It was one sunny weekend sometime ago that I found myself in Pasay. I was about to go to the Mall of Asia but I figured out to do a quick little stroll around the inner Pasay area, particularly around the area of Leveriza Street.
Leveriza is said to be named after one of the princesses who lived in the 16th century, around the time the Spaniards came to Manila, who of a kingdom that encompasses roughly much of today’s Pasay.
In the old days, this particular neighborhood in Pasay is one of the more “affluent” neighborhoods south of Manila when Manila’s urban development was still contained in the city’s downtown area. Being quite far off from the urban madness of Old Manila and its proximity to the Manila Bay and the majestic view it offers, it was a place attractive enough for some of upper and middle class folks to make their residence here.
But what went wrong? One who would know the old charm of this Pasay neighborhood would be saddened to hear how it degenerated over the last 50 years or so as blight and the problem of informal settlers crept in this once affluent neighborhood. Added to this mix of urban madness is the sprouting of high-rise residential towers like this one below.
There are only a few traces left of old Pasay, such as this old house which happens to be the residence of the renowned Filipino writer and statesman Claro M. Recto. Such a sad story of urbanism gone wrong on what should have been a well-developed suburb.
Nearby Leveriza along Donada Street is one of the most known landmarks in the area: the Manila Adventist Medical Center, known before as the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital. This medical facility has been existence since 1929 when it was opened by an Adventist missionary and doctor, Horace Hall. A Pasay landmark since 1940, there is also now a medical school on its premises now with, of course, a Seventh Day Adventist church nearby.
Acknowledgements as well to the Manila Bulletin
© The Urban Roamer