When I was a child growing up in Pasay City, I used to see steel rails embedded in the street along Taft Avenue by the public market on the corner of Libertad Street. I used to wonder who put the rails there and for what purpose. To a child it looked like nothing have ran on it for a hundred years. My grandmother told me there used to be a tranvia, some kind of train, that ran on those rails.
|Tranvia in Manila|
The electric street car built by Americans, called tranvia by Filipinos, ran to Pasay public market from Escolta and Plaza Goiti through Luneta and M. H. del Pilar. It was called “Pasay line” of the Meralco powered tranvia. It was patterned after the San Francisco cable car system built in 1873.
|San Francisco Cable Car in the background|
Pasay was a part of Rizal province back then and had a long way from becoming a city. However, new automobiles from America with 20kph maximum speed have arrived. The engine top speed capability was 35 mph. However, the roads were bad and tires manufactured then were deplorable. These cars trudged side by side with public transport horse and buggys called kalesa.
|Manuel L. Quezon with Marlene Dietrich|
The Great Depression was less severe in the Philippines because the import tariff discouraged export of food items and produce. Thus food flooded the local market and took down the cost of food benefiting the Filipino poor while the poor of the world suffered starvation.
A search for Philippines or Manila in the Wikipedia page for Great Depression came up zero. The affected countries were as follows: