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.


  1. Beautiful building. Now to get rid of that spaghetti tangle of wires (Attention: PLDT!)

  2. Security Guards is always annoying!

  3. Security guards are doing their job but that does not mean that they are respectful. Many of our security guards in our country are so rude especially to strangers who do not dress professionally or neat. Here in the US and Canada, security guards are at least polite enough to talk to you in a soft gentle manner, "Excuse me, Sir. May I help you with anything? You see, you are not supposed to be loitering here."

  4. Feature the old Paco Railway Station next! I love that structure very much. I first saw it when I was in grade school :)

    1. here is the link of the old Paco Station :)

  5. Thats the problem with most guards or policemen here. You give them power and they go bezerk and greedy for that power.

  6. i don't know but the wires at least give character to the city. without it binondo would have look like singapore, rather boring. im much more worried though about the undisciplined traffic and lack of sidewalks here

  7. sino po ang architect ng building na eto?

  8. I can not see this in Google Street View April 2014 map anymore, is it demolish already or renovated?