First United Building Community Museum

Manila – the first in the country to be modernized after hundreds of years to be colonized. It is also home to the first tramway (railway) station, the center of administration, and the first commercial district in the country, Escolta. You can find here the center of commerce way back in the American era in the Philippines, and tons of American inspired buildings built during their occupation, unfortunately, Escolta was part of the casualties and heavy damage during World War II and some of these buildings withstood the Japanese siege of Manila.



And here we are, revisiting the great Escolta and seeing one of the well-maintained, American-inspired survivor, The First United Building Community Museum.


The Building itself was a named Perez Samanillo Building, which houses the former department store called Berg Department Store. Berg’s featured everything a modern department store should have. But when the Japanese invasion started, they were forced to close the shop and was purchased by Sy Lian Teng and became the First United Building.


The Museum is an ongoing project of the Sy Lian Teng clan to honor the memory of its owner. It is a repository of artifacts, objects, memories and dreams to preserve and remember his life.


It is also an active area that has multiple uses in order to keep more people aware, enlightened and conscious of the heritage and history of not only the man who revived the building but Escolta as well.




First United Building Community Museum

Mezzanine Level, 413 Escolta St, Binondo, Manila
(632) 2415150
Museum Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 5pm

Admission Fee:

Php50 General Admission Fee
Php20 Students

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