Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Laperal Apartments

The Laperal Building is currently being demolished. According to Mr. Ivan Henares, the Vice-President of the Heritage Conservation Society, it was bought by the University of the East. The Laperal Apartments is an art deco structure and it catered to stores and boutiques such as the Variety Store. The Variety Store was established in 1939 in Quiapo but later moved to the Laperal Apartments in 1947. The Estrel's caramel cakes (Established in 1946) also rented a space on  the Laperal apartments in 1950.  According to Mr. Rence Chan, The curio store is Rogelio de Jesus one of the oldest exsisting tenants of the apartment another one is Josie's Philatelic Shoppe. The Laperal apartments is located in CM Recto Avenue in front of San Sebastian College. 

Stephen Pamorada posted yesterday in the HSC groups in Facebook that the Lapral Building is being demolished and even though I was busy doing my midterm plate, I took the time to visit this artdeco marvel. I really had a hard time researching on the background of the Laperal Building so I tried calling one of the tenants yesterday about the Building but when I asked who owned the place she rudely hung up on me. As of now there is nothing I can do about this building but to document it.

As of now only the facade remains but I am sure they will demolish that sometime this week. Bit by bit we are erasing our past but I cannot blame U.E. for demolishing this building I mean it is just wise for them to expand because who wants a small campus anyway. I am not saying that they should demolish it but since they are halfway there I am just hoping that they won't demolish the facade.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Luzco Building

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

We all know the art deco buildings blossomed like flowers in Manila and Iloilo. Carefully built by our national artists, but later destroyed by those who wants to erase their past permanently. As the art deco movement took over the streets of Manila, the neoclassical was very much overshadowed and outnumbered by the art deco. We have great neoclassical buildings especially in Ermita like the Central Post Office, the Department of Tourism Building and the National Museum but we in order to appreciate our built heritage we need to rape the streets of Manila.

I was in Escolta the other day until my friend saw the Luzco Building along the street of Dasmarinas and Burke. I was not expecting that magnificent building in Binondo because usually when people say "What do you see in Binondo?" usually my answer is " duh! Chinese Temples like in the movie kung fu panda." Trust me there are many neoclassical residential and commercial buildings in Binondo especially in Dasmarinas.

According to the people who are renting a commercial space in the Luzco Building, It was built during the American Period in the early 1930's and it is now owned by a Filipino business man. It is located along Dasmarinas st. corner Burke st.  beside the First United Building My professor in Philippine History told me if he was not mistaken the Luzco building was the old American Chamber of Commerce Building. In front of the Luzco is another Neoclassical building the Philex Building.

This just in, Mr. Rommel Earl Digo messaged me that the Luzco Building was  built by his great grandfather. The Luzco Building was designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro the son of Juan Luna during 1938. Andres Luna also designed the demolished Crystal Arcade in Escolta.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Gota de Leche

 By: Paolo M, Bustamante

 We all honor doctors and nurses for different reasons, sometimes for their courage, sometimes for their sacrifices and sometimes for their fearlessness, but the only thing that I do not like about doctors is that they are sometimes pricey after all nothing is free anymore. When was the last time you helped someone? We are a third world country, almost half of our population,  if i am not mistaken live in hunger. Once in a while we just have to stop and notice those people who are in need. Instead of celebrating your birthday in the clubs, go to the home for the elderly or go to the orphanage.

Got milk? since it is Juan Arellano week, I will be featuring the Gota de Leche, a simple yet elegant building. Gota de Leche simply means "drop of milk". It is located at 859 Loyola St. Manila. It was built in 1914 designed by architect Juan Arellano & Arcadio Arellano.  The Gota de Leche was established by Teodoro Yangco, La Proteccion de la Infancia, Inc an organization that caters to the needs of sick and malnourished infants. He established it as a clinic to put an end on malnutrition.  In 2003 The building received the Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award from UNESCO for restoring this fine building.

The Gota de Leche is a two-storey buiding, the exterior has two decorative statues, the second floor is covered with balck and white tiles. The two architects was inspired by the Osepedale Degli Innocenti, in Florence, Italy. Architect Augusto Villalon supervised the restoration of the Gota de Leche and was completed in 2002.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Meralco Building

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

The demolition has began, boundaries were pushed, and the news went from bad to worse. The Meralco building thought that it was time for them to leave the city of manila for good. Years ago, the Jai-Alai Building & the Avenue Theater bade farewell to those who remembered. The demolition of the Meralco building has stared. According to Mr. Ivan Herares, (The Vice-President of the Heritage Conservation Society) the building is owned by a Chinese, like what Mr. Ivan said "sorry for the stereotypes but I  think you know what will happen next".

The Meralco Building is a Juan Arellano masterpiece. Located in San Marcelino St. Ermita, Manila beside Adamson University. It was built in 1936 and it survived WWII. The fascade of the building has a bas-relief embellishments and it was designed by Francesco Ricardo Monti and Italian sculptor. He designed the muses in the Metropolitan Museum. This was the original headquarters of Meralco (Manila Electric Rail and Light Company).

Finally some good news! Ms. Dorie from the Heritage Conservation Society texted me last night that according to Mr. Ivan Henares and Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta they were able stopped the demolition of this building. They were able to save the bas-relief.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Gaiety Theater

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

This stand-alone theater is one of the hardest to locate. It took me 1 hour and a bottle of vodka just to find this theater. The reason why we got lost is because the Herran St. was changed to Pedro Gil St. even I do not know who Pedro is  but now I can tell the media, I was not informed (for those of you who know christopher lao you will get my joke) The Gaiety theater seems to fit the theme of the district, Malate but majority of the stand-alone theaters in Manila are either located in Paco or in Avenida, But this one was lost in Malate, surrounded by strip bars and motels.

The Gaiety Theater is located along the street of Marcelo H. Del Pilar in Malate Manila near Hyatt Hotel. It is abandoned when I went there and the theater is partly demolished. It was designed by Juan Nakpil in 1935. It was owned by an American, Mr. H. Brown, producer of La Vida de Rizal. 

I am sorry but this is the only work of Juan Nakpil that i really abhor/loathe. It is out of proportion, plain and there is nothing outside unlike the late Ever theater, It screams glamorous allover the fascade. But nonetheless we need to preserve this Nakpil masterpiece because whether I like it or not and even though art is purely for some people subjective it is part of our heritage. We must preserve the buildings of the past. (thanks to citytales for the pictures)