Monday, January 4, 2010


More than ninety-nine per cent of the photos published in this blog are original, and the all the articles that have been posted are orignal...

...but this time I would like to share some photos of old Manila from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries which have been gathered together by Dondi Filarmeo ( I have also included Dondi's remarks on every photo on his email to His email was forwarded to my inbox by my friend Marc Guiller U. Tan.


Here are some photos of Manila before it became a Dirty Smoggy City!

Take note, naka sapatos ang mga tao, walang naka-tsinelas kahit sa Avenida... just sharing... sayang di mo to inabutan... super-linis at well-disciplined ang mga tao, wala pang naka-maong.

The first picture was before the '60's Old Manila. The environment was still very clean during that time. Based on the old mobiles, Studebakers, Buicks & Pontiacs, I must have been about 10 years old at that time.

1953 Ford on the street

There were no Metro Aides, Bayani Fernando-cleaners, and st
ore owners were cleaning their areas. Pedestrians were also much disciplined. Very little 'hukays' and manholes were clean and were clearly visible to pedestrians. People were so disciplined. Take a look at the Pedxings. I remember this part of Escolta as my Dad would buy us Boursege’s from Greg Shoes or Ang Tibay. It could be much better looking than Colehaans and Ferragamos. The streets were shiny, much like the streets of Singapore now.

LYRIC Theatre (in the photo below), IDEAL, STATE, ODEON were the best theatres. Environment inside and outside... absolutely clean. There were no double parking allowed and drivers followed. Streets didn’t have 2 policemen and 4 Traffic Aides for each corner. You’d be safe even if you held a clutch bag while shopping. Manholes were covered well and during those days, I remember them.... as clean and polished, much like those you’d see in Champ Elysee’. We could beat Paris. Ang ganda ng bayan natin noon.

Dencia’s was famous for Pansit Mami, much like Mamonluk or Ricebowl. P1.50 ang mami, 10 sentimo ang Coca Cola. 5 centimo ang sarsaparilla.
This was very near Villalobos and Carriedo. Look at the jeepneys. They were not overloaded.

Pasig was very clean. The photographer must have taken this photo (below) October to December timeframe. But Pasig, during summer would have beautiful water lilies, tiny Quiapo’s floating amidst white, yellow and purple water lilies that I remember. The water from our rich and abundant rivers was emerald green and blue. Napakalinis and walang amoy. In fact, I know for a fact that a lot of private yachts would pass through our Pasig River from various parts of Rizal, Malabon and Marikina. It was beautiful!

Manila was just a beautiful place.

If you’d take an L5 plane or a Piper Cab and take pictures of Dewey Boulevard (now Roxas Boulevard) from above, you’d be so proud to say, that the place is much better than Cote d'Azur. My Dad would even bring soldiers sick of asthma from the PAF, so that they could do early morning breathing exercises at 5AM. Environment was just so very clean, air was refreshing, and take a look at the sea... wasn’t that a gift given to us during those days?!

1958 Chevy on the street...
Sidewalks were not extended to suit the pedestrians. Quiapo Church was a blessed monument. Nagbibigayan ang mga drivers. Bihira ang nag-gigitgitan.

Avenida Rizal was a treat to everyone. There were no prostitutes or body-brokers. Avenida was not a fickle place. It was not a 'now a bistro boulevard, tomorrow a street; now a tiangge or night market and tomorrow a bistro boulevard'. It was a simple Avenida where everyone enjoyed to see what was 'now showing', what movie was 'extended showing', and if Otis or Good Earth had a big sale!!! It was just a big clean place.

1960 Dodge on the street.

Ayala Avenue was just like Wilshire Boulevard. Clean and no pollution. You can walk and enjoy the sun. Napakalinis. Walang masyadong Trash bins pero walang basura sa paligid.

Even Parks like Fort Santiago was much better. No vendors, no cafes. There was not even an ATM machine. Malinis ang paligid.

And then, we had more technocrats, more intelligent people educated here and... stateside.

What did we do to our environment?

For those who have seen it: Sayang. maswerte kami noon. Mas na mas maswerte kami noon. We saw a country that was much cleaner, a much better place to live in and a truly healthy place.


I was surprised! Old Manila looks like the present-day Adelaide!

The S.A. Art Gallery, North Terrace, Adelaide City, South Australia

Rundle St. tiangge, Adelaide City, S.A.

The South Australia Art Gallery, Adelaide City, S.A.

The Bee Hive, corner King William and Rundle St., Adelaide City, S.A.

Grote St., Adelaide City, S.A.



Lord CM said...

Kung pwede lang sanang balikan ang lahat ano? :) kaso hindi na...

