Manila Central Post Office Is Now an "Important Cultural Property"

( If you spent your college days around the University Belt or near Taft Avenue, you've probably seen the Manila Central Post Office in Lawton. You may have even used the Neoclassical building as a landmark when getting off a jeepney or when riding the South-bound PUVs in the area. It's been used as backdrop for local films, subject of photographs and sketches, and—of course—captured in a postcard. And finally, the National Museum of the Philippines recognized this historic building as an Important Cultural Property on November 24.

Manila Central Post Office as seen from Liwasang Bonifacio
PHOTO BY Karla Mae Brazil

Manila Central Post Office was built in 1926 with the design of Juan M. Arellano (Manila Metropolitan Theater and the Old Legislative Building), Tomás Mapúa (De La Salle University's St. La Salle Hall), and Ralph Doane. Its façade has 14 Ionic columns adorning a rectangular-shaped mast with semi-circular areas on both sides. It was heavily damaged during the war in the 1940s, but was rebuilt with its original design. Now, it remains as the headquarters of the Philippine Postal Corporation (formerly Bureau of Post, which was renamed the Postal Service Office in 1987).

Manila Central Post Office as seen from Jones Bridge
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz / Archives

An Important Cultural Property (ICP) is defined as "a cultural property that possesses exceptional cultural, artistic and/or historical significance." Other ICPs in the Philippines include the Philippine Center for Population and Development in Taguig City, Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, and Sornito House in Iloilo City. Declared ICPs may receive government funding for protection, conservation, and restoration. The Philippine Postal Corporation is now in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and Arts for the renovation and retrofitting of the Post Office building.

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