SNAPSHOT: 1967 Manila

4:16 PM

“Manila… I keep coming back to Manila. There is no place like Manila, “goes The Hotdog’s song. The Manila Sound Band wrote an ode to their favorite city which has become the unofficial anthem of the Philippine capital.  Released in 1976, it talks about the longing of a man for the sounds and sights of Manila even if he has been to other parts of the world.

And whenever I look at these postcards I’ve dug at antique shops, it’s rather easy to understand his sentiments.

"City Hall of Manila, Philippines. Seen along the city hall is the modern thoroughfare with its over the underpass."
Copyright, 1967.  JMC Press, Inc., Quezon City, Philippines.
"Manila, Philippines, an aerial view of the City."
Copyright, 1967.  JMC Press, Inc., Quezon City, Philippines

WASN’T MANILA JUST GORGEOUS? I would keep on coming back too if it looks like this.

Planned by Daniel Burnham – the brain who laid out Baguio City, Chicago and designed New York City’s Flat Iron Building, Manila was designed to be The Pearl of the Orient. Burnham was an advocate of The City Beautiful Movement – a turn of the century North American Philosophy in Architecture and Urban Planning bent on beautification and introducing grandeur in cities.  “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized," said Burnham.

Now, Manila is a shadow of its former self. All that’s visible are several heritage buildings, some parks, and that underpass called Lagusnilad across the Manila City Hall.

With Election Day just a mere days away, I do hope that whoever wins as Manila City Mayor would have the plans, together with the will, to make the capital a beautiful city again. Beauty matters as it affects people’s emotions, psychological disposition, and their confidence. Not to mention pride and love for one’s country.

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