Saturday, January 25, 2014

№ 156. Manila Walks: Manila Central Post Office

I had lived in Manila for close to three decades. And I had never explored this heritage building, until I moved to another city.

Sometimes, despite the almost conceded urban decay, I can still see the vignettes of the capital's charm. True, there aren't many. It takes a lot of faith and purpose to find them. But these enclaves in the middle of chaos do exist.

One such enclave sits in Lawton Plaza.

It is near the equally-historic Manila City Hall. By the banks of Pasig River just across Escolta and Binondo, it is an aging relic of Manila's post-colonial past. Just about a ten-minute walk from either Jones Bridge or Sta. Cruz Bridge, the Manila Central Post Office in its neo-classical architecture, fortunately, still looks elegant despite the fiscal neglect over the years.

The building, viewed from outside, looks sturdy and well-kept. But the interiors really need some face lift.

I hope for the day when we have enough resources to fix the place and restore it to its post-colonial, pre-martial law glory. These resources would entail funds, cultural capital, bureaucratic will and time.

Soon, I hope.

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