(SPOT.ph) Back in the day (we're talking about 1800s to 1900s), Calle de Escolta was one of the hippest places in Manila. Makati and Bonifacio Global City had nothing on this 393-meter stretch that connects Santa Cruz and Binondo. It is lined with luxury stores, restaurants, and theaters—making it the place to be back then. Now, this street filled with Neoclassical structures and Art Deco buildings is again getting all the attention, especially when the annual Escolta Block Party started in 2016 and attracted more people to return to this spot in downtown Manila. Three years on and the party isn’t waning anytime soon. Plus, it's now more than just a block party, but a month-long celebration called Escolta Block Festival, which runs from November 9 to 30. The best part? All events are for free!
Escolta Block Festival 2019 opens on Saturday with a bazaar along Escolta Street at 11 a.m., and a street performance called Escolta Sessions, which features UDD and Giniling Festival, at 6 p.m. Other activities include a weekly display of vintage cars in front of First United Building every Sunday at 7 a.m., a free tranvia ride from Escolta to Intramuros, as well as exhibits, art talks, and workshops.
Another highlight is the opening of Escolta Exchange, which is an incubation space located on the ground floor of Panpisco Building. This venue will serve as the site of exhibitions and performances, discussions, and other activities during the Escolta Block Festival.
Escolta Block Festival runs from November 9 to 30 along Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila. For more information, follow Escolta Block Festival on Facebook.