Right: The new EDSA MRT-3. (from the Philippine Daily Inquirer (1999)). Left: The Guadalupe Bridge of MRT-3. (from the DPWH Technical Journal (Dec. 1997)).
U Unang larawan na nagpamulat sa henerasyong post-1945 tungkol sa naglahong Tranvia (o Trambiya): From “Pepe and Pilar” (elementary grade textbook) Illustrated by Carlos “Botong” Francisco.
Balikan … bago nagka-trambiya ... noong 1850s May carruaje sa Intramuros ... at sa may Luneta din. (from Carlos Quirino (1971). Maps and Views of Old Manila).
Kahit may “photography” na, meron pa ring tatlong uri: carreton, calesa at carruaje: From the Report of the Philippine Commission for 1900 .
Until … in 1882, Jacobo Zobel de Zangroniz, together with the Spanish engineer Luciano M. Bremon and the Madrid banker Adolfo Bayo, founded La Compañia de Tranvias de Filipinas to manage the concession for the horse-drawn Tranvia . Left: from the collection of the Filipinas Heritage Library. Right: from the “The Pearl of the Orient. The Philippine Islands”, 1900.
(From the “Picturesque Old Philippines” website of the Philippine-Austrian Society). This hand-colored postcard shows a horse-drawn tranvia running along Escolta St. toward Sta. Cruz church, c. 1900 . This is the spot of the present PNB Escolta office and Jollibee.
At the end of the Spanish era, there were five operating and interconnected lines: Intramuros-Intramuros: 1 km. Manila (Calle Nueva) to Malate: 3 kms., 4 sections Manila (Plaza San Gabriel) to Sampaloc: 2.8 kms, 3 sections Manila (Plaza San Gabriel) to Tondo: 2.5 kms, 3 sections Tondo to Malabon: 7 kms., 3 sections (this one was steam-powered). Clockwise: near Binondo bridge , at Intramuros near Sto. Domingo church & anywhere (from the “Filipino Heritage. The Making of a Nation”, 1978).
Isabelo de los Reyes (1864-1938), noted Filipino man of letters, civic leader and senator, published “El Folk-Lore Filipino” in 1889 which won a silver medal in the 1887 Philippine Exposition in Madrid. It has an appendix entitled "Malabon Monograph.”, with Chapter III describing the Manila-Malabon tranvia: "Streetcars have partially replaced the many dilapidated covered wagons that carried passengers to and from the town. Service originates from Tondo at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. … Trips from Malabon are from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., every hour on the hour in the mornings, and every half hour beginning 1:30 p.m. in the afternoons if there are many passengers. It is uncomfortable to go by covered wagon; moreover, it usually costs more." Browse image of the Malabon railway from the SIRIS website of the Smithsonian. Monument at Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
The steam-powered Malabon “Tranvia a’ Vapor” described by Isabelo de los Reyes, and almost lost from national memory after American troops captured and converted it into a troop line. (from Historical Conservation Society (1990). General History of the Philippines, Part V, Vol. 4).
Clockwise from top left: Nueva St., Calle Real (Malate), Escolta & Plaza de Cervantes. (browse images from the website of the Southeast Asian Images & Text (SEAIT) Project of the University of Wisconsin).
On March 24, 1903, an ordinance was enacted by the Manila municipal board granting the franchise to operate an electric railroad, light and power system to Charles M. Swift . On March 27, 1903, Mr. Swift assigned the franchise to the Manila Railway and Light Company , a corporation organized under the laws of the state of New Jersey. On July 6, 1903, the name of this company was changed to the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company [the present Meralco]. The company was authorized on April 11, 1904, by act No. 112 of the Philippine Commission to acquire the properties of the existing street-car lines of the Compañia de los Tranvias de Filipinas. Left: Horse-drawn Tranvia (from San Miguel Brewery (1940). Golden Jubilee) Right: Electric Tranvia (from “Philippine Life in Town and Country” (1905)).
The Sta. Ana Tranvia picks up an old woman and a child, assisted by a policeman. (From a bilingual editorial cartoon of “Lipang Kalabaw”, 12 October 1907).
The Malate-bound Tranvia passed by the famous caryatids of Escolta (shop at left). (From “Glimpses of the East”. N.Y.K. Official Guide. 11th Annual Issue, 1928-1929.) .
Top: Tranvia with closed sides ran along Azcarraga (Recto) Avenue (from “Beautiful Philippines”, c. 1923). Bottom: Tranvia with open sides ran beside the Carnival grounds. (from “Beautiful Philippines”, c. 1923).
