed on. Thanks for referring me the website.

      • Oliver Nolasco says:

        It was Shellbourne Hotel. There were 3 hotels in front of the U.S. Embassy: Shellbourne, Filipinas and Bayview Hotels.

      • Oliver Nolasco says:

        Was it Shellbourne Hotel alongside Filipinas and Bayview Hotels? Hi Lou, I also recall a little Chinese restaurant along Escolta called M.Y. San Restaurant (makers of M.Y. San Biscuits back then (located between Lyric & Capitol theaters. I loved their Chop Suey Rice and Pancit Canton. The place was air-conditioned and exceptionally clean.

  13. Dennis Sycip says:

    yes indeed Ermita was such a nice place !! I grew up in Oregon St. ( I think it’s G. Apacible now) and there used to be this one really unique restaurant on Padre Faura St. if i remember right it was called the Cuccina Italianna, as a kid the never ceased to amaze me it was like entering a Cave !! and the Scalloppini is still for me, the Best ever !!!

    • Nomer Son says:

      Elisa Lammoglia and her mom finally closed Cuccina for good after the short-lived resurrection along EDSA near Guadalupe in the early 80’s. They moved to Canada in mid 1990’s where the mother died. Elisa is now Mrs. Bueno.

      • Sally Tesoro says:

        That’s right. I’m a classmate of Elisa and we are in touch thru fb. It’s amazing that this link is bringing back so much memories!

    • Horacio Torres says:

      Galicano Apacible used to be San Gregorio. Oregon Street has a different name. I know this because we lived on San Marcelino which was parallele to Oregon and tehre was chinese owned grocery store named Oregon Grocery at the corner of California (J.L. Escoda) and Oregon Streets.

  14. TeemM. Cruz says:

    Thanks for this experience down memory lane….

    My father’s family house (built in 1950s) still stands somewhere
    in the Sta. Cruz area. When asked where in the Philippines
    I come from, my usual reply is “from the heart of Manila”!
    Migrants living elsewhere have proven right the sayings that
    “there is no place like home” and “home is where the heart is”.
    Not that old to remember most of those places but I vividly
    remember Taza de Oro at Dewey Blvd. Fondest memories include my
    paternal grandfather tagging me along to watch classical concerts,
    movies, opera shows and I also remember how I had always looked
    forward to Sunday’s hearty lunch treats, ordering its comida china
    for the day at Sun Wah (now Wah Sun) located at Florentino Torres
    in Sta. Cruz. Since I love to eat, I remember very well Aroma (sadly no
    longer around) infront of Sta. Cruz and the famous roast chicken
    of Ramon Lee and Savory Restaurants, the last 2 both still doing well
    in their old sites…

    Thanks again

    • Oliver Nolasco says:

      I remember Sun Wah Restaurant where the Pancit Miki or any other pancit was wrapped in banana leaves. That was the place where we bought pancit miki and took the pancit inside Odean theater to watch Dr. No. When we unwrapped the pancit people inside the theater turned their heads to find out where the aroma was coming from.

    • SIANO BAITO says:

      AROMA AT AZCARRAGA

  15. Anji Carmelo says:

    Great article. Made me homesick. Have been living in Spain since 1964 and go home often. I also loved all those restaurants. New Europe, Swiss Inn, Taza de Oro… Bibingka! Gaiety was my favorite until Rizal Theatre opened in the mid 50s. Banana Split at the Acme soda fountain. Those were definitely the good old days. Thanks o much and lookin forward to part II…

  16. Sally Ponce Tesoro says:

    We moved to Dakota (now M Adriatico) when I was so little. Went to school at St Paul’s. my brother Jacinto Ponce is in the same St Paul class picture (top row center he’s the one with long hair!)

    • lougopal says:

      What a small world. I don’t remember much of my kindergarten years except that we sang the national anthem every morning before class and I seemed to get into trouble with the Sisters quite a bit.

      • Bobby Hernandez says:

        I was in Kindergarten Class 53. What year were you in?

        • lougopal says:

          I was in the 1949-50 school year.

          • Bobby Hernandez says:

            Then you must surely know Sisters Marie Paul, Celine and Leonor, the very patient and caring nuns of the Kindergarten class. Am sure they are all gone by now. I remembered our daily visits to the Chapel singing “Hello Infant Jesus and Mother Mary” and when leaving would sing “Goodbye Infant Jesus, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”

        • Honey White says:

          Wow, Bobby Hernandez, (someone who wrote a comment to you, Lou), yes I remember Sister Marie Paul, oh my goodness. The 1st time I met Sister Marie Paul, was when I was in Kindergarten. I continued to remain very close to her through my elementary years attending St. Paul’s.
          She used to always put me in programs for the school, and made sure I was always at the front and the lead singer.
          I would never have guessed that anyone, but me LOL would have ever have known or think of Sister Marie Paul. I loved her dearly. How small can this world really be? WOW!

          I still talk about Sister Marie Paul today, in my everyday life. She has been a great influence to me.
          Thank you Bobby for mentioning Sister Marie Paul’s name! You really took me back to those wonderful great moments, how lucky are we to have the beautiful experience of life in the Philippines as a child!

        • Honey White says:

          Wow, Bobby Hernandez, oh yes I remember Sister Marie Paul very very well, oh my goodness.

          The very 1st time I met Sister Marie Paul, was when I was in Kindergarten, 1954. I continued to remain very close to her through my elementary years attending St. Paul’s.
          She used to always put me in programs for the school, and made sure I was always at the front and the lead singer.
          I would never have guessed that anyone, but me LOL would have ever have known or ever even think of Sister Marie Paul. I loved her dearly. How small can this world really be! WOW!

          I still talk about Sister Marie Paul today, in my everyday life. She has been a great influence to me.
          Thank you Bobby for mentioning Sister Marie Paul’s name! So amazing that you would mention one of the nun’s name. You really took me back to those wonderful great moments, how lucky can we be to have the beautiful experience of life in the Philippines as a child!

    • Vladimir J. Olivares says:

      Hi Sally,
      This is Vlady. How are you?

      • Sally Tesoro says:

        Hi. Wow! So nice to hear from you! Imagine getting hooked up thru this wonderful link of old Malate.

        • Veronica Smith nee Salvacion says:

          Hi Sally, did you graduate from St Paul College Manila? I graduated in 1960 with Sister Lilia Tolentino. Thank you
          Veronica Salvacion Smith

      • Joe M. Cruz says:

        Vlady,

        This is Joe Cruz from (Ateneo/ACIL/Fr. Banayad,S.J.). Last time I heard about you (from Pete Palma) was when you were in NYC. Hope all is well with you. God Bless and Take care.

  17. Rose Marie Fructuoso says:

    Excellent! Brings back happy memories.

  18. Lito Ligon says:

    Thanks for quick trip down memory lane of old Malate! I grew up in that area during the 70’s and left in time just before it became honky tonk to transfer to what was then suburbia Pasig. My memories of old Roxas Blvd. was when my dad would jog and bring home fresh milk from the Old Selecta. Reclamation was only the CCP complex then. Of course there was Aristocrat for the bar-b-cue and halo-halo. We first stayed in a rented house in Carolina St. before transferring to my grandparents old home at the end of Dakota (M. Adriatico) nearer to Padre Faura. I also remember La Cibeles along Mabini for its pastries especially Lengua de Gato in tin cans. During that time, Taft Avenue still had a few rambling mansion left that were then slowly turned into offices. What was hard to believe was that I would walk from our house in Carolina to Nebraska street to study pre-school in an old house called Our lady of Remedies. My great grandparents home was across my pre-school in Nebraska (J. Bocobo) St. It was very safe back then. My sister, like my mom and aunts, studied in the Assumption Herran.

    Since today is a Sunday, I mentioned your article of Old Malate to my mom and aunts over lunch . They are more or less your age and grew up in area from right after the end of the war to the early 60’s before they transferred to suburbian Makati in the 60’s. An animated talk arose from it. There were twinkle in the eyes of my mom and aunts when I mentioned New Europe restaurant. They could still remember when they first got their chance to go there courtesy of my grandfather. The Bake alaska is still fresh in their mind like it was only yesterday. They told me that my grandfather was delighted to see the joy in their eyes when they got their chance to go with him. aAhhh…. Sweet memories of an innocent life. Its funny how we try to find ways to always move to forward yet we often yearn for memories of a beautiful past. Thanks again. Will be waiting for Part II.

    • lougopal says:

      Lito- I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the article and thank you for sharing your memories. I smiled when you described your mom and aunts recollection of the New Europe.

      • Lito Ligon says:

        Just a sidenote : You mentioned about Mr. Rockwell. His name is synonimous to today’s generation of a new living and commercial spaces built on what was a fomer powerplant named after him.

  19. Roland C Concepcion says:

    I enjoyed your article, hoping to receive the Part 2. I grew up almost at the corner of San Marcelino and
    Tennesee, old house still there, but front view have some changes. Hope to visit Phils Dec, 2013 (been a resident
    of Los Angeles, CA since 1982) and would like to view the things you have presented.

  20. john malkinson says:

    there’s an old saying: “nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.” I know these stories (and all the comments raising the fervor of the good old days even further) are one’s we all identify with whether it was in the 30’s to the 60’s. all is what we remember and little is left left of those memories. times and the people have moved on and changes do have to be made to accommodate the ever moving/needed improvements. but these photos and the comments and the remembrances of those chiming in are of such wishful and happier times we all enjoyed in the then manila. would that we could go back in time to these places and the memories that illicited such wonderful occasions in our then lives. we remember nothing but happy days and would that we were back in those days when all was fun in the sun. I went to ateneo from grades 2 to 6 up to 1954, I remember the acme where I would trudge over to buy bubble gum, and over to nina’s papagayo, a classmate’s mom owned it and to this day it I say it had the best tasting chili con carne I can remember. I have lived in Lynnwood, wa for 35 years now and last I went home was 1993. it was such an overwhelming change of times from what I remember, if I were to go home now, i’d probably get lost in the very neighborhood of where I grew up till 1963, san miguel. nothing stays the same, everything has to move forward with time and requirements of population and staying afloat, but it would be nice to see the second add-on sir, if this first one is any indication, the second should really be one to be anticipated. love your memory, it works better then mine and fills in the blanks and brings out those I do remember and this is what makes this so captivating a reading. drive on my friend, you are doing a great service to a lot of old folks and young folks. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to set this up, but you can see from the comments, you have made a wonderful impression on a lot of people, I think all are smiling. thank you. jcm

    • lougopal says:

      Thank you for your kind comments John. I assumed a nostalgia piece would appeal to folks my age that remembered these landmarks but I’ve also received comments from the younger generation lamenting the loss of “old Manila” however grateful that they have a chance to glimpse what it used to be. Maybe it’ll spark some movement to save what is left.

    • Vladimir J. Olivares says:

      Hi John Malkinson,
      This is Vladimir J.Olivares. I think we were classmates at the Ateneo de Manila inPadre Faura. 6-C under Mr. Panganiban. I lost track of you after grade school. Please keep in touch.

      vlady

  21. Leoncio V. (Chito) Jaraiz says:

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I was born, grew up and still have the place I call home at the corner of then Colorado and Herran Sts. (now F. Agoncillo and P. Gil Sts). The origninal land titles to our properties in the area were dated 1904, when the American regime, reorganized the civil administration of the City of Manila. The lands, however had been in my mother’s family (de la Vega-Inclan) since the 1860’s. The house my parents build in 1936 was rebuilt in 1946 after being systematically destroyed by the retreating Japanese forces, is still there. The beautiful shade trees that ran along Colorado from what is now Quirino Ave. to Padre Faura are gone. The jeepneys have taken over the streets and made this lovely residential area their depot for the Makati-Paco route.
    As a child, because I was not very healthy, my mother would take me to swim at the beach beside the Manila Yacht Club in the mornings. If it was not a “beach day” then I would be bribed to go for a walk, by a can of Libby’s Spaghetti which I had to pick form the shelf at the Acme Supermarket. To get there we would walk from Herran, via Colorado to Padre Faura. I remember the buildings of the then Foreign Affairs Department on the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura still being in ruins. The Cucina Italiana was on the corner of Florida St. and in the middle 50’s Casa Alba established itself closer to Isaac Peral (now U. N. Avenue). These were places for special treats on special birthdays, etc. On the northwest corner of Florida and Isaac Peral was the photo studio of Chat Peypoch, and as you approached San Luis St., the then Manila Hilton would rise to 20 stories and be the first high rise hotel in Manila. The apartments on San Luis St., were occupied by prominent businessmen and foreign executives and they were blessed by views of the Luneta and the beautiful government buildings around what is now called the Agrifina Circle. It was not uncommon for families of Spanish descent to ride jeepneys or buses and to this day I remember it was 10 minutes from Herran to our post office box in the Main Post Office building between Jones and Sta. Cruz (now MacArthur) bridges. My ride to De La Salle College on Taft Avenue and Vito Cruz took all of 7 minutes (5 minutes if you went by taxi–flag down 15 centavos and 5 centavo increments). On weekends there were the shows at the Gaiety (1 Peso in the early 60’s), the chicken sandwiches at Martin’s Bakery, across M. H. del Pilar St., from the theatre, and when the allowance allowed the P 1.30 hamburger special the the Taza de Oro on Isaac Peral. Sad to say, and I return to Manila regularly (having lived abroad since 1972) the ride to the Post Office, if taken before 8 AM might be 20 minutes; if taken afterwards up to an hour and a half. I once walked back and it took me all of 40 minutes, but there were sidewalks then and this was in the early 90’s. Sidewalks are a disappearing commodity in the Malate- Ermita area today. They have become diagonal parking lots, makeshift residences from the vendors, or simply piles of uncollected garbage. In the late 80’s there was a renaissance of the Malate area with many great restaurants opening on what was then Vermont, and Remedios Streets between Nebraska (Bocobo) , Dakota (M. Adriatico) and M. H. del Pilar Sts. Now there are evening beer halls that occupy half the paved area (on Remedios St. from Adriatico to Mabini) with the accompanying vendors selling barbecued morsels and fish balls to the drinkers and making road traffic crawl. Malate Church is being restored by the Columban fathers. The Aristocrat is still there but considered expensive by many. St. Paul’s is still on Herran St. but you would have to enter the inner courtyard to see the facade of the beautiful chapel where your class picture was taken. Most everyone prefers Makati, the Fort, or Taguig these days, but I am a resolute, die-hard, Malate person and it is still “my area” whenever I return to Manila. It would be my pleasure to collaborate with you on future recollections as I am still in touch with a lot of former and present Malate persons. Oops, I almost forgot the Assumption Convent, on the corner of Herran and Dakota Streets. This was the bastion of the many beautiful and accomplished young ladies (two of my aunts were nuns having been sent there from Europe, although they had been born in Manila) in the area. Now it is the Robinson’s complex of a mall and several condo buildings, and it also includes the former area of the campus of Ateneo de Padre Faura. Thanks for a wonderful trip down Memory Lane once again

    • lougopal says:

      Chito, what an amazing and detailed perspective you’ve given us of the old neighborhood. I left Manila in 1962 and on the two excursions back in 2005 and 2012, I didn’t have much time to spend in the Ermita/Malate area as we were too busy visiting relatives and friends. I welcome your input and, if you don’t mind I will incorporate it in future posts. Since you live there you would be more familiar with what has happened to some of these old landmarks. I welcome your collaboration, thank you !

    • Apolinario (Poli) R. de los Santos, III says:

      Hi Chito,

      I do remember your house fondly, and the nice bread and jam sandwiches your mom made. Although I grew up in Pasay, I did spend a lot of boyhood days in the Ermita/Malate area. We were habitues of Gaiety Theatre, Aristocrat Restaurant, Guernica’s, D’Marks (on Menlo near the American School), Dairy Queen, and of course would hear Sunday masses at Ermita and Malate churches. Even went to daily mass at the Ateneo Chapel on Padre Faura in the ’60s when I would pick up my girlfriend at St. Paul’s College and we would walk to the Ateneo Chapel for noon mass, most days.

      Blast from the past. What a beautiful place the Ermita/Malate area used to be.

      Best,
      Poli

      • Nina Galang Reynoso-Ray says:

        Hi,

        Alongside this nostalgic article, I found several people who I knew back then.
        Poli De Los Santos is the husband of Bubut Gamboa who was my schoolmate. Yes, we would bump into each other with our boyfriends at the noon mass in the Ateneo Chapel at Padre Faura.
        I graduated from St Paul HS ’65. There was also a mention of several SPCM sisters, Sr. Paul De Marie who was the head of the Kinder Dept.
        Panchito Puckett – husband of my late HS classmate, Amparito De Villa.
        Finally, the Tesoros, one of them became our HS teacher, Lulu Tesoro.
        Wow, talking about blast from the past…………this is more than nostalgia….it is coming across folks who you know somewhere, sometime………..
        My late husband and I used to date at Taza De Oro, once with Fr. Luis Angeles, OSB as our chaperon.

    • Art Minsberg says:

      To: Chito Jaraiz

      I lived in a house on Herran in the late 1950s before my family moved to Quezon City. It was a large house with wonderful dark wood interiors, that was divided down the middle with the Jaraiz family living in the other half. I have to assume yours is the same family. I went to JASMS elementary school on Taft Avenue, but I have fond memories of playing in the neighborhood with two freckled Jaraiz brothers, a young boy named Dean Brown and a frail child named Chiqiting who lived in a gated compound. Another kid was named Wacky Hagedorn. May I assume that your are one of the brothers Jaraiz? Then please accept greetings from a memory.

      Malate after the war was a unique time and place that I have difficulty explaining to anyone else. I’m so glad to hear the same plaintive ring of remembrance, gaiety and sadness in the voices of the other writers that I recognize in my own.

      Many thanks for a wonderful website.

