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I didn’t intend to continue this series but as my kind readers have pointed out, I have missed several major landmarks in that gentle and scholarly neighborhood of the past.
My family rented apartments until the mid-Fifties when mom finally got her dream of building a new home. At any rate, this was the neighborhood I wandered through at the age of about 10, riding the sidewalks on my new balloon-tired one speed bicycle – streamers flying from the handlebar grips – up on the sidewalks, down the streets, under trees that shaded you from the hot sun. Before they made their move to Quezon City, Maryknoll College was located very close to our apartments.
Due to financial difficulties, the Archdiocese could no longer continue to support the school in Malabon. After the war, the Sisters re-opened the school in a private house on Fernando Rein Street and eventually transferred to two Quonset huts to accommodate increasing number of students.
During WW II, the Sisters were held at the Los Banos Internment Camp but the bond between the Filipino faithful and the Sisters remained strong as the Filipinos took risks to share scarce food with them during their confinement. The Philippine Government issued a memorandum in 1973 on educational institutions stating that ownership, control of administration, curriculum and enrollment were to be held by Filipinos.  After a total of 18 years as President of Maryknoll College, Sister Miriam Thomas quietly, but happily, withdrew from the position. Mother Marie Louise De Meester from Belgium, landed in Ilocos Sur in 1910 and commenced a missionary program throughout the Philippines.
It remains a wonder to Executive Judge Vickie Paredes, an alumna of STC Manila, that despite their cumbersome habit and wimple, the sisters always appeared cool and composed even in warm weather.
Typical of Catholic schools and girls schools in particular, discipline was stressed including academic instruction, religious teaching, character development, even music and the arts. Silence, orderliness, courtesy and honesty were corollary rules, violations of which were penalized, while proper behavior was rewarded with merit cards, estampitas and rosaries; many of the traits that, sadly, have somehow lost their significance in today’s generation.
In January 1946, a contract was signed for the purchase of a property consisting of five blocks, in Sta. The Saint Therese Building, former site of Saint Theresa’s College, was absorbed into Adamson University.
The new school, after appropriate advertising, attracted forty students on its opening day. Before finally settling on its permanent home along San Marcelino Street in 1946 after the war, the school stayed in three different locations: Sta. The American colonial government’s program to improve and expand health services included the construction of hospitals. An outstanding example of Parsons’ approach to design is the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a building neoclassic in its disciplined elegance and highly practical in its loose and airy arrangement of pavilions. A front pavilion housing the administration, leads to a central area where common facilities are located and from both sides of which pavilions branch out separated by courtyards and connected by arcaded galleries. Tomas Mapua, who graduated from Cornell University in 1911 and worked as draftsman at the Bureau of Public Works from that year until 1915, designed the Nurses’ Home of the PGH, one of the finest examples of the neo-renaissance style in the country. I was fortunate to have one of my readers, Dick Scheerer write about his grandfather, Otto Scheerer. Initially called Civil Hospital housed in a large private dwelling adjoined by 2 smaller buildings, PGH is now a state-owned hospital operated by the University of the Philippines and is the biggest hospital in the country with 1,500 bed capacity; 1000 beds allotted for indigent patients and 500 beds for private patients. Another reader, Ben Oteyza recalls, “The Brown Derby, in front of PGH, was the place to be for students of UP Medicine and PGH nurses, and Jai Alai for those with extra pocket money.” Ben later married a PGH nurse and are proud parents of 6 grown children.
The Philippine General Hospital was a public hospital but regardless was fortified by the Japanese during the occupation in violation of the Geneva Convention. On June 9, 1919, what would eventually be PWU opened its first classes as the Philippine Women’s College in Manila.
Currently serving both men and women from nursery to graduate school in its Manila, Quezon City, Caliraya, and Davao campuses, the Philippine Women’s University system and its Affiliate Schools for Men and Women is a corporate entrepreneurial university that uses Internet-driven, online tools for teaching and learning. Its Malate campus at 1743 Taft Avenue occupies an entire city block bounded by Taft Avenue and the streets of Tennessee (Malvar), Remedios, and Pennsylvania (Leon Guinto). Among the outstanding achievements of PWU was the foundation of the Bayanihan Folk Dance Group in 1956 by Dr. The following photos of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe were generously submitted by Manila Nostalgia reader, Herb Hendry. The folk arts center and the dance company continue to research and preserve indigenous Philippine art forms in music, dance, costumes and folklore, to restructure and enhance these research findings to evolve repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater, and to promote international goodwill through performances at home and abroad.
