Monday, December 17, 2007

FORMERLY ISAAC PERAL


Isaac Peral was a Spanish scientist, inventor, and military man. He invented the submarine -- the first U-boat in naval history -- that was able to fire torpedoes under water while maintaining full propulsive power and control.

He was sent in mission to the Philippines in 1881, first as a geographer and later as an officer of a gunboat. During his stay in the Philippines, he received seven patents between 1887 and 1891 for his other inventions.

A street in Ermita, Manila was named after him, which unfortunately, was changed to United Nations Avenue.

Historian Gregorio Zaide once called the indiscriminate changing of our old street names as “bigoted nationalism and jingoism” -- merely advancing the interests of certain politicians and public officials whose names have been used as replacements. The adverse effect of which is the erasure of historical heritage from our national consciousness.

Perhaps, Mayor Lim ought to seriously consider restoring the old but historic names of our streets and boulevards. And
as fellow blogger Urbano de la Cruz had once suggested, the mayor should just simply add a special name for certain major crossroads of Manila. For example, the name Claro M. Recto Plaza for the corner of Rizal Avenue and Claro M. Recto instead of completely renaming the entire stretch of Azcarraga to Claro M. Recto Avenue.

Anyway, I was in the old Isaac Peral the other day and took pictures of some structures along the street such as the Philam Life Building, Doctor's Hospital, the hotel that houses Casino Filipino (its original name was the Manila Hilton; changed to Holiday Inn; and now, Waterfront Hotels & Casino).

The last photograph is the quaint Jade Vine Hotel. Its restaurant serves the best kare-kare in town along with its delectable special bagoong.

















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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:52 AM


36 Comments:

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Eric,

My mom worked for PhilAm Life Insurance Company way back in the 50's. I think as a toddler I remember meeting the american owner Earl Carrol during one of their Christmas parties. It's amazing to know that the building withstood all the new developments that went on in that area of the metropolis.

December 17, 2007 10:26 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

I once worked at a brokerage company owned by our "ninong sa kasal" in 1982. It's located somewhere in Ermita. Naalala ko, sasakay ako ng jeep from Frisco. Dumadaan sa United Nations Ave., tapos, maglalakad na ako sa A. Mabini St. It was only for a few months, but the experience taught me a lot especially on dealing with the daily grind in Manila. :)

December 17, 2007 10:43 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

Oo nga, isaac peral was the old name of u.n. ave. As I was growing up I would frequent the manila area because my Lola used to take me there a lot (esp. the children's playground on taft). I would hear street names like Dewey Blvd., Herran (P.Gil now), Otis, and Isaac Peral. They used to live in the area. First Sta. Ana then Singalong. And my Lola used to work in PWU kaya kami laging andyan. My Lolo naman used to take me to the Hilton (to teach me table manners..hahaha). We used to eat in the resto where there was a blind piano player. And I remember meeting Tita Conching Sunico at one of our dates :)

BTW, was actually stuck there in traffic 2 saturdays ago. May affair ata sa Roxas blvd. and we didn't know about it until we got there :(

December 17, 2007 11:53 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

Gee, thanks again for that excellent piece of trivia, Eric! Naming streets are for me quite enigmatic until I read about how politicians and the local elite use it as tools for their eternal recall of the masses. Manhattan has a simpler system, of course, which made me more aware of where east and west is :-)!

But then, we do know the names of busy Manila streets, period. Nothing of who the person is or what contribution he gave to the metropolis...until you wrote about Padre Faura, for instance! There should really be interesting city tours available for everyone in Manila to fully appreciate (or protest ;-)) the historical figures which these streets are named after!

December 17, 2007 1:00 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

I forgot to ask you---did you notice the bookshop La Solidaridad near the Jade Vine resto? Or was it somewhere else? It has been ages since I visited that bookstore as well as the Popular Bookstore in Doroteo Jose in Quiapo...

December 17, 2007 1:03 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

The sign board; is it Taft Avenue?

(:

Looks similar to me --- the place.

December 17, 2007 1:45 PM  

Blogger pusa said...

its really annoying when they do that - changing street/road names! though i've known UN as UN already. sigh.. just case in point, people still refer to gil puyat as buendia!

btw didnt realize that the casino is the holiday inn before, i thought they torn down the building =)

December 17, 2007 9:22 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

The only time we mention the street named Isaac Peral is when we go bowling. :)
Those were the good ol' days.
I have to agree that they should stop renaming streets or if ever they do, just add another one below the original street name if they want to pay a tribute to someone or an event.
Pag may umuwing balikbayan na matagal na sa abroad, mahilo sa Manila. Hahahaha!

