Dec 142017
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If you’re a fan of old buildings and historical architecture, there isn’t a better place to appreciate our architectural heritage than Escolta, Manila. Calle de la Escolta, as it was called by the Spanish back in the day, is one of the most culturally-significant places in the Philippines, being one of Manila’s oldest business districts, and was event the home of the Manila Stock Exchange. There are a lot of these historical buildings scattered along the streets of Escolta, and here five from Esquire that you need to visit, if you ever find yourself there:

Image Via Fmgverzon, Wikimedia Commons

The Regina Building

The Regina Building was previously known as the Roxas Building, and was designed by Andrés Luna de San Pedro. Esquire reports the building was designed in the neoclassical beaux-arts style and was completed on 1915 at the corner of Escolta Street and Calle David in Binondo, Manila. The building retains the pre-war, American colonial feel since it was built, and was expanded from a 3-story structure to the 4-story building today by Fernando H. Ocampo during the 30’s.

Image Via Fmgverzon, Wikimedia Commons

The Capitol Theater

The Capitol Theater is built on the art deco style during the 1930s. It was designed by National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil, and features a bas-relief sculpture in the facade by renowned Italian expatriate sculptor Francesco Monti. In its heyday, the theater accommodated 1,100 people inside. Sadly, the theater is schedule to be torn down in favor of a residential building, though its developers have promised to preserve the facade which will later be integrated into the new structure.

Image Via Adrian Biblanias, Wikimedia Commons

El Hogar Filipino Building

The El Hogar Filipino Building was one of the earliest skyscrapers in Manila. Built in 1914 and designed by Ramon Irureta-Goyena and Francisco Perez-Muñoz in the Beaux-Arts style, the El Hogar has elements of Neoclassical and Renaissance styles in its construction. The building survived World War II along with other numerous earthquakes that rattled Manila.

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Calvo Building

Built in 1938 beaux-arts style by Fernando H. Ocampo and his partner Tomás Argüelles, the Calvo Building has been a host to a number of historic companies and institutions ever since it opened its doors all those years ago. Philippine Bank of Commerce had its offices in the ground floor, while the law offices of Aquino and Lichauco attorneys-at-law occupied the second floor. Araneta and Company occupied the third floor, while socialites flocked to pre-war soda fountain house Luisas on the ground floor.

Today the Calvo building is a museum of sorts, housing memorabilia of Old Manila which includes photos of the socialites during its heyday. The museum also has a large collection of photos and images from the Battle of Manila, and was the birthplace of the GMA network.

Image Via Ramon Velasquez, Wikimedia Commons

Pérez Samanillo Building

The Pérez Samanillo Building, now known as the First United Building was designed by Andrés Luna de San Pedro, the son of renowned painter Juan Luna in the art deco style. When it was completed in 1928 it was the tallest building in Manila, and survived World War II relatively unscathed save for minor damage compared to the surrounding buildings.

It sits across the Regina building and was renamed the First United Building by the Sylianteng family. The Pérez Samanillo building is also a hotbed of art, and serves as the meeting ground of the art collaboration organization 98B on the weekends.

Know more historical buildings around Metro Manila? Do share them with us in the comments section!

Jul 192013

Los Angeles, 16 July 2013 – The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles attended the 27th Anniversary of the Old Fort MacArthur Days held at the Fort MacArthur Museum and the Historic Osgood-Farley Battery Site in San Pedro, Los Angeles County on 13 July 2013. The Consulate representatives were led by Deputy Consul General Daniel […]

Jul 152013
De Lima questions deaths of two suspects in Laguna

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is questioning the circumstances of the deaths of two suspected criminals in Laguna who were shot while in police custody and being transferred from Cavite on Monday night. In a press conference in Manila, De Lima said many questions have to be answered on the deaths of Ricky Cadavero alias “Kambal” and Wilfredo Panogalinga alias “Kulot,” who were said to have been shot dead by their police escorts after the two supposedly tried escaping. Cadavero and Panogalinga were being held for illegal possession of firearms. The police officers were transporting Cadavero and Panogalinga back to Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna from Cavite, where the two underwent inquest proceedings when the shooting hyappened on Monday. An initial police report said that at a little past 6:30 p.m., as the police convoy was passing through San Pedro, Laguna on the Magsaysay Highway, the van carrying Cadavero and Panogalinga was shot at by unknown gunmen on two motorcycles. Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, head of the San Pedro Police, said that it was at this point that Cadavero and Panogalinga made a grab for their police escorts’ weapons. The officers resisted and the two alleged gangster ended up getting shot. The police officers suffered minor injuries. Meanwhile, the motorcycle-riding gunmen sped away. The other vehicle in the police convoy then rushed Cadavero and Panogalinga to the nearest hospital, but they were declared “dead on arrival.” Cadavero and Panogalinga were in police custody as they were arrested by the Philippine National Police last Friday Read More …

Feb 282013
Trading company charged with tax evasion

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue filed on Thursday a criminal complaint against a trading company for tax evasion. Jera Marketing, Inc. (JMI) and its President Ester Almendrala were charged before the Department of Justice for violating the National Revenue Code of 1997 as defined and penalized under Section 255 and in relation to Section 253. JMI is a local corporation involved in trading goods. It is registered with the BIR and is based in San Pedro, Laguna. The state agency said the firm failed to submit its books of accounts and other accounting records for all internal revenue taxes covering taxable year 2006. JMI was earlier issued a letter of authority for BIR to examine its documents. A subpoena duces tecum, a preliminary collection letter, a final notice before seizure and a warrant of distraint and/or levy were also issued to the company to settle its tax obligations. “However, despite such repeated demands and the lapse of a considerable length of time, JMI has obstinately failed and adamantly refused to pay, through its responsible corporate officer, the aforementioned deficiency taxes, to the prejudice of government,” BIR said. The criminal case filed against JMI is the 152nd filed under the bureau’s Run After Tax Evaders program.