Thursday, September 1, 2011

34. Welcome to the CABARET ... Pinoy Style

The cabaret started in France, it initially referred to any business serving liquor. However, the history of cabaret culture began in 1881 with the opening of Le Chat Noir in Paris. It was an informal saloon where poets, artists and composers could share ideas and compositions.


Our national hero was no stranger to this place.  Rizal said that he had spent two pesetas and 90 centimos for a baile at the El Excelsior, a cabaret in Madrid.    

LERMA CABARET, Manila's leading social center. The most famous place of its kind in the Orient.
The cabaret was introduced by the American as a form of entertainment for their citizens and soldiers and also to influential Filipinos.  It featured comedy, song, and dance in a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables often dining or drinking, watching the performance, or dancing. Famous cabaret like Santa Ana Cabaret and Lerma Cabaret in Manila were very popular among the socialites.

STA. ANA CABARET advertisement card. Considered as the World's Largest Cabaret in the 20s. John Canson was the Proprietor. It was located on H. Santos Street opposite the Manila Racing Club. It was totally destroyed by typhoon "Yoling" in November of 1970. 
STA. ANA CABARET advertisement card.   

Reverse of card

After the war the cabaret scene changed into a Mediterranean-style brothel - a bar with tables and women who mingle with and entertain the clientele. Traditionally these establishments can also feature some form of stage entertainment, often singers and dancers.
LUZON CABARET, Makati Advertisement Card


MAYPAJO CABARET, Caloocan Advertisement Card

Some cabaret is Manila sell tickets to male patrons; one must have a ticket in order to dance with a lady partner.  Normally one ticket is good for a single dance per song.  If one does not want to change partner he has to buy many tickets.

Souvenir Fob of PASCUAS CABARET, Las Pinas, Rizal, P.I.
JOSE L RAMOS  General Merchant

Various Cabaret Tickets. Circa 1930s
 
Cartoon featuring cabaret comedies
Several reasons why we stay in the Philippine. A scene inside the cabaret.
NEW PIT'S BAR in Tejeros, Makati. Managed by Pedro Hizon

Post WWII advertisement flyer for American GIs. B-29 INN in Pasig. Managed by Amador Pahati

22 comments:

  1. Those were the old days...Sadly iba na ng connotation ng cabaret ngayon kaysa dati. parang yung word na "hostess" na dati ay magandang tag-uri sa babae. I think there are still some small time cabarets existing in Caloocan esp. in 3rd Ave.
    Btw, fantastic collection talaga ito. Congrats!

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  2. Hi Dennis... noong kabataan ko nakapasok ako Cabaret. I did not dance with a lady, I just have beer. :)

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  3. Pareho pala tayo sir...kaso ako nag-dance sa lady hehehe ;)

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  4. ...Very interesting collections!

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  5. The cabaret was later replaced by the nightclub, and much later by the beer garden, and now KTV bars.

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  6. I have a Santa Ana Cabaret 1938 Poster/Calender. It is very large. It is a print of naked woman and a black horse. It is signed but I'm not able to make out the name. Do you have any advice on how I learn the artist name? Could it be Y?FNE PATT?N.
    It is truly amazing. Thank you in advance.

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    1. That poster is quite scarce. Most of the pre war posters here did not survive, because it was destroyed during the war and our humid climate. Can you email the picture to lumang.gamit@yahoo.com.

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  7. Hi!

    I am Jenn. I came across this blog post about Cabaret in the Philippines. I am currently doing a research about the International Cabaret, the one on 3rd Avenue, Grace Park, Caloocan City. The said building is featured in of the episodes of our Basketball Documentary that we are producing for National Geographic Channel. As of now, the building (international cabaret) is now an abandoned building and became a housing tenement, and believe it or not, has a basketball court in the middle of it


    In one of the photos you posted in the blog was the Maypajo Cabaret in Caloocan. I would like to ask where you have found these photos? I am hoping (rather keeping my fingers crossed) if the Maypajo and International Cabaret is the same building. I need to get some
    background ideas, photos if possible of the said building during it's high time as a well-known cabaret, until it suddenly transformed into a brothel later on.

    I hope you can help me regarding this matter. Thanks! :)

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  8. This is a wonderful site! I had been looking for pictures of the real Santa Ana Cabaret for a year now. I wish I had found it sooner. You may be interested to see my website, The Yellow Bar, named after the novel I just published. The Santa Ana is featured quite a bit in it. Though I'm promoting my book, the site is all about colonial American Manila. Trade links? Thank you Pinoy Collector! Cheers from Jakarta,
    John

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    1. I have read some of your book. It is very good.

