Many Filipinos were shocked to see images of the historic Manila Central Post Office building in flames when they woke up on Monday, May 22. The fire started shortly before midnight on Sunday but the highest fire alarm level was raised six hours later. The Bureau of Fire Protection declared the blaze under control around 7 a.m.
The building is located along the riverbanks in Lawton, Ermita and lies at the northern end of Liwasang Bonifacio. Its location along the frontage of the Pasig River was part of a plan for Manila by American urban planner Daniel Burnham for easy water transportation of mails.
The National Museum declared the building as an important cultural property in 2018, meaning, no other building can be built in its place aside from the post office.
Designed in neoclassical style by prominent Filipino architects Juan M. Arellano and Tomás Mapúa, the original building was severely damaged in World War II during the Battle of Manila and was subsequently rebuilt in 1946.
Photojournalist Bullit Marquez took photos and videos of the charred iconic structure for VERA Files.