Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Luneta Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

The Luneta Theater is one of my favorite stand-alone theaters in Manila next to the Capitol Theater in Escolta. I really had a hard time researching on the history of the Luneta Theater. I even asked every historian that I know but I failed. I visited the Luneta Theater during Mario Maurer's visit to the Manila with my best friend Deric Dario.

The Luneta theater is located in T.M. Kalaw Manila. It is near the Rizal Park and the Luneta Hotel. My mo told me that it was built sometime in the 70's. She used to go there to watch movies during the late 80's. The Luneta theater is owned by the Litonjua Family.

I really apologize to my readers. I swear I really researched on this one. Trust me I did everything. If you know the history of the Luneta theater just tell me. Message me or post your message in the comment box below.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bellevue Theater

 By:Paolo M. Bustamante

The Bellevue Theater is the only Neo-Mudejar structure that I know and one of the oldest remaining pre-war stand-alone movie theaters in Manila. But what is Neo-Medejar?

 It is an architectural movement that originated in Spain. Its design has ornaments, horseshoe arches leaner shapes and abstract bricks. Quite similar to Art Deco and Art Nevou style.

Built during 1931, it is located in Paco Manila.  It was owned by ALC Theater Circuit then by Enrique Gruenberg. The Gruenberg Brothers owned numerous theaters during the 60's  but when Enrique died, the family started selling the theater. Then Antonio Chua bought the Bellevue because of his love for movies.

After some time they wanted to demolish the theater, but instead they were convinced to keep the facade and demolish the interior. It is now an ukay-ukay store (store wherein they sell second hand clothes).

They really did not think before they demolish. No more movies, no more history. I am really sad that they had to demolish the interior to make way for an ukay-ukay store. How low can we get?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Jose P. Laurel House

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

We were under the rule of the Japanese during his term. He was one of the most controversial politician during his time. Was he a war collaborator, a hero or a traitor? He is none other than the former President of the Philippines Jose P. Laurel. When President Manuel Quezon went to the United States during the Japanese occupation, Jose P. Laurel was elected by the National Assembly as President of the Republic. 

It was a difficult time for him. While our country was struggling for independence, he tried to channel a peace treaty between the Philippines and Japan. But when the Japanese surrenered to the Philippines and the United States. General McArthur ordered Laurel to be arrested for treason (collaborating withe the Japanese) but President Roxas granted him amnesty and was pardoned.He ran during 1949 but he lost against President Quirino. 

He eventually retied and had made three residential houses in the Philippines, one is in Paco Manila. The Jose P. Laurel House in Paco was built during 1864 and was bought by Jose P. Laurel during 1926. He stayed here for 29 years with his wife Panciencia Hidalgo and his kids. Sotero Hidalgo inherited the house but now this house is empty and unmaintained. There's a security guard and a caretaker who checks the house for time to time.Before the month of November (month of his death) ends, we will always remember the former President Jose P. Laurel as a president who sacrificed his life for the Filipino People.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Scala Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

 After my Physical Education class I wanted to go home. I was perspiring like an athlete. It was hot and muggy. I wasn't in the mood to go to Manila to shoot for historical sites but suddenly I changed my mind. We were in Lawton beside the Liwasnang Bonifacio and I told to my driver to go to Avenida Rizal. My driver took a shortcut but it took us more than 15 minutes to go to Avenida tbecause of the traffic.   Finally we reached the avenue of Avenida.  From Carriedo station, I saw few Neoclassic buildings and ancestral houses. I really want to make a stop but my task is to visit the Scala Theater. I got confused on where to go but good thing my driver is with me because I am not familiar with the place. I had my camera ready like a pro, In case there are interesting buildings, ill shoot them, then I'll go back like the Arguelles Building beside the Carriedo Station. Avenida has a lot of historical sites. Interesting buildings and decaying ancestral houses waiting to be known.

I always see the Scala theater whenever i ride the LRT. It is rusty, old and forgotten.While I was shooting the Scala Theater, people were looking as if i were a celebrity all eyes were on me and the theater. Maybe they were thinking why is this theater worth shooting or why is he shooting that. At least I made them wonder why am I doing such and after more than 50 years they stopped and appreciate the beauty of the theater. Good thing there was traffic on the other side of the lane. I was in the middle of the road while shooting the Scala theater. Jeepneys, trucks and motorcycles were beside me but i don't care because my driver/bodyguard is right beside me. Try snatching my camera and BAM! goes your neck. My driver will really chop you into half.

