#selfiEscolta: Reviving the Queen of Manila Streets
Overcrowded with clusters of people and vehicles, littered with candy wrappers and cigarette butts, buildings in need of a fresh coat of paint, reeks of jeepney smoke and polluted canals—Manila is hardly the great city it once was, sorry to say. This city was once admired as one that resembled Europe in its architecture and overall feel. With a city like Manila, there was bound to be some iconic streets and Escolta was one of these.
On the 5th of July 2014, an event called #selfiEscolta was organized to celebrate the legacy of this historic street. I was lucky enough to be one of the media people treated to a ferry ride across the Pasig River from Guadalupe to Escolta, just like how it was in the olden days when the river played a crucial role in the lives of many and was responsible for the growth of civilization in the area.
Interested in finding out about the fight to preserve Escolta? Then this article is for you: https://www.wheninmanila.com/escolta-warriors-young-people-fight-philippine-cultural-heritage/
Facts about the Pasig were relayed to us which made the ferry ride even more interesting, knowing the river was a place that many travelers had passed through in the course of history.
When the ferry ride was done, it was a short walk from the station to where the legendary street was partly closed off the make space for stalls of that showcased different kinds of objects from food to guitars to vintage objects.
For more information on Escolta’s array of oldies shops, check this article out about the Escolta Saturday Markets (https://www.wheninmanila.com/escolta-saturday-market-oldies-but-goodies/)
One of the main objectives of this event was to help boost tourism in the said street and effectively, Manila as a whole. Here a group is informed of the sparkling history of Escolta.
Performers graced the stage on the far end of the street as well. The bright sound of ukuleles by the Ukulele Philippines Ensemble brightened up what was a very dim, overcast afternoon.
It was really a treat to be walking along a street that has witnessed a lot throughout history. When in Manila, let us fondly look at its wonderful streets that speak volumes of a glorious past (like Escolta) and make that inspire us to work towards a similarly brighter future.