    • Horacio Torres says:

      Helo Chito,
      We practically lived on the same block bounded by San Marcelino, Herran, Colorado and California. Ours was a compound between Herran and California. At the corner of Herran and San Marcelino was a dress shop owned by Tita Perla Nava called “Avans” and across the Street from our house were the shops of Ernest Santiago (later on known as “Santiago de Manila”) and hairstylist Toti Evangelista and another coutourier named Giuseppe. California Barber Shop was on the road by the same name a few doors from Rustan’s and very near Bungalow Restaurant. Such wonderful moments to reminisce our childhood days!

  22. Toti Scarella says:

    Thanks for bringing back great memories of my childhood. It was so different then…life was quiet and simple. Do you remember the old Dairy Queen along Taft Avenue between Remedios and San Andres. The big acacia trees lined Taft avenue and they were so nice. We also looked forward to the Caltex Christmas display in Padre Faura. My parents grew up in Ermita and during the war they were living in Colorado, Herran and Vermont area. I was born after the war and grew up in Colorado. I remember walking leisurely to California Barbershop for my .75 cents haircut and went to church either in Ermita or Malate. They do not have those kropeck anymore in a nice wax paper…I love them especially the top part. I have not been to Dewey boulevard in a long time. I will share this article with my cousins who are now living in the US. I miss those days.

    • lougopal says:

      I do remember the Dairy Queen and used to treat myself with their chocolate sundaes with nuts on, yum ! How decadent.

      • Horacio Torres says:

        My favorite then was the “Dilly Bar”! Delish!!

      • BJ FUNK says:

        I was born in 1961 at Manila Doctor’s Hospital in Isaac Peral (now U.N. Avenue). My grandfather bought a piece of lot at Harrison Blvd (now Quirino Avenue) corner Modesto st. in Malate in 1932. A house was subsequently built but was demolished during the bombings of the American reoccupation of Manila in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1954 and to this day the house still stands and we continue to live there during weekdays. The location of the house is so strategic that it is difficult for my family members to give up the place although most of our neighbors have sold their lots and most of the houses there have been transformed into commercial establishments. My great grand father, George W Funk was employed at the Manila Polo club along Calle Real in Pasay City, as one of the first stable managers. Rumor has it that this fellow could actually talk to the horses. My growing up years remain vivid especially so to places like Malate that you so well described in your blog. My dad and his family were regular patrons of the Dairy Queen along Taft Ave. He would dare us (three sons) to a contest of who could eat the most Dairy Queen ice cream packed in quart sized carton boxes. I recall that at aged six, I could don 3 quarts all by myself. But my favorite was the ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. With ice cream in hand we would cruise in his 57 Chevy Bel air with the radio on playing Frank Sinatra along the stretch of Dewey Blvd. (Roxas Blvd.) I would know that we have reached the far South end when I would glimpse on the skeletal remains of a submarine that ran aground that was near Baclaran. In the sixties, Gaiety was where we would go to to watch “Sound of Music”, Elvis and the Bond movies. I recall that right beside it was a dimsum shop selling fantastic “Siopao” where my dad would treat us after the movies. The name of the shop escapes me now. Then nearby Rustan’s along San Marcelino St, was another bakeshop and coffee shop that was popular for their rolls. “Bungalo” was its name. On Sundays we would take strolls at the Luneta, at the Children’s playground along Dakota (Adriatico St.) corner Harrison Blvd., and at the Manila Zoo. I can even recall the grassy smell of the elephant that was the first thing you’d see entering the zoo. An Uncle of mine owned a yatch docked at the nearby Manila Yatch Club and we’d take cruises on weekend to as far as Corregidor and in the afternoon coming back I would look at the Dewy Blvd. sunset strip marveling at its splendor. On my first bicycle I recall biking from our place to the Rizal Monument in Luneta. Our house down to the bay was a mere 900 meters away. My Grandma would tell me that during the war, all houses there were leveled to the ground so much so that one could see the bay from where our house stands. Then at the corner of Taft and Harrison Blvd., Mayor Antonio Villegas put up a rotunda with fancy lights and dancing water fountain. It was a real site to behold. It was about this time too that all the pine trees that stood in the middle of the street islands where uprooted and these islands where transformed into concrete barriers instead. At the side walk of Harrison Blvd. stood rubber trees and Acacia trees. Taft avenue was all lined up with Banaba trees that blossomed purple flowers in May. If only we had the power to transport ourselves back to those glorious days!!! But through your blog, I began to be overwhelmed with so many childhood memories.

        • lougopal says:

          What a lovely and detailed trip down memory lane. Thanks so much for sharing ! I’m pleased that you found my site interesting. Please join our Facebook group as many of my readers have where they share their stories and pictures as well. You will see the link on the right hand side of the website.

    • Nicasio Garcia Jimenez, Jr. says:

      There is still that California Barber Shop today on J.L. Escoda St. (new name of California St.). I don’t know if it’s the original location or if is still operated by the original proprietors.

      • tony soriano says:

        hello sir,
        what a nice trip down memory lane.!! i now get to remember those names that were lost in the back of my mind.
        we have ancestral property on colorado near corner escoda, which i now own, and i wish to correct the info. the california barbershop is at the corner of f. agoncillo (then called colorado st) and apacible ( i believe it was then called oregon st) and not j escoda.
        and yes, that barbershop is still standing to this date.
        so the landmarks mentioned in the blog that are still existing today are the aristocrat, old swiss inn, california barbershop.
        surely someone has to mention the paco park.
        the unforgettable strolls we all had at the paco park which is at the rotunda where
        san marcelino and padre faura intersect. lovers can never forget the shady century old trees in the park with the cemetery built within its hallowed walls.
        kudos to your blog, and i eagerly await your part 2 !

      • California Barbershop is owned by a German (Peter Baumann) married to a Filipina.

      • California barbershop was owned by a German married to a Filipina lawyer but learned yesterday, he sold it to another Filipino.

      • BJ FUNK says:

        California Barbershop was where I had my hair cut since as far back as I can recall. This year, the owner had to cease operations as the owner of the property where it stands (Chinese) did not renew the contract of lease anymore. The building was demolished about 2 months ago in lieu of a family business warehouse that the owner wants to construct. I am now forced to go to the barbershop in front (Peter’s Barbershop) where some of the old- timer barbers relocated.

    • Joseph Y Chua says:

      California Barbershop was demolished a few weeks ago.

  23. Bing Conde says:

    Thank you old friend ! Wish I had your talent & patience in creating this page.
    Now I’m homesick ! Wish they can restore (at least) some of the locations you pictured above.
    Bing

  24. victor lopez says:

    that was me in the third row, fifth kid near you while we were both in St. Paul’s Kindergarten before we transferred to American School!

  25. Andre S. Kahn says:

    Thank you for the memories. I grew up in Nebraska street, walking to La Salle, via the San Andres Street, passing through the famous San Andres market. then right on Taft Avenue onward to La Salle. Your article brings back so many happy memories of a great era gone by. We moved to makati eighteen years later.

  26. I would frequent the Gaity theater specially on days we would skip school, and then walk to Milky Way for our favorite Buco Sherbet.
    Kindly include the notorious bars in front of Gaity Theater that would come alive at night, specially when a US Navy ship would be in town and the bars would all come alive. A drive down that street was always an eye full.

    • lougopal says:

      Ha,ha…I don’t know if bringing up the infamous bars would be considered “nostalgia”! However, I do know what you’re talking about.

      • bobby gochangco says:

        Guernica’s stood out in this area not only because of fine food and a lots of good singing/dancing ( yes, there was impromptu dancing), but also because it was the only “honorable” within distance. Many foreigners then looked to this area for all kinds of nocturnal fun. At that time, Ermita outdistanced Bangkok.
        Wasn’t there a nearby a beer parlor called Taboy’s Cinco Litros ?

  27. Panchito Puckett says:

    Love your old photos of old Manila. Lets hope they restore it back to what I remember it for. I was lucky to have been born after the war and experience the Old Manila and Philippines. I grew up in Fisher Avenue and Dewey Boulevard in Pasay City and I always went biking with my American School classmates without any problem. The Motorco was also my favorite mode of transport in Dewey Boulevard and those private gambling casinos and night clubs were really nice places to visit those days. I could go on and on writing but don’t want to bore you. Thanks again for bring back good memories!

    • Oliver Nolasco says:

      The Osmenas lived at the corner of Fisher Avenue and Dewey (Roxas Blvd.) back in the 50’s. Stevie Osmena was my classmate since grade school and his younger brother, Tommy, was mayor of Cebu for a long time and classmate of my younger brother

  28. ROMY S RONQUILLO says:

    THANKS A LOT. VALUABLE MEMORABILIA. LIVED IN PACO AND ERMITA AL MY LIFE. OUR HI-SCHOOL GRAD AT ARISTOCRAT; OUR SMALL WEDDING RECEPTION @ ARISTOCRAT….GAIETY WAS A FAV MOVIE HOUSE. WAKING DISTANCE [ YEAS AGO….NOT NOW HAHA ] DURINGTHE LIBERATION, SPENT 2 NITES AT THE BAYVIEW HOTEL; 2 NITES AT THE ALHAMBRA APTS IN DEWEY BLVD NR COR OF SN LUIS, THEN WITH ALL THE WOMEN CONFINED AT THE LUNETA, WHILE THE MEN TO TH MANILA HOTEL…..STARTED 2/09 AN FINALLY FREE 2/22….ERMITA / MALATE / PACO HAD THEIR GLORY DAYS…….

  29. william c. wong says:

    What can I say, I am just totally overwhelmed.

  30. Art Alafriz says:

    It’s Yesterday once more, and my heart bleeds.

  31. Leni Barretto Shinn says:

    Memories are forever! We lived behind Aristocrat and across Malate Church. I really enjoyed reading this. I reminisced all night. Thank you for sharing.

    • Veronica Smith nee Salvacion says:

      Leni are you related to Teresa (Nie nie) Barreto? We went to high school together at St Paul College Manila, now University. Thank you Veronica Salvacion Smith

  32. Nicasio Garcia Jimenez, Jr. says:

    For years I was dying to see what the Perkins Mansion looked like before the war because I was intending to post pictures of that old vacant property occupying the whole block of Roxas Boulevard, Pedro Gil (Herran), Mabini and Cuarteles Sts. in Ermita It was mentioned in a blog that the Perkins “El Nido” Mansion used to stand in that area, but I’m not sure if it’s that’s the block where it stood or the next block between Cuarteles and Salas streets. Cuarteles was so named because it housed a former Spanish cuartel. Was El Nido constructed on the same block after the cuartel was destroyed?

  33. Susan Cañizares-Plantilla says:

    Our house was at the corner of Tennessee and Florida Streets. It was sold to St. Paul College in 1958 and turned into a dorm for their nursing students. Now it is a Korean restaurant. I still remember some of our neighbors like Tony Velarde, Marasigan/Balagtas, etc. I now live in NY but visit my father in Ayala Alabang every year. I also get together with some of my former St. Paul classmates at Italianni’s, which used to be the site of Assumption. I miss Manila of old. Thank for bringing it back.

    • hi susan,

      we used to be classmates in st. paul in grade school and maybe high school. we lived in vermont st ( now julio nakpil) and nebraska. yes, my uncle tony velarde, marasigans, and the asuncions were our neighbors then. i live in honolulu and sometimes virginia and hopefully we get to see each other one day. glad that you visit “home” every year. i do the same thing… afterall, that’s home sweet home to me.

      • Susan Cañizares Plantilla says:

        Hi Lena,
        Of course I remember you. We were classmates until high school. As a matter of fact, I meet Sylvia Santos Pineda, Marilen Ponce Cruz and Julie Ann Hallazgo for lunch once a year when I am in Manila. I just emailed Sylvia about this wonderful Nostalgia Manila. Hope to see you sometime either in Manila or NY.

      • Honey White says:

        Hello Lena,

        I was so shock to see your full name because I remember you so so well, very vividly in my mind.

        I JUST saw your COMMENT, and when I saw Lena Bernie, OMG I couldn’t believe it. It is certainly not a common name.

        Lena, I remember you very very well, we were so so young then, that was when I was going attending school in St. Paul’s College, Manila. I believe you remember Sister Marie Paul.

        My name is (Florence) Honey Arenas. We were classmates. I JUST saw this amazing beautiful article by Lou when I was looking for old photos of the Philippines. And as I kept reading, there your name was! WOW.

        We should most definitely hook up. I don’t know how we can do that through this website. Somehow we will figure it out.

        It will be so exciting if we can get together just catch up, WOW, we will have a lot of years to cover because we are now in our Senior citizen journey, LOL

        I hope you will remember me because I remember YOU very very well!
        Looking forward ….

      • Honey White says:

        Lena, this is Florence (Honey) Arenas. I just wanted to mention to you that we were perhaps in our 1st grade to the 4th grade when we were in St. Paul’s College. Just wanted to perhaps refresh your memory. Perhaps even Kindergarten. I wish I could be more specific, but that’s the best I can remember.

  34. Liana Berlanga Blalock says:

    Wonderful gift of days gone by.
    I was born and grew up in Manila and now live in the USA. Brings back happy memories.
    Thank you very much and God bless.

  35. Yasmin Mattox says:

    I grew up on Arquiza St — between M.H. del Pilar and A. Mabini streets, until we moved to Quezon City in 1979. so I’m familiar with the places you mentioned, especially the Gaiety Theater! So many memories. Hizon’s Bakery, Ermita Church, Alemar’s Bookstore, Gregg Shoes, Dulcinea, Senorita Bakery, National Book Store on Mabini and Padre Faura, Kowloon House, Ronnie’s Flower Shop, Tesoro’s, etc. Thanks for the nostalgia.

  36. Maria Carmen Navarro says:

    Thank you Lou for this heartwarming presentation. I was born in 1953 and remember going to “Dewey Blvd” with my parents for long walks. We also for a short while lived in the Malate area, near the Malate Church where my brother and I were christened. An evening ride on the Motorco were the treat and highlight of the day!
    I have forwarded this on to my cousin Vicky S. Hererra who remembers you from ISM days. She is quite thrilled with this presentation. I am looking forward to watching part two. Good luck and hoping for more trips down memory lane. Thank you, Maria Carmen Navarro

  37. Romy rojas says:

    I saw a photo here of acme supermarket down mabini st… I studied in ateneo padre faura during my grade school days. We used to walk from ateneo to acme to buy those pink colored bubble gums until we were not allowed anymore during a school day.
    very nice feeling to remember really…

  38. Arturo Henson Acosta (Toto) says:

    Going through the photos plus your captions and anecdotes certainly pulls our heartstrings. While I didn’t live in the neighborhood, I frequently visited my uncle Briccio Henson, owner of the Henson Apartments on Mabini and Soldado streets (Soldado was the esquinita joining Mabini and M.H. del Pilar, and near Gaiety Theater). My personal nostalgia includes frequenting Acme Supermarket, riding on the second level of Motorco, great eats at DiMarks, popcorn stands on Dewey Boulevard at night, even going to Ah Wong for our grey twill La Salle high school PNT uniform, etc. Grade 1 to 4 was in Ateneo Padre Faura, and High School to College was in La Salle Taft (the entire family went to Tokyo – military Dad attached to the Embassy there – so Grades 4-7 and 1st Year HS were in American School in Japan and St. Mary’s International School for Boys). In high school, when I wanted to eat great lunch for free, I took the jeepney from La Salle (Taft-Dakota-Harrison route) to the home of my aunt Carmelita Oboza in Roberts Street, Pasay (where once also lived the Davises, Cojuangcos, Castañers, Oppens, Franciscos, Barons, Lopas, etc – also the old house of the Quezons), as she would always serve sumptuous Capampangan cuisine to me and classmates who tag along! My Tita Carmelita enjoyed having us for lunch, even encouraging me to go all school days! I remember the family of Jesus del Rosario (Chuching, or Mr. J) living near Roberts in San Luis Street (not knowing that later in life I would be working for him as Executive Assistant to the President, since I was an asset speaking Japanese when he had conferences with Matsushita executives in Osaka and Tokyo). In that part of Pasay nearest the boundary with Manila (San Juan Street), I remember the Del Prados, Calderon de la Barcas, the Villanuevas and even some properties of the Knechts. Everyone knew, or knew of everybody else, life was good and simple, entertainment was cheap and uncomplicated, and generally people were trusting of each other. Lou, keep up the Facebook posts! Be assured that you will continue to put smiles in the faces of many. The way my mind’s working know, I could go on and on to write many recollections and memories of the good life that will never come back.

    • lougopal says:

      Arturo, what wonderful memories! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I’d love to hear more !

  39. Vicky SyCip Herrera says:

    Great job, Lou! Thanks!! It’s hard to believe that there was a time that Dewey Blvd had no cars on it! I remember going to Acme to buy all the latest comics! It seemed so close to Makati back then….. And Di’Marks….ahhh, the memories I had there!!

    • Joe Velhagen says:

      Hi Vicky,
      Wonderful memories of wonderful times with wonderful friends!
      Joe

      • Lisa Wilkinson says:

        Joe,
        How are you and where are you now? Best to you, Joey and the rest of the family!
        We live in Northern Va……w/ 3 grandkids from Tom, Anna L. is single, works, and lives in London.
        Lisa Wilkinson

    • Rajan Vaswani nee Dadlani says:

      Hi Vicky,

      This is Rajan. You went to the American School with my sister, Anup, who now lives in Jakarta.
      Hope you remember me. I now live in Toronto, Canada. Have 2 grown kids and 2 grandkids.
      Have thought of you and would love to hear from you.

      Warm regards,
      Rajan

  40. Bunny Arville says:

    Bravo, Lou. Whoever said, “Don’t dwell on the past”, has yet to read this and gaze at the wonderful photos. Looking forward to Part II.