December 18, 2007 1:06 AM  

Blogger la carlotta said...

wow this is an interesting piece of information, didn't know that un avenue was formerly isaac peral as i grew up knowing that un avenue is, well, un avenue. =)

December 18, 2007 5:40 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

I can still recognize from the pics the landmarks along Isaac Peral.

Should you have the chance for a return visit, Eric, the old Ermita Church is close to this street. Coming from Taft, take a left on little Cortada St., where an uncle used to live, and a little further is the church, Ermita's answer to the old one in Malate.

Close to where Jade Vine is, if indeed this is still the original location, is a little shop/bar called Palo Alto. Wonder if it is still there?

December 18, 2007 7:37 AM  

Blogger Yam said...

Ok talaga iyang street na iyan..

Isinama mo na rin sanang i-feature yung Maria Orosa Street leading to Robinson's Place Manila... : )

December 18, 2007 9:29 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You're right, Yam, But a separate feature on Maria Orosa Street, since it's a pretty tree-lined street, may be more ideal. Ermita is one area I haven't explored that much in pictures, which I should soon.

December 18, 2007 10:11 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I didn't notice the Palo Alto bar, Amadeo, but I may have just missed it. Will most probably do more of Ermita area and include these places you've mentioned.

I think it's sad that most of the original Ermita had been obliterated during the war. I heard so many wonderful stories about the area and its residents.

December 18, 2007 10:14 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It can really be discombobulating to grapple where certain streets are located when their old names had been changed while away, Carla. It sort of reminds me of a joke:

"My parents asked me to buy some milk, and while I was out doing the errand, they moved elsewhere."

December 18, 2007 10:19 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Ay sinabi mo, Reyd. They did it with Quiapo's Raon which is now G. Puyat. I mean, that happens to be a very popular street, for goodness sakes!

In Binondo, many folks were also upset that the city had changed the historical street name, Nuevo, to that of a Chinese tycoon, Yuchengco.

December 18, 2007 10:21 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Pusa, the new and future generation are bound to refer to the new street names as such; thereby losing touch with the previous history attached to the old names.

Annoying and sad, really.

December 18, 2007 10:23 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And thank God, Kyels, that the government shelved its plans to rename Taft Avenue after some senator who hailed from some faraway province.

December 18, 2007 10:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That was a major part of my purpose to walk along this avenue, Bernadette. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the bookstore :( It might have moved elsewhere.

Since Mapua Institute of Technology had consolidated its facilities into its campus in Intramuros, many book and school supply stores along Doroteo Jose had closed shop.

December 18, 2007 10:30 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Bernadette. To this day, I get so confused when trying to remember where certain places were located only bacuse the names of the streets have been changed.

Mayor Lim's Historical and Heritage Commission ought to be reminded to leave names of the streets as they are; that is, if they truly want the new generation to appreciate our culture and heritage.

December 18, 2007 10:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

While I was a senior in high school, I worked part time for my sister's travel service enterprise as a messenger, Rhoda. At that time, many airline ticket offices, travel agencies, and embassies were located in the Ermita neighborhood. I used to love walking along this neighborhood mainly because of its tree-lined streets and quaint shops, which we didn't have in Santa Cruz, Manila. The whole area seemed so cool at that time. And I guess, that was why I enjoyed being my sister's messenger at that time -- it gave me an opportunity to enjoy the area.

Ermita and Malate were once known as Manila's tourist belt.

December 18, 2007 10:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They manage to do a good job of maintaining some of these buildings, Pete.

I have a cousin who works as an agent for Philam Life for more than thirty years now. She's apparently enjoying her job :)

December 18, 2007 10:46 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The Hilton was a very elegant hotel back at that time, Scrooch. I loved going in there to deliver or pick up something from a travel agency in the lobby. There were times I'd sit in one of the comfortable chairs in the lobby and just enjoy the entire ambiance. However, when I returned to Manila, it has been changed to Holiday Inn and was no longer as nice as when it used to be.

December 18, 2007 10:51 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Yes, Eric, at some point the Manila Hilton was the newest and tallest hotel in the city. And of course, Manila Doctors' was No.1.

So we shared the same passion for Isaac Peral, hiking along its entire length from Taft to Mabini, where the jeep routes were.

It was also a haven for artists, where along it, open-air shops had displays of works by local artists that could readily be viewed by the passersby. Indeed, many tourists gravitated around that part of Ermita, including the shops along Mabini St. (before tourists bars invaded it.) Ermita had its own nice moviehouse, the Gaiety Theatre.

December 18, 2007 11:18 AM  

Blogger detective said...

