Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reviving Escolta: The Queen Street of Manila

This weekend gave Filipino heritage lovers and alike a blast from the past as the once posh street of Manila has been revived for The Manila Street Heritage Festival. Dubbed as #SelfiEscolta event, it was organized by a group of heritage enthusiasts with a theme called "Rescue, Revive and Relive Escolta".

Escolta is Manila's luxury and fashion district in the olden days. You may compare it to what is Greenbelt, Makati or BGC, Taguig today but with the sense of neo-classical designs and art deco architecture of the collections of buildings that managed to withstand the test of time. Although some of these buildings are being touted for demolition like the El Hogar Building. Some still serves purpose for banks and other local businesses.

It is sad to think that these great architecture wonders have been neglected for the past decades but still many heritage building enthusiasts fight for the revival of this historical street. I have a love for heritage and old buildings and I deeply recognize the contribution of the past to what our society can learn today and have it as our guidance for the future. Many today neglect such heritage sites for the love of new things yet they forgot to even look back on our past and what brought us here. Escolta and its surrounding areas were a symbol of our great past that has been neglected by the majority. 

If only the most of us have shown our love for our own, these places would have been better preserved and comparable to many historic destinations in the world. The old buildings in Escolta, Binondo, Quiapo, Arroceros, Ermita and Intramuros are symbols of our great past. Let us not forget that we were once the major destination in Asia. Our neighbouring countries looked up to us. If only we took care of our past, we would not be left behind like now.

This project of reviving Escolta is just a beginning of better things ahead of us, that we Filipinos are uniting to show everyone that we value our culture and our history. We will be looking forward to more of this to encourage more tourist, locals and foreigners, to visit the old Manila and relinquish the past.

Here is a collection of photos that were hashtagged #SelfiEscolta that were uploaded on Instagram and Facebook during the event. Credits to the account holders who hashtagged their photos and sharing it to the world.

Celebrities who graced the event were Cookie Chua, Bayang Barrios, Ms. Lolita of Asin, Philippine Ukelele Ensemble and many more local artists and bands. Celebrities spotted taking their selfies at the event were Carlos Celdran and Gabe Mercado.

It was an awesome weekend. Looking for more heritage events like these.


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