    • Jun Asuncion says:

      Romy, I too studied at Ateneo de Manila, (ruins). I remember Acme Super Market. I used to sneak thru that small opening at the corner of Padre Faura just to buy that pink gum which was then called Double Bubble gum. I tell my children those were the better days even with the ipads and i phones of today.

  41. Bobby Paradies says:

    The best nostalgia post about Manila ever. I spent some years living in Elena apartments along Salas St. Our world then revolved around the malate ermita area. Ambos Mundos was where we would have early breakfast after very late nights

    • lougopal says:

      I never ate there but I heard it had great food. Your name sounds very familiar.

    • willy palarca says:

      Ambos Mundos is now at Florentino Torres Street, parallel to Avenida, at Santa Cruz. Met the wife of the owner on a bus returning from Baguio about 5-7 years ago.

    • Esther says:

      Greetings, and excuse me Bobby Paradies and Lou Gopal – jumping in on this lovely Manila exchange, fondly remembering some of the people and places we once knew and enjoyed… My family earlier lived in Mandaluyong + Santa Ana. (now in NY for 30 years). My parents used to treat us to Malate and Ermita for shopping, meals, swimming at Army Navy Club, and Church – I was at St Paul’s Manila 5th + 6th grades (w Chari Estrada, Bunny Young, Geny Baltao, Lily Gamboa- childhood friend in Concordia College, before SPCM) then moved to junior & senior high at AS/IS Makati (I see Vicky S-H, somewhere among the exchanges)- By the way, I had met an Anthony Paradies at a 9th grade party- Was he related to Bobby P? Just wondering 🙂 Thanks, and warm greetings, all!

  42. Kathryn (Kathy) Wenger Styger says:

    I was born in the Philippines in 1949 and remained there until I graduated High School in the Assumption Convent in San Lorenzo in 1966, when my Dad was posted back to Switzerland (his mother country). My mother is a quarterona from Iloilo. Dad worked for Zuellig. We lived first in Paranaque and then moved to San Lorenzo which was still in full development. I live in Switzerland now and visited Manila and surrounding areas last April after 48! years! And surprise, surprise – everything (almost) from my childhood, places, shops, cinemas, buildings, are gone!!
    Driving down Roxas Blvd. (ex Dewey Blvd.) had me looking in the direction of Manila Bay and the palm tree promenade, but I didn’t see the bay at all! What a disappointment! Watching the ships and eating my kropek was a real treat for me as a child…
    Makati, where we lived, looks like New York with all the skyscrapers – San Lorenzo, Forbes Park still do exist, but in San Lorenzo Village, it takes some detective work to find original old houses (our house is still there, somewhat renovated, but the house division, garden, is still the same!). Thank God the park is still there – we had lots of fun there growing up.
    It is so wonderful that you are sharing all the lovely old photos of places I knew so well. I made my First Communion in the Ermita Church, Mom had her modista in Malate, and going to the Aristocrat for a meal was a treat for us kids.
    I am looking forward to Part 2.
    Thank you, thank you.
    Kathy

  43. Jules Delgallego says:

    Lou,
    Thank you so much for walking us down our memory lane. My parents would always take us for a walk every Saturday from our house in 444 Dart, Paco through the ruins of the Ateneo, UP and the Observatory along Padre Faura and culminating by the seawall in Roxas Boulevard to watch the famous Manila Sunset. We would then walk towards the Melico Soda Fountain in Isaac Peral near the American Embassy for our favorite milk shake. BTW El Bodegon in front of the Gaiety Theater was a favorite hangout of my parents. Again congratulations for the “wonderful work of art” you completed for us. Jules

  44. anthony lopez goltra says:

    lou your name sounds familiar, i also went to st pauls college from 1950 to 52 since they only accomodated boys till gr.2, is that sister mary paul and sister leonor in the picture you posted, i was born in ermita and lived on l. guerrero across from peralta apt. my uncle dr leonides lopez lizo had his practice on their home at l. gurrero, miss hedrick owner of taza de oro rented the 1st floor of their house, she would often invite us to have their yummy hamburgers. saldana house of reptile was also located on l. guerrero they would make handbags and shoes made of reptile skin our neighbors were the tennys whose dad was the first chief of police of manila , and i believe the cuyekengs, there were not too many neighbors then since all the buildings were damaged, paul tenny and i would often walk along dewey blvd, climb the rubber trees and make rubber balls out of the tree sap, we would go fishing w/ the transient or sqatters along and around the US embassy one could still lay a blanket on the sand , not any more ,i think the sea water must have risen about 8 ft since then, i enjoyed reading tarzan, blackhawk, lone ranger tobruk etc comic book at the acme and international supermarket there was a gas station beside acme owned by the ansaldos, ramcar had a taxi and battery shop across, it is very sad to see good thing go. i can go on and on but would fill up your page try to go to my FB i also had a lot of ermita and malate memories.

    • lougopal says:

      Great memories Anthony ! I used to go by Prem Gopal in those days. I’m sure we ran into each other now and then. Thank you for writing !

      • Horacio Torres says:

        So I guess you are of Indian descent, Lou? I was suspecting that with your Gopal second name. In Paco where we lived after moving out of San Marcelino, we had tons of Indian garments business people like the Sehwanis, Giwanis. Merhwanis and we lived near the Sikh Temple located on Isaac Peral (UN Avenue) near Pius XII center as well as he Asio de San Vicente de Paul.

  45. Lorenzo Ma. Guerrero III says:

    Hi Lou,
    We’re friends in San Juan Days.
    This is a wonderful article and brings back all the memories of our old Malate-Ermita.
    You say you lived in Tennessee corner Mabini Sts.? Which apartments where you in? I lived in the same corner from 1953 to 1981. We lived with my grand-mother right on top of Florentino’s Furniture shop on cor, Tennessee and Mabini and we occupied the whole top floor. Right across from us lived the Lopez’s on Mabini St. Wow, we should have been neighbors, what year were you there?
    Regards,
    Lorenzo Ma. (Peewee) Guerrero

    • lougopal says:

      We were there I think from 1949 to 1952 ? It was upstairs and there was two apartments – the front doors were across from each other. I think it was only a small two bedroom ? My memory’s pretty hazy. I might have photos of the interior I can send to you when I get back home in a few days. From there we moved to Remedios, then the Mayflower Apts. on Pennsylvania and finally to San Lorenzo.

  46. Lou,

    Awesome job..We should make this into a full blown documentary one day and show it in Discovery channel or some outlet. It shows so much class as compared to where we are today. Plans were not followed so confusion develops in urban planning and greed sets in so this is what we get, The Manila of today. We had great memories there in Rovas Blvd, as we stayed at Fischer ave and would always have sunday lunch at the penthouse of ABS CBN along the bay then where traders royal bank stands after Benedicto the Marcos crony took over the old ABS CBN studio in 1973 after martial law. Yes Atomic is our Lolo and Panchito P a cousin. We then also had a compound along Quirino Ave behind the Petron station, and would hear the waves smash against the wall the whole day .. That was beautiful memories. Then in the 70’s Imelda Marcos had the bright idea of making that coastal road, that destroyed the whole set up, now replaced by Jeepney pipes BLURTING OUT BLACK SMOKE..bye bye memories and Lolo Nanding had been replaced then as Veep and Lolo Ening ‘s Meralco taken away and Tito Geny Lopez thrown in jail with Sen. Serge Osmena so that’s how the cookie crumbled.. 🙁 .. Later on we continued our life along Makati in Bel-Air and Forbes Park from the mid 70’s till now but yes, Manila had something that Makati in the 70;s and now just could not match. Thanks Lou, really appreciate the Great Job and narration you did. One of the best i’ve encountered so far in the web.

    Toto Lopez
    Bel-Air Makati/ New Manila QC

  47. Thanks for posting old Malate/Ermita, it sure brought back memories.
    I was born before the 2nd WW, witnessed all the destruction and survived.

    budd L.

  48. Juan Luis L. Faustmann says:

    Excellent, brings back memories of my childhood. Looking forward to the next part.

    tato f.

  49. Norman Barton says:

    This is great. My grandparents were on Dewey Blvd. and were the building where the “Tasa de Oro “was located. Brings back a lot of memories of my childhood.

    • Norman Barton says:

      Great blog ! My grandparents house was on Dewey Blvd. and owned te building where ” Tasa de Oro ” was located. Brings back a lot of memories of my childhood

      • lougopal says:

        Thanks for writing Norman. Can you tell me a little history of that building and your grandparents ?

  50. anna lyn says:

    Good am Sir Lou..may i have your permission to share your video in our fanpage? I had posted your photo of Dewey Blvd..and it brought wonderful memories to our followers…it was one of our page’s mostly shared photo!!! More power to your blog and more photos plss…thanx..(y)

  51. Orly Guerrero says:

    I grew up in San Juan but my father’s family (Fernando Ma. Guerrero branch) and relatives were from Ermita. My uncle Dr. Felix Cortes had a house very near the Ermita church. When it was nearly certain the Americans would come to liberate us, he thought it best that we live with him in his Ermita house. During the shelling we all took refuge in the Ermita church. A Japanese officer with some soldiers came in and took a census. If, when he returned, the number of men increased or decreased by one they would all be shot. The refugees kept coming and my uncle who still had his revolver hatched up a plan that if the officer came back he would shoot him and as many of the soldiers as possible and the men in the church would grab as many firearms as possible. Later in the day the doors of the church were barricaded by the Japanese from the outside and machine guns positioned facing the doors so nobody could get in or out. Then the soldiers set the church on fire. A few of the young men inside were able to brake an opening in the rear adobe wall of the church and all the refugees were able to escape to the rear lot whose structures had already been burned down. We spent the night under wet (to keep us cool) sheets with our backs against the adobe wall. Where the water came from I never found out Through the 50’s and 60’s I accompanied my father in his Sunday visits to his mother who lived in the corner of Tennessee and A. Mabini streets. Peewee Guerrero is my younger first cousin.

    • lougopal says:

      Hi Orly, What a remarkable story! It proves the strength of spirit of that generation. My mom and dad were also in the midst of the Malate conflagration. I believe that our interest in Manila’s history is a tribute to all those who passed before us. Thank you so much for sharing your story !

  52. Philip Garcia says:

    Thanks, L0u, for the work and dedication you made to produce this and many other segments. I was born in Santo Tomas, in May. After the camp had been liberated but not totally secured from the nearby Japanese bombardments. Long story alone on how my family got back INTO the camp after we (they) had been moved to safety away from the Kempeitai in Manila, 1942. My father was Antonio Garcia Saad with many friends from his La Salle days who were in the camps. He worked with the guerrillas first in Manila and then subsequently in Calatagan. He was born in Aparri and, to make a few pesos on the side pre-war, was an amateur pelotari and played long into the warm Manila evenings while my mom dozed asleep. The movie theater scenes were most reminiscent. My aunt was Rosa Del Rosario of the original Darna fame plus other movies both before and after the War. We used to escape the heat by fleeing into the theaters for the air conditioned bliss. And then subsequently get chased out for being bastus. The Old Malate Church…my American grandfather had his ashes buried under one of the bricks. When my parents came back into Manila after Calatagan, they searched only to find the whole area decimated by the US Naval Air under the command of the US Army aviation. Those were the dark days of the liberation when it was ‘determined’ that house-to-house fighting to dislodge the Japanese troops would have meant more casualties. Well, as all wars go, the civilian population took the worst hits. My cousins, the Peypochs, lived on M.H. del Pilar. I think it was the Admiral Apartments. Do you remember eating a Flying Saucer sandwich? Wasn’t that from the Aristocrat? When I am ‘in the zone’, I can imagine myself on ‘The Boulevard’ listening to the plaintive calls: Balu-u-u-ut! I will forward this and all your blogs on Santo Tomas to my cousins. They were in for the full term: early 1942 until liberation, Spring of 1945. Those were my American cousins. They have each written their unique stories of Manila pre-war and then about Santo Tomas. My Spanish/Filipino cousins were outside…and everybody lacked for food and essential services. Both inside and out.
    We live now just down the I-5 from you in Vancouver, Washington state. Sayang, decent Pinoy restaurants are non-existent near here and really not that great in Seattle anymore now that our friend has moved back to retire to a fortified safety village south of Manila that caters to US returning residents.

    Regards,

    Phil Garcia

    • lougopal says:

      Hi Orly, What a remarkable story! It proves the strength of spirit of that generation. My mom and dad were also in the midst of the Malate conflagration. I believe that our interest in Manila’s history is a tribute to all those who passed before us. Thank you so much for sharing your story !

    • lougopal says:

      Hi Phil, thank you for sharing your story. There have been so many wonderful memories that have come from posting this blog, it overwhelms me. I don’t know if you e read my blog on Ft. Santiago but your cousin Frank Stagner is featured on video there. I interviewed him and his sister Rosemary for our documentary on the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. (See http://www.santotomasinternment.com )

      • Philip Garcia says:

        Yes, Lou, that’s correct. Rosemary and Frank Stagner are my first cousins. Rosie has published her memories of Santo Tomas and Frank, I think, is still working on his. I must ask again: do you remember the Flying Saucer sandwich? Or is that something that I have just imagined. I thought it was an Aristocrat ‘especial’. My Peypoch cousins can probably set me straight because they lived in Manila the whole time. We left for the States in May, 1945 on the first available repatriation ship which turned out to be the SS Monterey and lived in the Bay Area. My father was approached by the Soriano Clan in 1948 and accepted an executive position with them but only on the proviso that we were to spend our school months in the States. And then he rotated with another Soriano executive who took ‘home leave’ from Manila for 5 months. Every year. BTW, my Peypoch cousins are now in the States: Philadelphia and Phoenix. I have forwarded your blog and I’m sure they will get back to me soon. Keep up the good work.

        Phil

        • lougopal says:

          Yes, I do remember the Flying Saucer sandwich..it was a real treat for us younger kids. Eating out was always a special event as my parents always worked at the store and wouldn’t come home until later at night so mostly I was taken care of by my amah, a sweet Ilocano lady by the name of Ipang. She was like a second mother to me and I loved her like a favorite aunt.

        • willy palarca says:

          Hi Phil! Your Peypoch relations must have been the owners of “Chat Peypoch”, high-end photographers, that was at Dakota Street (now Adriatico). If I’m not mistaken they specialized in portraitures.

  53. BG Eraña-Quesada says:

    I look forward to reading more!
    Thanks for all the memories.

  54. May Cabrias says:

    We lived beside what I remember as the residence of the papal nuncio on Taft Avenue (is it still there?). I remember the Dairy Queen place but before it became Dairy Queen, a temporary church was built by the Seventh Day Adventists where nightly service was held. I remember this because this was where my mom and aunt converted to that religion. My dad worked at a building right across the DelaSalle College.
    In 1951 we moved to a place above a store right beside Pitoy Moreno’s dress shop on Taft Avenue and Vermont since I started schooling in JASMS and my mom and I used to walk to the Brown Derby store (across from PGH?) for their foot-long hotdog. Taft Avenue was tree lined and beautiful. I also remember standing on the sidewalk in front of JASMS when President Magsaysay’s funeral hearse drove by. Left the Philippines in 1977 and only went back once in 2011. I did not get a chance to see Taft Avenue so my memories of that place is still what it was like in the 50s.

  55. Dimple says:

    Hi!

    Great page! I am looking for historical photos from the 1940s…and was wondering how I can work with you to gain access to the ones you have on your page?

    Thanks!

    rb

  56. Inocencio E. Gonzalez, Jr. says:

    The first photograph is not in Ermita or Malate. The “Capitol” movie house is in Escolta! Guess the picture was taken before the war as I do not remember the “Fanlo” chinese restaurant in Escolta. The “Ateneo” shown in the picture is definitely before the war as I went to school there in 1952 – 1954 and it was in ruins. Our classrooms were “quonset houses” and in the ruins hastily fixed.

    • lougopal says:

      The first picture shown is merely the headliner used for all posts. You will see it used for my other articles on the Escolta, Ft.Santiago, etc.

  57. sascha weinzheimer jansen says:

    Hey Lou, I just want to tell you how much I love your blog. Please keep it up…..those pictures are amazing and seemingly transforms me back in an instant. What a treat to know where to go for a trip back to our homeland when needed. I am still always in search of a good babinka or for that perfect adobo…..Sarap! Maraming Salamats-
    sascha

  58. Jose Baltasar says:

    Thanks, Lou, for Manila nostalgia.
    I grew up on Dakota Street, between Herran and Tennessee – the home right by Fabar. That’s around the corner from your place.
    My grandparents lived on Alonzo, corner Mabini. My mother passed away in January this year. She would have enjoyed this immensely.
    It was sad to see Gaiety Theater today. I remember many a time that I would walk to Gaiety with my father, mother, and my older brother to catch the last show at 9pm. We would walk along Dakota, take a left at Herran, and a right on A Mabini, and a left down a narrow street whose name I forget, to MH del Pilar. Looking forward to Part 2.
    Very best to you,
    Jojo Baltasar

  59. Irene (Fisher, Mollat) Lavoie says:

    Absolutely enjoyed your Blog!
    I am from American School (1958) and have not been back to Manila since 1998.

  60. Irene (Fisher, Mollat) Lavoie says:

    Am looking forward to more of your articles. Super enjoyed it!!!

  61. Delfin Sumcad says:

    My uncle Alfonso B. Macaraeg worked with Ms. Hazel Hedrick at the Campus Drug, then the Happy Landing Cafe at the old domestic terminal in Pasay city. Ms. Hedrick is a compassionate person aiding my Uncle Alfonso set up
    his own restaurant, THE MARANAW RESTAURANT at the new domestic terminal . As a young Boy, met her
    once at the Happy Landing Cafe where Alfonso Macaraeg was her Manager. did not have a chance to see Taza de Oro. My uncle is now in his 90’s. Am based now in New Jersey, but relish visits to the Philippines, Manila/Makati/
    paranaque.GOD BLESS MS. HAZEL HEDRICK

  62. Thanks so much for bringing back those memories, my mom and I lived in Pandacan and I went to school at JASMS, in front of Philippine Women’s University. I sued to walk it from my home to school everyday. I had my first job at VIP Bldg in front of US Embassy at the ground floor was Taza de Oro where I would have frequent meetings and sometimes participate the Nude paintings sessions of Master Manansala and ot he prominent artists. My Dad and I would enjoy the Eat All You Can Restaurants along Dewey Blvd, at Flames Restaurant, Steaks at a popular Spanish Restaurant , eat tawilis at Nora Daza’s Restaurant, My family would jog at Dewey Blvd. ride Matorco. Yes thanks so much for sharing these beautiful memories .

