my girlfriend and i went to escolta yesterday. sorry no pictures yet. i was there more than 9 years ago and things are a bit different today. the place looks generally cleaner. there are sweepers at almost every corner keeping things tidy. there's a school — city college of manila — where the philippine national bank used to be so college students in uniform lend a "young" attitude to the street. there are two or three empty lots turned into parking spaces where buildings used to stand. there's less traffic now which i think is a good thing. people can walk. the street still has a lot of its character eventhough some people think or say that its time has passed.
there's a nice coffee shop near the end of escolta where you can have some brewed coffee and hopia among other things. polland is its name. its a good place to rest after a walk in escolta.