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Born Wadi’ah Hashim, Doña Magdalena was a Lebanese national who migrated to the Philippines, and subsequently changed her name to Magdalena upon conversion to the Catholic faith. The she married to the Ysmael clan, who were originally on route to Australia, when an unexpected detour brought their ship to Davao. Falling in love with the Philippines, the Ysmaels decided to stay, and eventually transfer to Manila. It was here she joined her brother Faride T. Hashim (1841-1931), who owned the Manila Grand Opera House, putting Doña Magdalena and family in the midst of Manila’s elite social circles. The Hashims and Ysmaels were wary of the Turkish rule of the Ottoman Empire over Lebanon, and the Hashim brothers first left for the Philippines in the late-1900s. The Ysmaels followed suit, when a drought that pushed the family to finally leave their country.

The Manila Grand Opera House was built in the mid-1900s and was first called the H.T. Hashim’s Ciclo Nacional (National Cycle Track) before changing the bicycle race track to a theater and naming it the Teatro Nacional in 1890. This was where local and international theater companies performed. In 1902, the theater underwent renovations to become an opera house in order to accommodate a visiting Italian opera company. Since then, the Manila Grand Opera House wasn’t simply the center of Manila’s cultural activities, but also the meeting place of many important political activities, including the establishment of the Philippine Assembly (the local parliament) in 1907.

The Manila Grand Opera House was heavily damaged in World War II (1939-1945) and was rebuilt as a movie house in 1947 by its new owners. What was left of the old theater had been converted into the Manila Grand Opera Hotel which opened in 2008. 온라인카지

The Magdalena Estate was developed in the 1930s as a residential area for Manila’s elite who wished to avoid the dusty and crowded streets of Manila. Also called Hacienda Hemady, the area was once 75 hectare friar lands under the jurisdiction of the Municipal of San Juan del Monte. During the American colonial period (1898-1946), the friar lands were purchased by the American government. These were later on sold to the local elite. Among them was Doña Magdalena, who saw the cool and rolling wooded hills of New Manila as a perfect escape from the old-city bustling Manila, which was approximately seven kilometers away.

The hacienda was vast and extensive, and upon the request of President Manuel Luis Molina Quezón (1878-1944) in 1932, Doña Magdalena donated several hectares of it to the government. In 1935, it was developed as the eastern side of the American-era military camp named Camp Murphy. Today, this area is recognized as the military base, Camp Aguinaldo and parts of the commercial district of Cubao (Read: Growing Up in Cubao). The western and central parts of Camp Murphy were donated from parts of Hacienda de Mandaloyon, by Francisco “Don Paco” Ortigas (1875-1935), which would become the police headquarters, Camp Cramé, and northern sections of Camp Aguinaldo.

Although the friar lands were later on handed over to private owners, religious establishments—some that were built way before, remained. Among these was the Convent of Carmel of Thérèse of Lisieux (Est. 1926), the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Novitiate and Provincial House (Est. 1931), Franciscan St. Joseph’s Academy and Convent (Est. 1932), and the Christ the King Mission Seminary (Est. 1933).

Doña Magdalena allowed these religious institutions to stay. From then on, New Manila has become the home of many other Christian institutions, such as the Episcopal St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary (Est. 1947), the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Compound (Est. 1950), the Episcopal National Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John (Est. 1960), the Pink Sister’s St. Joseph Convent of Perpetual Adoration (Est. 1965), the Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae’s Maryhill School Of The Theology (Est. 1979), the  Local Superior of The Society of Monfort Missionaries (Est. 1984), the Jubilee Evangelical Church (Est. 1982), the Foundation for Carmelite Scholastics (Est. 1987), the Society of Pius X’s Our Lady of Victories Church (Est. 1993), the Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis Congregation Provincialate, the Calasanz Formation House, the Order of the Piarist Fathers Escolapios, and the Damien Formation Center.

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