  63. rscuasay says:

    Thank you for a beautiful article. I look forward to part 2.

  64. Dan Valdez says:

    Cruising down memory lane, great article! I lived in a compound in San Marcelino area in Malate right next to presently Quirino Ave, then Harrison Blvd but way, way back a squatter colony from South Superhighway to Dakota, now Adriatico. The cruise will not be complete if i dont mention Malate-Ermita landmarks like: Safari Restaurant next to Manila Zoo, Shelbourne? Hotel at the corner of Kalaw and Dewey Blvd, Filipinas/Mabuhay Hotels, Casino Espanol, Jai-alai, Country Bake Shop, Alta Vista, Bulakena Resto, Ambos Mundos, Ulog, Swiss Inn Roxas Blvd and near Paco Cemetery, Bungalow Restaurant near Rustan’s San Marcelino, Ateneo School and Church where Robinson’s is currently located, Ferino’s at back of Manila Hotel, Selecta Restaurant/ice cream along Dewey Blvd, Esquire Car Exchange (beside Brown Derby) where my father bought some V8 muscle cars,Northern Motors (Chevrolet dealer) and Island Motors (Chrysler/Dodge dealer) in San Marcelino, Isaac Peral Bowling Lanes, Archer’s Nook in front of La Salle, Christmas Carnival venue of course is the Sunken Garden near Manila City Hall, YMCA in Aroceros.

    • tony soriano says:

      whew i feel so much nostalgia when i read about the names you mentioned. my grandparents had a house on colorado st near cor escoda, just one street behind the rustans.

      bungalow restaurant which served good home cooked food, and of course rustans of glecy tantoco is the shopping outlet of the well heeled at that time. both were along san marcelino. what a memory trip . !
      looking forward to your part 2 !

  65. Banuk says:

    You have a gem of a blog Lou! Please keep it up! The video on Dewey Blvd is just wonderful, wonderful!!!
    You should set-up you FB and twitter page. This blog deserves to be out there!

    Banuk

    • lougopal says:

      Thank you! I’m pleased you like it. I haven’t done any promotion other than word of mouth but it does seem to be quite popular.

      • tony soriano says:

        hello ms lou
        pls bring back memories and talk about the skyroom of the jai alai in your next installment. it brings back memories of those days when the socialites would go dining and dancing at the sky room. i was still kinda young in my grade school shorts in those days but i have heard stories about the elegant nightlife in those days.

        • lougopal says:

          Hi Tony, please look at Recent Posts on the right hand side of the blog. You will see a previous post about the Jai Alai building.

          • Horacio Torres says:

            Incidentally, the same building housed the Philippine Headquarters of Vespa where my father was the President of the Vespa Clubof the Philippines. There were no Japanese bikes then only Harley Davidsons and Lambretta which was teh competion of Vespa.

  66. Linda Lupton says:

    Wonderful work. Thank you. Grew up in Q.C. but certainly was a frequent habitue of the areas and establishments you mentioned. Looking forward to Part 2.

  67. Herb Hendry says:

    What wonderful memories I recalled of my almost 30 years in Manila–1955 to 1984–as head of ITT Globe-Mackay, viewing your beautiful photos thru tear strained eyes. When I arrived at Manila international Airport in June 1955 at 2am, I was surprised being processed in half-moon shaped Quonset Huts by airport personal surrounded by mosquito netting to ward off numerous flying insccts, as I had expected America left behind so much more after Philippine Independence in July (now June 12rth). I resided most of those years in the Elena Apartmets, cor of R. Salas & Mabini, Ermita. So I’m very familiar with most of the photos you showed and your comments of the area: The Aceme Market was owned by my good friend Many Fong; New Europe owned by Heinz Wielke. Swiss Inn owned by Emil Lambert and owner of Gernica’s where I spent many happy evening hours entertaining clients and friends. I have photos of what I believe were the original Bayaniyan Dance group of Philippine Womens Uiversity–taken Dec 2, 1963–courtesy of Ms. Helen Binitez, who I engaged to perform for visiting President of Rotary International, Carl Miller and wife, when I was president of the Rotary Club of Manila.
    I will not bore you with the long list of friends I had made being deeply involved in my work and numerous community activities, etc., but will be happy to help freshen your memory if needed, as we apparently were there the same time period? Congratulations and wishing you continued success.

    • frank sityar says:

      Herb,

      It would be of great if you could post that photo of (what would be the first version) The Bayanihan Dance Troupe, later to be the premier embodiment of the Ambassadors of Goodwill for the Philippines. It is a fact that through their prism the world learned a lot about the Filipinos and our country.

      I’d like to get a copy of that photo and share it with a relative who now sits on the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I am certain the CCP will be interested and may even keep, display the photo for posterity.

      Thanks,

      Frank

  68. Vicky Lopez says:

    Thank you so much for posting this wonderful photo essay of old Manila.
    It brings up many happy memories and history that surely must be passed down to the next generation.
    I am happy that you use the old names of Streets as that too, is part of History and should be included somewhere
    perhaps in the street signs below the present name of the street. it is only a few years back that I was made aware that the streets named after different American States use to be the areas of encampment of the different American troops of those states during the period of the Philippine American War(1898)
    I remember Gaiety Theater well and the little shop that sold superman and Katy keene& Archiecomics and little boxes of champoy called “taba&payat” Gaiety became Rene Knecht’s disco in the 80’s I forget the name but at that time the interiors were still very much intact.
    Thank you again for the memories and histories, Congratulations and looking forward to part 2.

  69. Thank you so much for bringing us back down memory lane. I haven’t been feeling good lately and today all of you made my day. As a teenager as well as my adult life I lived in different areas of Manila. When I first arrived in Manila in the 1950’s to join my father Flaviano Pacheco, my wonderful uncle Peter Pacheco and his lovely wife my aunt Angeles Pacheco Tia Leling lovingly welcome me into their home in Singalong. Then I had to be moved to a family boarding house run by a Chinese couple near my school Far Eastern University since I had to finish my fourth year in order to obtain a diploma since it was my mother’s immense desire for me to pursue a college degree even if it broke her heart to let go of me. Then when I graduated from high school I was then moved again to a loving family the Se Kings in Rizal Avenue. They enrolled me at the Mapua Institute of Technology where we were the first batch of a group of sudents in Business Administration. Ferdinand Villar was one of my classmates and Ferdy and I became very close friends. He intruduced me to his sister Larcy Villar who was then Miss Phippines at that time who then accepted me into the Manila Elite Club. One of the Celebrations was on the anniverssary of President Quezon’s birthday Fiesta Filipina of the Manila Elite’s Club held at the Mercedes Terrace. I don’t know if this place is still there. In the group that evening were Nanette Sayson, Larcy Villar, Me, Rene Certeza, Nesty Luz, Ferdinand Villar, Amelia Luna and Danny Racela. If someone knows anything about any of this group of people please let me know thanks. I was at Mapua for only 2 years. I enrolled at Far Eastern University College of Business Administration. The family that adopted me moved to Ronquillo, Sta Cruz, Mla. where I worked in the King’s Pawn Shop. I was a working student. We had lots & lots of fun as teenagers. That’s where my wonderful husband Rene Trinidad saw me one day when I was behind the counter when he & his friend Carlito went there to pick up Carlito’s girl friend Flory Baloy. Behind the counter with me were Flory, Marcie Ho & Mercy Oh. My adopted parents were very protective of me, I was only 19 years old then and dating my husband and they didn’t want to happen to me on their watch with what happen to mother when she too was only 18. So I was moved again to my lovely Aunt Conchita Bocado’s home my father’s half sister and her wonderful husband Tio Cachon, my lovely aunt Victoria Bocado also my father’s half sister, cousin Elvie she was only a baby at that time. I still had a very strong connections with my adopted parents and still worked at the Pawn Shop and Sporting Goods but goes home in the evenings to Magdalena from work & from school. Rene use to take me from work to school then from school to home. He went to the University of The East which was just a few distance from Far Eastern. He was also in Business Administration major, Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant. He use to attend some of my classes since his ended earlier than mine. When we were dating we use to ride the Motorko on the very top deck. It was so delightful, lots and lots of fun. We use to sit in front of the Jose Rizal Monument in Luneta on the weekends just relaxing. One of the best moments of my experience as a teenager. Then we would indulge ourselves with goodies at the Aristocrat, Dairy Queen and many others that you can think of. Then we would bask in beautiful sunset of Manila Bay, Roxas Blvd. At one point We showed the my cousin lovely Purita Tucker & her wonderful husband Thomas Tucker & their son Steven Tucker from Riverside, CA. the awesome sight. They were so overcome with joy at what they saw. Rene and I at one point made a desicion that if ever we would get married we would have a wedding in Sta Cruz Catholic Church next to the Pawn Shop with a small group of people with only family and friends & reception at the Aristocrat. But his family insisted that so everyone could enjoy the festivities we get married in his home town Meycawayan, Bulacan and the reception in their old house in Saluysoy. My family agreed, everyone was happy, the event was a success! I quit my job at the Pawn Shop a year before I got married and was hired by Manila Paper a sister company of Eastern Paper Mills. I was hired by my wonderful uncle James Chiongbian my father’s first cousin my grandfather’s nephew. My loving grandfather was Catalino Pacheco lolo Talino. His name use to be Chiong Chi and James father’s name was Chiong Bian. My grandfather adopted Pacheco when he became a Filipino Citizen. Our real last name really is suppose to be Chiong. Manila Paper was in Intramurus. Rene was working with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company in the accounting dept. also in Intramurus. We were still both going to school until we got married in May 21, 1961 and still continued to work and go to school. When I got to my eight month of pregnancy Rene & his family ask me to quit work and school. That’s when I received a noticed that the company I was working with was dissolved. We moved to Saluysoy, Meycawayan, Bulacan with Rene’s loving family as soon as I had our first baby Xanni May 19, 1962. Our loving mothers Mama Eyay and Inang Tana helped me took care of our baby as I had a very difficult time adjusting to our new born baby. I was breast feeding and didn’t know how although Inang Tana was very sickly at that time, she, Tia Espe, & Tata would prepare food & soups so I could produce lots of milk for the baby. Mama Eyay would change the baby’s diapers as she was the one who had more expertise than all of us let alone myself. Then a few years later we moved back to Manila and settled in Pedro Guevara, Sta. Cruz, Mla.
    Our children attended Espiritu Santo Parochial School from kindergarten to high school except for our lovely daughter Bing who I enrolled at St. Dominique in front of U.S.T. She said when she was interviewed on her first day of school GUSTO KONG MAGING DOCTOR PARA KAPAG NAG KA SAKIT ANG MOMMY KO AKO ANG GAGAMOT. Nice. Our loving son Rommel attended three years of high school at St. Vincent Seminary, Tandang Sora, Quezon City. He had to leave the Seminary because he confided that I was the only one who wanted him to be a priest. He graduated high school at thae U,S.T. If anyone of you know’s anything about Sr. Socoro Cecillo, she is a very dear friend of mine she was a Principal at St. Vincent Seminary, Tandang Sora, Q.C. My last communication with her was in the early 2000’s. I need to know the whereabouts of my lovely neice & handsome nephew Jhoanna and Ronel Elumba their abusive father Rogelio Elumba. I was a housewife for 18 years and lived in P. Guevara with my family then I came to the U.S. in May 9, 1980 to attend Xanni’s graduation at Belaire High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rene and I were invited to attend by the wonderful host parents Lancy & Greta Hill. Rene had to stay because he was the one who had to earn a living for the family. Xanni was with the American Field Service International Scholarships. After Xanni’s graduation Xanni and I flew to Chicago to Dr. James & Marcie’s lovely home. We stayed there for a week then James, Xanni, Dr. Ralph Cardeno & I flew to Los Angeles where my father was. Our wonderful son Russell joined me 1982. In 2003 he moved me to Vallejo in Northern CA. as his lovely wife Melissa was due with Chela our first granddaughter from them December 12, 2003. Russell’s lovely mom-in-law Rica Alvarez and I took care of our 2 lovely granddaughters Gabriella & Isabella since the day they were born. I’m so sorry I strayed beyond the topic. I just got carried away. My story I think is also inconsistent. Unlike you people I’m not really good at this so please forgive me. May the Almighty God Bless You and Your Loved Ones all the Days of Your Lives.

    • frank sityar says:

      Message for Ms Ruby Pacheco Trinidad…

      Per your request.

      Yesterday, 7/12/13, I spoke to Beauty Impresario Ferdinand Syquia Villar and he did confirm that he considers you a BFF and would like very much to connect with you. He is a very good friend and is nearby.

      Please sidebar me @ carcol45@aol.com if the character we are talking about are one and the same I will fill you in.

      Frank Sityar

  70. Horacio Borromeo (Junbo) says:

    Great blog. Like one of the posters (Carol Lim, athough unfortunately I don’t believe I know her), I was born in Manila a couple of years after the war (my grandfather’s house at the corner of Oroquieta and Mayhaligue) but moved to New Manila in 1950. Mom would bring me to Dewey Boulevard in the mornings (before I started schooling) for the sunshine and fresh air. We would take the JD bus. Went to Grade One in Ateneo in Padre Faure just before the big move to Loyola Heights, QC, so many of the photos of restaurants and the Acme supermarket bring back memories.

    BTW, can I share your blog site on the Facebook Page “Nostalgia with Old Manila”? Lots of folks there would love to reminisce with your blog. Keep up the good work. Hope I can contribute some memories too. Cheers 🙂

  71. James Litton says:

    The Ermita and Malate I knew was that of the pre-wear years. My family first lived in Oregon around 1930 and then transferred to Isaac Peral (now a UN Avenue) in 1936. Ermita and Malate were devastated by the battle that raged there from the begining of February to around March 3 of 1945. The Ermita and Malate of post-war years has very little resemblance to its pre-war genteel and glorious past.

  72. Daniel P. Tuason says:

    I also look forward to the next installment of your Manila Nostalgia. I grew up in the Malate area and took my primary schooling at JASMS. This was the school in front of Philippine Womens University on Taft Ave. between Vermont and Tennesee Streets. I too have fond memories of Malate. I remember saving my baon so that I could buy A Dilly at Dairy Queen or a foot long at Brown Derby both of which were also on Taft Ave. and not too far from my school. I had 2 classmates who lived in the apartment at the corner of Tennesee and Mabini where you said you temporarily stayed. Jojo McFerran used to live on the farthest side on the Mabini part of that apartment (I wonder where he is now) and Ray Dan who lives in the middle apartment also in the Mabini part. Although a family theatre, Gaiety showed 2nd run films showed previously in downtown theatres. This allowed Gaiety to give handouts of forthcoming shows. There was even a soda fountain in front of the theatre where you could have a banana split before watching a show. I remember watching “heaven knows mr. allison” in that theatre. Milky Way, Aristocrat, biking around Remedios, what fond memories. Till you next installment – Good Evening

  73. Ray Lesaca says:

    Dear Lou, your piece of historical work , is such a magnificent labor of love . . . for the past will never really die as it is etched in our minds and hearts. I lived through world war II in San Miguel together with my parents and lola ysabel…. Liberation of Manila 1945 by the Americans…. ” hello Joe give me chewing gum ” then Independence day July 4 1946 in Luneta. “God Bless America “my older brothers would proudly sing… Philippine democracy was born…. Several decades later and a succession of elections … For better or worse here we are today. Still i love my own, my native land, Philippines my Philippines, to thee i give my heart and hand… goes the old song ! thanks again Lou.

  74. Olga Olivares Ochoa Visaya says:

    To Vladimir J. Olivares,
    I think that you are my cousin, Bobby, who used to live on San Marcelino ( Olivares Termite Control), with your family (Tio Jose and Tia Leony) and sibs (Romy, Juliet, Annie, Agnes). How are you?
    Surely, this documentary must have brought back memories for you of a different era, as you are younger than I, and it was after the war, when I would tag along with my mother to visit her brother , Jose.
    It is nice to see how your neighborhood was before the WW II.

    • Vladimir J. Olivares says:

      Yes, this is Bobby. I visited you in Vallejo, CA once in the late “80’s. How are you? Kuya Romy and Ate Juliet
      had passed away. I’m now in Manila but live in Queens, NY. It’s so nice to hear from you. Please do keep in touch.
      Bobby

  75. Gil Mendoza says:

    I wish to see pictures of : Casa Manana Night Club at Dewey Blvd and Tom Dixie’s Coffee at Plaza Goiety . I am 81 yrs old . I was a very young boy then to go with my parents but they always enyoy talking about these plsces .

    • lougopal says:

      I have not been able to find any pictures of Tom’s Dixie Kitchen but I’m hoping one of our readers may have one and send a copy.

  76. Patricia Garcia says:

    Thank you for the memories of what Manila was then. I was born in the 1950’s and it was such a treat to go to Acme Super Market with my parents and siblings to buy imported chocolates and potato chips with just a few centavos . As kids, we were so thrilled that the waiters of Aristocrat would take our orders of flying saucer(adobo sandwich) from our car and bring them to us with car trays so we wouldnt have to dine inside the restaurant. My grandfather would pick up my sister and myself by public bus early afternoons and take us to Gaity to watch Tagalog movies starring our favorite stars,Susan Roces and Gloria Romero. He would sleep half way through the movie and each time he awoke, we would tell him the movie had no yet ended. He would wonder why it was already dark when we left the theater. The matorco was a highlight in our younger days but unfortunately, we never had a chance to sit on the upper deck. I am glad to have experienced the simple joys and how it was like living in Manila then, when it was all so clean, safe, and no traffic.

