11/19/14

The Circulo Del Mundo and Its “Egg”

If you are going to or from the NAIA Terminal 3/Newport City area, or even just passing by the area, you are surely not to miss the rotunda called the Circulo del Mundo. More than that, you are sure not going to miss the structure built on that rotunda, a steel structure which some say looks like an egg. While personally, the structure looks to me like a futuristic spaceship with lots of “windows”, for the sake of convenience and popular opinion, the Urban Roamer will just go with the opinion of many that it looks like an egg.

courtesy of directionsonweb.blogspot.com

For one thing, the presence of a structure at a rotunda is something that is nothing new. After all, we do have that structure at Mabuhay Rotonda and Santa Mesa’s old rotonda used to have a fountain. But this structure was a sight that aroused confusion and puzzlement among the people who see it, mainly because of the abstractness of it all, not to mention the structure was not easily accessible for the public to appreciate what it is about. Continue reading

10/19/13

The Art Museum at the GSIS Financial Center

October happens to be “Museum and Galleries Month.” In commemoration of this occasion, the Urban Roamer decided to pay a visit to one of the city’s more overlooked museums. And that says something considering the situation here currently that museums here aren’t placed high in the must-visit list among locals.

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Today, we visit the GSIS Financial Center in the reclaimed area that is part of the CCP Complex in Pasay City, headquarters of the Government Service Insurance System, (GSIS) the social insurance institution catering to government employees. The building is actually a Marcos-era structure that was completed in 1985, but it was not fully utilized until 9 years later, when the GSIS finally moved in to the building to be its new headquarters.

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10/12/13

Blues in the city: The Roadhouse Manila Bay

The Urban Roamer must make a confession. I love blues music, the most un-mainstream as one can be as far as musical tastes are concerned. As it is, it is frustrating that this music does not have even a little exposure in the city’s pop-infested radio stations or in the downsized record bars. Yet, it is also remarkable and surprising to see the blues scene in the city enjoying a solid and steady presence thanks to the musicians who have the passion for this music as well as the bars that have been supportive enough to hold blues nights for these musicians to belt out their blues.

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Then came in 2011 the opening of a bar and restaurant right across the SM Mall of Asia called The Roadhouse Manila Bay. Finally, the blues in the city has a home it can call its own. With its tagline “blues, bikes, rock, and booze,” this restaurant-bar proudly stands out as THE place where one can listen to the blues not just on one night a week but 7 nights a week, with some good old rock and roll music on the side to liven up the nights. Continue reading

09/28/13

At the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Of all the hotels in the metropolis, only a few can boast of having such a history and prominence as the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in the reclaimed Cultural Center of the Philippines complex near the Manila Bay.

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It was one of the hotels built at the height of the Marcos era to showcase the Philippines to the world in the midst of the events going on at the time. To be specific, the hotel, which was first known as the Philippine Plaza Hotel, was built to house the delegates of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting which was to be held in Manila in 1976. (an event Marcos successfully lobbied for) Continue reading

09/22/12

Leveriza and the story of Pasay’s “development”

It was one sunny weekend sometime ago that I found myself in Pasay. I was about to go to the Mall of Asia but I figured out to do a quick little stroll around the inner Pasay area, particularly around the area of Leveriza Street.

Map picture

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Leveriza is said to be named after one of the princesses who lived in the 16th century, around the time the Spaniards came to Manila, who of a kingdom that encompasses roughly much of today’s Pasay.

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