Friday, July 04, 2008


Besides managing the flow of traffic in the entire Metro Manila, some members of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) workforce -- under its Metro Gwapo initiative -- have been busily rehabilitating and repainting the facades of some of the buildings along C.M. Recto Avenue in Manila's university belt area.

I think it's a wonderful idea. It sort of pursues the efforts to revitalize Manila as conducted by the previous administration of former Mayor Lito Atienza. It is indeed disheartening that many property owners in Manila somehow do not expend any effort to beautify, or at least, maintain their structures.

This reminds me of a conversation I once had with fellow blogger, Sidney Snoeck. He said that recent building codes in Belgium obligate property owners to refurbish the entire building, not just the ground floor spaces only. Unfortunately, here in Manila, most property owners especially in the prime tri-district area of Binondo-Quiapo-Santa Cruz mainly focus on the ground floor which generate substantial income from rental fees, while leaving the second and upper floors to decay.

The video clip below shows one of the few remaining wooden structures on C.M. Recto Avenue being repainted by the MMDA crew yesterday. The photo above, on the other hand, shows the structure a couple of days after this video was taken.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:08 AM


Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

So true Eric. If we don't have any "heritage laws", we should have one and strictly enforce the same. That way our heritage structures are protected from "modernisation" and so-called "progress".

I notice also your wonderful video clips.


July 04, 2008 10:43 AM  

Blogger escape said...

i am definitely in favor of this idea. i've been in that area several times and it has no appeal although it's not always dirty but at least this will make it look cleaner.

expect for vandalism in the coming days.

July 04, 2008 11:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. The MMDA is really serious about rehabilitating some of our old structures in Manila. I have always been a supporter of Bayani Fernando when he transformed Marikina into a model city of Metro Manila. His "cadena de amor" was also inspired by the bougainvilleas of Singapore.

Good Job.

El Cineasta

July 04, 2008 8:48 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Thanks for that bit of good news, Eric!

I think neat and colorful surroundings boost morale and even pride of a place. When I would be in those areas, I would actually want to get out quickly just because of the drabness of the place.

The city governance should really also include aesthetics and not just order. It's a simple matter of having the building owners maintain plants outside their buildings aside from painting their buildings and homes.

July 05, 2008 8:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Mario ... adding video clips with the hope it will add depth to my articles.

Another thing they ought to do in Manila is legislate a law against changing the names of our streets. Doing so tend to induce local history amnesia, don't you think?

July 05, 2008 11:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Fortunately, donG, vandalism isn't much of a problem in downtown Manila. Perhaps, because Manila can be drab as it is ... hehehe.

July 05, 2008 11:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm also very much impressed by Bayani Fernando's intrepid ways to run his office, El Cineasta. What he had done in Marikina alone is indeed remarkable.

July 05, 2008 11:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, Bernadette!

Yes, adding some plants will make any place even more delightful. Rooftop gardens even more!

July 05, 2008 11:24 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Yes so true Eric about changing the names of our streets, plazas, etc. Politicians should stop renaming these historical sites. Especially those politicians who love renaming them with their own father, mother, etc names. Not just a matter of delicadeza, but more so to preserve their historical provenance. Whether we like it or not, we were a former colony of Spain and the US. We should preserve these names, not because we are proud of them but to serve as constant reminders of our fight for freedom and the historical aspects.

July 06, 2008 11:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You can imagine how confusing it was when unable to locate certain streets when I returned to Manila after a long absence, Mario. It truly felt as if I've landed on some totally foreign land; with whatever piece of personal history I was treasuring gone with the old street names.

Good news: Gemma Cruz-Araneta as secretariat of Manila's Heritage and Historical Commission is actively pursuing an initiative to restore the old/original names of streets that had been changed!

July 06, 2008 4:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, for me.. i don't like these old houses be painted with bright blue / yellow / red paint.

i want them as they are.. or were.

maybe preserve, but not completely change its original state that diminishes its purpose, which is to give the people an idea of how that area once was.

it's like a juan luna painting or an amorsolo, that no matter how your modern house is made of glass, once it's hung on a wall, it has this distinct appeal, because it has this beauty one cannot deny.

July 08, 2008 10:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Good point, Patrick!

July 08, 2008 11:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

couple years passed on.. and the time has come, unfortunately; this house had just been demolished. at least i get to see it in full glory before the horrible act (demolition) happened.

July 29, 2012 8:11 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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