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  9. Hi John,I read a portion of your book from amazon and it is so nostalgic. Will buy your book if ever i find it in a bookstore. Ed

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    1. Hello, just sent you an email. Will send you the book. Again, I just LOVE your blog!

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  10. Hi, Would you have interesting trivia about the Sta. Ana Racetrack and photos as well? Just want to know about people's entertainment options back in the day without internet. Also, were politicians or celebrities guests in the Cabaret? I wonder... Hope to hear from you. Thanks!

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    1. Well, Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower went there a few times before they were famous. The Santa Ana Cabaret was one of the first desegregated "classy" joints in old Manila. It was a strange place: in some pictures you can see a small picket fence. On one side, you could find "comfort girls" for hire. On the other side, it functioned just like a regular night club. There are many stories...

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  11. does anyone here have a photo of the exterior of the said cabaret?
    I'm from Barangay Tejeros Makati City and my father who was then in the Barangay used to research about this. sad to say he died last 2010 and didn't see this site

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  12. To: Pinoy kolektor,
    Sir, meron pa po ba kayong old picture ng Sta Ana Cabaret na merong orchestra playing? kasi po dun naging sikat ang tatay ko as a Trumpeteer ng mga Swing bands tulad ng...Tirso Cruz sr Band, Pete Aristorenas Band or alikes..yung mga old pics nya with contemporaries ay nasira ng baha at wala kaming narecover...may mga kuha po cya nuon kasama nya c John Canson Sr with GI's...just hope na meron pa po kayong naitatago! salamat po ng marami sa inyo more power sa site nyo!

    Greg Ponce
    Sta Rosa city of LAGUNA

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  13. So my aunt just informed me my mother's grandfather owned the Lerma cabaret. I am 28 now and I would love to look for any memorabilia of it to show to my kids and pass this on..do u have any other pictures or anything else related to it

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    1. Hi Lerma, I do not have any other memorabilia except for the postcard up there.

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  14. I found this article about SANTA ANA CABARET in LAHAT 1900s page in Facebook

    In the 1920s, the Santa Ana Cabaret was the place to be. Horse-drawn carriages brought everyone, from Manila’s elite to U.S. servicemen, to this grand ballroom that claimed to be the largest cabaret in the world.

    The cabaret started in France, it initially referred to any business serving liquor. However, the history of cabaret culture began in 1881 with the opening of Le Chat Noir in Paris. It was an informal saloon where poets, artists and composers could share ideas and compositions.

    The cabaret was introduced by the American as a form of entertainment for their citizens, soldiers and also to influential Filipinos. It featured comedy, song, and dance in a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables often dining or drinking, watching the performance, or dancing.

    When Manila became an American city, it partied like one. In 1911, A New Yorker named John Canson opened the Santa Ana Cabaret on H. Santos Street in Manila. The cabaret was promoted to have the best dancing music in the Orient and the largest cabaret in the world, being 100 feet long and 100 feet wide. The best bands and orchestras of the country performed here while visitors waltzed, fox-trotted, quickstepped, or swing danced.

    The Santa Ana Cabaret is where trendy ManileƱos and US soldiers danced, drunk, and dated. For the men, tickets for one peso or less were sold to have a dance with a female partner for one song. Normally one ticket is good for a single dance per song. If one does not want to change partner he has to buy many tickets.

    The Santa Ana Cabaret survived the Battle of Manila during World War II because it was on the outskirts of town. After the war the cabaret scene changed into a Mediterranean-style brothel. A bar with tables and women who mingle with and entertain the clientele. Traditionally these establishments can also feature some form of stage entertainment, often singers and dancers. But just like brothels, prostitution silently arose from Manila's cabarets.

    The Santa Ana Cabaret stayed intact through the 1950's and the 1960's. It was destroyed by a flood in the 1970s during the course of typhoon Yoling and was redeveloped as a racetrack that sported thoroughbred horseracing.

    Currently the area where the cabaret stands before is being considered to be a part of Circuit Makati. Circuit Makati is Ayala Land’s latest business, shopping and leisure district project.

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  15. I have seen photo of the Sta Ana Cabaret from the outside. The street is very narrow.

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  16. H. Santos Street in Makatai is only 540 meters long. It is a very narrow, congested street. At its north end is Kasilawan Barangay Hall. Midway is Tejeros Barangay Hall and the Makati Tenement Housing Project. The south end of the street is Puregold Supermarket. The former site of Sta. Ana Cabaret could be any of those I've mentioned and none of those is part of Circuit Makati.

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