Lifestyle

What Manila Looked Like the Year You Were Born

Inside the evolution of the lively megacity.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Manila has been through a lot, from wars to uprisings, traffic to floods, and everything in between. If you've ever wondered what the megacity looked like the year you were born, here's a look at its early days to now.

1920: A street scene in Plaza Goiti

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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1921: An early photo of the Pasig River

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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1922: Plaza de Santo Tomas in Intramuros, Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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1923: A horse carriage or kalesa in Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

1924: A street scene in Rizal Avenue, Manila

1925: A Passover Seder in Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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More: Why President Manuel Quezon Sheltered Jewish Refugees in the Philippines

1926: The 1926 Manila Carnival in Plaza Moraga

1927: An ambulance parked at the Philippine General Hospital

1928: An early photo of the Jones Bridge

1929: The newly built Manila Central Post Office

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

1930: A busy street in '30s Manila

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1931: Cars along Escolta Street

1932: People line up for rides at the 1932 Manila Carnival

1933: Japanese businessmen play baseball in pre-war Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

1934: Children at the playground at the 1934 Manila Carnival's Agriculture and Forestry Exhibit

1935: Escolta Street

1936: A flooded road during the rainy season

1937: People walking along the Jones Bridge

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1938: An aerial view of pre-war Manila

1939: Manila street scene

1940: People walking along Escolta Street

1941: Outside of the Nippon Bazar

1942: A crowded street during the Japanese Occupation

1943: A Japanese flag hangs outside a building

1944: An American G.I. gathers Mickey Mouse money into a pile

1945: An aerial view after the Battle of Manila

Photo by PXFUEL.
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1946: A busy scene outside the Quiapo Church

1947: Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines Manila

1948: The newly opened Magnolia Rendezvous

1949: Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila

1950: Jones Bridge during the start of the '50s

1951: Jeepneys line Quiapo in Manila

1952: A street scene in Manila

1953: An aerial view of Manila

1954: Two Filipino women crossing the street

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1955: Taft Avenue in Manila

1956: A young woman at the Little Quiapo Soda Fountain and Restaurant

1957: A street scene in Manila

1958: Jeepneys parked in front of billboards

1959: Jeepneys zoom past the Manila City Hall

1960: Dewey Boulevard

1961: The Quiapo Church

1962: A traffic enforcer in Azcarraga Street corner Avenida Street

1963: Jeepneys parked outside the University of Santo Tomas

1964: View of Dewey Boulevard

1965: The Rizal Theater designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil

1966: The newly built Cultural Center of the Philippines

1967: The old Magnolia Ice Cream Plant in Echague Street

1968: Horse carriages in P. Blanco Street in Manila

1969: Quinta Market in Echague Street

1970: A busy street scene in Manila

1971: People walk along España Boulevard

1972: A jeepney-filled Rizal Avenue

1973: The Makati Supermart

1974: Traffic along Taft Avenue near the Philippine General Hospital

1975: Rizal Theater

1976: Avenida (now Rizal Avenue)

1977: Plaza Lawton (now Liwasang Bonifacio)

1978: A street scene in Quiapo

1979: One of Quiapo's streets

1980: The Peninsula Manila

1981: The LRT at Avenida

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1982: T.M. Kalaw in Manila

1983: Buses and jeepneys in Quiapo

1984: View of the LRT construction from the Quezon Bridge

1985: The renovation of Quiapo Church

1986: A traffic jam in Ermita

1987: The New Frontier Theater

1988: People walking the streets of Quiapo

1989: A Jollibee outlet

1990: Boni Avenue-EDSA

1991: Vehicles stopped in front of a stoplight

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1992: The Bellevue Theater

1993: EDSA in the '90s

1994: A flooded street

1995: An aerial view of a busy street

1996: A typical Manila street scene

1997: Set of movie posters on the street

1998: A traffic jam in Manila

1999: A busy open-air market

2000: The Manila Cathedral

2001: View of Makati from Makati Shangri-La

2002: The Manila City Hall from Intramuros

2003: Manila's harbor along Roxas Boulevard

2004: A view of Glorietta and Landmark from the New World Hotel

2005: The Makati skyline

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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2006: The Manila Metropolitan Theater's facade

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

2007: A street scene in Manila

2008: The Rizal Monument in Rizal Park

2009: A jai alai building in Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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2010: Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

2011: The Makati skyline behind the Manila Golf and Country Club

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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2012: The Manila Hotel

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

2013: An aerial view of the Pasig River

2014: The LRT approaching EDSA Station

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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2015: A sea of people at the Quirino Grandstand

2016: Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

2017: A view of Manila from Intramuros

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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2018: The Makati skyline from San Andres, Manila

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

2019: The city lights of Metro Manila

2020: Roxas Boulevard's skyline

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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