• 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,  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.