They were there already clogging the street at the far end of calle Escolta close to Jones Bridge and next to Polland Hopia Factory. “Is this the Love Tour?”, I asked one holding a camera but he was quite not sure. Very intriguing, a free-rider I guess. Until I saw Carlos on the other side with his portable and handy audio system instructing everyone to get a “free” hopia first. It’s a bit chaotic, as too many people have joined that day probably more than they can handle.
One free hopia, one invisible ticket
Escolta is now a quaint street filled with the skeletal remains of destroyed American-era buildings by the bombing of Manila during World War 2. The old prestige was gone. The street just left like that—dead… quiet and invisible!
Escolta Museum, memorabilia section
They have created a small museum, aptly called the Escolta Museum, that displays memorabilia from that glory days where Escolta was still one of the premiere block in the whole of Asia: from newspaper clippings, old catalogues, old movie poster, empty bottles of bygone beers. But also includes some 1800s revolutionary documents during the Katipunan movement. Its a small collection but you feel the era that it represents.
Looking through the looking glass, Escolta Museum
The Love Tour is a movement of revival and must be noted that is not solely a Carlos Celdran endeavor. It is to revive the historical significance of Escolta through art and remembrance. To make the Invisible City, visible again.
And I’m very much optimistic that they will someday succeed!
Carlos Celdran, Love Tour