  77. James says:

    Oh my God! Lou! Thanks for this very informative post. I’ve been searching the libraries around the metro about Ermita and I can’t seem to find a good material. I can’t wait for the second installment. I’ve been researching about the history of each district of Manila. I’ll be producing a book about Old Manila and I’d like to have your blog featured there!

  78. Herb Hendry says:

    One of your readers mentioned Tom Dixie’s Coffee shop at Plaza Goiety, but I believe it was Tom Dixie’s
    Kitchen. I couldn’t help recalling fond memories of meeting old Tom Dixie in the late 1950s. He was a tall grey haired black man in his 80s who spoked fluent English and Tagalog. We dined together most Wednesday nights at Whitey Smith’s Restaurant, next door to New Europe Restaurant. My treat as he had fallen on hard times after the war and I enjoyed listening to his many interesting st0r9es of prewar experiences in the restaurant business and how good life had been to him in the Philippines, where he spent most his life. He lost his only son defending the City of Manila from the Japanese invasion, and he was interned for the duration of the war in the concentration camp inside the Manila Wall City, where prisioners seldom survived the ordeal. It was difficult to imagine how he managed, but it was apparent he was still a very strong man even late in his twilight years..

    • lougopal says:

      Yes, I’ve read about Tom Pritchard and his Dixie Kitchen but I’ve never been able to find any photos of the restaurant. Hopefully someone may have something and shoot me a copy. I’m pleased that you found the articles interesting. Thanks for sharing your memories.

      • Philip Garcia says:

        Lou,

        Check your personal email @gmail.com. I am going to send you a photo, pre-War, of the inside of Tom’s Dixie Kitchen. My mom and her sister, Rosa Del Rosario, their dates and their group of friends are in attendance. I will name as many party -goers as I can when my mom was still alive and did her best to identify. Do you remember the personal history of Tom?

        Regards,

        Phil Garcia

    • James says:

      Hi Herb and Lou,

      I’ve been very curious about Tom Pritchard. All I know of him is that he used to work as a cook for some US Navy Ship. When the ship docked to Manila, he fell in love with the city and chose to settle here. I could imagine the things he have been through. He seemed to have a noble spirit.. that’s admirable.

      I had the chance to read an excerpt of Tom and his restaurant in an anecdote of Sam Hendelsman (I’m not sure if I remember his name right) . I got an e-copy of it. I think the anecdote is titled “Exploring Old Manila with Sammy”. I have it with me, I could send you and Lou a copy. In his writing, Sam recalls the adventures he had with a friend in Manila in the 1930’s. As kids, they would travel by foot from their home in Malate to Quiapo to buy tools for their school project. He vividly narrates the their trip along their way. (A paragaraph tells somehing about Tom Pritchard). It’s such a good read.. makes me want to travel back in time.

      James

  79. I was 13 years old in 1953 so we only go to Quiapo to watch movie at Metro Theater located E R Hidalgo St.

  80. Joy says:

    I just had my photowalk in Binondo yesterday and had the great opportunity to stumble upon your blog today. I have lived in my father-in-law’s ancestral house in Colorado Street (now Agoncillo) between Remedios and Nakpil Sts. From 1992 to 2002, I have been witness to how the area deteriorated, from a quiet residential but historical neighborhood to a polluted decaying community it is now. It was very sad to see houses being demolished to make way for new structures and the abandoned ones are being occupied by illegal settlers and drug users. I have been longing to take photographs of these structures of a bygone era, or whatever is left of them. I’m looking for a photo buddy to take pictures with me, and would very much appreciate anybody here who would allow me to take photos of your structures, residences and the like. I am a member of a photo group based in Manila Zoo Canon Pavilion. Also, I have undergone photo workshops in Fort Santiago. It is my goal to compile these pictures and perhaps I can post them here for your to see. Would appreciate very much if anybody can help me achieve this. Thank you.

    • lougopal says:

      What a worthwhile project ! Hopefully it may open the eyes of city planners to do a better job of accommodating urban growth while retaining the city’s heritage. I commend your endeavor !

      • Lito Ligon says:

        I have started archiving the area from ateliers of Pitoy Moreno and Ben Farrales to the remaining mansions along Vito Cruz (P.Ocampo) St. and those in between. Nostalgia will really get into you as you do it especially if you have grown up in the neighborhood. My

        • Lito Ligon says:

          My only regret is that I wasnt able to take pixes of my great grandparent home along Nebraska (J. Bocobo) before it was demolished. Ms.Joy, Im game you are tgo walking along the Malate and Ermita area.

    • Horacio Torres says:

      Thanks for the offer. There is an ancestral home located between Herran (Pedro Gil) and California (Josefa L. Escoda) where once lived the clan of Justice Luis P. Torres until the mid 60s when the family sold the property. The original ancestral home and the three houses built for each of his three sons are still there but the compound is now used as a multi residential housing and comercial purposes. It would be good to take a picture of this house and include it in the memorabilia. Even President Magsaysay visited the house when Justice Torres fell ill and eventually died and had his wake in the ancestral home. The original house number was 1533 San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila.

  81. Danny V. Munoz says:

    … amazing! what a superb and great piece. Your article kept me glued to my seat as I enjoyed reading the beautiful memories Manila used to have. I love the old pics and the video, and, of course, your article, so easy to read and yet so deep and very informative. I like your style of writing. Kudos, Ms. Lou,for your great and excellent endeavor. I rate ‘double like’ if i were to post it in my fb.

    danny (theknee)

  82. Alan Abadicio says:

    Can’t wait for the next installment!

  83. Reading your article gave me goose pimples and a few tears. I lived in the Malate-Ermita area until I was 10 years old and went back a couple of times later to visit our old apartment-compound owned by the Lopezes located along Romero Salas, between A. Mabini and M.H. del Pilar at the back of Gaiety Theater. Ben Farrales had his first shop at the corner of Romero Salas and Mabini, in the same compound. We were living right in the center of what was sadly-billed, much later, as the red-light district. We left our childhood friends and neighbors there to live permanently in far and remote Pasig, Rizal, now City.

    Gaiety Theater was at the corner of M.H. del Pilar and Soldado Sts., the street at the rear of our compound. In between Romero Salas and Soldado Sts. still along Mabini St. was La Cibeles, managed by a tall Spanish mestiza, with the original Churros con Chocolate and various pastries. Every afternoon, our yayas would walk us 4 kids a few meters to Dewey Blvd., passed Selecta Restaurant, to watch the sunset or have a breath of fresh air. Of course, I didn’t know and appreciate that then – about the best sunset and fresh air. Remember, we were just kids. My Dad loved Selecta’s fresh milk and we loved their macapuno ice cream on special nights.

    I remember having birthday cakes made by Country Bakeshop (Goldilocks was unknown then) and loved eating their doughnuts. A few doors away is Taza de Oro where Dad would move to after Country Bakeshop. Much later, he would go to Talk of the Town beside Manila Doctors’ Hospital along Isaac Peral. Along Dewey Blvd. is Swiss Inn, where my grandfather is a permanent fixture in the bar. While he didn’t drink much, he would enjoy and spend time in the company of his friends, even making me and my cousin eat sometimes.

    My mom would tag me along to swim with her at Filipinas Hotel, which later on became Hotel Aurelio, along Padre Faura. I would just hold on to the gutter of the pool as water was past my height. Hotel Mabuhay on A. Mabini St. was also a few steps away from our residence. We would buy shoes at Gregg’s along A. Mabini, near Ermita Church, where I was a flower girl at age 5, for the first and last time.

    I enjoyed going with my grandmother to Acme Supermarket along Padre Faura or United Supermarket on Mabini riding the horsey-horsey in a corner. On Saturday nights, my Dad would park his car and be served A&W hamburgers and rootbeer which, to kids, tasted like medicine. Now, I love Sarsi or any other rootbeer.

    There was Ambos Mundos, along Mabini by the right side of Malate Church, and across it was Milky Way Restaurant, also at Mabini although nearer the Remedios Circle. There was nearby Aristocrat on Dewey Blvd.

    I studied at St. Paul College of Manila and we would identify entrance and exit points as Tennessee Gate for elementary, Herran gate for High School and College, or Florida Gate by the Kinder side. Now, they are better known as Gen. Malvar, Pedro Gil and Maria Orosa gates respectively. Until I finished college in the same school, I didn’t call them with their new names. It was still what I originally knew them. The chapel is basically the same and all students would have their pictures taken by the steps of the chapel, be it graduation, first communion or any other club activity by Tommy’s Studio.

    Oh, these brings back so many beautiful and happy memories. Thank you so much and keep it coming Lou!

  84. daisy says:

    Really beautiful Lou.thank you so much.we who lived in the area can relate and really be thankful for such a good article.godspeed!

  85. Imelda Abella Lastrilla says:

    Hello,

    My brother forwarded this to me and I have enjoyed it very much. We lived in an apartment on Dakota Street corner Alonzo until my parents moved in the 80’s. My children all look quizzically at me when I am grieved by what I have seen Manila become; they did not experience how graceful the city used to be since they grew up in the new suburbs of Paranaque. The city has fallen once again, this time to pollution and avarice. These pictures and video are valuable and I will surely forward them on to friends and family. Many, many thanks.

  86. Jeanne Jacob-Ashkenazi says:

    Hi Lou,
    Such a fascinating read! Thanks very much for assembling the pictures and text for this obviously labour-of-love-post. I have good memories of Malate, having studied at the Union Elementary School from Grades 1 -4 in the mid- 1950s; the school was part of Philippine Christian Colleges (now University), with the main campus on Taft Avenue. From Grades 1 – 2, our classrooms were in Quonset huts, until a new school building was completed. Thursday mornings were spent at Ellinwood Church (Protestant) as part of the curriculum. It is interesting that the strongest memories I have from my school days at Union are connected with food: the cinnamon rolls from Valentine’s Bakery (not too far from St. Paul’s) and the walnut-mocha (Swiss?) roll from Little Home Bakery come immediately to mind. A group of us girls would sneak out during recess (we weren’t supposed to leave the school compound) and walk to Valentine’s Bakery for freshly baked sticky, gooey, cinnamon rolls — those were really the best, straight out of the oven! No cinnamon roll that I have eaten all these years has ever come close, and I would dearly love to know if someone has the original Valentine’s cinnamon roll recipe. I keep trying to recreate it, but have never succeeded yet. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Incidentally I too went to AS/IS (Class ’70).

    • lougopal says:

      Wonderful memories. Isn’t it interesting how we, as kids, remembered the food ? I guess we thought of more simpler matters then. I went to the Donada school and they also used to have wonderful bready cinnamon buns that I can still taste in my mind !

  87. Tom Consunji says:

    Lou,

    Thank you! What a wonderful article. We Filipinos need to learn to appreciate our history and the preservation of it. A lot of the street names are being changed this days to prominent Filipino names who may deserve streets to be named after them but have no historical relationship to the street being named. Dewey Blvd is an example and there are many others. I hope your wonderful photo essay kindles the fire in us to work towards preservation of the beauty of what we had in the past and try to at least preserve what we still can. I can’t wait for the next installment

  88. frank sityar says:

    I vividly recall being introduced by my mother, who worked at the Botica Boei in the Escolta to several members of the Goupal family in many chance encounters at BB. This was circa 1950’s – 1964. I believe they had an on-going enterprise also in the Escolta.

    You certainly must be related to the family. The name was not as ubiquitous as the “Singh” but rather as unique as the Sityar’s.

    Knock! Knock!
    Who is there?
    The Way
    The Way Who?
    (Song title): “Somewhere along Dewey”

    I lived in San Andres (Bukid), had a bad case of asthma, and frequented (daily) Dewey Blvd to suck in the salt air for lung medication thus I was very familiar with the nooks and crannies of that wonderful Boulevard. Memories indeed…. Thanks

    • lougopal says:

      Yes, my parents had a store on the Escolta called “Gem Gift Shop”. I believe they started it in 1949. My father, F.Gopal, passed away in 1959 and my mother continued to run the store until about 1964 and sold it to the Chulani family. Please take a look at my post about the Escolta, you will see a picture of it there. Thanks for writing.

  89. Cesar Lumba says:

    This is our Splendor in the Grass. Keep writing. You bring back so many memories. The kids of today will never know the golden age of Manila. I remember our house in Santa Ana being repainted every few years. Now, when I visit my old neighborhood, I see that nobody is repainting. Nobody bothers to repaint because people know that it’s a losing battle. There are too many people in Manila, and not enough places to dispose of their garbage.

    We need another beautification campaign, perhaps to start in downtown Manila and eventually spread towards the outlying districts. Manila was arguably the most beautiful city in all of southeast Asia. Except for Pandacan, which was already a huge garbage dump in the 50s, Manila was a showcase city.

    Manila can be that again. It can be turned into an Old San Juan, that part of San Juan, Puerto Rico existing side-by-side with modern San Juan. Manila could be Old Manila, with its restored buildings and houses, and Makati would be modern Manila.

    This will require massive building renovations in the downtown area, to be sure. But the money is there. It is in the hands of the country’s billionaires. Foreign investors could be pulled in by a Beautify Manila project as long as they know that the authorities are serious and are committed to restoring the city to its status as the premier city in Southeast Asia.

    • lougopal says:

      Cesar, I can’t agree with you more. If the barangays could take ownership and start a clean-up program, perhaps hiring young people at a fair wage, it would be a great start. At the top level, if the corporations, especially in the food, hotel, and entertainment industries invest as well, the returns on visitor-generated revenue would be tremendous. More importantly, Manilans would have a city with both the old and new to brag about.

      • Jeanne Jacob-Ashkenazi says:

        I couldn’t agree more with other writers above when it comes to preserving historical buildings as well as the names of streets. (I understand the rationale for honouring our native heroes but there are always new streets that can be named after them, with current urban sprawl, without deleting the history attached to the names of old Manila streets.) It’s a pity that unlike other historically conscious countries that try to keep their cultural/architectural heritage through preservation and ongoing maintenance, the Philippines seems only to appreciate whatever is new or the flavour of the month, as it were. The Jai Alai building comes to mind, as well as the trees around the Manila City Hall and surrounding areas — now all gone. I do hope your posts could stimulate a massive outpouring of support for restoring many of Manila’s crumbling and/or abandoned historical buildings.

        • lougopal says:

          Jeanne, that is my hope as well. If these articles (and others like them) can stimulate the younger generation to demand our heritage landmarks are preserved and maintained, there may be hope for the future.

  90. frank sityar says:

    Lou,

    I couldn’t discern the “GEM Store” in the photo of the Escolta. Apologies are in order for misspelling earlier misspelling your last name. This was inadvertent and please accept my regret.

    From the photo I did notice that it was taken when the Escolta was still a 2-way street and the vehicles were left hand driven. This indicates that this photo was taken pre “Liberation” since the traffic pattern was changed at Liberation.

    I hate to be the bearer of a dim prognostication regarding the return to “them” days. The fact is 90% of the Philippine populace today were NOT yet born during those illustrious and “glory” days. They haven’t the faintest idea of what the essence of those wonderful time.

    The people who can fashion any type of return to those times are either:

    1. Dead
    2. Are too old, and
    3. most probably in another part of this universe

    I’d like to take this opportunity and forum to say “hi” to a couple of gentlemen/scholars and their respective families – Mssrs Del Gallego and Consunji!

    Best,

    Frank

  91. frank sityar says:

    Message for Ms Ruby Pacheco Trinidad…

    Per your request.

    If you are referring to the Beauty Impresario Ferdinand Syquia Villar then you are in luck. That “Ferdie” just celebrated his 74th birthday on May 31, 2013. He is a very good friend and is nearby. Please sidebar me
    @ carcol45@aol.com if the character we are talking about are one and the same I will fill you in.

    Frank Sityar
    Aptos, Ca

  92. Eleanor Romero says:

    Looking through these pictures, it felt like I’ve set foot in these places and experienced it vicariously. You have certainly captured the distinctive character and grandeur of a bygone era that now only exists in our collective memories. My mother-in-law Marita Regalado Reyes spent much of her growing years in Ermita Manila during the Liberation period. Comely and quite attractive, she would be admonished by her mother for playing in the streets and possibly falling prey to drunk and lusty American soldiers on R & R. The war was long over but the prospect of a newfound freedom from Japanese occupation was being celebrated to the hilt. Her character, by her own description, was tomboyish and as such, nothing could shackle her free spirit Asked how she’d surmount such amorous attempts, she replied in Tagalog: “Mama, If they hug me, I will hug them back and do it so tight that they will gasp for breath and die!” Needless to say, it justified some measure of free pass for this sparkly Ermita girl!

  93. Ofelia R. Sta. Ana says:

    Dear Mr. Lou:

    Congratulations on your “walk down memory lane.” Although I was not a resident of Malate, I enjoyed reading your article and all those who responded to it. As a young office girl, I used to order food or pastries for our board meetings at Selecta, Country Bake Shop, La Cibeles, Alba’s, Jade Vine, and all the restaurants you mentioned. However, I was not lucky to enter Cafe Europe. These were just walking distance to each other. On Wednesday, we would go to Baclaran and ride the Matorco with my officemates. After prayers, we would normally eat at Max’s and were laughing that no bones were left for the dog or cat. I have also patronized movies at the Gaiety, and was a customer of Martin’s Bread across the street. It was starting to become the red house district by then.

    My husband and I used to meet up at Malate Church, where we got married, and eat at Aristocrat its famous chicken barbeque. Up to now, they have the best chicken barbeque with Java rice. It was our treat to come here on paydays when an order was only P2.50! Early on, I also remember that there were so many barbeque stands up to the end of Dewey Blvd going South, past Baclaran Church.