Our walks usually turned around at Remedios Street, where across Taft I could see the Roces house. Another historic location was the Masonic Temple (now the Scottish Rite Temple) across the street from the PWU. No description of PWU would be complete without mentioning Jose Abad Santos Memorial School. The PWU Elementary Department’s use of a curriculum based on the children’s experiences began in 1933.
The Kindergarten School eventually expanded into a grade school and in the late 50’s the University opened JASMS along what is now known as EDSA to serve the needs of the growing community of Philamlife Homes and in 1962.
It’s a small shop, a treasure house of hard to find books, plays, political novels, monographs, Filipiniana, and the complete works of our National Artist for Literature, F.
It’s just like before the war, when the districts of Ermita and Malate where I lived and spent my childhood hosted numerous boutique shops, quaint bakeries, modistas, and small mom and pop shops.
He adds, “The past can be meaningful when, with memory, we realize our failings and the possibilities that we missed. In my last post, I presented the home of Jose McMicking, at one time Manila’s Sheriff in the early 1900s. In my previous post, Malate – Ermita: Part 1, I reminisced briefly about the fun and excitement as families would take their children on an open-aired double-decker bus called the Matorco up and down the boulevard.
This wonderful conveyance would wind its way from 13th and Chicago Streets in the Port Area all along Dewey Boulevard up to the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran and back again.
In 1975, the rates were set at 20 Centavos per passenger and children less than 1 meter height were admitted free.
With thanks for the wonderful comments and stories from my readers and guest writers, as well as their generous submittals of photos from their personal collections, I sign off. By now you are well aware of the thousands who were so enthralled by your Parts 1, 2 & 3, and clamored for more. Thanks for the wonderful insights about the wonderful district we both grew up in even if its of different era.
I was in Manila last year and I took pictures of two markers in Intramuros honoring those who died in the dungeons during World War II. The memory of all these unknown victims of Japanese atrocities will live forever in the hearts and minds of the Filipino people.


These articles have become a two-way street as I am learning and reminiscing right along with you from the many comments, emails and photos I’ve received !
They selected a lot in a new suburb of Makati called San Lorenzo, a topic I will discuss in a later post. I was pleased to see how little it had changed; we lived on the first floor with windows overlooking the street. Up on Oregon, down Colorado, left on Herran turning on San Marcelino…ah, the freedom of youth ! Michael O’Doherty, requested the Sisters of Maryknoll Congregation to start a teacher-training program for women in the Philippines. In 1936, The Sisters assumed full financial control and opened their own Maryknoll Normal College in Manila, first on Isaac Peral, and in 1938 moved to Mabini Street. In 1977, the ownership and management of the school was turned over to lay administrators and the name Maryknoll was changed to Miriam College acknowledging the role of its past president. She was studying for her doctorate as World War II broke out and she and the other Sisters were interned in the prison camp at Los Banos. Theresa’s College Manila was re-built, re-opened and continued to be run by the Belgian Sisters until 1980.
Within its grounds are the Saint Therese Quadrangle, Botanical Garden, Adamson University Chapel and Speech Laboratory. George Lucas’s cousin Alexander Athos Adamson came to Adamson shortly after its opening to help the fledgling school. His comment reminded me of those marvelous foot-long hotdogs served with a special extra tart mustard and hot, crispy bun at the Brown Derby; a young boy’s dream, and who can forget the vanilla soft ice cream sundaes you could get at the Dairy Queen on Taft Avenue….chocolate sauce and chopped nuts !
There were few Japanese in the hospital with gun placements on the grounds outside to defend their position as the Americans were taking back Manila.
It has coped with many hardships and tragedies, including being burned and razed to the ground during the battle for Manila in 1945. The troupe was performing for visiting President of Rotary International (worldwide), Carl P.