The electric Tranvia. More browse images of hand-colored postcards: Top: Escolta (from the SIRIS website of the Smithsonian). Bottom: Rosario St. (from Postcardman.net) from
A picture of the two lost treasures of the pre-war era: the Insular Ice Plant with the chimney in the horizon (demolished in the 1980s to give way to LRT-1) and the Manila Tranvia, crossing Pasig River along Puente de España (Browse image from the SIRIS website of the Smithsonian). (
Pre-war Jones Bridge had replaced Puente de España, slightly offset in alignment from Nueva St. to Rosario St. The electric Tranvia followed suit. (From The National Geographic Magazine (1940)).
(From the website of the Battling Bastards of Bataan) The Tranvia station at Padre Burgos St. near the Metropolitan Theatre and the Mehan Gardens.
Puna sa Tranvia ng Isang Manunulang Tagalog: Miguel M. Cristobal, Mga Sasakyang Magkaiba nang Palad, Sakdal, II, 93 (Mayo 28,1932), p. 3. Trambiya palibhasa ay ari ng puti kung kaya't ang pulis nagsisipangimi; kaya't kahit tayo'y magkabungi-bungi ay walang anoman kina pareng Ume. Kaya ang kalesa habang namamatay ang trambiya ang siyang nabubuhay naman; sa lahat ng ito ang may kasalanan ang mga pinunong pabaya sa bayan. Top: Tranvia with closed sides. (From the Manila Electric Company (1969). 66 Years of Service). Bottom: Meralco Centennial Stamp (2003)
Ang Tranvia sa Panahon ng Hapon: 1943 mula sa “Ang 25 Pinakamabuting Maikling Kathang Pilipino ng 1943” Lupong Tagasuri sa Maikling Katha, 1943. Kin-iti Isikawa, Patnugot, Kagawaran ng Paglalathala, Philippine Publications Nagmamadali and Maynila Serafin C. Guinigundo Excerpts: Ang kalipunan ng mga taong naglipana sa Azcarraga, Avenida Rizal at Escolta ay mga mamimiling walang puhunan (karamihan) at mga tagabili ng mga bagay na wala sa kanila at laong hindi kanilang pag-aari.... .... Ang taong humahangos at nagmamadali na tila nakikipag-agawan ng oras ay si Maciong. Kabilang si Maciong sa mga bumibili nang walang puhunan kundi laway at nakapagbibili ang wala kundi sa listahan.... .... "Teng ... teng .. teng ... teng ...," ang tinig ng dumaragasang dambuhala - ng trambiya na maraming sakay na hindi makapasok sa loob, trambiyang tila baga isang kalabaw na di-makayang lumulon sa sinasamungol na sakate sa kanyang namumuwalang bunganga. Nangunyapit lamang si Maciong sa tansong hawakan sa trambiya. Doon siya nagpalumaging nakabitin. "Pasok po sila ... pasok po kayo .. dito sa loob at maluwag. Pasok ... pasok...," ang dugtong na utos ng konduktor. Hindi alumana ni Maciong ang pagdudumali ng konduktor. Lalong hindi napapansin ni Maciong na ang kanyang pagsambot sa tiket ng isang umibis ay sinusulyapan ng konduktor. Ang pagpasok ni Maciong sa loob ng trambiya ay hindi nalingid sa kabatiran ng konduktor. Hindi pansin ni Maciong ang pagpapatunog ng taladro ng konduktor. "Tsip ... ang tiket ninyo," usisa ng konductor kay Maciong. .... Nagdudumaling nanaog si Maciong sa Plaza Burgos....
DESCRIPTION: A scarce Japanese Occupation era used streetcar (tram) ticket which the original owner has mounted onto a scrapbook. Beside the ticket is a description that reads : “ This is a streetcar ticket I used to school. Lately it cost 10¢. I put this here to remind me how streetcars were in those days. Everything seemed to happen in a streetcar - jostling, pickpocketing, cheating the conductor of the fare, coming in through windows and jumping out from them. How we longed for the days when the age of chivalry wasn't dead.” At the reverse is written “ Independence, my foot!” (The owner was probably referring to the newly proclaimed independence of the Philippines recently granted by the Japanese) (from cgi.ebay.com).
On the road to War: The Streetcar of Corregidor. End of Tranvia section. (Top: from Tramz.com Bottom: from Corregidor.org)