Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Urban Sketching : Escolta

Some of the sketches here are now available as prints on society6, as well as other sketches I've made over the course of our travels.

While Cebu Pacific Airlines has its issues, my wife and I will forever appreciate the airline that allowed us to travel to such places as Thailand, China, Vietnam, Japan, and many other countries that would have been inaccessible to us otherwise.  Our first trip together to Shanghai was done on a lark during one of Cebu Pacific's zero fare deals, and it basically sealed the deal on our relationship.

So imagine my delight when I was contracted by Smile, Cebu Pacific's in-flight magazine, to do a series of sketches of the Escolta district of Manila. Not only was I going to be a part of thousands of people's travel experiences in the month of November, but I was going to get paid for it too!

Escolta is the old commercial center of Manila, and in a more prosperous city it would be a tourist attraction similar to Penang's Georgetown. Unfortunately some of that heritage is either slowly decaying or being torn down to be replaced with modern high-rises.  Modernity has its place, but some care should be taken so that the character of a district can still be maintained.   Luckily boutique companies like 98B with their Escolta Future Market and the Escolta Commercial Association are slowly bringing commerce back into the area. There are also plans to refurbish a 90 year old Art Deco building into a BPO facility, thereby drawing even more commerce into the area.

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