Bayanihan epitomizes their combined efforts, the name means working together for the common good. After his radio-TV work, he became a professional motivational speaker and taught a personal development course at the university. It was here where I would walk daily with my father as he recovered from his years of brutal imprisonment, after release by the dreaded Japanese military police Kempeitai in the war. It was here that the Japanese massacred almost 200 people that had sought shelter in the battle for Manila in 1945. The seeds from which JASMS grew were planted in 1919 when the Philippine Women’s College was first established with its first Kindergarten class opening in A.
Perhaps it’s this hope that led my old friend to set up his bookshop in Ermita, at the corner of Jorge Bocobo (formerly Nebraska) and Padre Faura. He views the writer’s role as a prophet for the future because of his links to the past.
Manila in the Thirties had less than a million people — with slums, for sure, and people who were hungry, too. Just recently I received an email from Fred Palanca Abo-Hamda, the grandson of Sebastian Palanca.
Unlike jeepneys that would stop anywhere, the buses would make around 6 stops at designated locations each way, such as in front of the Aristocrat Restaurant. It stopped operation in 1994 due mainly to increased pollution, overcrowded streets and high maintenance.
I am heartened by the actions of many groups in Manila that are trying to save and restore our architectural landmarks.
I hope you enjoy this one and continue to write comments and emails with your memories and hopefully, more photos !! Theresa’s College schoolmates, please accept our sincere thanks for including school photos extracted from my scrapbook, bringing back memories from as far back 1949 when we were still in Grade Three.
Their bodies were found inside a nearby dungeon where victims of the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese imperial forces were imprisoned during the last days of February 1945. Luis Torres founded the Second medical fraternity in the country as well as second in Asia.
The parking lot in the back still had that old mango tree that was perfect to climb and naturally pick some green mangos to eat… with salt ! Under the auspices and support of the Archbishop, the Malabon Normal School was established in an old Augustinian convent.
Mary’s Hall, a hostel (or dormitory) for women, situated on 602 Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from Padre Faura Street where the University of the Philippines was then located. Sister Thomas brought along her books and painting materials, and despite the hardships and the weakness she experienced from the starvation diet in the camp, Sister was able to finish writing her doctoral dissertation.
When the change took place ten years later several reasons led to the selection of the name “Miriam College” and one of them was to express gratitude to the person who had devoted herself so much to the school. Theresa’s College Manila (STCM) in 1915 at the invitation of the Most Reverend Jeremiah Jame Harty, the first American Archbishop of Manila.
The Belgian nuns had peachy complexion and because of the heat, were perpetually rosy-cheeked”, she adds. She was born Esther Martinez, joined the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) as a postulant in 1934, and took her vows and adopted her new name in 1937. In order to accommodate an ever-growing population of students, steps were taken after WWII to look for a property which would be larger than the San Marcelino Compound. It houses the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Office, College of Education and Liberal Arts, College of Sciences, College of Pharmacy and College of Business Administration. George and his brother Alex, rented the Paterno Building next to the Santa Cruz Bridge near Plaza Goiti.
By 1934, there were approximately 370 students, which demanded that larger quarters were needed. Alexander joined the administration on July 15, 1932, serving at one time or another as Vice President, Treasurer and Registrar. At 900 San Marcelino, the University expanded with the acquisition of the Meralco building in 1968 and the St.
One pavilion is devoted to private rooms.  The building is formal and symmetrical, the plan being somewhat like an organizational chart. From 1899 to 1901 he was a member of the United States Philippine Commission and then until 1913, he served as secretary of the interior for the Philippine Insular Government.


Worcester was an avid colonialist and my grandfather was active in the independence movement. But phoenix-like, PWU rose from the ashes, grew and flourished even more vigorously determined to continue to develop the youth of the land. Jose Francisco Benitez, who leads an academic staff of approximately 500 serving an undergraduate student population of 20,000. Miller and his wife, hosted by the Rotary Club of Manila, at a gala fiesta at Perez Gardens, Quezon City on December 2, 1964.
We only stopped our walks when the Japanese marines set up a large anti-aircraft gun on the rotunda of Taft and San Andres.
In the photo below, Philippine Women’s University is center right and Masonic Temple just above it. Gamboa and Priscilla Abaya built an environment to meet the needs of children without having to pattern or adopt a philosophy from other schools or countries. Like its namesake, La Solidaridad is not just a collection of libertarian ideas in the field of politics, science, art, literature, commerce, agriculture and industry. He brings to our collective awareness the things we have forgotten, in particular the First EDSA. But in hindsight, our leaders should have had vision to face the urban blight, the moral malaise that loomed so clearly ahead.
