POSTAL HERITAGE WALKING TOUR: Manila Central Post Office (PHLPost)


Soon to rise a 6-Star Hotel from the Philippines’ Heritage Buildings
Manila Central Post Office (PHLPost)
Footages from Postal Heritage Walking Tour August 2012

The Manila Central Post Office commonly called PHLPost (Philippine postal system) has a remarkable 250 years history. It was first established in Manila during 1767. Later in 1779, Spain managed the postal office serving the entire Philippine archipelago. “Manila became known as a leading center of postal services within Asia.” Postal services during the Emilio Aguinaldo regime have long served the Filipinos.

The center of the Philippine postal services and the headquarter of then Bureau of Posts was the Manila Central Post Office, located at Liwasang Bonifacio (earlier known as Plaza Lawton). The heritage building is a Neo-classic architecture designed by Ralph Doane, Tomas Mapua (Filipino architect), and Juan Marco de Guzman Arellano (Filipino architect). “The Manila Central Post Office building was considered as the grandest building during its time, and is now considered as one of the most dominating landmarks in Metro Manila.

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History of PHLPost:
* 1767 – Established as postal office in Manila.
* 1779 – Created as a postal district of Spain.
* 1837 – Re-established as such on December 5.
* 1838 – Became a leading center of postal service.
* 1854 – The Philippines is the first country in the continent of Asia to issue adhesive postage stamps for national general usage and the first among the colonies of Spain.
* 1877 – Became a member of the Universal Postal Union.
* 1898 – Established as a postal service on the order of Philippine Revolution president, Emilio Aguinaldo.
* 1902 – Created as a bureau under the Department of Trade by virtue of Commission of the Philippines Act no. 426 on September 5.
* 1922 – The Philippines joined the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
* 1926 – Built in its present Neo-classic architecture.
* 1946 – Rebuilding after it was destroyed in World War II.
* 1986 – Zip Code System was implemented.
* 1987 – Named Postal Service Office under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) by virtue of Executive Order no. 125 on April 13.
* 1992 – Became the Philippine Postal Corporation (its present name) by virtue of Republic Act no. 7354 on April 2.
* 2004 – It was placed under the Commission of information and Communications Technology per Executive Order 269 dated January 12, 2004.
* 2011 – PHLPost was placed under the Office of the President per Executive Order 47 dated June 23, 2011 signed by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III.
* 2011 – Pres. Aquino appointed former Bulacan governor Josefina dela Cruz as the new Postmaster General – the first woman who was able to hold this position in the history of the Philippine post office.
* 2012 – New corporate PHLPost Logo was launched.

More PHLPost Trivia:
During the Spanish occupation, exchanges of letter and communications were limited to government officials, dignitaries and priests of the Catholic church. “Badageros” or “polistos” were the courier or early postman who delivered documents, mails and letters. These men rendered free services to the colonial government, they are classified as male citizen from 18 years old who did not hold any public office.

Heritage Building Turning Into A Income Generating Business
Since the proliferation of electronic mail (e-mail), letters, documents and communication has adopted the fastest and most convenient way of relaying data and messages. Online users have a variety of platforms to choose what activity (email, chat, video chat and social network) works best for them. Technology, internet, computers, and mobile application wipes out old methods. When adaptability comes in, something is left behind. One of which was the sending of mails through postal system. Sad to say, a big percentage of mail senders drop down making the postal office meet its bankruptcy. PHLPost can no longer sustain and maintain their neo-classic home, nthe idea came in when an investor saw an opportunity to purchase the heritage building and bring business (that is 6-Star Hotel) to a dooming grand building. The occupants of PHLPost has served with the office for a long time, making the loyal employees – scheduled to transfer to a postal office branch in NIA Road, Quezon City. Whether they like it or not, it’s bound to happen. But Filipinos hope for the preservation of the heritage building. It is where the history of Philippine postal service started it all. What better way to show our future grandchildren the past, rich cultures we had since the Spanish era.

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My Postal Heritage Walking Tour (August 2012) experience happened a week after the Metro Manila floods (brought by the “Habagat” (southwest monsoon), where 50% of Manila area was subdued to floodwaters. Manila Central Post Office is located right at the back of Pasig River. At that time, Liwasang Bonifacio and its adjacent roads including PHLPost grounds were waist-deep with floods coming in from that one-week rains in the metro.  As our tourist guide showed us the water markings and stench within the post office compound. The participants of the tour wonder, will the investors proceed or think twice now that they have seen what nature can do to a 6-star hotel? =)

View complete documentary photos from deiville.com’s facebook page.

Related topics about Philippine Landmarks and Heritages:
POSTAL HERITAGE WALKING TOUR: A Dose of Philippines’ History
Manila Metropolitan Theater’s Art Deco and Cultural Heritage (Preservation: A Call to Action)
National Museum of the Philippines – Revisited and Examined [May 2011]
POSTAL HERITAGE WALKING TOUR: Postal Museum and Library

Ref: www.philpost.gov.ph

www.deiville.com would like to thank Mr. Rence Chan (tour guide) and Filipinas Stamp Collector’ Club for the amazing photowalk.”


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