    Them were the glory days of Malate, when life was so peaceful, tranquil and serene. I am glad to be part of that by-gone era but alas, it will not return with so many jeepneys, buses and cars choking it and you cannot anymore have “leisurely walks” if you have asthma. The pollution is terrible, it would just worsen your respiratory problem. Thank you Mr. Lou for your poignant article. I look forward to the sequel.

  94. Ben Oteyza says:

    Was born in 1931 in Malate on Leon Guinto St. [was Pennsylvania] directly back of Phil. Women’s College [now a University]. Graduated from UP College of Medicine on Pedro Gil, and trained in Phil. Gen. Hosp., just a stone’s throw from our home. Left for Baltimore, Maryland in 1956 and have stayed in USA, still in Maryland since.
    You brought back memorable nostalgia of Malate and Ermita which shall be treasured. Growing up, I used to walk downtown to Escolta, Plaza Santa Cruz and Quiapo. During Visita Iglesia, I would walk to the Churches in Malate, San Marcelino [near Adamson], Paco and Singalong. I enjoyed the annual fiesta on Colorado St., where Pogo lived, and he would entertain with Togo [the comedy team] to the delight of the crowd and envy of the neighborhood of Remedios Street. I also walk to the Malate Church, which was our parish Church, and then to Dewey Blvd. Aristocrat and Luneta with the Rizal Monument. The Brown Derby, in front of PGH, was the place to be for students of UP Medicine and PGH nurses, and Jai Alai for those with extra pocket money. Married a PGH nurse and are proud parents of 6 grown children.
    Shall await the second installment with bated breath!

    • Horacio Torres says:

      I guess you must have known my uncle, Dr. Luis F. Torres, Jr., Urologist, who was chief Surgeon of PGH and one of the first graduates of UP College of Medicine in 1937-38. He was also Founder of the Upsilon Fraternity. He had his clinic on Taft Avenue beside Dairy Queen.

      Enjoy more healthy years, Dr. Oteyza

  95. atty. bong tansinsin says:

    GOD PM. We received copy of your article. That was a great trip to the past. But we were quite surprised that you started the Malate nostalgia with a photo of old Escolta, with Capitol Theater in the foreground which we belive is still “alive” but closed. We are also surprised that you did not include Malate Church where today stands a small “monument” to the victims of WWII including the American priests. We are happy that earlier we were able to eat at those Malate shops and stores before they disappeared together with those of Ermita. The concrete boundary between Malate, Manila and Pasay City reminds us of the frequent car races between drivers trying to beat/outrace police cars to the boundary cuz PNP was not yet established and there was a question of police jurisdiction. BTW, we don’t know whether it was a good move to change the names of the streets which reportedly were named after the US military troops which occupied Manila cuz they tinkered with history. Also most of the persons for whom they have re-named the street are not exactly well-known personalities. Finally, life was then very relaxed specially that the exchange rate was between US$1.00 to PHP2.00 and $1.ooo to P3.60 when Pres. Diosdado started decontrol. God Bless You All.

    • lougopal says:

      Thank you for writing. The top picture of Escolta is merely a heading that is used for all posts. I can understand your confusion so I will change that to something more generic. To access all of my other posts, you can select from the right side where you will see them all listed. You can select each individually.
      Yes, I know of the massacre at the Malate church. As you may note at the bottom of the blog, I mentioned Part 3 which I’m preparing now, will highlight Churches and Schools. That is where I will include the Malate church.

      I’m glad you found the article interesting. I welcome suggestions and comments as well as any photos of old Manila you may want to share !

  96. Serapion S. Metilla says:

    Hi Lou, glad to see old Manila. Coming from Camotes Island province of Cebu I arrived Manila last week of June 1946. Altough we stayed in a squatter’s area in Kamuning, Quezon City, my brother who came to Manila in 1938 took me for a pamasyal to Quiapo then to Luneta. Most past of Ermita that time were still in rubbles remnants of the Japanese and or American bombings.The old Manila hotel then was still small. Quiapo was said to be the most popular then as the center of commerce. It was also said that all roads led to Quiapo so that if you get lost just take any ride to Quiapo. My favorite place was the Ice cream parlor in Quiapo. This was later changed and now very popular not only in the Philippines but also in other countries – Jolibee. I think you also know Max. At that time what you can order is just fried chicken only – whole or half. This time Max Fried Chicken can also be found in other parts of the Philippines and you can order any type of food.
    It should also be known that Kamuning was the first housing project of the government in the Philippines. The first skyscrapers were in Escolta and the restaurant famous for siopao was Mamonluk. S.M. Shoemart started in Avenida Rizal selling nothing but just all shoes and slippers only. Now Shoemart can be found all throughout the country and even abroad selling anything making it the ultimate shopping mall. The first Miss Universe Armi Kuusela of Finland maried to a Filipino Virgilio Hilario. And do you still remember Manila Grand Opera House? Well, this time most of Metro Manila has changed. Worst is the traffic.

  97. Sr Flor Deza, spc says:

    What a treasure! Thank you for these. I’m a student of history, presently in-charge of Paul University Manila museum, there is much I can pick up from you to enrich our memory trove. I look forward to your and other St. Paul alumni’s sharing.

    • Horacio Torres says:

      Hello Sister Flor,
      This is Horacio Torres whom you met in Lima, Peru. We are now culminating our stay here in Panama and will soon be moving to Toronto. Hope all is well with you and the SPC community in Manila. We always exchnage news with with Sister Clara Suarez. Take care and regards to all.

  98. Bel says:

    truly enjoying your blog! the pictures of places and people. the real experiences. the interesting history. beautiful! spent college in UP Manila, briefly stayed in the area, and been coming there from time to time. i’m sure i have limited experiences around the place (the now narrow, very populated, murky, and/or condo-filled version in my lifetime), i have always thought it has an obvious rich-past and beauty going about it. we just have to look! and at times, read things like your posts. thanks!

  99. Jerry D. Vidal says:

    Thank you for this ! I love it. Certainly brought back memories.

  100. 20130716.1505

    The way that the English language is used here is amazing. I hope this will be the way that Filipinos will use the language and communicate with their fellowmen.

  101. Efren C Rivera says:

    Efren C Rivera, CPA, DTM

    This part of Philippine history is worth remembering. It shows the strong determination and vision of Filipinos to succeed in every endeavor we focused on. The transformation of the past to the trending future prosperity and progress of the Philippines is the best show case that the Philippines is a great country and the true “Pearl of the Orient”.

    I hope the Producer of the Manila Nostalgia will consider put it in DVD so that future generations can see the Philippine History.

  102. Thanks a lot for responding.

  103. robert says:

    Hello to all, I liked all comments and may I add mine, I had a good memories of all mentioned above, make me also Home sick. I do lived now in the sunshine state of Florida, were many Filipinos immigrated. In my younger days, I used to roam around those areas, I watched movies in Gaity theater and my favorite was Esquire second hand theater. At my time, we are not the previledges children. I grew up at the Singalong area and I went to
    Singalong Parochal were I graduated my elementary school, a branch of St Paul, while my sisters to St. Paul College. If I had the opportunity, I and some friends will watched game at Rizal Memorial and some times ventured to American school watched some chicks. LOL.

    In 1962, I joined the U.S. Navy at Sangley point and travelled around the world, I even got stationed in Seattle,were you said’ you reside now. a lovely city were many Filipinos called it home. In that city, I met Naty Ruby and her family in one of the Pilipinos functions, She was a famous actress from the Philippines at their time (1940’s to 1950’s). AS I sat down in my rocking chair and watched my grandchildren, I reminisced my past years in Manila and the Philippines. I closed for now saying, my best expression to Manila “Hasta la vista, Baby”.

  104. dabs says:

    the most wonderful web i have encountered. am not from this area but my father used to work with Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office near the Marian Center and everytime i visit him we walk down to the US Embassy passing by Jai Alai and wondered how the affluent lived….. and there goes beautiful memories. I remember the Aristrocrat Rest where we used to go to our lunch break would you believe from UST. and of course the gallery and shops around Adriatico? thanks Mr. Lou for the amazing blog…excited for your part2!

  105. Rosemary Chew Taguiped says:

    Pictures really touched me and although I have been back to Manila several times your narrative hit the spot. I am a proud product of St Paul College and celebrated our golden jubileee in 2010 with former classmates and teachers. Living in California for 50 years has not changed the many memories I have of Manila and thank you so much for such a refreshing piece!

  106. Teresita Lopez McGinley says:

    I find this nostalgia peace , very interesting . I was just 7 yrs. old when world war 11 started . Eventually went to live in Manila the year 1952 . Your description of places , restaurants and food and familiar names made me want to visit the Philippines soon . I left Cebu ( that is where I was born and lived ) until I became a Flight attendant with PAL .THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL FEELING I GOT READING IT .

  107. Marc Fournier Labutay says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog Mr. Goupal..It is a treasure of memories. Sad to say most of those reading are at the final years of their life or some had passed. If I can mention most of the commercial establishments from the bygone Malate days..did move to Makati where I grew up since early 1960’s. ..Ninas Papagayos on Makati Ave…D’Marks…Maranaw ..Bungalow restaurant..Milky Way…Rustans…

  108. I grew up in the MH Del Pilar area, my mom Gloria Y. Nichols opened her bakery cafe The Rolling Pin Bake Shop right around the corner of her former work place, Country Bake Shop. All these places you wrote about , my mom took us so I do remember every eatery. D’Marks was a favorite, Cucina Italiana, Taza de Oro, Guernica’s etc. Acme had sen sen candies and so much more. There was a park in front of the Ermita Church and we used to run around and climb the sampaloc trees when we weren’t swinging or sliding in the playground. Thanks for the memories.

  109. Romualdo M. Carballo says:

    This a very sentimental article.
    I was born in Feb. 7, 1925, and started schooling at St. Theresas in Kindergarden.
    Began formal schooling in public school in Sta. Cruz, Manila at ” A. Regidor Elementary school, Arellano High and Mapua Inst. High School. and Feati University.
    So, I am very familiar and still vivid in my mind, with the events and activities in your article.
    I started working for Bolinao Electronics Corp. in 1947, eventually ventured in radio broadcasting in 1949
    pioneered in television in 1953,
    I am very curiuos to know your Mother’s name when Ben Gamboa mentioned she worked for Bolinao.
    I should know her since I was there when it started operations.
    Let us keep in touch, since we have a lot of things in common, best wishes, Romy

  110. Bert Montenegro says:

    Thanks for sharing Nostalgic Manila. Especially for those of us who have left the country, it is a breath of fresh air to read all the good memories and happy events of when we were young. For a few years, the corner house on Dakota and Vermont was home to me. There was a large apartment building in front where Vermont ends on Dakota and we had a Chinese neighbour on our side going to Malate Church. Went to La Salle for grade school (5th grade was the last one in Malate and we’ve moved) and it was a long walk from Dakota, on Vermont, to Taft to take the jeepney to and back from school. If you were running around in the area looking for kids to play with, we might have bumped into each other. 😉 Our roaming area was from the Philippine Navy to Acme Supermarket and then bounded by Taft Avenue.

    For those who remember playing with “salagubangs” and bubble gums, there were a lot of “sampaloc” ? trees along Dakota to catch the salagubangs from. Of course, the pine trees along the fences of some nice houses also offered lots of opportunities to get more. 😉 For those who don’t know about this game, please don’t ask how it’s played. Don’t want to offend anyone and incriminate myself. 😉

    For those abroad who want to plant the pine trees much like those in Manila, see if you can get White Pines from your local greenhouse/garden centers. For those who like halo-halo, the halo-halo at Milky Way in front of theMalate Church was to die for and for those returning to visit now, and like halo-halo, please try the one at Taal Vista Lodge.

    Maniana (don’t have the proper n, ;-)),
    Bert

    • lougopal says:

      Bert, do you still have those marbles I lost to you ?

    • Larry Ng says:

      Ha ha ha! Bert, so you played with salagubangs too. Yes, you need two salagubangs and a piece of chewing gum. And may the best salagubang win. Did you also play Jaywalker? You drag out a lizard from under a park bench and leave him in the middle of the street. Then you sit back and watch. I won’t reveal how this game ends because the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will catch me.

  111. Judy Panelo says:

    This is an awesome blog very educational and interesting. I don’t have much to contribute about Manila as I grew up in the province. Manila in the late 1960’s was a beautiful place a lot space and fresh air. Yes we did walk a lot during those days. I live overseas now and everytime I go home to visit family I stay in Manila for few days.

    I still long to dine in restaurants that has Filipino dances as part of their entertainment. I don’t know where to go now to enjoy watching our very own native dances. Aristocrat yes indeedI love the freshly cooked bibingkas.
    Keep it up I love reading your life journeys.

  112. Ric Favis says:

    Thanks for all of your reminiscences of old Manila. I did not grew up in Manila, but in Vigan up north. Your accounts of the olden days are much more interesting that reading the history books. Thanks for your contributions, and I look forward to the next installments of your wonderful stories. As they say…Abangan and sumusunod na kabanata!

    • lougopal says:

      My cousin, Ramon Zaragoza, lived in Vigan and told me about the beautiful old homes there. I should try to find some photos of that area. Thanks for writing.

  113. Ysmael Chanco says:

    Reading your articles is like riding in a time-machine. It brings back memories to as far back as the early thirties. I was born in Ermita asnd spent my early childhood there. My family left for the province in 1933 but came back to Manila in 1937. This time we settled in Vito Cruz near St. Scholastica. I studied at the De La Salle School from 5th grade to 2nd year high. (Going to those NCAA basketbal games was very much pafrt of our school activities. Highlight was when La Salle won double championship, beating Ateneo, the favored team to win the title.). During the Japanese occupation, we moved back to Ermita. We were there during those horrifying days when the conflagration that burned down the district began. February 9, at about 6:00 p.m., as we were finishing our dinner , a loud boom shook the house. It originated from the Union Church situated at the corner of A. Mabini and Padre Faura. (The Japanese occupied the church and used it as a fuel depot.)
    AS we fled from the fire, Japanese soldiers began herding people. The women,including my mothe and sisters were segregated from themne and were brought to Ateneo. My dad and I , together with the other men were marched and confined in various place. One night in a house in Ferguson plaza, 3 days at the University Club then 7 days at the Manila Hotel. All the while the American artilllery was constantly shelling the buildings
    where the Japanese were holed. When a shell struck Manila Hotel it started a fire. The Japanese then decided to let us go. We proceeded to the area where Rizal’s Monument stood. It turned out there were more people already there there. Three more days and finally we were liberated

  114. Ysmael Chanco says:

    Ater being liberated my dad and I sought out my mom and my sisters. It turned out they went to my great aunt’s place in Novaliches St. , SanMiguel district. Following my dad’s hunch, we proceeded there and had an emotional reunion. Miraculously, all of us survived unscathed.
    Following this episode our family relied on the generosity of relatives and friends who offered shelter while we were homeless. In the meantime I finished high scholl at Letran College. It took a year before my dad was able to rebuild our home in Arquiza St. in. Ermita. That was in 1946. At the same time the University of the Philippines was being reconstructed and reopened, just in time for me to begin my first year in college.

  115. Ysmael Chanco says:

    I Continued to live in Ermita through college. I got married in 1953and left for the province. In 1969 my wife and two daughters immigrated to the U. S. We now live in Fremont California. Thanks Lou for the ride to an unforgetable past.

    • lougopal says:

      I want to thank YOU for sharing your story with us. What an ordeal you went through during the war. I’m glad you all survived that time.

  116. Leo Limgenco says:

    Thanks you for sharing all these pictures and video. They not only brought back memories, but also brought warmth and joy to the soul.

    And, as a bonus, in the comments left, I recognized several names of long lost friends. Kumusta sa inyong lahat and all the best!

    Leo (one of the twins)

  117. Malate is my home sweet home where i was born and raised until i came to the states in the 70s.
    i remember all of those beautiful and memorable places while growing up.. the gaiety theater,
    v-dra drug store just across malate church, milky way, shiseido by the rotonda, san andres
    market where you get all the best fruits, topper’s for men’s wear and suit near la salle. kowloon house
    came later on along mabini and also belenettes shoe store, tres chic, new yorker boutique and el sombrero’s restaurant. ahh… all the those lovely memories of my childhood rest in that place.

  118. Richard K says:

    This kind of information is what my generation needs to see. For there can only be an urban renewal (as Mayor Erap expressly desires) if all the stakeholders see what Manila was then and what is has become now.

    I salute all the commentators of this blog along with all your experiences. Those are your histories that was not published in the history books but it depicts the lives of real people that made Manila alive.

    Sure the nice houses, buildings, stores, etc. will never stand again, nor we could hope that we can stroll down Taft Ave. or Roxas Blvd. without covering our noses from pollution, but there is one thing I can feel about your blog Lou, that there are still people who care about this city.

    Please all you sirs and madams who made Manila a part of your lives, help us, the younger generation to get information like this. Post all your pictures from the past so we may see the depth of the beauty of Manila that is now covered sadly by misguided modernization.

    Good job sir! I’m sure you did not expect such a very warming impact when you posted this blog. It just goes to show you touched our hearts and our lives. For no man will ever forget his childhood.

  119. conchita razon says:

    This is amazing! Thank you for your work and for caring to stir up such beautiful memories. Remember El Bodegon, across the street from Gaiety Theater? That was owned by Maria Villanueva (married to pelotari Ugalde). She had a daughter Maria Luisa Zamora (Chichita) who was my classmate in Holy Ghost College and my close friend, and a son, I think he was called Pocholo. Her sister was Luisa Montinola. We lost touch after Chichita married a guy from Sangley Point and moved to Chula Vista California. Does anyone know where they are? I have been trying, in vain, to make contact with them or get any news about them. FB does not have any info either. Help, please. Thanks again lougopal! God bless you.

