Then and Now – Plaza Moraga
Posted by BCS on October 8, 2008
Almost all of the literature I had come across that mention of Plaza Moraga only mention of it fleetingly sans descriptions as if it were a rock that everyone can see, but for lack of any interesting feature, one would just pass by it without giving it any further attention.
I did find, however, the second volume to a novel written by Engracio L. Valmonte entitled “Ang Mestiza” published in 1920, wherein the author wrote the following: (note that these are written several paragraphs or pages apart)
“Pagkakai’y magpapasyal pa tayo sa Escolta, at manonood sandali ng sayawan sa Plaza Moraga, bago pagkatapos ay dadalo tayo sa Pandakan sa isang di karaniwang piging na ipinagaanyaya ng isang tagaroong matalik na kaibigan ng aking kapatid.” (“Let’s go to Escolta and watch the dance at Plaza Moraga after we eat. After that, we’ll go to Pandakan and attend a most extraordinary party to which I have been invited by a close friend of my sibling’s.”
“Oo nga,” isinagot ng mestisa, “nguni’t mamayang maghahatinggabi, pagkatapos na tayo ay makapagpasyal sa Escolta at makapanood sandali ng sayawan sa Plaza Moraga.” (“Yes,” the mestisa replied, “but later, around midnight, after we take a stroll down Escolta and watch the dance at Plaza Moraga”)
At kung hindi lamang totohanan nang wala silang daan upang masilip man lamang ang sayawang ginagawa sa binilogbilog ng liwasang Moraga, disi’y nalimutan na nila ang pagsasadya sa Pandakan, matapos na magpalipas ng mga lima o sampung tugtugin sa sayawan sa balitang klub sa Avenida Rizal. (Since there was no way for them to even catch a glimpse of the dance being held at Plaza Moraga, they instead attended a dance held at a well-known club in Avenida Rizal and stayed there for the duration of five to ten songs, after which they have all but forgotten about going to Pandakan.)
Was there any real-life basis for this? Had there been events held at Plaza Moraga such as the “dance” that Valmonte wrote about? I am inclined to believe so, for it IS (or was) a plaza after all, and this would have been BEFORE Jones bridge was built. In addition, there was a club called “Tiffin Rooms” situated there in 1908.
Also situated there, by the way, as of 1920, were the Consulate of the Argentine Republic (#6 Plaza Moraga), the Consulate of Brazil (#3 Plaza Moraga), and the International Banking Corporation (#15-21 Plaza Moraga).
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