• City of Manila,  Roamer's Roundup

    El Hogar Endangered?

    The attack on Philippine heritage sadly is not letting up. Latest reports suggest of a possible demolition of yet another heritage building in Manila, the El Hogar Filipino Building (more popularly known as the El Hogar) at the corner of Juan Luna and Muelle de la Industria Streets in Binondo. Even if you would not know at first the name of the building, its architecture is something that has surely caught your attention, especially whenever you are at that part of the city, with its unique Beaux-Arts/neoclassical style architecture and its peculiar look of having a fourth floor penthouse sticking out. Indeed it has become a Manila landmark since it was…

  • City of Manila

    From Bank to BPO: The Tale of Juan Luna E-Services Building

    At a time and place when heritage conservation is the last thing on the minds of many people, it uplifts one’s heritage-loving spirit whenever there is a story of heritage that has been preserved and restored for a new generation’s appreciation. It is also good to know that we are hearing some more of these stories thanks to a growing awareness on the need to presere our colorful past. Today, the Urban Roamer is happy to present another such story here. Known before as the First National City Bank Building, it has been given a new lease of life ready for the future with a new name to reflect its…

  • City of Manila

    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.

  • 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…