In Manila, Sta. Cruz’ famed Escolta Street is best known as the district for the elites from the early 1900s to pre-World War II. While the likes of Bonifacio Global City has become the elites’ go-to district nowadays, Escolta still remains a go-to place, though not focusing on the elites like before
This time around, it is a go-to place for hipsters, emerging artists who sell their artworks and products, and vendors who sell interesting vintage items, ranging from 35mm cameras, old books, to vinyl records.
This kind of marketplace is part of the concept behind Escolta Saturday Market. Located at the ground floor of First United Building (a heritage building that is among the well-preserved ones along Escolta), Escolta Saturday Market is bursting with people, mostly the youth, who are in search of some unique items, or simply marvel at some artworks on display.
During a visit last August 15, I spotted these interesting finds in the place, ranging from hand painted bags to vintage cameras (and 35mm films!), customized T-shirts, and amazing artwork:
Of course, I took some time to tour around First United building, and marvel at this well-preserved Art-Deco era building. Check out the details this building has to offer:
The signage at First United Building's elevator.
First United Building's lobby.
Yes, the staircase is Instagram-worthy.
BONUS: There is a museum you can visit, which contains a lot of memorabilia honoring the late Robert Sy Lianteng, one of the building’s owners. For an entrance fee of 50 pesos, you’ll see some interesting things, including a working, 50s era General Electric refrigerator that is used to store cans of softdrinks!
I bet you have yet seen a 1950s era refrigerator at such pristine (and working!) condition until now.
Sy Lianteng's desk. Check out the parephernalia present in the vintage desk.
Yes, Escolta Street is once again becoming a popular place even in this modern era. Nothing beats the charm of these heritage buildings.