Escolta: Old Manila Flashback in Photographs

Escolta was once the seat of financial district in Manila. During the post colonial era and pre war in Manila, Escolata was marked by  beauty and splendor. The high-end  fashionable shops and department stores were located here. It was reputed as the place for shopping of the rich.

Fashionable women along Escolta Street.

To have a glimpses of the once opulent place, I visited the Escolta Museum, inside Calvo Building, along Escolta Street.

Calvo Building

The museum is found  at the second floor of the building. There are two rooms displaying vintage bottle collections, old photographs, and copies of revolutionary newspapers . Entrance fee is 50 pesos per person, according to the curator, most of the visitors are foreigners. The existence of the Museum is not known to many locals.
Entrance to the Museum

Inside the Museum

The vintage bottles are uncommon, their designs and colors express the sophistication and ingenuity of the glassmaker’s art.  These bottles connect us with history by providing us insight to the ways of commerce : marketing and advertising.

Newspaper advertisements are also exhibited on the bulletin boards. The content of these papers reflect the life and soul of the community pre war era.  Because of these papers, today’s generation is given a greater level of understanding of how was life during pre-war. The revolutionary newspapers also give context to the lives of those who lived 100 years  before us.

The collections are very educating. I admire the  extremely valuable contribution of the people who are behind the creation of Escolta Museum : Escolta Commercial Association, Inc.

After visiting the museum, I had a leisurely walk along the street of Escolta. Interestingly, just across Calvo building,  the Capitol Theater still stands to date, although already closed to public.   The building was designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil.

Heading straight from Capitol Theater led me to Pasig River Cruise station. I took  some snaps of the Manila Post Office from there, since the view is unobstracted. Manila Post Office is located at Plaza Lawton, at the foot of Santa Cruz Bridge.

I ended my Escolta exploration by having savory pancit lomi and fried chicken at Savory Restaurant.


Another worthy Manila trip.


8 thoughts on “Escolta: Old Manila Flashback in Photographs

  1. Thank you so very much for sharing us the pictures. My last visit to Manila was in 1997. I worked for beautiful four years at Soriente-Santos store which is now prominently shows the Mercury drug store at the Calvo Bldg,Escolta…It brought back many good memories.Again I thank you and God bless.

    1. Thanks for the tip! Actually I’ve been there before but on a Carlos Celdran tour however I was just told yesterday that I couldn’t just walk-in the museum. I didn’t push through today because of the weather but I’ll keep in mind to go there on a Sunday instead. Thank you again ☺

  2. Sometimes it’s so good to reminisce the good old days and just hang on for awhile, specially pondering the big difference of the present and the past…did we really move forward for the better or what?

  3. I admire your photos and your level of interest in knowing about old Manila which, incidentally, I am very much into. It is so funny that, last week, a chinoy friend invited me to have dinner at the Uno restaurant partially shown on the photo you took of Calvo building.

  4. I’m always facinated by old pictures or antiques. It seems to narrate stories of the past, even by just merely looking at it. I’m really impressed of the pictures you shared . It really gave me a glimpsed of the past.Thank you very much.

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