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    Posted May 5, 2012 by

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    Manila…50 years ago

    In the 60s, Manila’s environment was very clean. Studebakers, Buicks & Pontiacs must have been about 10 years old at that time.
    This 1953 Ford on the street is going through Jones Bridge leading to Binondo.
    There were no trash and litters. Storeowners clean their areas. Pedestrians were disciplined.
    Manholes were clean and clearly visible to pedestrians. People were so disciplined.
    The streets were shiny, much like the streets of Singapore now.
    LYRIC, IDEAL, STATE and ODEON were the best theatres during that time. Environment inside and outside was absolutely clean. There were no double parking allowed and drivers followed. Streets didn’t have policemen and you’d be safe even if you held a clutch bag while shopping.
    Manila could beat Paris before when we speak of its beaty and grandeur!
    Passenger jeepneys were not overloaded.
    Pasig River was also very clean. Its color was emerald green and blue. Fifty years ago, a lot of private yachts would pass through Pasig River from various parts of Rizal province, Malabon and Marikina towns.
    If you’d take an L5 plane or a Piper Cab and take pictures of Dewey Boulevard (now Roxas Boulevard) from above, you’d be so proud to say that the place is much better than Cote ’d Azure. People from all walks of life do their early morning breathing exercises here.
    Environment was just so very clean and air was refreshing during those days.
    Sidewalks were not extended to suit the pedestrians. Quiapo Church, which is facing Plaza Miranda, was a blessed monument.
    Avenida Rizal was a treat to everyone. There were no prostitutes nor. Avenida was not a fickle place. It was not a “now a bistro boulevard, tomorrow a street; now a tiangge or night market and tomorrow a bistro boulevard.” It was a simple Avenida where everyone enjoyed to see what was “now showing”, what movie was “extended showing”, and if Otis or Good Earth had a big sale! It was just a big clean place.
    Parks like Fort Santiago was much better. No vendors, no cafes. There was not even an ATM machine.
    And then, Manila had more technocrats, more intelligent people educated here and abroad, politicians who go on junkets overseas and never bothered to implement the advances made in other countries. The city was then a better place to live in and truly a healthy one!

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