Friday, October 17, 2008


For the past couple of years, whenever driving by this nicely-painted library, I've always thought of dropping by to check out its collections of books and periodicals. Early last week, I finally got a chance to do so.

A short walking distance from SM San Lazaro, on Aragon Street corner A.H. Lacson St. (formerly Gov. Forbes), in Sta. Cruz, Manila, the Fugoso Library is very comfortable with ample chairs and tables; the general appearance of its interior is just as charming as its exterior.
According to a Manila Bulletin article, it was named after the 13th Mayor of Manila, Valeriano Fugoso. Inaugurated on January 25, 1994, it underwent major renovation two years ago during Mayor Lito Atienza's administration.

Although the library is equipped with 10 computers complete with scanners and printers, all with broadband Internet access, its collection of books and reference materials seem appalling; its Filipiniana section, pitifully in need of new titles.

I didn't stay for too long, but I did return early yesterday to drop off about a dozen books on various subjects to donate. I promised that I will return with some more books on computers and technology; even though years old, they may prove valuable to certain students keen on this subject.

I'm not exactly sure what sort of public funding this library receives, but
, it can surely use additional, wider selections of books, periodicals, and reference materials. The librarian I spoke to confided that they are in dire need of a set of encyclopedia and books on Philippine history and culture. Perhaps, some of our fellow bloggers may be able to help by donating some books, especially an encyclopedia set (even an old one). This library does attract quite a steady stream of students and senior folks which I had witnessed during the two times I was there.

Valeriano E. Fugoso Public Library
Corner Lacson (Forbes) & Aragon Streets
Telephone: 742-0627

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I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!





posted by Señor Enrique at 7:02 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

señor, bumisita ka pala sa isa naming library. sana andun ako para nameet kita. sana bisitahin mo din yung iba pa naming library lalo na yung main library namin dito sa mehan garden.

October 17, 2008 8:57 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

That is a cute library...albeit without books... ;-)

October 17, 2008 9:35 AM  

Blogger Dennis Villegas said...

I didn't know this library, thanks for posting an article on it...I might drop by sometime and donate some of my late Lolo's filipiniana books..

October 17, 2008 9:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually we have a puppet show there today.

October 17, 2008 9:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello Anonymous,

Ang pagkaalam ko sa Mehan Gardens ay sa may Park & Ride sa tabi ng Metropolitan Theater. Tama ba? Kaya ko natanong ay gusto kong bisitahin itong main libraray ng Maynila. Siguro marami akong makikitang mga libro at reference materials doon tungkol sa ating siyudad.


October 17, 2008 10:10 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It is indeed a cute libraray with comfortable facilities, Sidney. Hey, perhaps you have some books you'd like to donate to this library? Thanks!

October 17, 2008 10:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Dennis,

Please ask them when your donated books will be made available for public's perusal so I can drop by and check them out. I'm always on the lookout for old books dealing with Manila (especially those with pictures).

Thanks, Dennis!

October 17, 2008 10:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello Anonymous, again!

The puppet show is at Fugoso Library and I missed it; the show was at 10:3o this morning.

I called up the Mehan Garden branch, sa tabi nga ng Metropolitan Theater.

Maraming salamat!

October 17, 2008 10:37 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

naku, eric! our place had been beset with a lot of brownouts kaya i wasn't able to open my internet for several days...and lo! you have so many posts already which I have to read na!

This library is quite inspiring to look at kasi nga i am dreaming one for this place. one project at a time, eka nga! With your way of networking bloggers/people for various causes, i feel really supported by the Universe kaya i and my husband are doing it a day at a time! Thank you so much for getting me in touch with mario, too!

I feel it is important to first have a nice building, the right ambience, good funding and then a very dedicated librarian then the books can follow kasi marami namang kind donors around! Kudos to the small libraries around Manila!

October 17, 2008 2:31 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


Is the old Lacson house still standing along old Earnshaw St., I believe in its intersection with Gov. Forbes?

It was a big old house that sat uneasily on an odd-shaped lot.

October 17, 2008 11:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post, Eric.

The way I understand it, the city government is the one in charge of the operations of public libraries in Manila. Funding has always been a problem (I wrote a series of news feature articles on Manila's libraries in the past).

