It was 1594 when a 393-meter stretch of road was born and it was named Escolta. Thishistoric east-west boulevard located in the old downtown district of Binondo runs parallel to the Pasig River, from Plaza Santa Cruz to Plaza Moraga and Quintin Paredes Street. Escolta is home to several fine examples of early skyscraper design in the Philippineswhen Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood and Makati didn’t even exist. Luxury shops, posh restaurants theaters, and apartments for the aristocrats – these were the jewels that once studded the street of Escolta. Today, the neoclassical architecture of the buildings and structures is being revived by the new government of Manila as they launch the annual Escolta Block Party – which is bound to last for a month starting this November 9!
The event, hailed as “Escolta Block Festival” will open on Saturday, November 9, along the infamous Calle de Escolta at 11:00 in the morning with a bazaar and street performance dubbed as “Escolta Sessions”. This exhibition will feature the famous indie band “Up Dharma Down”, along with “Giniling Festival”, “Lenses”, “AOUI”, and more at 6 in the evening. Vintage cars will also be on display in front of the First United Building every Sunday from 7 in the morning. There will be tranvia rides from Escolta to Intramuros, art talks, exhibits, and workshops along with all the happenings.
You can finally step inside the Escolta Exchange, located at the ground floor of Panpisco Building will also be opened and shall serve as a site of the exhibitions and live performances, as well as discussions and other activities. Here you can have a look or even collaborate with Leeroy New’s Alienated Spaces or Proto’s Object Fair.
Other exciting things you can expect are the Block Market, where you can purchase locally made products: from apparel to food, accessories, and even home ware. Explore the Escolta and Intramuros on a bamboo bike by joining the “Bambike Tour” and learn more about its rich cultural heritage and history. You could also hop on Globe’s EscoltaCrawl with Ivan Man Dy or learn about the role of film in shaping Manila with famous film critic Richard Bolisay.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out the fun and visit the Escolta Block Party this weekend and all the weekends of November!