the world as I see it

Then and Now – Plaza Moraga

Posted by BCS on October 8, 2008


Plaza Moraga circa 1926-1928 - Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections (http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/) and the United States National Archives (http://www.archives.gov/)

Plaza Moraga circa 2008 (Photo taken on September 27, 2008)

Plaza Moraga circa 2008 (Photo taken on September 27, 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).

Note (on the use of the old image):

From the Copyright and Permission to Publish page of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections website:

“The University of Wisconsin Libraries generally do not own the copyrights to materials in their print and electronic collections. Consistent with their public university mission, the Libraries encourage the use of content in these collections for study, research, and teaching.

“Most works published after 1923 are protected by U. S. and international copyright laws. The publications of the United States government are not copyrightable and may be freely copied and/or re-published.

“Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law.”

And, from the United States National Archives website:

“The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the “Access Restrictions” field of each ARC record.”


4 Responses to “Then and Now – Plaza Moraga”

  1. … i just realized, by looking at your old and latest pictures, that the building at the entrance to chinatown still exist… mabuti na lang na preserve pa yung building na yun… dapat talaga tumulong ang government na i-preserve ang ating history. imbes na sirain, pagandahin na lang at naniniwala akong mas dadami pa ang maa-attract sa kakaibang ganda nito… thank you again for sharing.

    • BCS said

      Oo… I forgot who or what agency it was, pero may nanghimasok at naparenovate yang building na yan. I remember feeling really excited when I saw the building being prepped up for renovation… sa loob loob ko, “hay, salamat naman!”

    • BCS said

      Ang hinihintay ko ngayon eh yung Metropolitan Theater… matagal nang sinasabing irerenovate yun, nilagyan pa nga nila tarpaulin announcing of the “upcoming” renovation, at may litrato pa ni Atienza. Pero hanggang ngayon wala pa ring nangyayari.

  2. isabel said

    Palagay ko mas nakaka-inganyong mamasyal sa lumang Plaza Moraga…

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