Manila City breathes life and culture. It’s one of the few cities in Metro Manila where architectural treasures from yesteryear still stand, like the Manila Post Office. But in a shocking turn of events, a devastating fire broke out inside the historic building, and the fire left nothing. Here’s what happened:
The unforeseen inferno
The city of Manila woke up to clouds of smoke and raging flames that destroyed the Manila Post Office, an almost 100-year-old building that’s considered one of the country’s cultural landmarks. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said it reached General Alarm status — the highest fire alarm level — and the fire’s severity required more than 50 fire trucks to extinguish it.
Although there were no reported casualties, seven volunteers sustained minor injuries. As of 7:22 AM, the fire was declared Fire Under Control by the BFP. Postmaster General Luis Carlo said they’re closely coordinating with the BFP to determine the cause of the fire.
Filipinos saddened by the incident
The news swiftly spread, and given the Manila Post Office’s decades of history, people couldn’t help but express their sentiments and memories of the iconic structure. The incident has impacted the country’s traditional mailing system in a big way, and netizens already feel it.
The current fire incident in the Manila Central Post office is quite unfortunate. I can see that it scarred the traditional mailing system in the country in a big way. Still wishing for resilient recovery of the post office.
— ️ (@jiyanjarizzzzz) May 22, 2023
Meanwhile, others reminisce about their cherished moments at the Manila Post Office.
Sa Manila Post Office ako lagi nababa at nasakay pauwi all my college life (Southie na nagaaral at naguuwian sa UBelt knows kasi mahal magdorm).
— ⚽︎ (@wayoftheace__) May 22, 2023
And for sure, it will be difficult for some to look at the building without being reminded of the massive fire and the legacy that burned down with it.
Yeah, ano nangyari nalungkot ako. Kapag lumuluwas ako ng manila lagi ko tinitingnan ang Central post office everytime na napapa daan ako dyan sa Lawton, so devastating
— Zel (@teng_ha) May 22, 2023
Growing calls for more protection of our cultural heritage sites
People are now calling for the government to do a better job to protect and preserve cultural heritage sites. “The Philippine government has no concern when it comes to historical places and structures,” one user wrote, adding there’d be a time when we’ll rely on social media to learn about our past because we run out of places to trace our history.
The Phil government has no concern when it comes to historical places and structures. One day, we’ll run out of places to trace our history and will just rely on social media to learn about our past.
— Erwin B (@Emb_711) May 22, 2023
After the embers fade and investigations roll, may this serve as a poignant reminder that, just as our citizens and economy thrive, so too must we protect our cultural heritage landmarks because they’re threads that weave the country’s identity, values, and aspirations.
What are your thoughts on this incident?
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