A half-forgotten Quiapo bookstore

Quiapo in the 1950s and early 1960s

Does anybody above 50 still remember PECO? I do. It was one of my earliest recollections of shopping in Quiapo with my mother.

PECO meant Philippine Educational Company. It was along Arlegui, just a corner away from the north-bound foot of the Quezon bridge, which back then still smelled of fresh river water. A quick search indicates that it was established by one of the Thomasites in the early 20th century, and had become one of the biggest bookstores in the country after World War II. In my vague recollections, it had the feel of a bombed-out building or a huge warehouse, with rough unpainted concrete posts and beams, and would be considered absolutely ugly by today’s Powerbooks standards.

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