It was nice of you to donate books to this library (it looks nice ha). May your tribe increase. Surely, I can't donate German and French books there. :-)

October 17, 2008 11:45 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

If my memory serves me right, the Fugoso Library stands on the sight of the old Fugoso Sporting Goods store and offices. I remember the place because a cousin of mine worked for the Fugoso family's sporting goods business during the 1970s. It seems to me then that they still own the land and decided to convert it to a library back in 1994.

October 18, 2008 8:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Bernadette,

Sorry to hear about the intermittent brownouts in your area. I can imagine how inconvenient and uncomfortable that can be.

My pleasure, Bernadette. I'm sure Mario can be of tremendous efforts to your plans for a library in your area. By the way, I have set aside some books to donate for your future library :)

October 18, 2008 9:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I will look for it, Amadeo. I wonder who lives in the Lacson house these days.

Thank you!

October 18, 2008 9:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Jared. Unfortunately, it does appear that this library is not all the well-endowed. It desperately needs an encyclopedia and Filipiniana books.

Nonetheless, I'm confident our blogger friends will help out :)

October 18, 2008 9:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It's one piece of prime property, Panaderos. Nice area.

I don't remember much of anything in regards to the areas structures; all that's prominent in mind is the UST Hospital and the name Gov. Forbes.

Right across the street from the library, by the way, is a very nice public basketball court.

October 18, 2008 9:35 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

wow! eric i'm so moved by your offer to donate some of your valuable books!

Time to talk to the mayor about a lot of things na---aside from the organizing of artists here! See how the Universe just really works!!!---I'm humbled!

Just the other day President Gloria took her R&R here and drank Mindoro Sling ;-)---to loosen a lot of taut neck hamstrings perhaps :-). Although it sounds good for the place kasi feeling ng tao dito that Puerto Galera has been overlooked by the national government in terms of developing it as a major tourist destination. Hahaha! For me, too much focus on being tourist-y when the people are ignorant of their own heritage and can only look at growth in terms of money. Ooops! One of our slogans here pala is always talk positive of our place...but no one said of the people (hehe).

Thanks, Eric! My appreciation goes to you as always!

October 18, 2008 9:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Bernadette,

Firstly, a correction on my comment to your earlier comment:

My intention was to say: "I'm sure Mario can be of tremendous 'help' to your plans for a library in your area."

Will email you regarding arrangements to ship over these books to perto galera :)

Incidentally, many folks here in Manila are quite ignorant of their heritage and history as well ... hehehe.

October 18, 2008 9:58 AM  

Blogger IndioBravo said...

so how much is a second hand encyclopedia Senor?

October 19, 2008 7:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not sure about the price of used encyclopedias, IndioBravo. However, I do know that some Pinoys back in New York have sets as mere decorative items since their children mostly resort to online editions. I thought of asking my brother, but his is too dated, almost 40 years old. I'm sure it doesn't have an entry about the Internet ... hehehe.

October 19, 2008 8:44 AM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

I am just wondering whether we have a mobile library operating in the Philippines? A mobile library is just a glorified bus with books and go from comunity to community lending books.

It might be a better alternative to smaller communities, less overhead on buildings, etc and can serve a whole province. The bus driver can be the librarian as well!

BTW nice post as always Eric.


October 20, 2008 9:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Museong Pambata has a mobile library, Mario, but there's nothing like a neighborhood libarary that the students can go to to work on their research and homeworks :)

October 21, 2008 10:33 AM  

Blogger do said...

Senor Enrique,
Thank you for writing about the Fugoso Library. Lolo ko si Valeriano Fugoso. He was the first mayor of Manila after WWII. We have our ancestral home in P. Guevarra, about a 100 meters from the library. Our office still stands along P. Guevarra. As far as I know, the land where the library stands is city property. The basketball court across the street from the library was built on the old "Paraiso ng Batang Maynila" playground built by Mayor Villegas. There is a giant snail at the back as the sole remains of the playground. I think the only surviving Paraiso is in front of the Manila Zoo. Thanks again!


November 20, 2008 11:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for dropping by and sharing with us some insight about your grandfather and about the library, Do! Truly appreciate it :)

November 21, 2008 11:57 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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