06/1/16

HUB: Make Lab, A New Escolta Landmark

Escolta is a neighborhood that is already familiar, especially to the regular readers of the Urban Roamer. For the past few years, we have roamed this neighborhood and looked at some of the interesting spots in the area which used to be the city’s financial and commercial center, with some no longer standing today while others manage to survive albeit struggling to find their place in a city constantly endangered by unchecked urbanization.

In the past there have been events like monthly Pasyal activities and the Saturday Future Market which were conceived to get people visiting Escolta again. While there was some successes made, they were sadly not enough and it became clear that more is needed to be done. Thus just last week, Escolta saw what could be described as the next phase in the ongoing fight for the district’s rehabilitation. It was the opening of the HUB: Make Lab at the First United Building.

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07/18/15

A Visit to the First United Building Community Museum

So much has been said about Escolta Street and its glory days as a premier center of commerce in Manila, its eventual fall from grace after World War II, and the current efforts to revitalize commercial activity here again. With the state of things in the city these days, such efforts are admittedly a tall order. Nevertheless, the work continues with much vigor and passion, thanks to the various groups and individuals with their unceasing love for Escolta and their common dream to see it reclaim its glory as Manila’s “queen of streets.”

interior of Escolta’s First United Building

One of those stakeholders happen to be the owners of the First United Building, the Syliantengs whose have been deeply rooted in Escolta beginning with their patriarch, Sy Lian Teng, an entrepreneur who ran Escolta’s (and Manila’s as well) premiere department store, Berg’s. As a tribute to Escolta’s heritage, the Sylianteng family’s passion for Escolta, and to honor the legacy of the patriarch who has made an invaluable contribution to this street, a community museum was opened last May 16 this year in the premises of the building: the First United Building Community Museum.

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07/14/13

The Twin Sentinels of Escolta

If you’re coming from Santa Cruz making your way to Calle Escolta, you can never miss the sight of these two buildings that will welcome you to this historic street from the foot of the bridge crossing the Estero de la Reina. Sharing some common architectural features and a heritage of an American colonial past, these buildings were, and still are, the prominent addresses to be in this historic street. Today, we shall check out these twin sentinels and learn more about them in this entry.

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