Chyng said...

and partida, the cameras used are not that advanced yet the photos look good.

oh well, this manila reminds me of martial law (though di ko inabutan)

Anonymous said...

Nakita ko ang magandang Maynila nung bata pa ako, pasyalan ng buong pamilya nung 1960s and early 70s. Ang ganyang mga imahe ay naka-saved na lang sa aking memorya. Salamat sa pagpo-post ng mga larawan, RJ.
Isang masaganang 2010 sayo! ;) God bless.

Josephil Cerbito Saraspe said...

Sayang! How I wish this is still my beloved Manila. I just had my vacation in Manila last December and it was my first time to be in the place. Sana, sana, sana... maibalik natin ang dating maunlad at masigla na siyudad.

Sardonyx said...

Wala kasing disiplina ang mga Pinoy sa sariling bansa pero pag nasa ibang bansa naman takot na hindi sumunod sa batas, sana pati sa Pilipinas ganun din. I saw some postcards of Old Manila before from my lolo's collections kaya lang naitapon na, sayang di ko nasave. Ang ganda pala ng Adelaide, mas maganda sana kung nasa picture ka doc RJ hehehe.

Redlan said...

Sa back forward yung mga tao ngayon sa scene nun. Talagang malinis, may disiplina, peaceful tingnan yung photos of manila nun. Tingin mo pa lang parang fresh na fresh ang pakiramdam. Hindi ko lubos maisip ang scenario ngayon habang pinagmasdan ang larawan ng nakaraan. Mas worst pa kaya ang sitwasyon in the future at masasabi pa rin natin at ng generasyon ngayon na mas maswerte kita noon?

BlogusVox said...

Going down memory lane, eh doc?

Yung Avenida, naabutan ko pa yan. Maliit pa ako noon, pero tanda ko pang nanood kami ng "The Cassandra Crossing". Mabango pa ang sinehan, amoy pinipig. : )

mightydacz said...

wow napaka sosyal naman pala talaga ang Maynila noon at mga fashionista na walang kaba na baka ma snatch ,mahold up or madukutan lol try mo kaya yan ngayon ewan ko lang kung saan ka pupulutin lol sayang...pero may pag asa pa tulad ng nga programa ni mayor Lito Atienza ang BUHAYIN ang MayniLA,May pagkakatulad nga anoh ung Adelaide sa old manila

Natawa ako sa comment ni Blogusbox amoy pinipig noon...ngayon amoy patay na daga na siguro

Hilda said...

Thank you so much for your visit and wonderful comment!

These old photos of Manila are fantastic! Paulo Alcazaren, the landscape architect who writes a column for the Philippine Star, would love them. But if this was in the 50s-60s, the deterioration of the city had already started with uncontrolled population growth and factory construction along the Pasig River. Sad. What we need are politicians with spines of steel and we get jellyfish.

braggart_21 said...

I received those photos from a forwarded email too.. well.. that was then .. may takot respeto at takot pa ang mga tao sa batas.. ngayon kasi suwayin mo sila.. mag rarally kaagad sa EDSA.. sisigaw kaagad na tinapakan at yinurakan ang kanilang karapatang pantaoo (kuno).

The Pope said...

I always treasure the memories of old Manila, my family always bring me to Avenida and Ongpin during the late 60's. I can still remember that after Sunday mass we will be going to Good Earth Emporium and Shoe Mart in Rizal Avenue. Sometimes we go to Downtown Manila till we reaches Ongpin famous for its finest restaurants.

And the jeepneys were so small that maximum 3 passengers can seat only on each rows. Yes, I can recall Sarsaparilla and Apple Cidra as the famous softdrinks.

I guess I was lucky to have live in peace. God bless you Doc.

Andrei said...

nalaglag ang panga ko.


hindi ako makapaniwala.

ang dumi dumi na natin ngayon.

at ang gulo gulo.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the air is much, much cleaner then than now. BUT...

I think we're better off now in a lot of ways.

Have you seen Ayala Av recently? Mas lalo siyang gumanda.

We have better opportunities now to improve our lives (although lesser change of survival because of smog and pollution).

Thanks for the post.

Lam mo, the South Australia Art Gallery reminded me of the Goethe House in Quezon City, and the North Terrace Gallery, those proud edifices in Intramuros.

Anonymous said...

Ooppss...I mean lesser 'chance', not change.

Yellow Bells said...

I wish we could have it back, people are trying but it wasnt good enough. Discipline is needed para maibalik ang talagang face ng Manila. Overuse kasi yan ng demokrasya sa atin, unlike in other contries like ME, kita mo sumusunod pa rin ang tao sa utos ng government at kagalang galang pa rin ang mga namumuno sa bansa. hayyyy...sarap sana kung ganyan pa rin ka ganda ang Maynila di lang ang manila sa pati sa province.