(SPOT.ph) It's barely been two weeks since a new administration took over the streets of Manila, and to say Isko Moreno has been making headlines would be an understatement. People have been publicizing the city's cleanup all over social media for good reason: Manila is practically unrecognizable. We can't say we're not shocked by the changes either, and neither it seems, can Lourd De Veyra. A prominent figure in all things Metro Manila, De Veyra appears to have taken a quiet and leisurely stroll along Recto Avenue—sounds unlikely, we get it, but trust us—and documented the changes he saw along the way.
De Veyra captioned his post "Divi F*cking Soria" to which we have to agree: Holy shit, indeed. The messy, jampacked, and wild Divisoria we knew (and loved, somehow) is gone, and in its place are the wide, clear lanes of Recto Avenue. Just to see how different the area is now, we decided to seek the help of Google Maps to compare De Veyra's photos with how the hub used to be.
Tutuban Center before:
Tutuban Center now:
We start off with the Tutuban Center Mall, one of the main markers of the area. The Google Street View was taken just a few months ago, in January to be exact. What used to be full of street vendors, hawkers, and other people making a living is now an avenue that's been cleared to reveal wide and smooth-sailing lanes.
Recto Avenue and Dagupan Extension intersection before:
Recto Avenue and Dagupan Extension intersection now:
Looks like this busy footbridge along the corner of Recto Avenue and Dagupan Extension got quite the clean up from how it used to be in January 2019. Plus, check out the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau personnel making sure it stays that way.
Recto Avenue near Elcano Street before:
Recto Avenue near Elcano Street now:
Further along, towards Manila Bay, De Veyra captured a pic of Recto Avenue still without the makeshift stalls that used to be everywhere—including the island. Spot the monument on the lower right corner of the past picture? This looks to be the area of where the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan was founded 127 years ago. Its anniversary was recently celebrated by the city government on July 7.
Recto Avenue near Sto. Cristo Street before:
Recto Avenue near Sto. Cristo Street now:
The Recto Shopping Center area has also been cleared up, and even the private vehicles parked along the side seems to have disappeared. The trucks on the side though are still present, but we guess everything has a limit!
Speaking of limits, not everyone is happy with these developments. People have expressed concern over the displacement of street vendors and their livelihoods, most notably Jerika Ejercito—yes, daughter of the former city mayor for six years, Joseph "Erap" Estrada. She took to Facebook to call the street cleaning process part of "beautification campaigns" by the current city government and decried the lack of participation vendors got in decision-making.
Photos by Lourd de Veyra used with permission.
this strange new world.