Monday, January 30, 2006


OK. Now that I've gotten your attention, you can take your mind out of the gutter. I'm only talking about Calle Escolta on the north side of the Pasig River in Manila. "Escolta" means "escort" in Spanish and is derived from the street's original use as a convoy route for the British Commodore when the Philippines was briefly British from 1762 till 1764. From the late 19th century up until the end of the 1950's, Escolta maintained it's reputation as Manila's poshest commercial district until the glitzy promise of pristine Makati took most of the glamour away. By the year 2000, Escolta was abandoned and a sad shell of it's former self, rife with urban decay. But today, with the improvement of the river water quality, the construction of a cobbled riverside promenade, and the completion of a river ferry station, Escolta is once again set to reclaim it's relevance. In addition, the opening of two car lots on Escolta and Tomas Pinpin Streets and re-zoning of street parking have eased the traffic congestion of the district - a miracle in predictably gridlocked Metro Manila. But best of all, all this can now be yours for just a few bucks. Stunning architectural masterpieces like the Perez-Samanillo (First United) Building (top), the Burke Building (2nd from top), Natividad Building (3rd from top), and the Calvo Building (below) are having a fire sale on their rental leases. From office units, studios, to groundfloor riverside restaurant spaces overlooking the stunning Manila Post Office, almost every square meter is discounted so that you can start your business without breaking the bank. The First United Building is even giving away free rent upon the signing of a lease! So go call the First United Building (tel. 2415150/2414865), the Burke Building (2430491/2415274) or the Calvo Building (tel. 2414572/2414762) so that you can learn more about this perfect opportunity to make money while saving heritage architecture at the same time.