REMEMBERING BINONDO 1945
The Battle of Manila began with the liberation of the Santo Tomas Camp internees on the evening of February 3 and ended with the official declaration of the end of the battle on March 3, 1945. During the course of the month, over a hundred thousand Filipinos died and numerous cultural and heritage properties were destroyed.
Binondo was not spared from the carnage. The Japanese troops blew up Jones Bridge. Bullets flew from street to street. Escolta was aflame. The tranvia system became unusable. Binondo residents were forced to evacuate away from the city center and smoke became a feature of the district’s skyline. Binondo was nothing short of a charred urban war zone.
Despite the darkness that descended upon the community, glimmers of hope and heroism emerged. Binondo residents turned freedom fighters joined American troops and other guerrilla groups to liberate Manila. When Binondo was reclaimed by the soldiers and guerrillas, its residents witnessed the end Binondo’s central role in finance and luxury as it turned into a former shell of itself.