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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

PLACES: The Secrets of Philippine Historical Landmarks

More than half our lives, we stayed in the Philippines, right. Ako? I only left Pinas in 2007 when I started to work in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was barely 25 back then. Kung susuriin natin, parang ang dami na nating alam about our homeland. During high school and college days, we even had Philippine History and Philippine Literature. But while I was doing some research about the Philippines, I learned that University of San Carlos in Cebu City and Pontifical and Royal University of Sto. Thomas are having some disputes which of them is the real title holder of the “oldest university in the Philippines”. It took me by surprise that being first and oldest in the country means a lot.

And so, I decided to do a 
Pre-TBT = ThrowBackThursday,
(tutal Wednesday na, baka pwede nang iconsider heeheh) compiling all notable first and oldest in the Philippines.

Here they are:

Oldest Street

1565, Colon Street is considered as the first and oldest street and shortest national roadin the Philippines. It is located in downtown area of Cebu City, Cebu and has been the witness of so many events that happened during the Spanish settlement. It was named after Christopher Columbus, a navigator, colonizer, and explorer from Genoa, Italy. The original plan of the town’s design was made by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish explorer who arrived in the Philippines to constitute a settlement in 1565 on a fleet composed of the vessels San Pedro, San Pablo and San Juan.

Oldest Town 

Unisan, originally called Kalilayan, could be considered the oldest town in the Philippines. As early as 1521, the town of Kalilayan was founded by Malayan settlers. All other towns in the country were established not earlier than 1565, when Spain formally occupied the Philippines as a colony. During the latter part of the 19th century, traditions said that the real founder of the town was a Malayan queen called of Ladya. Hence her title was "Queen of Kalilayan".

Oldest City

1565, Cebu City is considered as the oldest city in the country, as this was the site of the earliest European settlement established by Spanish conqueror Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.

Oldest Province

1213, Aklan, originally known as Minuro it Akean, is considered as the oldest province in the country and believed to have been established as early as 1213 by settlers from Borneo. Its first ruler was Datu Dinagandan. In 1399, Kalantiaw grabbed the throne. In 1433, Kalantiaw III formulated a set of laws that is known today as the Code of Kalantiaw.

Oldest Stone Church
(Also claimed by San Agustin Church, Manila)

The Baclayon Church in Bohol is considered as the oldest stone church in the Philippines. But some historians disagree, claiming that San Agustin Church in Manila deserves the title.
Church historians claim that the cornerstones of San Agustin Church were laid as early as 1571, 25 years before Baclayon Church was built in 1596. But most people believe the title should be kept by the latter, since it is situated in the island first occupied by the troops of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the country's first Spanish governor general.
Bohol was where a friendship was sealed with blood between chieftain Rajah Sikatuna and Legazpi. The event is known today as ''The20Blood Compact.''

Oldest and First Department Store

In 1877, the Englishman Henry Hoskyn, nephew of Nicholas Loney, the first British vice-consul in Iloilo, paid P17,000 for the house and lot at the midpoint of Calle Real which became the site of the town's renowned luxury Hoskyn Department Store, reputed to be the Philippines' first real department store. It was also claimed as the first to introduce the “fixed price” policy in merchandising in the country and was known to be “the store that sold everything from needle to anchor”. It offered groceries, hardware, stationery, toys, watches, jewelry, machinery, buttons, threads, etc. (Articulos que ordinariamente reciben y venden Hoskyn y ca. del comercio de Iloilo, 1895).

The FIRST shopping center in the Philippines is still standing tall at 136 years old. A testament to Iloilo's glorious past. 

First Hotel

The Site of Hotel de Oriente as of September 27, 2008

It is believed that Hotel del Oriente in Binondo, Manila was the first hotel built in the Philippines. The hotel was a two-story building with 83 rooms fronting the Plaza de Carlos III. It was a first-class hotel constructed in the 1850s just beside the famous landmark, La Insular Cigarette and Cigar Factory. The national hero - Jose Rizal - reportedly stayed at Room 22 of that hotel, facing the Binondo Church. Hotel del Oriente was among the crown jewels of the old Binondo (or Minondoc as it was earlier know). It was part of the Provincia de Tondo (now Manila) and was declared one of its districts in 1859. Both Hotel del Oriente and La Insular were burned down during the Japanese Occupation. The Metrobank building now occupies the former site of the two buildings. The oldest surviving hotel in the country is the Manila Hotel, which was built in 1912.
First Movie - Theater House

On 1 January 1897, the first four movies namely, Un Homme Au Chapeau (Man with a Hat), Une scène de danse japonnaise (Scene from a Japanese Dance), Les Boxers (The Boxers), and La Place de L' Opéra (The Place L' Opéra), were shown via 60 mm Gaumont Chrono-photograph projector at the Salon de Pertierra at No.12 Escolta in Manila. The venue was formerly known as the Phonograph Parlor on the ground floor of the Casino Español at Pérez Street, off Escolta Street. Other countries, such as France, England, and Germany had their claims to the introduction of publicly projected motion picture in the Philippines, although Petierra was given the credit to this by most historians and critics.
Oldest University

UST SIDE - The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611, is not only the oldest University but also the oldest School in Asia.  The Claim that the University of San Carlos traces its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso (1595) is invalid since their is no clear link between the two. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the Colegio closed down. Years later, the colegio's facilities was used by its new owners and opened with a new name. Only the building of Colegio per se lived on BUT the Colegio de San Ildefonso was never again revived. Unlike UST, USC never experienced a homogeneous growth that is why, it cannot claim its roots from Colegio de San Ildefonso.

