19
Jan 2009
0
architecture
Our Cross to Bear

Navigating through the streets of Manila always brings a mixed sense of wonderment and dread. An accidental drive through Sta. Cruz and Binondo area reintroduced me to this historic area. But for all of its rich historical and cultural past, it couldn’t be saved and what remains is a grimy ghost of its past glory, hardly recognizable. It is now a labyrinthine world of small shops, hawkers, narrow streets, and a multitude of people, electric cables draping and crisscrossing through the plaza.

It makes one wonder whether the people milling about its streets, going through their business ever stopped to appreciate the beauty what they actually have. Are places and time like horses that lose their meaning once they’ve ran a good run? Or is it the fact that I am an outsider looking in that makes it easier to see what others have been sorely taking for granted?

It seems that as a people we are constantly waging a war with our past, and the means to win it is to obliterate traces of our history and reduce what’s left to something that amounts to as little as possible. And it begs the question when we could finally be at peace and reclaim our heritage and our past.

We found photos of the old Sta.Cruz District and some recent photos of the area. See for yourself what we’ve made out of this treasure, then what can we do to save it. – TM

old sta.cruz church postcard (photo courtesy of manilahub)

old sta.cruz church postcard (photo courtesy of manilahub)

sta.cruz church now (photo from manilahub)

sta.cruz church now (photo from manilahub)

plaza goiti then (photo from manila nostalgia)

plaza goiti then (photo from manila nostalgia)

sta cruz plaza now (photo from nostalgia manila)

sta cruz plaza now (photo from nostalgia manila)


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