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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12/16/14

The Good Ol’ Greenhills Shopping Center, Part 2

As the first part of this series dealt with the history of the Greenhills Shopping Center and the transformation of its classic structures, this part deals with the other structures that have defined the modern Greenhills, especially the new ones that have risen and soon to rise in this complex.

Perhaps the most prominent of these new structures is the one across Shoppesville and Theater Mall called Promenade, a massive building that is home to a number of restaurants, (some of them have an alfresco dining option) a Fully Booked bookstore branch, a performing arts venue called Teatrino and 6 cinemas.

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11/13/14

Christmas in the City 2014: the Christmas spectacle at Ayala Triangle

If you live in the urban landscape of Metropolitan Manila, especially if you frequent the Makati Central Business District area, you know that the Christmas season is in the air when you see the Ayala Triangle Park dressed up in those shining, dancing, multi-colored lights that have become a yearly Yuletide attraction.

The tradition lives on this year as the  Ayala Triangle Christmas lights and sound show formally opened last November 12 to delight spectators anew and remind everyone that Christmas is upon us once more and it is time to get excited/stressed yet again.

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12/24/13

Christmas in the City 2013

As the year 2013 draws to a close, it is customary for many to look back at what has transpired in this year. For many, especially us Filipinos, 2013 has been a year of upheavals as the country faced a midterm election, worsening corruption, and the whammy of natural calamities that befell especially in the central part of the country. These calamities, especially that of the wrath of the Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) wrought destruction in proportions that was unprecedented in recent years that it seems that it will take some more time before recovery in this area can be achieved.

While Metro Manila was spared of such destruction this year, there is no doubt that what happened in Central Philippines reverberates in the metropolis and all over the country. So much so that Christmas this year is a bit more different this time around. There are still the maddening crowds, shopping sprees, and crazy traffic all over the city. But aside from that, the celebrations seem to be a bit more low-key, with a number of companies opting for less grandiose Christmas parties and decorations not as bright and colorful like they used to.. (then again, it may be because of the electricity rates going up) Even the colorful light and sound shows at Ayala Triangle Park this year are a bit downplayed in character this year. Continue reading

12/21/09

Christmas in the city: the moving Christmas displays

It was 52 Christmases ago when a small department store located along Rizal Avenue in Manila thought of a creative gimmick to entice prospective shoppers to go to their store.

Without much funds to do advertisements on print and radio, Alex Rosario thought of putting up a belly dancer plaster doll which was fitted to the motor of an electric fan to make it move. It became a hit for his department store known as Manila C.O.D.

Who would have thought that this simple marketing strategy would be the beginning of what would become a well-loved Christmas tradition? Who would have foreseen that it would soon evolve into a tradition that has found its way to become a staple of Christmas in the city, a spectacle which has meant more to generations beyond what supposed to be Christmastime advertising? Continue reading