Monday, 30 September 2013

El Hogar Building

By: Paolo M. Bustamante
For some reason, exploring the city of Manila makes my stress go away. I needed a break from school, friends and from my life because for some reason drama keeps on following me wherever I go. Drama keeps popping out of nowhere, but when I am in Manila, all of my problems go away. Last Thursday, before going to school, I visited of one of the oldest buildings in Binondo, the El Hogar Building.

The last time that I visited the El Hogar Building was 5 months ago when I saw the Younghusband brothers shooting for a hair commercial. When I saw the Younghusband brothers back then, I remember screaming my lungs off because they are so finnnne. For some reason their charm makes smart girls lose their minds. 

Going back, I was there standing in front of the El Hogar Building. It is just so irresistible to look at. The building has this elegant vibe but only a few people could appreciate the beauty of this building. Despite of the rapid depreciation of the the El Hogar, there are still evident traces that would show that it is still gleaming with beauty.  You can see that it is very much neglected and the building is deteriorating. It is simply screaming for a serious facelift. If only I had the money to glamorize this building, I will surely pimp it with style.

The El Hogar Building was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel Daughter and a Peruvian Court and it was finished back in 1914 but some account say that the El Hogar was built in 1911. The beautiful beaux-arts structure was designed by architect Goyena. It housed the offices of the lending company, El Hogar Filipino. It is the origin headquarters of the Ayala Life Insurance Company. After the Second World War, the building was bought by the Fernandez clan who still run this building till this day.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Intramuros Pasyal Sunday

Event: Intramuros Pasyal Sunday
When: Sept. 29, 2013 
Where: Gen. Luna St. Intramuros, Manila 
Photographed by: Paolo M. Bustamante & Mel Gb

(with Pia Ranada)

(with Mel Gb)

(with Daniel Ngilay)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Demolition of the Lavezares House

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Before going to school, hurriedly went to Manila because Mr. Ivan Dy posted a photo in our Facebook groups of a bahay-na-bato house that being demolished somewhere in San Nicolas-Binodo area. It is located at Lavesarez St. Cor. Barcelona. Anyway, I went straight to San Nicolas, but thanks to my dyslexia I got lost. I kept on asking people where the Leveriza St. is. No one knew what I was talking about and for an hour, I was just circling the area of Recto.

After an hour of searching, I finally found the house. I was in shock of what I saw. I immediately grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of the house. I also asked permission if I could also go inside the house and take some pictures of the interior. Thankfully, the construction workers were so nice to let me in. They toured me around the house, but honestly, there was nothing left to see. The inside was torn down.

I don't know this house was built, but they said that this house was built in the late 19th century. (I'm not sure though.) I also noticed that there is a historical marker at the side of the house.

Anyway, I talked to Mang Magdaleno. He is part of the demolition team. He told me that the demolition started two weeks ago and what I saw is all that is left. He told me that the owners are planning to convert the lot into a parking lot. UGH!  He also said that they are starting to demolish the back part of the house.

Since they have no clue on who the owners are, I'll dub this house, the  Lavesarez House because it is in Lavesarez St. DUH! Anyway, going back... Mang Magdaleno told me to visit again tomorrow because that is where the actual demolition begins.

After asking him questions, I had a "selfie" with him. Afterwards, I started voguing inside the house because that might be the last time I will be seeing the Lavesares House. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the National Historic Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will put a stop to this madness.

According to the Heritage Conservation Society, the NHCP knows that this house is being demolished and the new owner of the lot is W.Cham, a Project Director of a certain company. I doubt that this house will still be saved even if it survived the WW2.

I see a lot of problems in Manila everyday, and this is one of them. Manila has lost a huge number of heritage houses and buildings since 2001 and I think someone has to speak up about that. But right now in my own little way, through my blog, I am trying to do my part in saving what is left of this house.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

China Banking Corporation Building

By: Paolo M. Bustamante
I usually try to look for things to share in my blog before going to school so I made a quick visit to The El Hogar Building in Binondo right before heading back to the Taft area. It has been a ritual of mine to take a stroll around my favorite places in Manila before attending any of my classes.

Anyway, once in front of the The El Hogar Building I spent my time marveling at the details and the style of the edifice as I always do. In fact, I am quite known as the tall lanky boy with the awed (and sometimes distracted) look on his face –walking around the tiny folds of Manila.

As I was taking pictures of the structure, I noticed as security guard glaring at me from my peripheral view. He slowly approached me and said, “Hoy, umalis ka na dito. Hindi ka dapat umaali-aligid dito. Alis!”, and like a stray cat being shooed, I went. You see this is the challenge that I face every time when I try to find a new feature for my blog. I have a hard time photographing most of the structures that I want to showcase, because I am usually being shooed. It is not easy for me, but I do it for the love of Philippine architecture. Besides, it is not the guard’s fault. He is literally being paid to do that. He is just performing his duties, and I respect that. All I have to do is to ninja my way into these structure and to Spiderman my way out of it –er, whatever that means…

After I successfully got myself out from that almost sticky situation, I checked the photographs that I gathered and I took a turn to Dasmarinas Street. I looked up; the stellar sun made my eyes squint, and for a second I felt like I was in a movie. I felt like one of those characters in those movies who gets lost then stumbles upon something magical in a strange place. Yes, this was like one of those moments.

In front of me was the China Banking Corporation Building. I find its architectural aesthetic stunning, and somehow it reminds me of the PWU Building it Taft Avenue. I don’t know if it is just me, but they give off a similar vibe – too bad tangled electrical wires ruin the view.

Here is a brief background of the building, for all of you architectural nuts out there: The China Banking Corporation was founded in 1920. They first settled at Calle Rosario (now Quintin Paredes) in Binondo, then they later transferred to Calle Dasmarinas after two years. During the Second World War, The Japanese troops sealed the bank and converted the bank's assets into Japanese Money.Heavily damaged after the war. The building underwent rehabilitation until it was restored into its former beauty.