Escolta Market: Finding Vintage Mementos in the Heart of Manila

When In Manila, Immerse in a nostalgic trip as you stroll down the memory lane at the Escolta Saturday Market.


 For collectors, Paris, Florence or Portobello Market may easily come in mind when you talk about vintage… but Philippines? Our country seems unlikely to be remembered by these antique junkies.

 But luckily for those who have penchant for old art but cannot afford a plane ticket or a visa, there is a tiny place in Manila that will satisfy a collector’s hankering and at the same time, pique a passer by’s interest.

Escolta Market Facade

 Tucked in First United Nation Building in Escolta, the market is similar to those of Portobello’s in London. Once a month, yuppies, students and the like scour for rare items in long stretches of aged merchandise in the market which usually takes place on a Saturday during third or fourth week of the month.

A project started by collective community of artists, 98B the market aims to bring back the glory days of the former premier shopping district.

 Being born during the early 90’s, I had no idea of what Escolta looked like circa 1900’s. When I first went to the market last March, I felt I was being time warped into another era. 

Escolta Market Vinyl Player

 I saw some items that I would only see in old movies just like this antique vinyl player.

Escolta Market Vinyl

The market featured various antiques, some dating to as early as the 1930’s and 50s including this vinyl player and bunch of movie star photographs. The sepia photographs looked like Filipino versions of Katherine Hepburn and Marlon Brando.

Escolta Market Vinyl Records

Unlike other Western countries, record stores are quite rare in the Philippines and the vinyl is pricier here. There were numerous vinyl records every Escolta fair that you will always see smiling, expectant face of music and vintage lovers who managed to find their desired records.


Escolta Market Rolling Stones

Escolta Market Beatles

Even though I was not able to buy them ( Mental Note: Save) , I was rendered speechless when I found some Beatles, Carpenters and the Rolling Stones records, a lucky day for an old-school kid here. Aside from foreign artists, there were also various records of Filipino artists such as Pilita Corales.



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