03/9/16

The Two Houses of Jose P. Laurel

Jose P. Laurel has a somewhat mixed legacy for having served as President of the Japanese-sponsored Second Republic from 1943 to 1945. Whatever achievements his administration had were overshadowed by the specter of Japanese control over the country, especially with their “support” for an independent but pro-Japan Philippines, and the horrors of World War II at large, especially towards the end when fighting between the Japanese and the US-led forces brought about much death and destruction to the country. Despite this, he is regarded as a good president who had nothing but the Filipino interests at heart and did what he could in the situation prevailing that time in the face of Japanese control.

President Jose P. Laurel (photo courtesy of Filipiknow)

Interestingly, Laurel is also one of the few personages in history who has a preserved legacy as far as the structures associated with him are concerned, with two houses he has lived in still remain standing in the midst of the rapid urbanization in the metropolis that has brought about a rapid loss of its built heritage. Continue reading

06/6/15

Brew and Vinyl Love at the Satchmi Store

These days, the old is becoming the new. Most especially so in the case of music as vinyl records our parents and grandparents used to listen to are becoming hip again in this age of digital music where digital formats, music playing gadgets, and services like iTunes and Spotify are shaping the way people today are listening to music.

It is certainly one trend that is not going unnoticed. Apart from the antique shops and other vintage item dealers in open markets, one company making its mark in riding the vinyl wave is Satchmi which has been marketing its own brand of vinyl record players.

September last year, Satchmi took their fondness for vinyl to another level with the opening of its store in SM Megamall, a lifestyle store that blended vinyls with an ambience of a cafe. Which by itself is not a bad thing. Continue reading

12/23/14

Christmas in the City 2014: Policarpio Street Revisited

Five years ago, during the early days of the site, the Urban Roamer wrote about the Christmas spectacle at Policarpio Street in Barangay New Zaniga in Mandaluyong, Being my first time to visit the place, I was amazed at the spectacle some of the houses there showcased there, undoubtedly done with such meticulousness and dedication for the love of the season.

Policarpio Street, 2009

With so much that has happened to the Urban Roamer since then, this Christmas season was a good opportunity to revisit the neighborhood and see what has changed, if any, since that last visit.
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10/23/14

Greenfield Weekend Market: A Weekend Market in the Greens

Weekend markets in the eastern side of the metropolis have been growing in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to such events first organized at Ortigas Center by Banchetto, which has since then transferred to the area near Forum Robinsons in southeastern Mandaluyong. Since then, there have been a number of other weekend market venues there in the east, though few has yet to match the legacy of the former. Perhaps, the closest that would have rivalled Banchetto would be the weekend market set up by Mercato Centrale in the area of Greenfield District (right around the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard) called Manda Centrale.

Unfortunately, despite the Mercato name, Manda Centrale fizzled out after a few months like a number of Mercato locations outside Bonifacio Global City. Which was a shame since Greenfield District is itself a bustling commercial area that benefited from heavy foot traffic that goes all the way up to the busy Ortigas Center nearby. Nevertheless, the seeds of a weekend market venture have been planted; on March 2014, Greenfield District opened a weekend market of its own: the Greenfield Weekend Market.

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02/2/14

The Mega Fashion Hall: Ice Skating Makes a Homecoming

Back in the early days of the Urban Roamer, one of the early posts published in the site was a memoriam to the SM Megamall Ice Skating Rink. long considered as a landmark that put the mall and SM as a whole on the map. At that time, SM Megamall was undergoing what could be considered the early phase of its expansion as the Ice Skating Rink and the nearby Bowling area had to give way to more retailers who wish to set shop in the bustling mall.

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For the next four years or so, SM Megamall has constantly expanded itself to as far as its property can accommodate, putting up the Atrium expansion, a carpark/office space building, and finally, the Mega Fashion Hall building.

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