Manila Central Post Office, a Cultural Treasure, Engulfed in Flames
by: The Beat Asia
May 22, 2023
The Manila Central Post Office, a historic landmark at the heart of the Philippine capital, was engulfed in flames following a massive blaze that broke out late on May 21.
According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the fire began around 11:45 PM on Sunday and lasted for more than seven hours.
It was put under General Alarm, the highest fire alarm level, before 6 AM the following day. The BFP declared the fire under control at 7:22 AM.
Photos disseminated by the Manila Public Information Office show the extent of the fire, with the building’s roof visibly burnt. The upper part of the iconic columns lining up the façade was also charred.
According to Mark Laurente, chief of staff of the postmaster general, letters and parcels were stored in the building, CNN Philippines reported on May 22. He said the fire began in the south basement, which housed the maintenance and storage rooms for the Mega Manila office, GMA News Online reported separately.
Authorities have yet to confirm the fire’s full damage.
First built in 1926, the neoclassical Manila Central Post Office was designed by Juan M. Arellano and Tomás Mapúa. It was rebuilt in 1946 following the damage caused by World War II.
In 2018, the National Museum named the building an "important cultural property,” a designation given to establishments with "exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance to the Philippines."
Get the latest curated content with The Beat Asia's newsletters. Sign up now for a weekly dose of the best stories, events, and deals delivered straight to your inbox. Don't miss out! Click here to subscribe.