The Manila Post Office Building Fire

The Manila Post Office Building Fire
The Manila Post Office Building Fire | @rebirth.manila

The Manila Post Office Building Fire
May 21-23, 2023
Photo and poster: Karl De Santos

Today marks the first anniversary of the fire that gutted the venerable Manila Central Post Office Building at Plaza Lawton, Ermita.

In the late hours of May 21, 2023, smoke and fire were detected at the Post Office Building. Firefighters and volunteers rushed to the scene to control the blaze, which they determined was coming from the basement. The fire seemed contained for several hours until in the early hours of May 22, flames finally broke out of the basement. It moved upwards, consuming the woodwork and all flammable materials inside the structure. Fire would soon engulf the whole building, the likes of which it hadn’t seen since the Battle of Manila in 1945. By midday of May 22, the fire had mostly been put out. However, it was only on May 23 that the Bureau of Fire Protection declared fire out, signaling the end of the massive fire. By then only the gutted remains of the Post Office Building remained standing.

Months before the fire, Renacimiento Manila held several heritage walks in the Lawton-Arroceros Area, including a tour of the post office building that was in partnership with Pilipinas Philately.

Today, the desolate ruins of the Post Office Building continue to loom over Plaza Lawton. Plans are underway to restore the building, although its future use is still being debated.

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