  120. José Miguel Razón y Albert says:

    Hello Lou Gopal. I was born January 11, 1957 so these precious images of the Manila of then which you collected is an impressive historical jewel which all Filipinos, Spaniards, Americans who had connexions with that era should treasure. Naturally, viewing the photos you so beautifully arranged made me “remember” (through historical photos, but not “reminisce” since I never was there physically to experience all that. The images are superb. My memories of course, being a young pup were the modern Aristrocat, and I used to frequent the modern Taza de Oro after attending a cultural function at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. What a tour de force of arranging, compiling and the memories are etched in Philippine history for all to enjoy! I live in Beaverton, Oregon. I will be in Seattle July 25 and will stay till the 27th. my cell phone todo esto está pero muy, muy precioso!—— José Miguel ——

  121. emiliano garchitorena says:

    a good number of the establishment are gone, good memories will always be treasured.

  122. mermeid6 says:

    Retirees or empty nesters would love to look out from their balconies or windows and breathe in the spectacular sunset scenery in front of them.

  123. Marilou says:

    Note about Daniel Burnham who designed Burnham Park in Baguio in addition to his urban designs for Manila: Daniel Burnham was a towering figure in urban design & development whose achievements are chronicled in Erik Larson’s bestseller, “The Devil In White City.” Although I grew up in New Manila – quite removed from the old Manila my parents knew – but enjoy reading about Old Manila. I only learned about Burnham after reading Larson’s excellent crime thriller that outlined Burnham’s work for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Burnham also had the ability to harness the brilliant minds of designers like Fredrick Olmsted, designer of NY’s Central Park, that made the Chicago Expo a success. Burnham was the driving force in the creation of master plans cities like Chicago and downtown Washington, D.C. He also designed landmark buildings including the Flatiron Building in New York City and Union Station in Washington D.C.

    I grew up in Manila, played in Burnham Park/Baguio on family vacations and now reside in in the US. Without realizing it then, Daniel Burnham’s genius intersected with my life in many ways! Thank you for your photos and insights on Manila. Looking forward to more from your excellent blog.

  124. Rodolfo Arizala says:

    Congrats for the old photos and descriptions of Manila. Reminded me of my student days at Adamson University, San Marcelino Street, at the back was the destroyed and abandoned Jai Alai bldg., along Taft Avenue.

  125. Ramon Cuerva says:

    Thank you for the memories…those were fun loving and good times. Gaiety, Aristocrat, you sung Trio Los Panchos in Guernica’s, Taft Ave. and most Manila streets had beautiful acacia trees (removed by Mayor Villegas).
    We walked to La Salle from Singalong where we lived, Elvis was King, boogie was a must, weekend parties the norm. I guess we all could go on and on, describing the old Manila.
    Thank you!

  126. Rogelio Angeles Casama says:

    Everything was so nostalgic. It made me cry. I wish that there were pictures of Pandacan- near Malacanang Palace and the different major oil depots as well as the River that Balagtas ( Baltazar)- the Philippines’ greatest poet mentioned in his poetry. Thank you for sharing all these with us. Mabuhay and Pagpalain ka ng Panginoon.

  127. Miguel Crame says:

    Thanks for the memories. Really takes me back. Please keep them coming.

  128. Yourj Benig says:

    I actually prefer the OLD NAMES. ^_^ It sounded ‘decent’ and especially the word, “Dewey Boulevard” “Roxas Boulevard”? I dunno. It also sounds “decent” but I still prefer the Dewey Boulevard name ^_^

  129. Yourj Benig says:

    Does the current Bay View Hotel in front of US Embassy the same as the Bay View Hotel before? ^_^

  130. Ling Ngo says:

    Hi, Larry. Are you by any chance the brother of Chummy Ng who used to live in New York City, and had passed away a few years ago?

    • Larry Ng says:

      Yes, Chummy was my brother. He passed away in New York
      in 2009 sadly. To the end he was faithful to his Blue and White Ateneo principles.

      • Eduardo Chuidian says:

        Larry; Are you the ex-radio announcer who used to work at the same radio station with Frankie Garcia, Ric Tierro etc. way back? You lived at M. H. del Pilar/Remedios across from Malate Church?

        • Larry Ng says:

          Hi Eddie, good to hear from you. Yes, that was me in the 1950s at Manila Broadcasting Co. with colleagues Frankie Garcia, Denny Alejandro, Ric Tierro, Vero Perfecto, et al. You must have been to our old house in Malate because you pinpointed it exactly. We lived in the middle of a set of three chalets at the corner of Remedios St. and MH del Pilar, diagonally opposite Malate Church. Our neighbors were the Mencarini and Villanueva families, and behind us was the large Zobel de Ayala estate, Chateau Marie. Their land was large enough to accommodate their stables and horses, which they exercised every morning on Dewey Boulevard..

          Malate was a genteel suburb of the then sophisticated city of Manila. It’s good to revisit the past, because if you don’t know where you came from, how do you know where you’re going?

  131. As an elderly Filipino living abroad, this magnificent-deeply-researched presentation of the Philippines in its splendor brings my memories back to my boyhood. I read the article carefully and as I do, my emotions is overwhelmed with joy. Thank you for your taking such effort to relive the good old days. I am sure other elderly Filipinos here in Canada and other countries would enjoy your presentation.

  132. Tony Cristobal says:

    My memories of Manila was the fifties and early sixties. People are well dressed and wear leather shoes. Walk at Escolta and Rizal Avenue and it wasn’t too crowded. Shopping at Berg’s , Syvel’s , Soriente Santos are superb. Watch movies at the Capitol , Lyric . Pasig River is clear green and lots of water lilies. Too bad , these places were not preserved. Going home tru Dewey Blvd amazed me who owns those big houses along the blvd. Now i have more knowlege about those big houses. Thank You, Mr. Gopal. I learned more about Manila in detail from you , than from textbooks.

  133. MICKI ESPINOSA says:

    i miss my youth. the fresh air in Dewy Blvd. Riding the Matorco with my father. It”sgood that Aristocrat is still there.

  134. Angelina (Angie) Gutierrez-Frey says:

    Bravo, Lou,
    You have captivated many of those who viewed your blogs, Parts 1, 2 & 3.
    Looks like”the whole enchilada” just is clamoring for “Four or More” parts
    of your MANILA NOSTALGIA. You’ve touched so many a homesick heart:
    Those who left the Philippines in the late ’60s or even earlier, and enjoyed
    living in Manila as we both did in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Next step? Compile these in a book or documentary – with your valuable collection
    of photos and your own personal experiences living in our neighborhood, and your
    unique essay-style, am sure these can be aired in Manila TV stations as well as
    other cities where many Filipinos have made their 2nd home. For “Manilenas”
    and “Manilenos”, magnificent memories of Manila are most precious. You have
    helped us all to bring back those immortal images from our past, of a city with such
    history, once flattened by the carpet bombing of 1945 but yet so resilient to get back on
    its feet, for us to enjoy its cool salty breeze from Dewey Boulevard. YES ! Keep using
    the original street names – – – adds to the nostalgia of the marvelous Manila that
    you and I knew since we lived in the same neighborhood. With that now all gone
    (gosh…even the street names we knew are all changed – how could they do that?).
    Lou, please know that you have helped many turn back the hands of time to remember
    Manila as it was before the chaos of traffic and smog today. No one would EVER believe
    that asthmatic children were brought to Dewey Boulevard by their parents to breathe
    the salty sea air of Manila Bay to relieve their symptoms. Unbelievable but true !
    And – – – more power to you.
    Angie Gutierrez-Frey from your neighborhood.

  135. Antonio Aguado says:

    My associations with the area go back a long way; my great grandfather, Macario Chuapoco, had a house on M.H. del Pilar when it was Calle Real. My parents’ business was on M.H. del Pilar corner Remedios, across the Malate Church, just behind the University Club where I was a member before leaving for Australia in 1971.
    I rarely go back, mainly because the Manila I knew has disappeared, but your article has brought it back to life and I thank you for the link to a magic past.

  136. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    I was just home in February. No, I did not get a chance to go back to Malate as I stayed with my niece and she lives in Pasig City. Manila has changed alright. So crowded and dirty! My old Manila of youth is long gone and my heart aches and bleeds. But I have my sweet memories. I had my first dinner date at the Aristocrat when it was not a cafeteria! And oh yes, we used to go to Nina’s Papagayo. And there was a Calesa Bar at the Sheraton on Dewey Blvd. I am very much impress with the suburbs looking like Manhattan, the Philippines have become a country of skyscrapers! Thanks for walking me back down to memory lane. I am in the autumn of my years and there is nothing sweeter than taking a walk back there again. Holding my breath for the next ‘edition.’

  137. Jose' Juico says:

    I can send you some old pics of Manila if you send me your email.

    Thanks for the memories. Nice job.

    Ping Juico

  138. Jenny Guerrero Gregorio says:

    I really appreciate this blog. I’m not really fond of history as a subject in class, but reading this one makes it so interesting, I couldn’t stop reading it until the end. It was also a blast to find out that you’re a Paulinian too. I’m a BS Psychology graduate, 1997. Seeing old photos of my school, makes me really proud. I’ve seen old photos of Manila, but yours was more personal….It was also fun reading comments of people reuniting or getting to know each other through this blog. I’m going to share to this to my FB friends, who knows, one of their relatives could be your classmate too 🙂 Looking forward to read more of your blogs. God bless!

  139. Franco says:

    Hi, I shared some of your photos in my blog. I have included all credits to you. Thanks! And much love to Manila!

  140. Gil Mendoza says:

    my parents always talks a lot of and goes to : Tom Duxie’s at PlazaGoeiti daytime snachs and Casa Manana at the old Dewey Blvd nighttime dancing . I was a kid then and never saw these places . I hope you have pictures ……….very popular hose days . Dr Gil Mendoa

  141. Ramon Nocon says:

    Does anyone here know where on Dewey Boulevard El Nido was located exactly? Thanks!

  142. Nina Galang Reynoso-Ray says:

    This is beyond nostalgia, your article has connected folks who knew each other way back.
    Poli de los Santos is my schoolmate’s husband- Bubut Gamboa. Yes, we would bump into each other attending mass at Ateneo Chapel. Panchito Puckett’s late wife was my HS classmate, Amparito de Villa. Yes, Lulu Tesoro was our HS teacher. Tita Afric Valdez Reynoso, my husband’s (Arch. Floro C. Reynoso, Jr) started her cooking school in their apartment located in Tennessee St. Boie and I used to date at Taza De Oro with Fr. Luis Angeles as our chaperon.
    Are you planning to publish a coffee book on this? I strongly suggest you do.

    • lougopal says:

      Hi Nina, thanks for writing and sharing your stories. It’s been so much fun and gratifying for me to see how people reminisce about the old days and even find old friends here. A coffee table book has been on my mind and perhaps with a little bit of nudging,I may pursue that project. It would certainly be a lot of fun to do. cheers, Lou

  143. pandy aviado says:

    For me the best Christmas displays were from Ronnie’s Flower Shop in A. Mabini. Would you have pictures of the window displays at Ronnie’s?

  144. Jack Simke says:

    Hey Lou-It’s like taking a journey back in time. The pictures, the stories, the viewers comments and contribution make this quite a living document. Would you consider compiling a coffee table book to preserve these treasured memories for all times?

    • lougopal says:

      Hi Jack- yes, I’ve been thinking about it but not quite sure how to go about doing that with regard to format and content – also where to have it published to mitigate the initial costs which can be considerable, I understand.

  145. Jane says:

    Great stuff you got here, Sir. I really wanted to see and know how Manila looked like back then but I couldn’t find pictures as good as yours. So, thanks for sharing!

  146. Bernard Barairo says:

    Hi Sir Lou, its really quite nostalgic and can’t help but reminisce my childhood and teen age years while cruising along your great blog. I’ve been staying in Malate specifically along Leveriza St. during the 60’s until the 80’s where we still have of what just remain at our old house in Asuncion St. beside the Paraiso ng Batang Maynila and in front of Manila Zoo. I could still remember how notorious the Leveriza area was at that time because of the hoodlum gangs that were popular then – OXO, Bahala Na Gang (BNG), Sputnik and the rest that I couldn’t anymore remember. The afternoons were sort of a real life movie when these gangs started to rumble & confront each other with their local weapons – sumpak, balisong, steeple, pana and the likes. I attended my primary school year at Malate Catholic School but I used to frequent and play at F. Ma. Guerrero Elementary School ( Rajah Soliman Park now stands here ) where most of my neighborhood friends studied. I could still relive my early Malate Days on and on but I will leave some for those that had their days in this great part of Manila.

  147. Raquel Centeno says:

    Hi Lou,

    It was great seeing all these photos of The old Manila. It was real heart warming to see Manila on its Glory days. I am happy I got to see the pictures here. Although I was born in 1980, I must say that I have an old soul. I often dream about living in the 1920s-1930s era when everything is so simple. No IPAD, no LAPTOPS, CELLPHONES etc. I just want to breath the fresh air of the “old” Manila and see how clean Manila Bay used to be.

    I am also glad to see St Paul here, I also went there and graduated Communication Arts.

    It is so soothing looking at the photos you provided.

    Do not stop doing this.

    Cheers,
    Raquel

  148. ranny reyes says:

    thank you very much for sharing your pictures. i always have treasured scenes of old manila . I have always wanted to see how beautiful old manila was…..thank you

  149. Karen M Caguioa says:

    Thank you very much for sharing and giving your readers a chance to walk back in the past. Amazing stories from your readers too! Ive always enjoyed reading about Manila and what it used to be from my mom and her side of the family. Im glad my niece who’s family lives in Malate with her abuelita posted your blog in her fb page. I now live in canada but i know when i get the chance to visit its going to have the sense of history and heritage. Im going to share please. Thank you.

  150. Maricor Abasolo-Manese says:

    This is a fabulous documentation of the Ermita district. I grew up right on Mabini, atop the now relocated New Yorker, across from the Mabuhay hotel, between Romero Salas and I think Malvar. My grandmother, the late Pilar Romack, my mother, Nita Abasolo and aunt, the late Baby Gozum owned and operated the salon. I lived there until I was 17 and moved to the suburbs of Merville, in Paranaque. This article brings back so many beautiful memories, now made quite vivid by your very well researched info. I walked Mabini every Sunday morning to mass from our home, having lunch either at the Tokyo House across from that little eskinita right by this store the name of which escapes me right now—or at any of the other neighborhood restaurants and cafes like Za’s, maybe an adobo roll from sombreros, a nice sizzling steak at Taza de Oro or a nice French Zingara steak cooked medium rare at Au Bon Vivant. To spark the memories of the other ermitanos reading this: do you all remember White Gold? Adele’s? Joanne’s? Is surely remember Gaiety and later, Luneta theatre, and Ronnie’s flowers, surely Acme and United Supermarkets, Heacock’s fine gifts (I think) down around where Realistic was, Tudanca’s, Tesoro’s, Treasure House our neighborhood photo printing shop Anthony’s, the post office housed in that beautiful apartment building, Stereo World owned by my still very best friend’s family the Villavicencios. Ermita Church hosted their own “santacruzan” style procession of Nuestra Senora De Guia down MH Del Pilar through Mabini streets and I had the distinct honor of being one of their capitanas! It was a grander honor for my mother and grandmother, hosting an all night celebration at the Salon and up into our home. Down Padre Faura there was the Erehwon bookshop, a Bookmark opposite it on the other side of Mabini, just around the corner from Ronnie’s and closer to Acme. Alemar’s was on UN/Isaac Peral so much much more. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. That was amazing.

  151. I would like to share a story my mom, Josefina Lozano Carballo, wrote me about which happened in some bombed house along Nebraska St. Here is my mom’s narrative: During the liberation of Manila, she narrates in one of her letters: “Your dad and Tito Ernesto (my dad’s brother) stayed together”. My father and uncle married two sisters, my mother and her sister. They got married during the Japanese occupation on January 6, 1943. When the Americans came to liberate Manila, both couples had their first sons, my brother, Titoy, and my eldest cousin, Quito. They decided to escape from the Japanese occupied area in Malate where they were living.
    While they were fleeing into safety, my mother recalls: “Quito had a strong attack of asthma and we thought he would die. Tito Ernesto’s arm was swollen from a shell fragment. Your dad and I carrying Titoy decided to see if it was true that the Americans were already at Taft Avenue. We were then in Nebraska Street in front of Dona Nena’s (a family friend) house. We left Ernesto and Tony and Enrequito at the small shelter and we began running among the ruins. Right then there was a barrage of shells falling around us. At that moment we saw Dona Nena calling us. She had sought safety with her family in a small shelter that had already been hit.”
    My mother continues her narrative: “Inside there was a dead man without arms. Everything was in shambles. But at the entrance (on a table) there was a statue of San Roque. And near him was a big bottle of pure clean water. We had not drunk water for several days. So Nena and I looked for and found a metal cup. We all drank water. But I kept some for Enrequito who had been begging for water. When the barrage stopped, and we left the shelter, I stood for a moment before San Roque thanking him for his protection and the water. And I promised him that my next son would be called Roque.”
    She ends by writing: “After, we went back to Tito Ernesto and when they drank the water especially Quito, we were so happy. Then we decided to run through Remedios Street where there was less debris and at Taft we met the Americans. My mother used to tell me that in times of war and pestilence, we should always pray to San Roque”.

  152. Thanks Lou Gopal. Iwould like to send you some old pictures. I plan to send it to our email ad.

    Roque

  153. Rafael Azanza says:

    Hi, Lou Gopal. Nice stuff. I live at the corner of Luis Ma. Guerrero (the former Georgia St.) and the present Nakpil St.. My house was built in 1937. It survived the War, and earthquakes etc. They made houses from materials fuertes in those days. My family has lived there since the Fiftees. Your article brings back memories.
    I look forward to your next installment.
    Good stuff!

