Tuesday, November 04, 2008


At the core of Manila's University Belt area is Mendiola Street, named after a man dedicated to schools and teaching methods -- Enrique Mendiola (May 3, 1859 - Mar. 30, 1914), a Filipino and one-time member of the Manila Municipal Board. He founded the newspaper El Arboleda.

It is
a short thoroughfare located in Manila's San Miguel district: starting from the intersection of Legarda Street and Claro M. Recto Avenue, ending just outside one of the gates of the Malacañang Palace Compound. The Mendiola Bridge, near the intersection, was renamed after Chino Roces -- publisher of The Manila Times, who had become a major thorn to the Marcos dictatorship.

A convening venue of choice for activists, massive crowds of protest marchers would clog the bridge and the nearby intersection;
causing major disruption of businesses in the area, including the suspension of classes at San Beda College, Centro Escolar University, Holy Spirit, St. Jude, San Sebastian College, University of the East, Far Eastern University and many others. In the past, these schools provided the “warm bodies” for the rallies but nowadays, many marchers include the so-called rallyists-for-hire from Metro Manila's indigent communities.

Nonetheless, when not disrupted by a political rally, Mendiola is a quiet and beautiful tree-lined street; an ideal setting for learning. The schools located here are:

Centro Escolar University

San Beda College

College of the Holy Spirit

La Consolacion College

Victorino Mapa High School

*Refresh screen to replay slideshow!

Related link:

Mendiola - Around Metro Manila

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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:04 AM


Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

While I didn't had the opportunity to participate in various Mendiola rallies and FQS, Mendiola is a well known seat of student activitism and idealism.

Great post Eric!

November 04, 2008 8:58 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Superb pictures of this neighborhood!

November 04, 2008 10:11 AM  

Blogger EM said...

I've seem my share of rallies during my University days Senior. Being a timid student but a cousin to the VP of students council in PUP sta Mesa, I found myself entangled in the web of protesting students marching towards mendiola (in an effort to keep an eye to the welfare of my cousin). Those were the days!

Now I have a niece studying in Centro Escolar University. She will have her own share of excitement and she'll live through it and learn from it.

thanks for sharing!

November 04, 2008 8:52 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I love the pictures. You know on Sundays or holidays when all the universities are closed, this is such a beautiful place to walk. I loved walking under the trees and it feels so far away from the hustle and bustle of Manila, which is just a few steps away. It really did transport me.

Thanks for this post. I appreciate that very much.

November 05, 2008 12:53 AM  

Blogger escape said...

enjoyed the views of these schools when i stayed in that area for six months.

November 05, 2008 1:26 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Mario! Whenever certain groups want to voice out their grievances against an incumbent President, on Mendiola is where they stage their protest rallies, which I think is a healthy demonstration of democracy.

Thanks, Mario!

November 05, 2008 7:07 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Sidney!

How tranquil compared to when we covered a couple of demonstrations held on this street earlier this year, eh?

November 05, 2008 7:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, EM!

I know of a passionate activist who is attending PUP. I'm always concerned for her safety because she would always be there up front and not at all afraid of getting banged up.

I bet your niece is enjoying CEU and its setting. This is really a nice place.

November 05, 2008 7:10 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It was last Saturday, All Soul's Day, when I decided to walk around this area and take some pictures, Photo Cache. And it turned out to be a perfect day for photo shooting, for there weren't much cars passing by or parked in front of the schools.

A lovely street it truly is :)

My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed the pics.

November 05, 2008 7:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi donG!

I wouldn't mind living in this San Miguel district of Manila. Very quaint.

November 05, 2008 7:14 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I had my own memories of these places during the early martial law days, Eric! My father was then working as a staffer of the Executive secretary in Malacanang. I was in my first highschool year at the PWU. Whenever a sudden suspension of classes would occur, my dad would just bring us to his office and hang around there since he is our school bus at the time. The roads, i recall would be filled with burning tires as road barriers and rings of students walking with placards and a student leader shouting invectives against Marcos, the IMF and World Bank through a megaphone. It was just exciting to see all these. And that my father passes these things everyday to office. One evening, he had to work overtime but we were all safelyat home. We saw on the evening news that molotov cocktails were hurled and seen burning inside the gates of Malacanang. We all sighed a relief when we heard his Volkswagen get into the garage at the same time. We laughed out of relief and just teased him that w were looking for a burning VW among the footages.

But look at those photos of the University belt now! So much have changed really? ;-)

November 05, 2008 10:08 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

I spent my kindergarten year at La Consolacion College. I got kicked out because i played truant with another kid and wandered around the big wooded area at the back of the campus one day. 2 of my sisters spent their grade school and high school years at LCC. My mom knew all the old nuns there back then and she was even related to the mother superior but she was so embarrassed by my behavior in school that she agreed with the nuns that LCC was not for me.
My high school years was partly spent on Morayta and we used to hang out infront of the Holy (Ghost)Spirit College to check out the good looking colehiyalas there.

I still remember the big trees lining up the street infront of San Beda back before the rally days.

November 05, 2008 12:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Read an account of that particular demonstration, Bernadette, and glad that your father didn't get trapped in its violent midst. These days, for protection, they place those huge containers used for shipping along the Palace fences during huge rallies.

But as mentioned, without the rallies, this is really a very nice place.

November 06, 2008 8:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ano ba 'yan? For such a minor infraction, kicked-out ka na agad.

Speaking of kolehiyalas, Pete ... not too far from here is St. Scholastica's as well :)

But it is interesting how this area, University Belt, had taken over Intramuros as the site for many of our fine schools.

November 06, 2008 9:02 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Yeah, I used to brave the deep waters in front of St. Schoalsticas College near Taft during the rainy season in Manila (senior moment...can't remember the name of the street but it's croos street is Vito Cruz?)just to pick up a colehiyala from there whom I dated for years.
Also fell madly in-love with a high school graduate of St. Scholastica who went to UP for college and met her at the gov't. TV station where she worked as a news writer/reporter behind your Alma Mater in Intramuros.

November 07, 2008 12:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A Don Juan you are, Pete! And I assume it was Manila Bulletin where that love of yours worked at?

I, too, had such romantic aspirations with "kolehiyalas" -- one from Santa Isabel College (next door to the Jai-Alai Fronton) and the other from Sienna College on San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City.

November 07, 2008 8:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This brings me to a trip down memory lane. I attended CEU from 1982-1983 during my first year of college. I can see that they still kept the pink motif of the buildings. :) Yes, I remember classes being suspended kapag may mga rallies.

November 17, 2008 5:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I like walking around this part of town, Irene. Very nice, indeed. I bet you enjoyed your college days here :)

November 17, 2008 7:13 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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