Recto Avenue

Recto Avenue
Recto Avenue looking eastbound near Tutuban Center
The route of Recto Avenue in Metro Manila. Recto Avenue is highlighted in red.
Former name(s)Paseo de Azcárraga
Paseo de Rey Felipe II
Part of
NamesakeClaro M. Recto
Marcelo Azcárraga Palmero (formerly)
Philip II of Spain (formerly)
Length3.2 km (2.0 mi)
West end AH 26 (N120) (Mel Lopez Boulevard) in Tondo and San Nicolas
Juan Luna Street
N151 (Abad Santos Avenue)
N150 (Rizal Avenue)
N170 (Quezon Boulevard)
East end N180 (Legarda Street) in Sampaloc and Quiapo

Claro M. Recto Avenue, more popularly known as simply Recto, is the principal commercial thoroughfare in north-central Manila, Philippines. It spans seven districts just north of the Pasig River in what is generally considered Manila's old downtown area.

Recto's western terminus is at an intersection with Mel Lopez Boulevard (Radial Road 10) at the district boundaries of Tondo and San Nicolas close to the Manila North Harbor. It runs northeast before curving to the east at Juan Luna Street and Estero de Binondo. It then passes through the Divisoria shopping area of Manila south of the Tutuban railway station until it curves southeast past the A. Rivera Street junction. East of Rizal Avenue and Santa Cruz district, Recto intersects with the streets of the University Belt area of Quiapo and Sampaloc before terminating at Legarda Street and Mendiola Street at the district boundaries of Quiapo and Sampaloc.

The LRTA's Line 2 system runs along its T. Alonzo–Legarda Street segment. It has a short extension into San Miguel and towards Malacañang Palace compound as Mendiola Street.


Recto Avenue just west of Rizal Avenue in Santa Cruz

Recto Avenue was developed by sections in various time periods during the course of Spanish rule. The main section leading to the coast in San Nicolas and Tondo from Binondo was named Paseo de Azcárraga, after the Spanish Filipino Prime Minister of Spain, Marcelo Azcárraga.

In the Santa Cruz district, the road was divided into Calle General Izquierdo, Calle Paz and Calle Bilibid because of the three creeks (esteros) that ran through the district. In Sampaloc, the road was named Calle Iris, which terminated at Calle Alix (now Calle Legarda).[1] The name Paseo de Azcárraga was extended to include the full length of the street, which was also called Paseo de Rey Felipe at one point (after King Philip II of Spain). Finally, in 1961, the avenue was given its present name in honor of the Filipino senator, Claro Mayo Recto.[2][3]

On July 7, 1892, in a building numbered 72 Calle Azcárraga, at the intersection with Calle Sagunto (now Santo Cristo) in Tondo, Andrés Bonifacio founded the revolutionary society named Katipunan.[4]

In the early 1900s, Azcárraga was a theater-and-restaurant row, with Teatro Libertad and Zorrilla Theatre attracting the well-dressed crowd to zarzuela shows and operas that ran on weekends.[5]

Originally terminating at Calle Angalo on the former coastline of Manila in San Nicolas at the west,[6] Azcárraga was extended into the new reclamation accommodated for the Manila North Harbor in the 20th century.

Cultural references

Recto Avenue corner Nicanor Reyes (Morayta) Street

Recto Avenue is infamous as a center of document forgery. Counterfeiters openly advertise their services, although the actual counterfeiting is done elsewhere. The forged documents they sell include IDs, receipts, driver's licenses, diplomas, employment references, theses, pilot's licenses, and seaman's certificates. Due to this, locals have sarcastically dubbed the area as "Recto University".[7][8] The mayors of Manila have ordered several police raids on the area; however, some police officers reportedly accept bribes from the counterfeiters.[7][8][9]


Recto Avenue is a major stop on three lines of the Metro Manila Transit System.