The Scala Theater was built by Pablo Antonio. If you don't know him, well shame on you! He is an architect who added color to the city of Manila. He build dozens of buildings before WWII like the Far Eastern University and the Ideal Theater. His style was modern and art deco. but after the war, he started building new structures along Avenida together with Juan Nakpil. they built theaters all over Manila and one of those theaters was the Scala Theater. Built during the late 1940's after the Japanese occupation, The Scala was built in a different and more modern style. Maybe Pablo Antonio was tired of the Art deco style he tried experimenting on this theater. It has a very pleasant facade. The lower half of the theater is treated with tea rose marble layering and the upper half is covered with glass. As of now the theater is closed. The maybe gone but at least they still preserved its facade.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

De La Salle University

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

De La Salle University is definitely one of the most prestigious schools in the Philippines. Through the years, DLSU has never failed to produce hundreds of graduates who have harnessed their potentials in their respective fields. Their curriculum varies from economics and business, to computer studies and liberal arts. De La Salle College was founded in 1911 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Classes were held in Spanish for the first 125 students enrolled, varying in age and grade level. They offered the full primary and intermediate programs, plus a three-year commercial secondary school program. The first Commercial High School diploma was given to 3 students in 1915. During the World War II, the Japanese occupied the College grounds and used it as defense quarters. Classes were still held but their academics suffered greatly due to the reduced curriculum. As a result of the never-ending bombings around the college area, their laboratories, libraries and gymnasiums were destroyed. On Feb. 12, 1945, a group of 16 brothers were massacred together with several families who were taking refuge in the college chapel.

The schools of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Education, Industrial Technology, and Career Development were established during the 1970s. Also founded were the graduate schools of Business Administration and Education. In 1973, De La Salle College recognized the need for women to also get an education, and in turn, they opened its doors to female students. Also in 1973, De La Salle College published a document containing the blueprints of a proposal for the planned improvements of the school until 1983. This document was updated annually and was called De La Salle Ten Years. Their greatest achievement, however, during that decade was the transition from college to university on Feb. 19, 1975. This was because of the outstanding academic and professional contributions the school had made to Philippine private education.

So as you can see, D.L.S.U. has been through decades of experience. Ten decades to be exact, as of June 2011. This university is prepared to give anyone the best education along with Christian moral values that anyone would be proud to posses. DLSU hones its student’s abilities and transforms it to something that one would be able to use and perfect in their respective fields. A true Lasalista is a well-rounded person, both in academics and in community service. A Lasalista will strive to make this Filipino nation just, peaceful, stable and progressive. DLSU has continued to prove that humility and intelligence, although on opposite sides of life, may go hand-in-hand. The Green Archers are known to be competent, respectful, compassionate and confident, among many, in all walks of life. A Lasalista’s intelligence and wisdom brings him/her higher up, but it’s their innate humility that keeps their feet on the ground.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Far Eastern University

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

One of the few Schools who still follow the Art-Deco design, The Far Eastern University has come a long way when it comes to preserving one of Manila's Lost architectural style. But what is Art-Deco, it was the trending style during the 1920's and 1930's you can characterize it by its shapes and by it's specific geometrical figures, strong colors and objects such as flowers in architecture. It was a trending architectural style in Manila but all came to a halt when the Japanese invaded the Philippines.

The Far Eastern University was founded in 1928 by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. he appointed Pablo Antonio to design the campus, but during WWII, the campus served as a military base for the Japanese but, unfortunately Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. died during the war. Even though the campus was damaged after the war. it's fa├žade was left untouched but though the years the words Far Eastern University changed from Art-Deco to modern. The campus was recognized by the UNESCO in 2005 for preserving its Art-Deco Style.

The St. Scholastica's College in Leon Guinto Manila and the Mayflower building of the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde are some of the few schools in Manila who has buildings that are Art-Deco. I hope that there will come a time that the demolished Art-Deco buildings will be brought back.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Roben Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

The Roben Theater was erected during the early 1970's. It is located in C.M. Recto in Rizal Avenue Manila a place where stand-alone Movies were everywhere. Before it was a haven for people who are looking for a good time, a place to relax and a place where you can just lean back and enjoy the show, but now a lot of people say that it is a haven of prostitution.

