Thursday, August 24, 2006


Five of us were born in this clinic at Batangas Street near Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Santa Cruz, Manila.

Galang Maternity Clinic once did a thriving business by catering to the pre-natal care and birthing needs of mothers in these Santa Cruz and Tondo districts of Metro Manila. It was walking distance from where we lived.

This clinic was established by a hardworking husband and wife doctor team from Pampanga. At the height of their clinic’s success, they built another building right next to it to accommodate the ever increasing number of patients. Even two of my mother’s step-sisters worked here doing odd jobs while pursuing evening school; one of whom would later marry a co-worker.

However, nowadays, this building and the one next to it stand empty with a for sale sign prominently nailed above the doors. It has been in the market for many years with no takers. Some nearby residents even claim they’re haunted. From what I understand, the clinic eventually shut down its doors after the retirement and deaths of both doctors/owners.

The Galangs also had two adopted girls about the same age as me and my sister (who is a year older). And whenever my mother would visit with Dr. Galang, my sister and I would tag along to play with her adopted daughters; one, Angie, suffered from what I believe was cerebral palsy. I remember her as being unable to hide her crush on me. Whenever I showed up, some of the clinic staff would tease her as she came out flashing her toothy smile. When The Rolling Stones later released their song, “Angie,” it would always remind me of her.

There was also a famous movie star, a niece of Dr. Galang, who seemed to be always there whenever not working on a film. It felt strange to be playing around and have this popular actress sitting nearby on the couch as she read her magazines or chat away with friends on the phone. And just like on the silver screen, Amalia Fuentes was truly a beautiful and charming woman. Since retiring from the movie industry, from what I heard, she is now pretty much occupied by her grandchildren and real estate ventures.

And so, whenever I take Batangas Street to visit with friends in Tondo or head towards Divisoria, I tend to slow down the car a notch as I pass by these empty buildings.


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:15 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old building stands like an old warrior to me, one that had seen better days but remains with head held high. I thought the building had a mind of its own, and its surely a proud structure, like a soldier whi had done a great duty...

August 24, 2006 10:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that story. :-) I usually wonder what story lies behind these old and dilapidated buildings.

August 24, 2006 11:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I totally agree, Major Tom. I just wish that someone else had taken over and continued its operation. It really used to provide great services. Actually, with a population boom, I was expecting this clinic to have expanded even more.

August 24, 2006 11:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Ladybug.

Come to think of it, I also want to take pictures of whatever grand houses are left in the Malate area.

August 24, 2006 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you played with Amalia Fuentes! You really have a very interesting life, rubbing elbows with these prominent people and celebrities. First, President Magsaysay, and now Amalia Fuentes. Anybody else? :)

August 24, 2006 11:43 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hahaha .... I did not play with Amalia Fuentes, Niceheart! She would only be sitting on the couch doing her thing :)

President Magsaysay was with my parents; his junior, yes ... met him in NYC.

Come to think of it ... I met a few as a little boy and while still here in the Philippines.

My uncle owned a beach resort in Subic and some other tracts of land where they would shoot films then. I met Charito Solis right after doing a rape scene; she was fully clothed, of course...hahaha!

Most fun was Jeffrey Hunter who was teasing me about my almost bald head (typical summer haircut then) and Barbara Perez when they were shooting "No Man is an Island."

My father's cousin in Manila was a costume maker for the local stage and film industry so, lots of well-known people would go to her humble abode for fitting (I'll blog about it later, ok, because it was fun).

In NYC, my early years: Katherine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier and Marlon Brando -- and I mean shaking their hands and exchanging a couple of words, too. Met them through my jobs while going to school at night.

Later on: loads of music artists and film people because I was already in the music industry. Will blog more about them.

Just giving you teasers for now ... hehehe!

August 24, 2006 12:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, I knew there were more. And wow again! Hepburn, Sinatra, etc. Now it makes me think if you're actually a celebrity yourself hiding in the guise of Senor Enrique. Joke lang. :)

August 24, 2006 12:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow!! naalala ko tuloy yung kwento ni tatay ko dati, na naging gf niya daw si Tricia Gomez before ito maging artista, nagwork daw kasi ito sa club dati, ewan ko kung totoo pero sinusugan ng pinsan niya e, so maybe that was true ....uhmmnn
kung alam mo yung Amisola Maternity Clinic, doon ko naman ipinanganak yung baby ko :)sa Hermosa naman siya

August 24, 2006 12:37 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Far from it, Niceheart; not a celebrity at all. In fact, even my own dog used to ignore me ... hehehe.

August 24, 2006 12:50 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Di ko na alam ang Amisola Maternity Clinic pero alam ko Hermosa, Melai. Nagawi ka na ba Batangas Street?

