Iloilo Mga Antigong Larawan

Mga Antigong Larawan: Post War Iloilo Photos

April 25, 2011

The parade of Paquito Bolero with other artistas (that includes Dolphy according to GGR). The motorcycle with sidecar are policemen while the trailing bikes are members of Panay Motorcycle Club (similar to todays widespread motorcycle groups). The street is now J.M. Basa, previously it was Casa Real, considered the city’s version of Escolta where one can find both foreign and local “bazar”. The banner hanging on top, ” I was a shoplifter” is a Hollywood movie (about to be shown in the nearby Eagle theater), so don’t worry, its not shaming a local caught shoplifting! Most of the building here are still existing today, this main road and its surrounding remains to be the busiest in the whole Panay island.

Last Saturday, I visited my friend Sr. Gomez at his home. He showed me some old photos of his and I volunteered to scan them so he can save a digital copy somewhere in his computer. Our humid weather accelerates the deterioration of such old materials, its best to scan them for safe keeping. Eveytime he’ll pull out a photograph, he would tell a dozen story about it and its just amazing how an old faded photograph can trigger great memories – and for someone like me, deeper appreciation of our past traditions and our heritage.
When he handed me an envelope-full of photographs, I just realized the gigantic task at hand – but I’m happy that he entrusted them to me, anything for the ol’ man, who not only happen to be a great friend but also a distant lolo!
I would be sharing more old photos from here on out. Since they are just in a box in the house – I’ll try to scan them and put them here for everyone to see. I have amassed a considerable collection since I normally buy some in antique shops whenever I find one. I usually get family and personal portraits of unknown people. My imagination would just take over – who are these people, what were they like, what are their occupation, what was their language – questions that arise from just looking at these tattered photos. How these picture end up in a shop’s buckets to be sold cheap, I have no clue. The only reason I can think of why I pick them up is that I don’t want to deal with the guilt of not saving them from being discarded.
If I recall what GGR said about this one correct is that this was hishometown’s (Dingle) theater during the post war years. The movie ad, “Prisipe Don Juan”, is a movie that starred Efren Reyes Sr.’s, a popular actor during his time. The movie made and shown in 1950. He was well known for his epic movies. Reyes’ is the grandson of Lola Basiang, the king of Sarsuela – Severino Reyes. Interesting is that the people seem to gather outside, was this after the movie or were they just hanging around. Striking a pose for the photographer maybe?

Sra. Conchita of Roxas City. A photo of an elegant Filipina in terno. This was sent to GGR as a keepsake. Back in the days, people use to send studio photos to friends and relatives. They would dress in traditional customes and of course give out their best smile! Some of the best photographs I’ve seen are portraits like this. They are gems, truly precious and rare.

This I believe is a relative of GGR’s. Another post war photograph in his collection. Observe how the passing on looker is dressed. Before and after the war, you’ll rarely see a Filipino in the streets wearing sleepers, shirts and sandos. Almost everyone are formally dressed (this would be the case up until the 60’s). We use to have a sense of decorum and discipline in the streets. 

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Nostalgic! Happy easter brotha!


The photos do have a charming appeal in them. What does the library on the last photo contain?
With these photos, now I can confirm what my grandfather is talking about. Even in rural areas, people have to dress up outside.
I think this style of dressing up is still done in Italy and Spain, but not in here. Got a few friends who went there.


Paquito Bolero (Francisco Herrera del Rosario in real life) was my late uncle. He’s the brother of my late father Indalecio “Toti” del Rosario


Thanks kor sharing your collections sir. Hope you’ll post more so we’ll see how our city looks like years ago..