Thursday, 25 July 2013

Boix House

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Beside the Bahay Bautista-Nakpil house is the Boix House. A house that stands proud despite the challenges that it is facing. The house is currently overpopulated with families and boarders.

This two-storey building was originally known as the Crespo House. By looking at the house, you can see that it was built way before the American period. There are no records showing when this house was built but according to Stephen Pamorada, this house was built in the 1890's. Now the Boix house is owned by the Jesuits. This house is currently overpopulated with families and boarders.

 I am worried that this house will soon face demolition because developers usually eye on the weak, unstable and neglected heritage buildings. Remember the Meralco Building? what a sad fate. 

But there is a group a non-government organization that helps resotore the Boix house to its former glory and that is the Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista. the people behind the organization are volunteers professionals and students.

About 5 years ago, a letter was sent to the Jesuits who owned the Boix house for the possibility for securing this structure for heritage. In a meeting last July 2012 at Bahay Bautista Nakpil-Bautista with Mr. Jun Naranjilla, the treasurer of the Jesuit and a group of volunteers said that the Jesuits wants to "secure the property for heritage" but they simply do not have the funds. In the meeting, Mr. Jun came up with the concept of Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista to address not only the problems of the Boix House but also the Bautista St. as well.

In recent news, the students of Mirriam College in QC cleaned the Boix House as part of their NSTP class. These random act of kindness shows that there is still hope for humanity, showing that there are still people who care for our heritage.

Just a thought, the Bautista street can be the little Venice of Manila. I mean we have two very beautiful heitage houses, the Boix and the Bahay Bautista-Nakpil and in front of the Boix House is the Main Theater which was built by Juan Nakpil in the 50's and if youre worried about your safety, dont be (well the location is in Quapio) dont worry, there is a police station nearby.

Fun fact: Did you know that the late great President Manuel L. Quezon once stayed in this house as a boarder? Oh yes he did! When he was studying at Letran.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Demolition of the Meralco Building

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

My classmates and I are doing a short documentary about the plight of our heritage sites in Manila. We started shooting yesterday. So from Benilde we went to San Marcelino St. near Adamson Univerisity. Our first stop is the Meralco Building. The Meralco Building is perfect for our documentary.

I talked to one of the contractors there, Mang rodriguez and he said they are doing the best they can to preserve the Monti structures. All he knows is that the Monti Furies was sculpted by some Italian guy.( at least he knows something about the Furies)

So we started interviewing him. He sat on a chair and started talking about the demolition and the condition of the Meralco Building. He said that Mcdonald's will occupy this lot. I was schocked! I mean after what happened to the YMCA, Baguio Pine Trees and other structures that were demolished by the SMDC I started boycotting SM. Now Mcdonald's UGH! I am so getting cheeze fries! This really made me furious! Mang Inasal is the way to go!

At least they are done casting the Monti Furies but what will happen to the original? the top was chipped off.

 Last week, one of the workers was quoted as saying "durog lahat 'yan" which is quite disappointing. Mr. Ivan Henares of the Heritage Conservation Society stated that " It's like making a copy of an Amorsolo then destroying the original Amorsolo. "

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).

The Meralco Building is being demolished to give way to another Mcdonald's. No happy meal for us.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Aristotle Inn

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Deep within the concrete jungle of Rizal Avenue, stands a mighty tall structure that has survived one of the most gruesome wars of the world. This structure has witnessed a lot of battles and victories. Maybe for some, this structure is just some old house in Rizal Avenue, but for me it is a cultural treasure that needs to be preserved. 

I always see this house whenever I ride the LRT. The rusty details of the roof and the wooden carvings of the structure makes me want to press the emergency button of the train and go down the tracks just to take pictures of this lovely house.

My mom told me that there are houses in Rizal Ave., that are way better looking than the Aristotle Inn, but this structure stood the test of time and even though this is not as beautiful and as elegant as the other neighbouring houses, it is still there, unlike the others, well they are now gone.

I posted a picture of the Aristotle inn on my page on facebook. The picture was taken in 1945 during the Second World War.

 In the picture that I posted, you can see that the Filipinos are all in a squatting position as tanks pass by Rizal Avenue. A very heartbreaking picture. Can you imagine us living during the Second World War?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Main Theatre

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

When I did a feature on the last 13 stand-alone theatres in Manila last year, I apparently I left out some theatres like the Main, Globe, Crown and the Hollywood. Another face palm moment for my blog. 

It is a shame that I missed out on the Main theatre I mean It is near the Times and right in front of the Bahay Bautista-Nakpil in Quiapo. Yesterday we had an event at the Bahay Bautista-Nakpil, and while we were discussing about our future plans and projects in HCS-Y, (Heritage Conservation Society-Youth). Stephen Pamorada suggested that there should be a screening of old movies and project it at the back of the Main theatre so everyone could see, even the people outside of the house. It is like an open show cinema just like in the United States.

Anyway, when he said the words "Main Theater" I replied "Where is it? Is that the building with a bas-relief?" He said "Yes! it is infront of the Bahay Bautista-Nakpil. I hastily grabbed my camera and went there to shoot.

When went home, I asked Mr. Richard Tuazon-Bautista, a noted historian, about the background of the Main Theatre. He said that the Main Theatre was designed by Juan Nakpil during the early 1950's and it follows the international style of architecture.