The route is also served by several bus companies and jeepneys. Additional stations will be built along the road as part of the Line 2 west expansion project.[10]


The entire route is located in Manila

N180 (Legarda Street)Eastern terminus. Continues east as Mendiola Street. Access to San Miguel district & Malacañang Palace; Nagtahan Interchange & Rizal Park via Legarda Street.
San Sebastian StreetOne-way road.
Sergio H. Loyola StreetTraffic light intersection.
Matapang StreetEastbound only.
Nicanor Reyes (Morayta) StreetTraffic light intersection. Access to N170 (España Boulevard) & Welcome Rotonda.
Severino StreetEastbound only.
Coromina StreetEastbound only
N170 (Quezon Boulevard)Diamond interchange. No access on opposite sides of the road.
Evangelista StreetOne-way to Recto Avenue; eastbound only.
Calero StreetOne-way from Recto Avenue; eastbound only.
Oroquieta RoadOne-way from Recto Avenue; westbound only. Access to LRT-1 Doroteo Jose station. Various provincial buses have terminals near this vicinity.
N150 (Rizal Avenue)Traffic light intersection. Southbound goes to Intramuros, Ermita & Manila City Hall; Northbound goes to Monumento & Grace Park in Caloocan.
Florentino Torres StreetOne-way to Recto Avenue; Eastbound only.
Tomás Mapúa StreetTraffic light intersection. One-way only.
San Bernardo StreetEastbound only.
Severino Reyes StreetWestbound only.
Teodora Alonzo StreetTraffic light intersection.
Benavidez StreetTraffic light intersection. One-way only.
Masangkay StreetTraffic light intersection. One-way only.
Aguilar StreetOpposite segments accessible via nearby roads.
Sanchez StreetOne way from Recto Avenue; eastbound only.
N151 (Abad Santos Avenue) / Reina Regente StreetTraffic light intersection. Northbound goes to Tondo, Monumento & Camanava area via N150 (Rizal Avenue); southbound goes to Plaza Ruiz & Manila City Hall via Jones Bridge.
Narra StreetWestbound only.
Antonio Rivera StreetWestbound only.
Roman StreetEastbound only.
Bonifacio DriveWestbound only. Access to Tutuban Center & PNR Tutuban station.
Soler Street / Dagupan StreetUnsignaled intersection.
Juan Luna StreetAccess to opposite segments via nearby roads.
Ilaya StreetAccess to opposite segments via nearby roads.
Tabora StreetEastbound only.
Carmen Planas StreetAccess to opposite segments via nearby roads.
Sto. Cristo StreetUnsignaled intersection.
Elcano StreetAccess to opposite segments via nearby roads.
Asuncion StreetUnsignaled intersection.
Saint Mary Street / Camba Street
Angalo StreetAccessible only to bicycles, motorcycles, pedicabs & pedestrians.
Sevilla Street
AH 26 (N120) (Mel Lopez Boulevard) / Delpan Street / MICT Access RoadWestern terminus. Unsignaled intersection. Southwest road continues to the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT). Northbound goes to Malabon & Navotas, southbound goes to Intramuros & Ermita districts.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


University of the East main building on Recto Avenue
Tutuban Center
Shopping malls
Universities and colleges
Other notable buildings

See also


  1. ^ Quodala, Schatzi (March 2, 2011). "Did you know? Recto Avenue". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  2. ^ Old Manila streets lose names to politicians Archived July 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer; accessed October 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Medina, Marielle (October 2, 2013). "Did you know: Claro M. Recto". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  4. ^ "The Philippines, the land of palm and pine : an official guide and hand book (1912)". Manila Bureau of Print. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  5. ^ The Americanization of Manila, 1898-1921. University of the Philippines Press. 2010. ISBN 9789715426138. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  6. ^ John Bach (1920). City of Manila, Philippine Islands (Map). 1:11,000. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Shadbolt, Peter (January 17, 2012). "Manila's forgers graduate with honors from 'Recto University'". CNN. Archived from the original on April 22, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Garcia, Robert Jon L. (February 28, 2014). "'Recto University': You name it, they have it!". Lifestyle.Inq. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  9. ^ Siytangco, AJ; Edera, Erma (December 18, 2019). "Mayor Isko leads raid on 'Recto' diploma mill". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 12, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Taruc, Paolo (May 20, 2015). "NEDA approves P27.9 billion worth of projects". CNN Philippines. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2019.

14°36′17″N 120°58′39″E / 14.60472°N 120.97750°E / 14.60472; 120.97750