USC SIDE - The University of San Carlos traces its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso founded by the Spanish Jesuits fathers Antonio Sedeno, Pedro Chirino and Antonio Pereira in 1595, thus claiming to be the oldest still existing school in Asia.USC celebrated its quadricentennial in 1995

Oldest Bridge

1916, Jones Bridge is a bridge that spans the Pasig River in the Philippines connecting the districts of Binondo on Rosario Street (Calle Rosario, now Quintin Paredes Street) with the center of Manila. The previous bridge that connected the two districts was the Puente Grande (Great Bridge), later called the Puente de España (Bridge of Spain) located one block upriver on Nueva Street (Calle Nueva, now E. T. Yuchengco Street). That span is considered to be the oldest established in the Philippines.

Oldest Restaurant

1888, Five Chinese friends set this up in Binondo, Manila, where the restaurant still stands, in a newer structure also on Tomas Pinpin (formerly San Jacinto) Street which was built after a fire razed the wooden building back in 1984. That explains the slight change in the name. It used to be called the Toho Antigua Panciteria. After awhile, four of the owners decided to return to China, leaving the place to Tai Tang, whose seven children eventually took over the management, followed by his grandchildren. The Pancit Canton (P90) remains a favorite, along with treats like the Kikiam (P50 for one piece that’s about the size of a jumbo hotdog). The best thing about the place is that you can decide what goes into your pancit. We asked them to just add shrimp instead of pork cutlets to our pancit canton and they gamely complied, serving us a plate heaped with perfectly cooked, shelled shrimp.

Oldest American Structure

Silliman Hall is the oldest standing American structure in the Philippines. Its architecture is reminiscent of the Stick Style or Victorian type of architecture that characterize American buildings in the 19th century. Some of the materials used to build it were salvaged from an old theater in New York. The present structure was built in 1909 as an addition to the original structure built in 1901, now demolished. It now houses the University’s Anthropology Museum. The Silliman Hall is located within the Silliman University main campus in Hibbard Avenue. It can also be seen at the end of Rizal Boulevard near the entrance to Siquijor Seaport.

Oldest Commercial Bank

In 1881, Domingo Roxas, an ancestor of the Ayala family, became one of the first directors of Banco Español-Filipino de Isabel II, which was founded by virtue of a royal decree issued by Queen Isabel II. The bank issued the country's first currency notes the following year. Considered as the first private commercial bank in the country, the bank came to be known as the Bank of Philippine Islands in 1912. The oldest savings bank was Monte de Piedad, which was established in 1882.

First Drugstore
Started by a Spaniard in 1830, the Botica went through a succession of German pharmacists until incorporated by Reinhold Boie and Paul Sartorius into what we knew as Botica Boie. For 86 years Botica Boie used to be located at 81-87 Escolta where the Lyric Theater now stands. In 1916, it moved to 95 Escolta, running back to Calle San Vicente. The two-story building was remodeled and another two stories added in 1920.

First Botanical Garden

In 1858, Governor General Fernando Norzagaray ordered the establishment of the Botanical Garden. It can now be found beside the Manila City Hall.

First Railroad

In 1892, a railway connecting Manila and Dagupan was completed. It was operated by the Manila Railroad Company.

First Ice Cream Parlor

Contrary to popular belief, it was Uncle Sam—not the Spaniards—who brought us the very first ice cream store in history. Named after its owner, M.A. Clarke, the store was a candy shop, café, soda fountain, and ice cream parlor rolled into one. Built sometime in 1899, Clarke’s served a luscious, mouth-watering pink ice cream along Plaza Moraga on the south end of the Pasig River. Clarke’s Ice Cream is described as one of the foremost symbols of America’s influence in the country. The American Occupation brought us a “Modern Manila” where sophisticated parks, buildings, thoroughfares and promenades opened to Filipinos a Westernized society they never saw before. Later on, Clarke’s ice cream—mostly made from tinned milk—was gradually replaced by a more cost-efficient but equally satisfying dessert: an ice cream made from carabao’s milk popularly known today as sorbetes.

First and Oldest Commercial Airline in Asia operating under its original name
On February 26, 1941 Philippine Air Lines, Inc. by a group of businessmen led by Andres Soriano - hailed as one of the Philippines' leading industrialists at the time, who served as general manager, and former Senator Ramon Fernandez, who served as chairman and president. Philippine Air Lines, Inc. acquired the franchise of Philippine Aerial Taxi Company, Incorporated, thus the birth of Philippine Airlines.

The airline’s first flight took place on March 15, 1941 with a single Beechcraft Model 18 NPC-54 on daily services between Manila (from Nielson Field) and Baguio. On July 22 the airline acquired the franchise of the Philippine Aerial Taxi Company. Government investment in September paved the way for its nationalization.

First TV Station

The first television station in the country, went on the air in 1953. In 1951, Lindenberg partnered with Antonio Quirino, brother of then Philippine President Elpidio Quirino, in order to try their hand at television broadcasting. In 1952, BEC was renamed as Alto Broadcasting System or ABS. "Alto" was a contraction of Quirino’s and his wife’s first names, Tony and Aleli. Though they had little money and resources, ABS was able to put up its TV tower by July 1953 and import 300 television sets. The initial test broadcasts began on September of the same year. The very first full-blown broadcast, however, was on 23 October 1953, of a party in Tony Quirino's home. The television station was known as DZAQ-TV.

Note: I don't take credits on these photos +_+

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