Then and Now – Approach to the Bridge of Spain (Puente de España)
Posted by BCS on October 11, 2008
Prior to working on this series, after having read so much about Puente de España being the precursor of Jones Bridge or Jones Bridge replacing Puente de España, for long I thought both bridges stood on the same exact spot.
However, after looking at various maps and reading more about the older bridge, I found out that its northern end lead directly to Calle Nueva (Yuchengco Street now) and not Plaza Moraga and Calle Rosario (Quitin Paredes Street now) as Jones Bridge’s is now.
As you can see, the photograph from 1899 is simply labeled as “Approach to the Bridge of Spain in New Town, Manila.” Considering the word “approach” indicated on the label, I’m guessing that that photo is showing a place somewhere very near the foot of the bridge… and a good guess, in my opinion, would be Calle Nueva as seen from Muelle del Banco Nacional (if not, somewhere very near). But, then again, my guess could be all together wrong.
I have a feeling that I’ve seen the building with the sign “La Confianza” in some other photo, however unsure I am. I tried looking for it in my collection of old photographs, but I can’t find it in any one of them. But, then again, I could just be imagining things.
I can’t help but wonder WHY Calle Nueva never became as famous a street as Escolta and Calle Rosario considering that traffic from the bridge could go directly through it. But then again, I’m comparing it to how activity or inactivity of the streets of Metro Manila is influenced today… which is largely based on the proximity of the sources of pedestrian and vehicular traffic to the street (like LRT/MRT stations, public utility vehicle terminals, and malls).
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