ANG HEADQUARTERS NG PINAKA MATANDANG POLICE FORCE SA ATING BANSA AY NAITAYO SA MAY CALLE ISAAC PERAL, NUONG MGA 1930’s, YUN ANG MANILA POLICE DEPARTMENT, NASASAKUPAN PA NITO ANG HALOS BUONG RIZAL PROVINCE NUON (PARANAQUE, LAS PINAS, PASAY, MARIKINA, QUEZON CITY, PASIG, MANDALUYONG SAN JUAN, CALOOCAN AT VALENZUELA) ITO AY NAGBAGO NUONG NAGING METRO MANILA NA ANG TAWAG SA RIZAL PROVINCE. ANG TANGING SANDATA NUON NG MGA PULIS AY ANG KANILANG SILBATO AT BATUTA, ANG TANGING NAG AARMAS LAMANG NUON AY ANG MGA AMERICAN CONSTABLES. ANG PILIPINONG PULIS NUON AY MAAARING IHALINTULAD SA TRAPIK AIDE SA PANAHON NGAYON. ANG MGA KRIMEN NUON MGA PANAHON NA IYON AY, PAGNANAKAW, PAGPATAY AT PAGLABAG SA BATAS TRAPIKO. WALA PA ANG PANGHAHALAY NUON DAHILAN SA WALANG BIKTIMANG NANGAHAS NA MAGSUMBONG KASI KAHIHIYAN ANG MAITUTURING ANG MAHALAY NG IBA. NAAALALA NYO SIGURO ANG KANTANG “MAY PULIS SA ILALIM NG TULAY” TOTOO NA MAY PULIS SA ILALIM NG TULAY NUON DAHIL SA KADALASAN AY NANDUDUON NAGTATAGO ANG MGA KRIMINAL AT MGA ITINUTURING NUONG PUSAKAL(TAONG LABAS).

AFTER NG WW2 NAGING MAS AGRESIBO ANG MGA AMERICANO NA MABAGO ANG KAPULISAN NUON KAYA NAGKAROON SILA NG MANILA POLICE ACADEMY. DUON SILA NAG SANAY NG MGA BAGONG PULIS AT HINDI LUMAON AY NAITATAG ANG BAGONG MANILA POLICE DEPARTMENT. PERO WALA PA RING PINAGBAGO ANG MGA KLASE NG KRIMEN NUON, PAGNANAKAW, PAGPATAY AT PANGHAHALAY PA RIN. WALA PA RING DRUGS NUON, KAYA WALA PA ANG MGA “NARCOM” NUON. AT WALA PA RING EXPLOSIVE ORDINANCE UNIT NUON DAHIL SA WALANG BOMB THREAT. WALA PA DIN ANG SWAT NUON. NUON AY NAHAHATI LAMANG SA DALAWANG SANGAY NG KAPULISAN SA ORGANISASYON, ETO AY ANG PATROL BUREAU (MGA PATROLMAN) AT DETECTIVE BUREAU (MGA IMBESTIGADOR), HINDI LUMAON NAKAROON NG MOBILE PATROL BUREAU (TRAFFIC AND MOBILE PATROL). BUKOD SA SILBATO AT BATUTA MAY MGA .38 REVOLVER NA ANG MGA PULIS NUON.

NAGING METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE ANG TAWAG SA MANILA POLICE NUON, PINAMAHALAAN NA ITO NG INTEGRATED NATIONAL POLICE, SA MGA KARATIG NA LUGAR NAMAN AY NAKAROON NG MGA COMMAND NA PINAMAHALAAN NAMAN NG MGA PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY. DUMAMI NA ANG MGA KLASE NG KRIMEN NUON, KASAMA NA ANG CARNAPPING, HI-JACKING, KIDNAPPING, NARCOTICS AT INSURGENCY.

DUMAAN PA ANG MGA PANAHON AT NAPALITAN ANG ISAAC PERAL ST. NG UNITED NATIONS AVENUE, NAGBAGO NA RIN ANG MANILA POLICE DEPARTMENT, TINAWAG NA ITONG WESTERN POLICE DISTRICT, AT SA PAGBABAGO NA IYON TANGING MAYNILA NA LANG ANG NAPAPAMAHALAAN NITO. NAHIWALAY NA ANG MGA PAMAMAHALA IBANG KARATIG NA LUGAR, TINATAG NA ANG SOUTERN(MAKATI, PASAY, PARANQUE, LAS PINAS,TAGUIG, PATEROS AT MUNTINLUPA), ANG NORTHERN (MALABON, NAVOTAS, CALOOCAN AT VALENZUELA) ANG EASTERN (PASIG, SAN JUAN, MARIKINA AT MANDALUYONG) AT CENTRAL POLICE DISTRICTS (QUEZON CITY). SA NGAYON TINAWAG NA MANILA POLICE DISTRICT ANG WESTERN POLICE DISTRICT PARA SA PAGPUPUGAY SA DATING KINANG AT TIKAS NG MANILA POLICE DEPARTMENT.

April 22, 2008 8:02 AM  

Blogger Shalori said...

