Escolta Love Parade Part 1

My proposal? Keep the facade, maintain the look of the interiors, and proceed to making it commercial (or whatever). It doesn't need to be demolished and replaced by a totally different structure to properly serve its purpose.

On March 13th, Rg and I decided to spend our afternoon at Carlos Celdran’s Escolta Love Parade, a project that aims to “make the invisible city visible again”. The least I could do as a blogger is spread the word about the beauty of Old Manila, and hope for change so we can still witness its revival during our lifetime. We can all help in our own capacity, I think!

As a kid, I never really got to properly walk the streets of Old Manila, partly because I lived quite far, and because I never really had any occasion to go there except for school field trips. While I know of the historical places and buildings through books, I’ve never had the chance to actually check each place out on foot. I used to only see Old Manila through a car window, especially since it has somehow garnered a shady reputation. True enough, when I posted photos from the tour, people commented with things like, “Ingat ka dyan!“, “It is surprising how this was pulled off safely.”, and “Great idea but still be careful!”.

And then you realize how sad it is that it has come to this point. If you could only see the pre-war photos of Old Manila, it was all sorts of beautiful! Well-dressed people used to freely walk around like how we do it in BGC and Makati nowadays. You could even compare it to great cities in Europe, with cobblestone steps, amazing architecture, and bustling city life everywhere. Unfortunately, it got severely damaged during the war, and people started moving to newer cities. And the rest is history.

But just imagine if we could rebuild it to its original state, and with our modern technology, make it even better? I get so kilig just thinking about it!


That’s it for most of East Escolta! I’ll be posting another one for those who still need a push to go to one of Carlos Celdran’s informative, interactive tours. It’s my first time to see him in action, and now I want to go to his Intramuros (my fave part of Manila!) tour!

Much thanks to my fiance, who loves the Philippines dearly, for always re-introducing me to my own country. I swear if I didn’t have him in my life, I’d probably just be in my cave of a room all day, and I’d probably grow old oblivious of the beauty that’s waiting out there. I rarely travel locally because I get intense motion sickness from long car rides, but anyone from Manila could easily go to Escolta for this tour via car or train. The Escolta Love Parade is a pay-what-you-can tour, but the recommended fee was P300 per person. The walking tour took about 2 1/2 hours, so comfy clothes and shoes were a must!

Rg just found the announcement for the tour on the VivaManila page. I’m not sure when the next Escolta tour is, but there’s going to be an Intramuros Ghost Tour on April 9th? I’m not so good with horror, but that one seems interesting too!

(If anyone’s wondering, I shot these with my handy Sony a5000. There were a lot of people from the tour group who brought dSLRs with them, but I felt safer walking around with a slightly inconspicuous camera.)