Heritage Sites

Get to Know Anda, the Historical Landmark the Gov't Plans to Demolish

Metro Manila

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Sep 12, 2014

The government’s obsession in chipping off marks of our history strikes yet again.

With downtown Manila’s seemingly intractable problem on traffic congestion, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) now plans to demolish Anda Circle for better traffic flow especially to and from the port area.

Though there are no sure plans yet, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) recommends the transfer of the Anda Monument, the Circle's centerpiece, to Maestranza Plaza inside Intramuros.

But do you know that this relocation isn't the first time for Anda?

Some fast facts about this important structure:

Anda
(Image credit: Google Maps)

1) Gateway to the historic city

Anda Circle is a roundabout and interchange system at the junction of Bonifacio Drive and Andres Soriano Avenue (formerly Calle Aduana). With its location at the boundary of Intramuros and the Port Area, it serves as an iconic vanguard to the Walled City.

Anda
(Photo credit: sunmaya, panoramio)

2) Topped with a star

The circle has two levels of octagonal enclosures which form the perimeter of the Anda Monument.

Anda
Sepia-toned: Anda Circle in 1898
(Photo credit: popartmachine)

3) Anda: hero among the colonizers

The Monument was constructed in honor of Simón de Anda y Salazar, the appointed governor-general of the Philippines from 1770 to 1776. He led the resistance against the British occupation of Manila in 1762 when he was still the lieutenant governor.

Anda
Anda Monument as seen from Paseo de Maria Cristina (Bonifacio Drive) in the late 19th century.
(Photo credit: John T. Pilot's photostream via nostalgiafilipinas.blogspot.com)

4) Anda: his three-fold bravery

During President Carlos P. Garcia's speech during the turnover rites of the Anda Monument on June 8, 1957, he cited additional two episodes in Philippine history when the Spanish governor-general defended the Filipinos from injustices and despotism. *

The second episode was when Simon de Anda “fearlessly denounced the oppression and abuses committed against the Filipinos in the name of the Spanish sovereign” upon his acceptance of the position as governor-general.

His third crusade was his fight for the rights of Filipino priesthood. “He advanced the secularization movement by ordering that the parishes be vacated by regular religious orders and turned over to the Filipino priests who had long been held down because of race and color prejudice.”

Anda
The monument greeted travelers coming in and out of the river.
(Photo credit: skyscrapercity)

5) Anda Monument faces first relocation

Erected through the efforts of then governor-general Carlos Maria de la Torre in 1871, the Monument was originally located near the mouth of the Pasig River up until the 1960s when the construction of Del Pan Bridge (now, M. Roxas Jr. Bridge) started.

The current relocation proposal in Maestranza Park is actually closer to Anda Circle's original site.

So, should Simon de Anda's circle be moved again?

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