Alam mo, di malayong totoo sinasabi ng tatay mo kasi lahat naman ng mga sikat ay dati din namang pangkaraniwang tao. Nakakatuwa nga lamang na nagtagumpay sila sa kanilang mga hangarin sa buhay :)

August 24, 2006 12:55 PM  

Blogger ipanema said... profiling...Senor Enrique. Looks like you've met the whole Manila and NYC! An interesting life indeed.

Mukhang showbiz din ang

August 24, 2006 12:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm looking forward to your stories about how you met the people you just mentioned. :-)

August 24, 2006 4:50 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I wish,! No, I'm not that much of a party animal.

August 24, 2006 5:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, alam ko taga roon naman yung mga Cruz clan, sina Tirzo Cruz and Ricky Belmonte remember? napunta ako doon noong nandun pa yung classmate ni younger sis, tama ba Batangas ba yun or Bulacan St :)

August 24, 2006 5:14 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ok, let's get one thing straight: when I met those high profile personalities I was merely a minimum wage earner ... hahaha!

It wasn't like I was sharing a bottle of Dom Perignon with them at Spago's in LA and pitching some project.

But I will blog about them soon :)

August 24, 2006 5:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That last one was my response to your comment, Ladybug. Sorry.

Not sure about the Cruz clan, Melai; that may be Bulacan.

Batangas is about three blocks from Tayuman heading towards Blumentritt.

August 24, 2006 5:21 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

"I also want to take pictures of whatever grand houses are left in the Malate area."

This would be very useful for the next generations. I wanted to start such a project a few months ago but architecture photography isn't easy and the task ahead is alas too big.

I already got the name "" and free webspace from Abe (yugatech) to start the project. The project is just put on hold till I find people who can help me.

I was thinking of a wiki where everybody could contribute his architectural pictures of Manila.
Free webspace is increasingly easy to get. Probably the most difficult thing would be to enforce a minimum of quality in the pictures submitted.

Anyway, I am sure we could find enough people in Manila to contribute.
If you like the idea we can discuss this further when we meet this Saturday over a cup of Chinese noodles!

August 24, 2006 8:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

This should be a fun project, Sidney. Absolutely worth exploring over a cup of noodles.

Have you mentioned this to Carlos? He's quite well-known in the local landmark preservation circle. He can open doors.

Yes, let's talk more about it this Saturday.

August 24, 2006 10:11 PM  

Blogger PhilippinesPhil said...

From what I've observed, Filipino architecture has decidedly changed over the decades. Both the poor and the rich are constructing their dwellings almost exclusively of concrete blocks these days.

I love the old wooden structures with their intricate sliding hand tooled windows with the wonderful fancy scroll work and carved decor including wooden balustrades. They seem Spanish, but are decidedly Filipino. These wonderful old buildings are disappearing one by one and no one is building them anymore. What a shame. I suppose termites and moisture make it difficult and expensive to try to maintain and save them.

August 25, 2006 8:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Problem with building wooden houses, too,are the materials, Phil. Excellent hard woods are rare finds these days because of the ban for cutting down its trees.

Our house that my father had built after the war in Manila stands to this day, though it must have gone through various paint jobs. My mother told me that the hard wood used to build it were of the finest quality. My mother sold it when most kids had gone abroad, but it's still there.

Concretes I'm a little concerned about because of earthquakes.

August 25, 2006 8:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senor Enrique, I was wondering what happened to Nona Galang? I think she was one of the daughters. I am just curious. We used to take same Combat Judo Class at the YMCA, under Piring Cruz. Appreciate it if you can get some info. I haven't seen or heard from her since we move here in the States. And that was way back in 1973.....Happy New Year to all!!!!

January 03, 2008 5:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The only ones I know of were Angie and Melissa. Melissa now lives in New York. However, will ask my mother and aunt regarding Nona and will let you know.

Thanks, Anonymous.

January 03, 2008 10:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this. i was born at galang clinic, too (at least, that's what my birth certificate says). it's good to get this bit of history.

Ralph P.
New York City

June 30, 2009 3:37 AM  

Blogger glennjosephbiasca said...

I got a picture of the old facade of the building on its glory days as well as inside its mini pond and garden..It was my play ground back then.

January 12, 2010 1:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.. i was born there... i will forward this to my mom..

April 03, 2010 8:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing information and story about this clinic. I was born there in 1971 and in 2009 I found my biological family in my mother side. Unfortunately I never met my mother. She passed away in 2003. I have been searching for my biological father but no luck. It's exhausting but not giving up. No one seems to know him. All I have is a few stories of him and his name in my birth certificate.

December 07, 2011 6:42 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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