On the eve of May 21, 2023 the Manila Central Post Office almost burnt to the ground.
A cultural heritage building, the Manila Central Post Office Building burned down along with it some very priceless stamps and national IDs. It happened on the eve of May 21, 2023 and is said to have almost burnt the ancient structure to the ground.
When the fire started on May 21 at 23:00 PST, it began from the basement and razed upward affecting the mailing system of Manila alone. But the damage was said to be 300 Million Pesos in value. Not to mention that other documents in lightweight paper were burnt.
Mayor of Manila, Honey Lacuna said it is a cultural loss as it burnt important documents along with it items which would prove to be priceless in value. It burned for almost 30 hours beginning at the basement razing upwards to the other floors. It was hard to put out because the structure of the building is closed.
Some firemen were said to have been injured and hurt in their battle against the fire that lasted for 30 hours due to the many papers and documents existing in the said building with old structural holdings and substances such as a whole lot of paper documents as it is the postal center of Manila.
The Manila Central Post Office or the Post Office is located by the banks of the river Pasig. It is located in such a place for the river to serve as an easy flow of the deliverables, mainly postal letters, to their destination.
It has been built and has served as a postal office for the postal corporation for a hundred years. It was built by the Spaniards at that time and was orchestrated to be built by designers: Juan M. Arellano and Tomas Mapua in its classic neoclassical style.
It has withstood the test of time and has been known to stand against the battering of weather changes and natural repellents for over a hundred years. It is only now that it has experienced fire as a deterrent in its formidable structure.
It is said that the building was not built until the 1920’s wherein the foundation was laid out. But it wasn’t until later on that it was actually built due to lack of funds.
It was built by the company of Pedro Siochi and company and has existed until World War II when it was severely damaged to the ground.
The Office of the President ordered its reconstruction and it was built once again with a modern and sleek motorized letter sorting system and other modernities.
Due to its historical importance, it is considered by the National Museum of the Philippines as an Important Cultural Property or ICP which means it has artistic, cultural importance that the government owes it to be restored and refurbished as each generation passes by.
Imagine the loss of historical and rare stamp collection that has been included in the damages of the fire. They are priceless and cannot be paralleled in restoration. This and other documents are some of the most damage the fire wrought on to the City of Manila. Also, there were injuries to the firemen who valiantly tried to put out the fire in all of 30 hours. By dawn, the fire had razed the frontal, memorable structure to the ground and almost all was lost in this one incident of fire alone.
We memorialize the loss of the Manila Central Post Office of Manila as something of profound cultural value. Perhaps from the ashes shall rise another Post Office Building that shall be if not equal to but almost of more value as the one before.