  154. Robert says:

    I was fond of reminiscing and it makes me relax. i internalized the nostalgia that you have been presented here and i wish i was alive at that time..big thanks to the uploader/creator of the page . Long live and I am looking forward for the next part.

  155. Lorenzo D.Campos says:

    I went to H.A.Bordner School. I remember walking the streets of Ermita and Malate districts and dreamed of the day when I would live in any one of those houses there.I graduated from the Ateneo (of the Quonset Huts) and briefly attended U.P. You brought me back many memories of the Sunset over Manila BayThanks for the memories.

  156. dul says:

    Hi,
    I lived in mabini st. during the late 50’s to about 1970 at the montinola bldg. bet. romero salas and Sta monica , I lived with my sister who had a beauty parlor and dress shop called “delphi’s beauty Parlor “. I think haha, beside our bldg. was “treschic” i’m not sure of the spelling, I remember “kayumangi” also a beauty parlor, “Ben farrales” a dress shop, i go to acme for my free reading comics and for the candies, then at “namarco” for cheaper food, at the corner of romero salas was a chinese store owned by Ching his son we called chichay at the other corner was a more chinese store that sold preserves and other chinese delights. I was alway with three guys and we called ourselves the ghost squad, jonjo trinidad, jojo and jaime lingad. The whole area was our playground we would walk all the way to escolta from there. oh, from time to time we would by buy ice cream from selecta which was just by dewey blvd. There were just three night clubs at del pilar as i recall then and we would alway try to sneak a peek at the club but eventually got caught by the bouncer who was a carbon copy of “cantinflas”, he eventually became our friend but sad to say we were just about 8 or 9 years old at the time haha. that’s it for now. sorry for the way it’s written.

  157. Esther says:

    Dear Lou Gopal!
    Back from reading your captivating blog. Am so delighted to have discovered it tonight.
    Your ‘mémoires’ must be included in Philippine history books (+ audio & film documentaries) for everyone to enjoy.
    Many thanks for helping bring back fond memories of family, friends, and places of old Manila. Best thoughts, and looking forward to Part 2!
    Esther Baumgarten née Gómez, NY (…AS/IS Makati, ’69; SPCManila ’61-63…)

  158. Armando S Quemuel says:

    I have lived in Malate, San Marcelino near corner Harrison Blvd.
    A lot of history have been mentioned of Malate which I knew and
    new info mostly before the war. I can’t duplicate their stories.
    I read thru the comments and back track to review them.

    Nobody has noticed of mentioned this one.

    On the corner of Taft and San Andres was a bldg
    Perhaps it is still there. A “parol” with six
    triangle was displayed on topside of the bldg.
    I can’t say if that was front or side of bldg
    because of the high fence and gate was closed
    every time I was in the area.

    When I moved here to LA, CA, I learned
    that’s the Star of David.

    It was not our native penta star or Parol.
    Further research, I found a book about the exodus of
    Jews from Europe to our native land to escape
    the Holocaust. This was called Quezon’s list.

  159. Grace de Guzman - Raof says:

    It is really odd that I saw this at a time when my mother, Ofelia (daughter of Gloria Rodriguez Ammen) had just passed on this morning. I grew up in Ermita on M H del Pilar and moved to Adriatico street. My mother’s favourite restaurant was Tasa de Oro and she loved her jello ice cream.

    This is really so nostalgic and thank you for sharing as we do not have any photos of the area where my cousins and I grew up. I have been residing now in Malaysia for the past 30 years and this is something I will share with my family here. WE look forward to Part 2.

    • lougopal says:

      Grace, please accept my condolences for your loss. I’m so pleased that you found photos of your old neighborhood. I think pictures are a great way of reconnecting oneself to our past. Thank you for writing. God bless you and your family.

  160. Cristina Cater says:

    Again, thank you for this site which is clearly a labour of love. I was born in Manila in 1954 (nee Oria), went to St Scholastica’s College till we left the Philippines in 1970 and was last there in 1980. As a treat for my 60th birthday this year, I am returning with my son and husband in a couple of weeks along with my sister Carmen who lives in Chile. My recent discovery of your site has made me even more excited about going home (if that’s possible!). You have brought back so many lovely memories of my childhood. This is an absolute gem!

  161. willy palarca says:

    Armando was referring to Temple Emil, the synagogue at the corner of Taft and San Andres. Temple Emil is no longer there. There’s a synagogue in Makati (I’m not sure if it goes by the name of the one at Taft/Sn Andres). Most members of the Jewish community (they must have been more numerous before the War and up to the mid-60s if one were to go by the names famous businessmen–e.g. Goldenberg, Stonehill [originally Sternberg], Levy, etc). Most of them were Ashekanazims (of European, predominantly German, origin). But I’m sure that the community also had its share of Sephardims (of Spanish and Middle East origin). I have a theory that some of the latter may have arrived, even settled, in the Philippines originally as Jews (probably secular/non-observant Jews) and became Catholics along the way; not forcibly but by sheer assimilation and non-observance. They had at that time what was considered the more advantageous look, i.e., Caucasian or near Caucasian that effectively help them gain elite status in colonial and post-colonial society. For those who came to the Philippines on account of Quezon’s help, imagine what they had to endure some years later (the horrors of Japanese Occupation and the battle of Manila); that after escaping from the racist policies and persecution of the Nazis in Europe. When I was in high school in Letran in the ’60s, one of our religion teachers was a Spanish Dominican (Fr. Barjacoba). I was told by another Dominican (who knew I had along the way developed, and still have, a deep interest in Jewish history and culture) some three decades later if I noticed something about Fr. Barjacoba’s name. He said that its provenance is Jewish (“Bar”, son of; “Jacoba”, James; hence, “son of James”). Fr. Barjacoba was of Jewish ancestry; not surprisingly, many Spaniards were/are, e.g., St. Teresa of Avila and, of all people, Cardinal Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor who hounded Jews, Muslims, heretics, free thinkers–you name it. Manila society was made richer (not just financially but culturally and socially as well) by the local Jewish community (settler and expatriate). Think of Manilenos (probably 3rd or 4th generation by now) whose progenitors were originally from the countries of the Levant (e.g., Syria, Lebanon), in all likelihood they would have been of Sephardic ancestry who eventually assimilated and sadly lost track of their Jewish heritage. Here are some of the more famous (then) business establishments owned and operated by members of the Jewish community as described in a pre-War business directory:

    GOLDENBERG DEPARTMENT STORE
    Owned and operated by Goldenberg & Co, Inc, Importers
    Main Office: Plaza Cervantes corner Juan Luna, Binondo
    Tel 2-22-98 PO BOX 1421 Cable Address: “Goldenberg”, Manila

    LEVY & BLUM INC
    Importers and Wholesalers in Diamond, Jewelry and Pearls
    Wholesale Druggists, Chemists and Perfumers
    25 Plaza Sta. Cruz, Sta. Cruz
    Tels 2-32-47 & 2-32-48
    PO Box 243 Cable Address: “Majuvy”

    LEVY HERMANOS INC
    La Estrella del Norte
    Diamond, Jewelry, and Pearls
    Watch Importers
    46-50 Escolta, Binondo
    Tel 2-13-88
    Estrella Auto Palace [apparently a sister company of Levy Hermanos Inc because it is listed under the latter’s name]
    Automotive Dealers
    536-568 Gandara, Sta. Cruz
    Tel 2-14-25

    Levy, Jacob
    Hats
    334 Misericordia, Manila

    Manila’s settler and expatriate communities are as much part of the City’s history and its social fabric as those who are indigenous to it.

  162. Rodel Nabor says:

    I’m glad my wife shared me the link to your blog site. Really interesting, offered a glimpse of how nice Manila was in the past. Looking forward to part 2.

  163. Andrea Ungson says:

    I’m currently doing a bit of research for my English report and I chose the topic on Manila since I was born and raised here. I’m so glad to have stumbled across the site – I didn’t realize there was so much about Ermita and Malate I have yet to discover! Thank you so much, I’ll definitely be frequenting your blog!

  164. Nina Escudero says:

    Greetings!
    Thoroughly enjoyed this piece along with several others you have written. Good work!
    Intoxicating stuff to read as today is the fifth anniversary of my Dad, Manuel Escudero’s death.

    Briefly, my Dad, Manuel Escudero, was born in Zamboanga. After his studies and training, volunteered to join the US Army. A doctor on the Red Cross ship “Mactan,” his orders were to clean up Manila right after the Japanese left. With layers upon layers of corpses, decay and sanitation issues were grim. What he had to have his men do with what they had…. Oh, this was one of many amazing experiences he shared. Years after the war, Dad returned to Manila as a health consultant to the World Health Organization. By then I was three-years-old.

    My Mom, Josefina Escudero, was an amazingly talented intaglio printmaker in Manila and internationally in the 1960’s whose career was soaring by the time we left at the end of 1971. She so inspired others she was at one point called “the Mother of Filipino Printmaking” wth Manuel Rodriguez Sr. the “Father of Filipino Printmaking.”
    We lived in the Bel Air Apartments in between the Swiss Inn and the Shelborne..Shelbourne? Hotel on Roxas Boulevard. I remember when it was still Dewey Boulevard. Like some of your readers, I too went to JASMS on Taft Avenue, then moved across the street to PWU for part of my High School years.

    Your readers spoke of so many familiar places… I remember sounds, smells, feelings and incidents:
    The vendors crying “baluuuuut!” in the early evenings; the glorious, breathtaking sunsets over Manila Bay and Luneta Park; the comings and goings of every floating vessel in the bay; the parades with all the military displays; the motorcades; the Beatles!
    The typhoons and ensuing floods and earthquakes; walking home in over knee-deep flood water; no electricity, no water, NO SCHOOL!

    The exhaust fumes were already thick then… I remember the well-decorated jeepneys, the (were they red?) Beltran buses, oh, the taxicab drivers, the potholes…
    I recall time spent at the Army and Navy Club, many other places enjoyed with many dear friends, some of whom I am in touch with…. Yes, the getting reacquainted now is precious as we all treasure our youth in Manila.

    Yes, the present generation in Manila can choose to take interest in a restoration program, but though the need is obvious, there must be good seeds planted, so they truly want to proceed from their hearts. Your writings can be some of these seeds!

    I wonder, would you like to get together for a long lunch later this year when we visit Seattle? I lived there for about thirty years and recently moved across the country. I have shared my email address above~

    Cheers, and keep up the good work.

  165. Marie Lechado says:

    The picture of “Carlota and cousins” on the beach, if I am not mistaken, one of the ladies on the picture is my greatgrand aunt Pura Gavieres……..

    I love all old Manila although I was born 1965, and lived in sta ana manila, i was still able to go to some of the places mentioned.

    Manila so calm and beautiful then…

  166. tom near says:

    Does anyone remember the beautiful Manila native Angie Martinez who taught high school at St. Paul college when I met her in 1957? Where is she now?

  167. Tala Rubiana says:

    Dear Lou and greetings to everyone in this blog!
    Nakakataba ng puso ika nga sa sarile nating wika, it reallly is heart warming to hear all your stories about the old Manila.

    I was born and bread in Ilocos Norte late 60’s but was visiting Manila since 4 years old. I remember picnic times in Luneta and beach time is swim time in Dewey Boulevard Baclaran Manila bay area. We used to attend Sunday mass at Malate church wearing white dress and a covering for our heads. People, as I look back now where so well dressed and polite. I hope and pray that Mayor Erap will be in power long enough to continue reviving the old Manila City.
    After living abroad most of my adult life I find myself living for good in Manila, Malate area as my place because of its old buildings. Landed an apartment and opened my yoga space in South Syquia for more than 3 years. But in March I was told that they have sold the building to Waterfront Hotel and Casino, owners want all tenants to find other place to live as of end of August. I have not find another place to this day.

    Because I love old buildings so much, and because I need a yoga space where ceilings are high, wooden floors cooler, and good air circulation with hopefully view of big trees or the bay I am determine to stay near Roxas boulevard, Malate area and find another old building same price(25,000pesos) and same spacious space like South and North Syquia.
    But, since the news(in March) that I have to move out I have searched hi and low for an old building, even checked out an old house but most of the ones I saw are either sold to the big(specially the ones near Nakpil) developers or totally run down that it needs $100,000 atleast cost for renovation and with very expensive monthly rent+association fee+12% tax;-)-I can not afford that, am only a humble yoga teacher,
    so sorry ;-(.
    The last one I saw was next door to(cousins) Pension Natividad in M.H.Del Pilar Street. I was already so excited looking from the outside and in ewe when I went in! 12ft high ceiling, wooden staircase, veranda looking out the yard(no plants, just big old trees) what a fabulous old big house! very run down upstairs, downstairs is so so. When I heard what the owner wants for a year I was shocked! Php.500,000 a month! of course I sank along with my heart;-( I said run down and you want that price? Well, I said that politely. I said I guess someone who will rent this place will turn it into a boutique hotel as it is big inside and also big yard front and back.

    Folks, check it out please this beauty was built in 1936. Do not fail to go have a look at the (if you have the chance pls bring me along with you)next to this property apparently is an Old Villa occupied by French family who have a vineyard in France, hardly there. I was thinking if they can rent me part of their house so I can open my yoga studio there;-) that would be great, house sit even.

    I need help find an old place. Please help if you can. Some of you might still know a family or a place that might need help in preserving, so long as it does not cost millions of pesos? I will be more than happy to preserve the place for a minimal rent? I will look after the place like its my own place and at the same time introduce yoga in the community, keep everyone supple, energetic, age gracefully;-) to help pay my monthly dues.

    Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.

    Om shanti to you all,

    Tala

  168. Having been born to Violet Oliver in April 1945 who was interned in Los Banos. I was almost immediately adopted by Ed and Winifred Bryan who were interned in Santo Thomas. Ed Carroll’s wife was Violet’s sister and I do believe pushed the adoption through quickly.

    • John (Bob) Bryan says:

      I made a spelling mistake when I said that “Ed ” Carroll was the husband of my biological mother’s sister Christine Sperry. In all reality, it was the well known Earl Carroll. If anyone might have known my mother Violet, it would be wonderful hearing from you.

  169. Bill Boni says:

    Wonderful remembrances! My mother took me to the Malate church every Sunday. I remember doing the stations of the cross, going to confession (can’t even remember the last time I did that) and attending my father’s funeral mass in July 1965. Dewey Boulevard was a beautiful road back then. I also remember happy times at the Taza de Oro (churros and chocolate) and visiting W. Ng, a tailor whose shop was in that general area. I can’t remember the last hand-stitched suits I owned! It’s great to see these and to read the messages from people to whom that time must seem, as it does to me, to be a dream. Thanks for bringing the reality back.

  170. Roy Muir says:

    The unknown girl in the photo with Dora Perkins is my Aunt, Jean Muir. The family was interned for the duration and included, Catherine Muir and her children Bella, George, James and Jean. Bella and Jean are still alive and both reside in New Zealand.

  171. Rowena says:

    I’m not as old as you but this piece on Ermita brought tears to my eyes. Because I can still remember our parents taking us to some hole-in-the-wall Chinese noodle house after a stroll at Luneta. We always looked forward to the hot towels given after the meal. Also, I recognize the names as the ones that rolled off my mother’s tongue while growing up.

  172. Arcadio Ivan Asuncion Santos III says:

    I remember my father mentioning to me that my great grandfather Francisco Cruz was proposed by Fausto Barredo to buy 1/2 of Malate during the turn of the 20th century. The other half would have been bought by Fausto Barredo. My great grandfather thought Malate was too far from his hometown of Paranaque, so instead he bought a few hundred hectares in Paranaque and Las Pinas.

  173. Marilou says:

    Manila Nostalgia: what a pleasant surprise to read about the old Manila of my childhood. We lived in Quezon City and on weekends, my father used to drive the family (Mom + 5 siblings) in his precious Chrysler Imperial along the whole length of Dewey Blvd. to enjoy Manila Bay followed by breakfast at Country Bake Shop. I loved the Country Bake Shop logo: a group of chubby chefs carrying rolling pin & various bakery items! Then we’d go to Acme to shop for US and other imported goods. If our mom needed any floral decor/gift items, we to Ronnie’s & Flower Shop in Mabini. Ronnie Laing’s shop was a magical place. Some afternoons for merienda, Mom’s driver would take us to La Cibeles where my sisters and I had our first taste of Churros con Chocolate and those yummy Meat Pies.

    When I left Manila to study in NY, I never imagined the Malate and Ermita area of my carefree childhood would change beyond recognition. I re-visited Malate in 2013 and it was a sad, sad sight to see.

    Thank you for your well-researched and wonderfully written memories of old Manila. I look forward to more Manila Nostalgia. Cheers!

  174. Tom R. Carillo says:

    Thanks a lot Lou Gopal for sharing your thoughts and insights of Ermita-Malate Area of the distant past. I grew up in Padre Faura Street. I lived there from 1959-1983 and have lot of recollection of how Ermita used to look like.

  175. Nida P.Quibic says:

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for the nostalgic video and pictures. I’m so proud to have viewed and reminisced the good old days when everyone roamed the streets of Manila freely and hassle-free. I am an avid fan of old pictures, houses and infrastuctures.
    !! It’s quite refreshing to note that there are people like you who cherished the past. May you post some more pictures and video clips. It made me feel like im in a time machine. Best regards.

    Nida

  176. John R. Bryan aka Bob Bryan says:

    Through this site and the Los Banos site, I managed to find out information on both my birth mother, Violet (Ollie) Sperry and birth father James Bowie Mackinnon. Both were interned at Santo Tomas and later Los Banos. This puzzle was just solved recently and I now have discovered a younger half sister who lives in Laguna Beach whom I will meet next week.

  177. OMG !!! I hope my eyes weren’t just playing tricks on me but the Gaiety Theater was very recently demolished posthaste!!!

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