07/13/15

Roaming McKinley Hill, Part 1 (The commerce and residences)

This entry here at the Urban Roamer is something “personal” you might say as this is about a particular place that has grown close to me over the years. For 5 1/2 years, this was the environment where I worked and as such, I’ve witnessed the many changes that have come about this area. So as I will be moving on to a new environment, figuratively and literally, I figured I would devote some space here to write about this area called McKinley Hill.

Named after the old name of Fort Bonifacio which was Fort McKinley, (which in turn was named after US President William McKinley, under whose administration the Philippines became an American colony) McKinley Hill was a township developed by property developer Megaworld since 2004, on the heels of its achievement of developing its first township, Eastwood City in Quezon City. Continue reading

04/20/15

BGC’s Bibliophile Haven

We normally think of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) as a bustling business and commercial district where many work, shop, and have fun. But BGC is also making a mark as a place for learning and knowledge with the presence of its landmark science-themed museum The Mind Museum not to mention the Korean Cultural Center where you can learn Korean culture in its many aspects from the traditional to the modern. (AKA the Korean wave)

Other than those 2 prominent landmarks, there is also another place to learn in this busy district, serving as an oasis of knowledge in the midst of tall skyscrapers with its rich collection of books, photographs, postcards, and other materials related to the Philippines. Today, we shall take a look inside this one of a kind and under-the-radar type of library.

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04/17/15

Last Saturday at Bonifacio High Street

The Urban Roamer found itself one Saturday (April 11 to be precise) at the area of Bonifacio Global City for some personal matters. So it was a pleasant surprise to see not one, but two events happening that day in the area, particularly at the area of Bonifacio High Street. So what else to do than to check them both out eh? Read on for more.

VINYL DAY: FILLING MUSICAL APPETITES IN A CLASSIC WAY

The Bonifacio High Street ampitheater area was the venue for an annual event called Vinyl Day, a day filled with music courtesy of the live acts as well as that in the records being sold…to be specific records in vinyl discs. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for so long, vinyl records are making a comeback of sorts in recent times as not only people are buying and collecting old vinyl records, but a number of artists are releasing their music in vinyl as well.

Thus Vinyl Day is a celebration of music, both old and new, through a format that is being reborn. Leading the way for this event is its organizer/sponsor Satchmi, which is known for making vinyl turntabless fashionable again with their products.

The event also showcases a sale of various vinyl records, including boxed set ones. In addition, there is a mobile station nearby that lets you play the records you bought to check out the sound quality.

Even if you do not have a vinyl turntable or have no interest buying a vinyl record, the music courtesy of various artists was enough to check out the event and enjoy the rhythms away.

GASTRONOMY FESTIVAL: FILLING GASTRONOMIC APPETITES

From filling those musical cravings to filling those cravings of the taste buds, a few steps away, right at the middle of Bonifacio High Street, is another event called the Gastronomy Festival. As earlier suggested, not to mention the name alone, this festival is all about food, to be specific, food being served from not the usual vendors.

The middle of Bonifacio High Street was transformed into an outdoor picnic venue as food trucks are lined up with different items on their menu, premium food items at expectedly premium prices.

Meanwhile, the stage nearby was transformed into an outdoor movie theater which was showing that day some films that have gastronomic themes, like Ratatouille for instance.

If anything, I wish the next Gastronomy Festival, I assume there would be one next year, would have more vendors and more choices that would be more affordable. After all, it is supposed to be a “festival.”

06/17/14

A Football Stadium In A Business District: Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill

The World Cup fever is on and many around the world have caught it. Even here in the Philippines, despite the fact that the country is not one of those qualified to join this global competition, unfortunately.

That does not take away the fact that Philippine football in recent years is enjoying a steady rise in popularity, thanks in part to the performance of the Philippine football team belovedly known as the Azkals. There is also the presence of up-and-coming football league in the country, the United Football League (UFL) which was founded in 2009 to help promote Philippine football.

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10/27/13

A resting place for heroes: Libingan Ng Mga Bayani

It is that time of the year once again to remember all things and frightening. For this year, the Urban Roamer headed down south in that wide and bitterly contested Fort Bonifacio area to visit one of the most prominent burial places in the metropolis and the country as a whole. Yes, today we visit the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, ibingwhich literally means the burial ground of heroes.

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Heroes Memorial Gate at the entrance to the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, which has a metal sculpture at its center and a viewdeck which bears images from the country’s history, especially military history

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Its origins can be traced back in May 1947, when the Republic Memorial Cemetery was established in what was then known as Fort McKinley to serve as a final resting place that would honor the men and women who have served the country well, particularly the ones who have served during World War II as well as those in the military service. Then in 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay renamed the cemetery to the name we know today as the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.” It was further expanded in area and given more prominence in 1967 by President Ferdinand Marcos as it was elevated to become a national shrine for the country’s heroes, whether they served in military or not. Continue reading