My hope is that we can once again reclaim the beauty of the old Manila we remembered and pass it on to the next generations.
I would like to ask if you know or have any information about locating the remains of people killed by the Japanese during World War II? Since you are not really a resident of the Philippines, and depended on other facts contributed by your many friends in Manila willing to assist you in these wonderful recollections of your early years in Manila. He was a founder of the first medical fraternity of the country, Phi Kappa Mu and not Upsilon.
The names of the streets alone especially in Malate & Ermita, already contain so much history.
They were a couple of months behind Mu Sigma Phi from the same college which is recognized as the first medical fraternity in the country & in Asia. It was impressively named the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry and Engineering (ASICE) catering to students who wished to learn the simple fundamentals of chemistry and the basic techniques for small industries like leather tanning, soap making, and salt production. The move was made to a historic building on Calle General Solano on the Pasig River, which earlier served as a home of the Spanish Navy Admiral, then the U.S.
Alexander’s brother George Athos Adamson also came onboard in 1934, becoming the School Dean, Dean of the College of Engineering and professor.
The design is most appropriate for the tropics, since each wing is designed for maximum ventilation and protection from rain.
And yet, despite this, Worcester had my grandfather appointed to several positions in the colonial government, including making him Governor of Batanes. Acclaimed now as the Philippine National Dance Company, the Bayanihan is world-renowned and multi-awarded.
In 1935, the Nursery school was born admitting children 18 months to 3 years of age, this was something unheard of at that time. Since the school accepted both boys and girls, it was decided to give the school a new name.
Established in 1965, it is more than a link to the past, a repository of Filipino aspirations.
The family founded Banco Espanol-Filipinas de Isabel II which later became the Bank of the Philippines.
In the Fifties, the company was run by Joaquina Palanca Abou-Hamda and her siblings (see photo below).
Over the years, almost three hundred Maryknoll Sisters have been assigned to the Philippines. Ason to friends and colleagues. From 1937 to 1950 she taught high school and college subjects in congregation-run schools such as the Holy Family Convent, St.
It was later called Adamson University (AdU) upon approval by the Secretary of Public Instruction for university status, on February 5, 1941.
Evdoxia Savaides Adamson, wife of George Lucas, started working and teaching in the University in 1939, then served as Dean of the College of Education and of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In the PGH, Parsons introduced a style of modern architecture, functional in plan, and employing the traditional arch while minimizing surface ornament. It has performed, usually by invitation of the host nation, in a total of 66 countries and 700 cities worldwide. Thus, the PWU Elementary Department later came to be known as Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (JASMS), after the late Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University.
All over the plundered landscape, the stench of carrion hung heavy as the cleaning up, the picking up of pieces had yet to be completed.
They were also responsible for building the Puente Colgante, owned Tanduay Distillery as well as sugar, abaca production, and paint (YCO Paints and Floor Wax) businesses. Sofia Adamson, George Athos’s wife, taught in the College of Education after arriving in 1939 and briefly served as Directress of the Junior Normal College. Lim) in Malate, but still maintained the (Annex) Taft Avenue facilities for the younger children. Jose wept as he sat on the rocks of the Luneta in the dying rays of the sunset, remembering the words of Gen.
By the late 19th century, Ynchausti Shipping was the largest inter-island shipping company in the Philippines. Thanks for that and in memory of my grandmother who is loyal alumna of Philippine Women’s University, I thank you too.
She was the Belgian-dominated ICM’s first Filipina superior in 1950, and first Filipina provincial councilor from 1959 to 1969. Except for George Athos and Sofia who left after the war, all the Adamsons remained working in the University until its turnover to the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission in 1964. Some of the shells hit the buildings inflicting some damage however inside, the many Filipino patients and several thousand Filipino refugees that were seeking what they thought would be safe shelter, were murdered by the Japanese. This is looking south. Most of the destruction shown in this photograph was caused by the burning and demolition charges set off by the retreating Japanese.
George Lucas Adamson served as President until 1967, for a total of 35 years, including a three-year holdover stint at the assumption of the Vincentians as administrators.



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