A lot has happened to the Filipino Movies through the years, but during the 70's it is the revolutionary/experimental era of our movies. From 50's black, 60's white to 70's "bomba" movies. During the 70's action and bomba movies were the emerging trend.

The Roben Theater is still operating. Despite the demolition of stand-alone theaters along Rizal Avenue, The Roben is still standing proud with its steel sign although it is not well maintained, it is still operational.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Captain Pepe Building

By:Paolo M. Bustamante

Of all the historical sites that i visited, The Captain Pepe Building in Rizal Avenue was the hardest to shoot because it is surrounded by tangled electric spaghetti wrings, street vendors and the Captain Pepe Building is beside two LRT railways. I was very disappointed with my shots but a friend of mine once told me that I must expose the real Manila and i think that the Rizal Avenue is a fine example of exposing the "Manila Eyesore".

The Captain Pepe Building was designed by Juan Nakpil , and was built during the 1930's. Captain Pepe is the late husband of Dona Narcisa de Leon of L.V.N. Pictures. He is known as Don Pepe, the name captain is given to local government officials. The Moonlit Terrace and The Central Hotel were once tenants of the building.

My mom read the draft of my blog post while I was eating my mango cake from Red Ribbon and she was not happy with the title i gave the Avenue of Rizal "Manila Eyesore"she thinks that it is too negative. For me, I am exposing the good and the bad of Manila so that my readers would know the plight of Manila. I know that we Filipinos  are facing a lot of problems such as poverty, gender discrimination and patriotism issues but if we always think that our country is hopeless, nothing will happen to us. I don't want to use the term hope, because it is for people who do not aspire, who are lazy, who leaves everything to God. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

6th Philippine Town and Cities Conference

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

 Last week I tagged along my bestfriend Deric Dario to accompany me to this event that would change our views about Manila and the rest of the Philippines.  Thank goodness he did not ditch me! Because my friend is kind-duh noted for being late whenever he is invited to ( sometimes) important events, such as debuts, birthdays and weddings. He is following the Filipino time, always fashionably late but he really knows when something is important and he can never ditch a friend when he is needed the most. Because last October when Mario visited the Philippines, our friends gave us tickets to his press conference before going to his pres conference we planned that we will meet in our school at exactly 10:00 sharp but since we are late we decided to visit Jose Rizal instead in Luneta Park well it was totally worth the visit even though my pimples started booming like mushrooms because of the heat but seriously ditching Mario for Rizal is an act of patriotism. A monument should be erected in our honor.

From our school we went straight to Moraita, the event was held in Far Eastern University, a school that is highly applauded for  its Art-Deco Architectural style. We entered the auditorium and I must say I wish my school had their auditorium. 

There are speakers from allover Luzon, I'm wondering where are the representatives from Mindanao and Visayas. Hmm, where are they? but nevertheless the speakers are very inspirational especially Dr. Rosauro Sta. Maria. He is against the demolition of the Teodora Alonzo House in Laguna. He as been an active preservationist of the landmarks of Laguna. And Also Mr. Paulo Alcazaren who gave out free Bluprint Magazines.

I would like to thank you to my best friend Deric Dario. Thank you so much!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Vignettes of Paco

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Memories of Calle Escolta

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Lord's & Jennet Theater

Paolo M. Bustamante

Not so far from the Captain Pepe Building is the Lord's and Jennet Theater. The twin theater as I would like to call it. I always see these theaters whenever I ride the LRT. Usually the movies that are being shown here are either x-rated or out-of-date.

The Lords and the Jennet Theater was built during the late 1960's and through the years , the Lord's and Jennet's stood the test of time. There was a certain decade in the history of  Manila (2000) wherein demolishing stand-alone theaters is a trend to make way for new yet unsightly infrastructures. Unfortunately the neighboring theaters of the twin theaters  (Avenue, Clover and the State theater) along Avenida were demolished.

The only thing bothers me, is the L.R.T. line in Rizal Ave. & in Taft Ave. I think that the L.R.T. should have a avoided the Rizal Avenue. The Department of Public Works and Highways should have placed it somewhere! The beautiful historical theaters are being blocked by the L.R.T. line but it is already there, I think that the construction of the L.R.T line in Rizal Ave. led to the decline of tourist and film enthusiast around Avenida.

Monumental Monologues

By: Paolo M. Bustamante