Thursday, 27 February 2014

Manila City Hall

Old photo of Manila City Hall.  The City of Manila, in the old days, was dubbed ' Pearl of the Orient '.

Manila City Hall
             Men in blue shirts were manning the entry and exit points.  The lines were moving fast.  There was no hassle getting inside.  I was accompanying a friend who wanted certified true copies of certain documents.  Contrary to what we were expecting, there were no long lines. Everything was in order.  Systems and procedures have greatly improved at the Manila City Hall.

Manila City Hall facing south

The clock tower of Manila City Hall.  There are three clocks on its three facets.

Historical Marker

Remembering the heroes of the City of Manila

Jeepneys, buses and private vehicles pass by Manila City Hall.

             Manila City Hall is the seat of government of the second largest city of the Philippines.  It is located at the vast Ermita district.  It is near the National Museum, Department of Tourism Building, Philippine Post Office and the old Metropolitan Theater. Vehicles taking the three bridges, Jones Bridge, MacArthur Bridge and Quezon Bridge, pass by Manila City Hall. There is an underpass at its western side to ease traffic. The clock tower distinguishes it from other public buildings.

Manila City Hall facing north

Main entrance to the north wing 

Inscribed at the facade of the southern part of City Hall are the words: Labor, Wealth and Capital

Courtyard of Manila City Hall

Lobby at the Southern side of City Hall

            Manila City Hall was built in 1939 in a place with a wide open space.  It has a Neo-Classical architecture.  It has a courtyard that leads to the various offices.  As Chief Executive, the City Mayor discharges the administrative functions as defined by the local government code.  The City Council, headed by the Vice Mayor and Councilors, forms part of the checks and balances ideal in a democratic form of government such as that of Manila.  Notable mayors of Manila were Arsenio Lacson, Antonio Villegas, Ramon Bagatsing, Mel Lopez, Lito Atienza and Alfredo Lim. Incumbent mayor is former President Joseph Estrada. 

Incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Erap Estrada

Vice Mayor Isko Moreno

Mayor Alfredo Lim ( 1992 - 1998; 2007 - 2013 )

Mayor Lito Atienza ( 1998 - 2007 )

Mayor Mel Lopez (right)   (1986 - 1992)  with son Manny Lopez

Mayor Ramon Bagatsing ( 1972 - 1986 )

Mayor Antonio Villegas ( 1962 - 1971 )

Mayor Arsenio Lacson ( 1952 - 1962 )

            It took us only a few minutes to transact business at City Hall.  We thanked the officer in charge. On our way out, drivers with traffic violation receipts were waiting to be called.  The city government is in the midst of a serious campaign to implement existing traffic rules and regulations.  And before making it to the exit, I proceeded to the rest room.  When I thought I had seen everything, I was surprised to see a public toilet similar to the CRs of shopping malls. I called the attendant before leaving: Ganda ng CR nyo.  Nasaan ba ako? Nasa City Hall ba ako? O SM?  

New ambulances for the City of Manila

Official seal

Drivers holding traffic violation receipts wait for their names to be called.

City Hall's rest room

Clean rest room

The Railway near City Hall

Andres Bonifacio Shrine (KKK Plaza)  near Manila City Hall

The Philippine Post Office at  Liwasang Bonifacio. It is within walking distance from Manila City Hall.

- Konted


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ongpin Mañosa: Since 1940

Ongpin Mañosa:  Since 1940

         It was getting to be a habit.  We found ourselves disembarking at the LRT train terminal near Avenida Rizal.  We took the same route, passing by the old Vista Theater and turning left at Florentino Torres St. The Sun Wah Restaurant was closed as authorities padlocked the main entrance for business tax issues. Three black pigs were left outside, as if guarding the premises. Ongpin Street was within sight and the signs of the numerous restaurants beckoned. Ongpin Mañosa attracted us the most.

Avenida Rizal in Sta Cruz, Manila.  LRT train passes through it.

What used to be Odeon Theater is now a shopping arcade.  It is connected to the LRT Recto Terminal.

The Old Vista Theater along Recto Avenue, formerly Azcarraga St.

Vista Theater still shows double 2nd run movies.  

Sun Wah Restaurant along Florentino Torres is padlocked by authorities for business tax issues. Take note of two black pigs. 

Another black pig near the main entrance of Sun Wah.  The black pigs are considered the lucky charms of the restaurant.

Another old restaurant across Sun Wah. 

          Ongpin Manosa is a little restaurant in Chinatown that has been in the food business since1940. It is included in the official list of oldest restaurants. It opened even before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and even before the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Manila. Why Manosa when it is a Chinese restaurant?  The owner's surname is Manosa.  It is as simple as that.

Ongpin Street at the heart of Manila Chinatown.

Ongpin Street is one long stretch starting from Binondo Church to Bustos St.

High rise building along Ongpin Street

Another tower block near Ongpin Street

Lucky charms, etc.


Ex-Mayor Fred Lim's favorite restaurant

Shanghai Fried Siopao for P16 each

A bridge at Ongpin Street

          Ongpin Manosa serves the best Maki.  It is their best selling food item. Maki is tender pork chunks mixed with a lot of brown, sticky soup made of starch. You add condiments such as soy sauce and kalamansi, white pepper and spring onions. Another specialty of the restaurant is Siomai. Pancit Canton, Miki Bihon and plain Bihon are also offered. All these items are served hot with free Chinese tea.

Ongpin Manosa is one of the oldest restaurants in Metro Manila.

There is a dining area at the ground floor and another one upstairs.

Maki is Ongpin Manosa's best selling item.

Pancit Bihon

Big Siomai

Ongpin Manosa's delicious Fried Rice

What was supposed to be a light meal or merienda turned out to be a full meal.

Free Chinese Tea

Kikiam, Rellenong Hipon, etc.

Steamed Siomai

A cauldron of Maki

Maki is always served hot.

           Two men were selling pure honey at the sidewalk of Avenida Rizal, several blocks away. I inquired and got an answer: Galing pa po kami ng Candelaria, Quezon. Pagkatapos po ng Sariaya yon. Pukyutan po yan. Sa farm po yan galing. And then another vendor was gesturing.  I approached and listened to what he was saying:  Kailangan po nyo ito. Isang pahid lang, epektibo na. Tatagal po kayo kahit apat na oras. And then we heard the sound of the LRT train.  It was time to go home.


I smell Tiger Balm when passing by this drugstore.

Small Chinese New Year's cake or  Tikoy or Nian Gao sells for P60 each.

Special bottled drinks

Dice Hopia, Monggo and Baboy Hopia

Lucky Pick

Mahjong set for sale

Old drugstore on Florentino Torres St.

Pure Honey being sold at Avenida Rizal.  Beehive is proof that honey is pure.

Making rubber stamps and duplicating keys while u wait

The Railway occupies the middle part of Avenida Rizal.