I saw a small pict of PhilAmLife on your web site. Made me VERY homesick. After all, I havent been there since 1982 when my dad died. Senor Enrique, Thank you for posting the pict of the original PhilAm. My dads office was on the
5th floor and it was decorated in all shades of blue and dark woods. Quite beautiful. Ask your Cousin! If she saw it she would know lol.
Daughter of the Founder of PhilAm, Earl Carroll
Stephanie Carroll-Ritter

August 26, 2008 6:32 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! Many thanks for such detailed information on the law enforcement history on Isaac Peral, Detective. Truly appreciate it!

August 26, 2008 8:19 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That must've been the time when the Ermita/Malate area was a thriving tourist belt, Amadeo. Unfortunately, the art haven aspect of the avenue is now gone.

August 26, 2008 8:20 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Shalori!

I really think that it's time for you to come back for a visit even if only for a couple of weeks :)

And I bet you'll have a wonderful time, too!

August 26, 2008 8:24 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

A little trivia because of the comment of Shalori.

After I started working with Metrobank as one of its provincial managers, the bank owner, George Ty, invited his provincial managers to his house in Forbes Park where we were feted with a very sumptuous array of food and drink.

The house was very impressive and the grounds big and well-kept.

We were told that once upon a time, it was the residence of PhilAm's Earl Carroll.

I wonder if Shalori can confirm this.

August 26, 2008 10:37 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! What a grand mansion it must be, Amadeo.

I had emailed Shalori about your query; let's wait and see what she has to say.

BTW, I had recently posted another article that mentions George Ty:

http://senorenrique.blogspot.com/2008/08/from-oriente-to-ty-street.html

August 26, 2008 11:51 PM  

Blogger Shalori said...

HA! Enrique If the address that Amadeo was invited to was 62 Cambridge Circle then it was my father’s Earl Carroll’s home in Forbes Park. Our very first home was right on the old “Dewey Blvd” and on the left side it belonged to the Osmenas. On the right side it was the original ABS CBN station. When I was 10 we moved to Forbes Park. The house was still under construction and I learned to live with the hammering, pounding and shouting, & workmen’s tools for 5 years. My mother, Christine Carroll was the architect. She designed the whole house and furniture herself. President Macros even had dinner in the upper round formal dining room. It was a beautiful home, very clean, and lots of sunny spots would reflect off the polished wood planks and marble & brass staircase leading up to the
2nd floor. I miss the Philippines very much and hope that one day my husband Chris and I will be able to come “home” for a visit. oh and Enrique, you KNOW I would truly enjoy myself! there is no doubt lol.

August 27, 2008 3:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Shalori,

Many thanks for your response.

What a rich history that house has. I can imagine what an outstanding job your mom did in designing it. Perhaps, when you come home for a visit, the Ty Family will invite you to come over for a visit. I'm sure you'd love to see how it has been transformed through the years.

By the way, would you by any chance know personally Jennifer Fay Field? I had blogged about her YouTube video that talks about her book.

Here's the link:

http://senorenrique.blogspot.com/2008/08/searching-for-home-memoir.html

August 27, 2008 8:22 AM  

Blogger Shalori said...

I knew many people in Manila when I lived there. Ive been away since right before martial law 1972 so Ive lost track of friends that Id like to find again. Did Jennifer Fay Field live in Manila? I am sorry. I dont know her.Will check out the link you sent about her book. Keep in touch. Dont be a stranger. My email is open to all who would like to correspond.
Shalori@shalori.com

August 28, 2008 3:57 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Shalori,

You just gave me an idea: I'll take new pics of the Philam Life building and will post a new entry. Will mention some of your comments and invite our fellow bloggers to correspond with you, especially those who know of people who once worked at Philam Life, or might have even met your dad. I may also ask you for other interesting trivia prior to posting, ok?

Salamat po!

August 28, 2008 6:53 AM  

Blogger Mon said...

Hi. I appreciate all the blogs here about bringing back the old historical names. If I became a dictator that is what I would do,
Seriously now I am trying to remember the names of shops along Isaac Peral. I remember New Europe. My barber shop on Bayview Aoartments. There was an ice cream parlor I think where Jade Vine came later would like to recall that name. It was the scene of many teenage meetings. There was Metro I think next to Manila Doctors it had an eating place upstairs where I dated my wife. I remember accompanying my Mama during the war years as she hired a calesa to get to the PGH to visit Papa and we would pass Isaac Peral and its huge acacias.Later there was Majestic Barber Shop at the corner with Dewey. And around the corner were Cafe Indonesia and Here's How a bar where the Ink Spots performed. I met the group again in LA in the 80s and we had a good laugh re miniscing over SanMoig beer etc. Memories...

October 10, 2009 4:21 PM  

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February 08, 2011 6:14 PM  

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