Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Powerhouse Journey : Plaza Moraga

Isa sa mga famous Plaza namakikita sa Escolta ang Plaza Moraga.

Ito na ang Plaza Moraga namakikita sa dulo ng Calle Escolta.

Anu nga ba ang kasaysayan sa Plaza Moraga?

Plaza Moraga circa 1926-1928

Plaza Moraga was the site of the very first ice cream parlor in the Philippines, Clark's Cafe, which created a commotion when it opened in 1899. But of course, what made this area truly popular is Escolta, which means escort in Spanish. During the British occupation from 1762 to 1764, this street was favored by the British Commodore as a convoy route.

My Plaza Moraga shoot March 2012

And as everyone knows, this thoroughfare has since become Manila's premier shopping center; that is, until the malls started sprouting all over the metropolis. Except for the Savory Restaurant that's still there and doing a brisk business, some of the well-known establishments that used to be in Escolta were Botica Boie, Heacock’s, Alonzo, Estrella del Norte, Dencia’s Pansit Malabon, Max’s Fried Chicken, and Hen. The first fully air-conditioned commercial building in the Philippines, the Crystal Building, still stands on this street but has been renamed Philippine National Bank Building. It now houses the City College of Manila.

To the left at the stop light is Plaza Cervantes where the First National City Bank of New York and the Bank of the Philippine Islands are located. A fellow blogger who used to work at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Amadeo of The Ignatian Perspective, once shared an interesting trivia about this building.

He said, "During that big earthquake in the late '60s, part of the façade of that Plaza Cervantes building moved about an inch or two, noticeable only from the inside because of the cracked floor. So, one wonders if that building was allowed to be used soon after that. But it definitely was a landmark building site, as gleaned from its history."

Although the building remains standing to date, I'm uncertain if it's fully occupied. Plaza Cervantes seems dusty because of vehicular traffic, and not too many people can be seen in the area as compared to the neighboring streets even during the busy office hours.

Up ahead from Plaza Moraga, on both sides of Paredes Street (formerly Rosario) are rows of numerous banks; at its end is Binondo Church.

| Sign Post : The Chinese-Filipino Friendship arch was built in the 1970s, and serves as the entrance to Manila Chinatown.

Plaza Moraga - Powerhouse Journey End.

Abangan ang ikalabing-isa yugto ng Powerhouse Journey :Simbahan ng Quiapo

History credit to the owner.
Old Photo Credit to the owner


  1. I actually told my father in law about your blos posts on the old streets and old buildings in escolta. He told me that they were just playing in the middle of the streets before. And those buildings were really famous that Japanese and Spaniards chose to stay within that area.

    However, this days, it has been house of some ex-convicts, daw.. This is just sad..

    But I applaud you for doing this advocacy. Continue your journey. More powe to you Axl! Kampay!

  2. @ness. wow really i didnt know that. yeap escolta si one of the famous place in asia pacific before... thanks for the info.. pero prang wala naman mga ex-convicts yung nagpunta kami dito eh...
    thanks again.

  3. napaakinformative tlga ng blog mo.


    thanks for sharing ..

  4. ay natatandaan ko oitong lugar na ito, kaya lang maliliit na ngayon ang kalye sa area na yan and usually one way pa :)

  5. i miss visiting your site, buds. Eeeeee! As usual, super gala ka nanaman. LOL :)

  6. I really appreciate this bits of information about the different historical places around Manila. Keep 'em coming!

  7. nagiging nostalgic ako sa OLD MANILA and the OLD DAYS aka the "GLORY DAYS"seeing your photos :(

  8. ibang-iba na tlga ang itsura ng Manila, hehe

  9. weee... mas maganda tingnan yung mga lumang pictures :)

  10. The old pictures look nice and I've been to Plaza Moraga, didn't know that the place has a long history.

  11. ang dami ko pa palang di nadi discover sa Escolta... thanks for sharing

  12. So full of history naman gaya sa nauna kong comments, sayang naman di napreserve ang mga lugar na ito, sana pareho ng Vienna yung mga historic places nandun pa din at dinadayo ng tourists....

  13. I like your posts! You relive history and heritage that's almost forgotten

  14. now I know! nabuhay history ko.. i learn something everytime i visit this page..
    more of this!