These Must-See Historic Photos Will Let You Discover The Philippines Colorful History

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Must-See Historic Photos of the Philippines

The Philippines is definitely one of the most diverse countries in Asia. With its incredibly diverse language, religion, ethnicity and also geography, The Philippines also has its own share of colorful past. Check out these photos and learn a little bit of Philippine history from this vintage photo collection:

Old Street in Cavite

Cavite 1930
Cavite Circa 1930 Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Cavite, Land of Heroes, is where the Philippine Independence was declared on June 12, 1898. The first President of the Philippines was born in Kawit Cavite.

Binondo Church pre-war Photo

Old Photo of Binondo Church
Old Photo of Binondo Church early 20th century – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

This photo shows an old bridge leading to Binondo Church with an old panciteria on the left and a traditional bahay na Bato surrounding the church. A lot of people are just traveling on foot the main mode of transport are horse and carabao drawn carriages.

Fort Santiago Pre-war photo

Fort Santiago Early 20th Century Photo
Fort Santiago Early 20th Century Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

A beautiful view of Fort Santiago from the Pasig River – a center for trading in Manila during the pre-war period. Today, the building seen on the photo was already gone but the walls are still there to remind us of Manila’s glorious past.

Two Filipino Mestiza’s Circa 1899

Young Spanish mestizo women in native dress inside a pleasant Filipino home, Ermita, Manila, Philippines, 1899
Filipina Mestizas – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo of Two young Filipino – Spanish mestizas wearing Filipiniana inside a beautiful house in Ermita Manila. Circa 1899

Flood in Manila Circa 1905

Flood in Manila circa 1905
Street flooding in Manila after a Typhoon Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo above shows Street flooding in Manila after a Typhoon. Circa 1905

Vintage Bird’s eye view photo of Beautiful Manila Circa 1941

Birds eye view of Manila Circa 1941
Bird’s eye view of Manila Circa 1941 Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Bird’s eye view of Manila before the Japanese Bombers devastated the beautiful city.

Manila Cathedral Circa 1929

Manila Cathedral Circa 1929
Manila Cathedral Circa 1929 Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

In December 11-15, 1929, the first National Eucharistic Congress was held in the cathedral. Manila Cathedral became a Basilica through Saint John Paul II when he visited the Philippines in 1981.

Manila after World War II

Manila after World War II
Manila after World War II Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo of Manila after a massive bombing. According to General Douglas MacArthur, Manila was the second most devastated city in the world, next to Warsaw, when he saw the city after the long battle.

Native Beautiful Filipina circa 1899

Native Beautiful Filipina
Native Beautiful Filipina – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

A beautiful native Filipina wearing Filipiniana Dress. Circa 1899

Battle of Manila circa 1945

Battle of Manila
Battle of Manila – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

During the Battle of Manila, The Japanese soldiers set Manila on fire circa February 2, 1945. Thousands of innocent citizens caught in the fight have nothing but luck to survive. This photo was taken along Gandara, now Sabino Padilla Street.

Manila Post Office Pre-war photo

Manila Post Office Pre-war photo
View of Manila Post Office Building from Jones Bridge circa 1930s – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

The first known location of the Manila Post Office was on the business district of Escolta. In 1936, this new building was constructed but was later on destroyed during the Battle of Manila.

Minor Basilica of St. Michael Archangel in Tayabas Circa 1901

Minor Basilica of St. Michael Archangel in Tayabas
Minor Basilica of St. Michael Archangel in Tayabas – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

One of the Philippines biggest and most beautiful church, the Minor Basilica of St. Michael Archangel is located in the historic City of Tayabas. The former capital of Quezon Province.

Filipino Chinese Banana Street Vendors circa 1900’s

Filipino Chinese Banana Street Vendors circa 1900's
Filipino Chinese Banana Street Vendors Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo of Tsinoy Banana street vendors circa 1900 – 1902.

Typical Market Day in Ermita Manila

Market Day in Ermita Manila
Market Day in Ermita Manila Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Early 20th Century photo of a typical market day in Ermita Manila.

Escolta Street Vintage Photo

Escolta Street
Escolta Street – Photo credit: J. Tewell / Foter / CC BY-NC

Before Ayala in Makati and other shopping districts in Manila, Escolta is the shopping center of Manila.

San Agustin Church in Manila circa 1945

San Agustin Church Circa 1945 by John Tewell via Foter
Photo by J. Tewell on Foter.com / CC BY-NC

War damaged San Agustin Church and convent in Intramuros. Circa 1945.

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