Group of architects, private company to bring historic Manila post office building back to life

A group of architects and heritage experts signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to voluntarily provide architectural conservation, archeological, documentation and research assistance in the restoration of the old Manila Central Post Office.

The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) in collaboration with the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA) and Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., will offer and contribute their collective historical, documentation and conservation expertise for the realization of the initial phase of restoration of one of the most significant architectural landmarks in the Philippines.

PHLPost Assistant Postmaster General (APMG) for Administration and Finance Atty. Lori Ann D. Atal representing Postmaster General Luis Carlos,  Ar. Carmelo T. Casas of Philippine Institute of Architects, Guild of Philippine Architects in Conservation Vice President Ar. Robert Benedict C. Hermoso, Archaeological & Heritage Co. CEO Victor J. Paz, UAP Bulacan-Del Pilar Chapter President Ar. Catherine U. Buenaluz, Pacific Paint (BOYSEN) Phils. Inc. Marketing Manager Vergel V. Dyoco, Casas Architects Design Architect Ar. Jose Maria Rafael C. Casas, Casas Architects IT Head Jerkins E. Canoy, PHLPost Engineering & Infrastructure Planning Division Chief Engr. Reynaldo D. Cadano and Conservation Consultant Ar. Joel Rico was present at the ceremonial signing held at the historic Manila Central Post Office Building.

The collaborative efforts between PHLPost and private entities are expected to boost the process of restoration of the iconic building by bringing in experts who will dedicate their time, energy and talent toward a worthy cause.

“We welcome your talents and expertise in the rehabilitation and conservation of the building which was heavily damaged by the recent fire. Your wholehearted support will help us rise from the ashes,” Assistant Postmaster General for Finance and Administration lawyer Lori Ann D. Atal.

Designed by the renowned Filipino architects Juan M. Arellano, Tomas Mapua and Ralph Doane- the construction of this majestic building commenced in 1926 and was completed in 1930. It was strategically located alongside the Pasig River for its practicality in transportation and to reflect the importance of river-based commerce and trade.

Its neoclassical architecture stands as a testament to the cultural and historical significance of the Philippine Postal Service. The façade features 14 imposing pillars, representing the 14 provinces that revolted against Spanish colonial rule in the 1896 Philippine Revolution. These Pillars remind every Filipino of the country’s rich heritage and the struggles of our forefathers for independence.

“It’s like bringing pieces of architectural history back to life,” Postmaster General Luis D. Carlos said.

He added, “After the fire left this architectural masterpiece in ruins, a united front emerged to salvage its rich heritage and cultural significance. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and Arts, the Department of Tourism, private corporations and heritage preservation organizations joined forces to restore the building”.

Further, “This collaboration is a testament to what can be accomplished when government bodies, businesses and civil societies unite – all for the common good”.

PHLPost through Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority of DoT procured a Detailed Architectural and Engineering Study and even commissioned Ar. Franz Ignacio, as a consultant, to aid the restoration of the MCPO Building.