Saturday, April 20, 2013

87. ESCOLTA at the turn-of-the-century. A postcard collection

This is a collection of postcards featuring ESCOLTA at the turn-of-the-century

On the north bank of the Pasig river, just across the Walled City, is a street known until today as Escolta. The name originated during the British invasion when the British commander rode down this street always with his escort called escolta.

Early in the 19th century, Escolta took over from the Parian as the commercial hub of Manila. By the 1860s, its handsome' two- storey buildings became the offices, shops and stalls for merchants, many of whom were foreigners who flocked to the newly opened port of Manila. They were Sikh, Portuguese, Mexican, Japanese and British merchants in addition to the already established Spanish  and Chinese merchants.

Caritelas along the busy Escolta street

There were several reasons why Escolta became a bustling trade center. To begin with; there had to be a convenient place to receive the goods that were coming in from ships-and Escolta was not far from the ports themselves and was, in fact, right on the bank of the river Pasig. On this river was ferried the goods that came from the provinces as well as the goods that came from the ships that were anchored out on the bay.

Source: Ayala Museum Diorama Book

Escolta, the principal business street of Manila.

American automobiles parked at the sides of commercial stores and business offices along Escolta.

Singer Sewing Machine Co. office along Escolta

Trambia plying the streets of Escolta from Malabon going to San Juan

Escolta Street from Morga Square, Manila

Escolta Street from Morga Square, Manila
Another view of  Escolta Street from Morga Square, Manila

Another view of  Escolta Street from Morga Square, Manila

1909 Escolta Postcard by Underwood and Underwood

Escolta, during the 1940's
Tuck's painting of  Escolta at the turn of the century


  1. I enjoyed your site - well done ! - Lou Gopal of "Manila Nostalgia"

  2. Hello sir. I am Indra from GMA NewsTV. We are currently working on our topic about nationalism. I have came across your blog site. I would like to invite you for an interview about your collections. You may email me through
    Thank you very much!

    Indra Balmes

  3. Good day! I am a researcher from GMA News TV – Kiko Rustia presents: Dis Is Pinas. It is a weekly 30-minute block-timer program that features various Philippine heritage sites like landmarks, historical buildings and other significant natural structures.

    We would like to ask for your permission to borrow these pictures related to Manila's history. We will be using it for our special Manila episode on June 28, 2014, Saturday 11:30am-12nn. Rest assured that we will give you proper courtesy/ credits for the pictures. If you could also provide us your email so that we could send our formal letter to you. Thank you and God bless!

  4. Sure you can use these photos for your TV program, just give proper credit.

  5. Evidently from the pictures above, at a certain time, the rule of the road was Keep Left - as compared to present day rules where vehicles Keep Right of the road. I guess this was enforced till the early part of America's occupation in the Phils. It would be helpful to know when the rules where changed - from Keep Left to Keep Right - as a way to determine the era when vintage pictures of Phil. road scenes were taken.