Save Quiapo!

Isn’t this beautiful! a church at the end of the road!

I was reading my round of blogsites the other day when I stumbled upon this cry for help to save Quiapo’s Calle Hidalgo from one of the more popular blogger around Carlos.

Ironically, just last week I visited this place, but due to heavy rains I didn’t notice that there was a four storey condominium being built along the street, as of this writing, according to a friend they have started digging, soon I’m definite that they would commence laying the concrete foundations.

Hidalgo is still one of my favorite streets of Manila, I’ll never forget seeing this place for the first time when I was in grade school. My Tia Lydia brought me to the steps San Sebastian, I was awed by its beauty. It was so perfect, from Quezon if one would walk; the church would be visible at the end of the road. At the end of the long thread, the steel church awaits – what a reward! I can only imagine how beautiful this place was, back in the old days.

It is quite obvious that Quiapo has slowly deteriorated due to neglect, but it’s never too late. ‘The heart of Manila’ according toProf. Zialcita (subtitle of his book Quiapo) still has the potential – the beautiful houses are still there!

The Paterno (I hope I got this right)
The Paterno house (not 100% sure though) when I tried to speak with the people who resides inside, all I got were blank stares.

I dream one day that I can bring along foreigners and show them how great Manila was, and how it protected its heritage while progressing into a first class city, through Quiapo.

Looking at David’s map the building would be built between the Ocampo and Paterno houses, which would make it out of place, worst this would congest the already heavy foot and vehicle traffic, they should keep in mind that there are schools on that street (MLQU being one of them with a very substantial student population). If there’s one thing that the city government of Manila does not have,  is the appreciation for these historic places – they just don’t take the value of heritage into consideration when they allow private constructions, is it all money? la avaricia para el dinero!

This could be the Ocampo house. If only we could restore this houses!
This could be the Ocampo house. If only we could restore this houses!

When you look at countries like Singapore, Malaysia and even communist Vietnam, you would notice that they take pride in their colonial houses, you would not see them destroy this relics, instead they would put efforts to restore them – why can’t we do the same?

In time, this houses that represents the glorious past would be gone, lost forever. That is why I usually would walk tirelessly, taking photographs of old houses and places, I would want to save them even in pictures – because at this moment, everything seems to be fading away and were not getting that much from our government.

Please visit this site (click here) and be part of a signature campaign to stop this condominium construction that would not only destroy the historic corridors of Hidalgo, but would worsen the traffic situation! I don’t understand why Mayor Lim gave the green lights for this, I should not be surprise anymore, what’s new!


2 responses to “Save Quiapo!

  • steely church of San Sebastian | With one's past...

    […] My first memory of San Sebastian was when I was a boy. These visits are rare because Quiapo church was easier get to (and my nanay was a Nazarene devotee) but the image of the steel church, with its noticeable dim interiors and captivating glass window art, made an deep impression on me that when I see a gothic church, wherever I go, I’m instantly reminded of it. […]

  • Eddie

    What Manila really need is a state of the art recycling plant, put poor people to work and get rid of the squatters by creating an affordable housing project. Regulate our roads, sidewalks, and streets. Regulate vehicle carbon emissions etc. And these historic Manila architecture needs to be funded for restorations and turn them into heritage houses and museums, a place where students of every level can visit and study about our history, where locals and foreigners can roam to see what Manila was like during the Spanish era. Yes we had a turbulent past with the Spaniards, but ignoring the past, only makes us ignorant and weak. And remember many of these architectures were built by the hands of Filipinos, lets use these historic architectures as a tool to educate not only ourselves but people from all walks of life, and not see them as the dark past. With this attitude then we can only be a modern nation, we can apply this forward thinking in improving other issues such as our environment, protecting our rainforest, coral reef, and preserving the rich culture of our indigenous brothers and sisters, because it is our culture and rich heritage foreigners come to see. Lets show them the beauty of our culture. MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS!

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