Last May 16, 2010, my family and I joined the free Postal Heritage Walking Tour of Manila organized by the Filipinas Stamp Collector’s Club. I actually talked about the said walking tour of Manila during the first few minutes of my newest podcast, EDUC Today. In the said tour, we get to learn about the different monuments and buildings around Manila that have significance in the Philippines’ postal heritage.
The Manila Metropolitan Theater
The first stop of the tour was the Manila Metropolitan Theater. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been wanting to go inside the Manila Metropolitan Theater—to watch a show and to look at its interiors. However, it has been closed to public since the mid-1990s, I think, and was declared a condemned building.
Today, several government agencies and non-governmental institutions are responsible for the current rehabilitation-slash-renovation of the Manila Metropolitan Theater. In fact, the theater had its soft opening late April 2010.
While at the theater, we get to see the art deco design of the theater—from the ceilings with mango and banana leaves design to its wrought iron gates. This was sort of the highlight of the tour because we stayed there for quite a long time to check out the different function rooms, the stage, control rooms, etc.
Juan Arellano, the architect who designed the Manila Metropolitan Theater also designed the Manila Central Post Office building.
Manila Central Post Office (including the Postal Library and Museum)
The Manila Central Post Office Building is one of the beautiful neo-classical inspired buildings in Manila. Manila Central Post Office is also the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation—the heart of everything related to the Philippine Postal System. The Postal Library and Museum houses an exhibit of Philippine postal stamps as well as old mailboxes and old typewriters.
Puerta de Isabel II
Puerta de Isabel II was last the gate built leading to the walled city of Manila. It is in honor of Queen Isabella II of Spain. The statue of Queen Isabella II of Spain also stands at Puerta de Isabel II. The first stamp issued in the Philippine Islands portrayed Queen Isabella II of Spain.
The walking tour of Manila also covered the following not-so-mainstream tourist spots:
National Press Club
The tour ended at the Manila Cathedral where my family and I heard mass.
The Free Postal Heritage Walking Tour by the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club is held every third Sunday of the month. This free guided tour caters to students, cultural hoppers, philatelists and people from all walks of life. This Free Postal Heritage Walking Tour is supported by the Intramuros Administration, PhilPost, and the City of Manila.
If you’re interested in joining this free walking tour of Manila, please get in touch with Mr. Lawrence Chan at 0919-3901671 or e-mail him at [email protected].