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The newly-renovated Jones Bridge once again served as the beautiful backdrop for prenup photos — this time, for actor JC de Vera and fiancée Rikkah Cruz, as reported by Rappler. Posing by the iconic lamp posts, the beautiful couple wore vintage-inspired outfits.
Popular photography team Nice Print captured the romantic moments, sharing the images on their Instagram page. Styled by Cathleen Sobrevega, JC wore a gray suit made by Edwin Tan, while Rikkah was dressed in a lacey, off-white gown created by Francis Libiran.
Bridge for Lovers
This isn’t the first time the famed bridge was used for a photoshoot. Back in November 2019, prior to the bridge’s formal inauguration, prenup images of a couple went viral on the internet, Manila Bulletin reported. Engaged lovers Meyrick Guan and Bernadine Go were pictured in a gray suit and a long, red dress, respectively. Wedding photographer Peach Frost Studio took the shots and posted it on social media.
Once up, the post garnered several likes and shares, making it the talk of the internet for a while. Some netizens couldn’t believe that the photos were taken in the country, as it could easily pass for a Paris destination.
In an interview with Metro Style, the engaged couple related that they wanted to be practical in their photoshoot. Rather than going out of town, they decided to be like tourists in their own city, exploring Ongpin and Escolta. Bernadine added that she personally wanted shots at the Chinatown arch.
Rehabilitation of Jones
The Manila City government formally introduced the newly renovated Jones Bridge to the public last November 24, 2019. It was intentionally chosen for overhaul as a commemoration of its 100th year.
Aesthetically, the bridge had an old-world charm, reminiscent of its look in its glory days. New lamp posts that feature motifs and patterns popular in the pre-war era were installed. Two of the four La Madre Filipina statues were likewise returned to their original place.
One was a replica of the original that got lost in World War II. The other was transferred from Rizal Park. Manila mayor Isko Moreno and tourism secretary Bernadette-Romulo Puyat signed a memorandum of agreement for the relocation and reinstallation of the icons.
As for the other two statues, they remained at the Court of Appeals (CA) compound in Ermita. The tourism secretary, however, hopes that they would also be brought back to Jones Bridge, urging the CA and the National Historical Commission to make arrangements. The four statues of La Madre Filipina symbolize democracy, justice, gratitude, and progress.
Aside from the aesthetics, the new Jones Bridge was equipped with safety features. It now has a barricade in the middle of the road, as well as solar road studs, which help outline road edges and center lines better. During blackouts, they serve as guides for drivers and pedestrians.
The Jones Bridge rehabilitation project costs P20 million, supported by Filipino-Chinese businessmen. It took two months to complete, a significant feat given that it would typically take years to finish such a project.
Manila Spruce Up
The improvement of Jones Bridge is part of the ongoing efforts of the local government to restore Manila’s old glory. Since taking office, Mayor Moreno aggressively cleaned up roads and streets, such as Divisoria, Recto, Blumentritt, and Quiapo, to name a few. He also deplored vandalism on public walls, urging the public to keep the cleanliness and order in these spaces.
Last month, he inspected the restoration of the soon-to-open Metropolitan Theater, according to GMA News Online. In the videos published on the Facebook pages of the Manila Public Information Office and the city mayor, the theater can be seen sporting more striking art deco details, with its seats still covered in plastic.
Meanwhile, on private buildings considered heritage sites, he urged property owners to renovate and rehabilitate, Business Mirror reported. Giving a 10-year property tax holiday, he hopes the offer would prompt conservation initiatives. So far, according to the mayor, owners of historical buildings of Philtrust, Chinabank, and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. have joined the move to renovate legacy sites.
The local government is likewise gearing up for its vertical housing program wittingly named as Tondominium. In an ABS-CBN report, a 3,000-square meter lot in Tondo and another 2,000-square meter in Binondo will be the sites that would house informal settlers in Manila. Each unit will have 42 square meters, complete with two bedrooms.
Sources: Rappler, Manila Bulletin, Metro Style, GMA News Online, Business Mirror, ABS-CBN