Through THE YEARS

Tak­ing a sec­ond glance at the his­toric neigh­bor­hood of New Manila.

Town & Country (Philippines) - - STYLE FILE -

MAKATI CITY, BONI­FA­CIO Global City, and Quezon City might be the ur­ban­ized cen­ters that are of­ten top of mind, but be­fore Makati grew into the bustling busi­ness district it is to­day, be­fore Quezon City at­tracted its share of res­i­dences and com­mer­cial land­scapes, and be­fore Boni­fa­cio Global City’s evo­lu­tion from a mil­i­tary fort, there was the peace­ful, well-heeled com­mu­nity of New Manila, long es­tab­lished as one of the old­est set­tle­ments of the coun­try’s wealth­i­est and most aris­to­cratic fam­i­lies.

With its con­ve­nient prox­im­ity to both Quezon City and the cap­i­tal of Manila, New Manila qui­etly evolved from a ha­cienda owned by Doña Mag­dalena He­mady to a res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood. When World War II hit the Philip­pines, with the Ja­panese and Amer­i­can mil­i­tary forces go­ing head to head, much of the once glo­ri­ous city of Manila was re­duced to ru­ins. The af­ter­math of the war ush­ered in a time of dis­con­tent for its res­i­dents. The once beau­ti­ful cap­i­tal orig­i­nally built for only 800,000 peo­ple had quickly fallen from grace. For a time, the noise, pol­lu­tion, and over­pop­u­la­tion, cou­pled with the dis­ar­ray brought about by colo­nial oc­cu­pa­tion made Manila less de­sir­able for the coun­try’s elite, and they sought other set­tle­ments to turn into their home. New Manila then be­came the prici­est and most cov­eted piece of land in Metro Manila.

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