• City of Manila

    The Arches of Manila Chinatown

    The last Araw ng Maynila was an occasion to formally inaugurate the new Manila Chinatown arch located in Plaza Moraga at the foot of Jones Bridge in Binondo, Manila. It is said to be the world’s largest Chinatown arch at 63.8 feet high and 74 feet wide (1.62 meters high and 1.88 meters wide if you prefer the metric system) and was installed as part of an effort for tourism and the revitalization of Chinatown and the city in general, which has been the cornerstone of the administration of former president turned city mayor Joseph Estrada. Nevertheless, not everyone is thrilled to have it, even the Filipino-Chinese community in the city,…

  • City of Manila

    Reminiscing the cinematic glitter: the old movie theaters of downtown Manila (Final part: south Santa Cruz and Binondo)

    At the height of the glory days of downtown Manila, movie theaters were sprouting not only along Rizal Avenue but also in nearby streets as well in the downtown area as a whole. One such street, Florentino Torres, which ran perpendicular to Rizal Avenue was once home to two prominent movie theaters, the Deluxe and Republic theaters. Republic was no longer standing by the 1990s as a commercial building that bears its name stands today. Deluxe, which was a landmark in itself in its twilight years thanks in part to its proximity to Ambos Mundos Restaurant, was gone during the mid-2000s and a modern-looking commercial building now stands in its…

  • City of Manila

    Reminiscing the cinematic glitter: the old movie theaters of downtown Manila (Part V: the theaters north of Recto)

    As was noted in the previous installment of this series, Rizal Avenue or Avenida was once Manila’s movie theater lane that ran from Blumentritt to what is now Plaza Lacson (Plaza Goiti in the olden days) In contrast however to the movie theaters found at the south of the intersection of Rizal and Recto Avenues, the movie theaters north of that intersection are not as well-known. Nevertheless, they contributed to what was once a lively entertainment scene in that part of the city once before.

  • City of Manila

    Reminiscing the cinematic glitter: the old movie theaters of downtown Manila (Part IV: at Avenida south of Recto)

    If New York City has a Broadway and its stretch of theaters, Manila had (take note foks, it’s “had”) Rizal Avenue or Avenida Rizal (nicknamed Avenida) with its strip of movie theaters. It was also a pretty long strip that ran from Blumentritt up north all the way down to Plaza Lacson. (or Plaza Goiti as it was called in the old days) One can imagine what the avenue looked like in its heyday, seeing a long stretch of neon signs, especially of movie theaters that lighted up the way. Being the movie theater hub of Manila back then, Avenida was also home to some of the most prominent movie theater…