05/15/17

Club Filipino: Manila’s Storied Social Club

The presence of social clubs in a city tend to be overlooked but they nevertheless play an important role in the city’s social development. In the case of Metro Manila, social clubs such as the rotary Club and the Elks Club have made their mark in the social landscape of the metropolis.

Then there is the Club Filipino, one of the oldest clubs in existence in the country. It is also perhaps one of the most popular social clubs in the country, particularly due to the role it has played in the country’s history.

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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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12/15/14

The Good Ol’ Greenhills Shopping Center, Part 1

Mention the place Greenhills and automatically, the first thing that comes to mind is the shopping center there. But make no mistake of dismissing it as just some regular shopping area. Greenhills Shopping Center is itself a landmark of sorts that urban denizens and even tourists have come to know and love over the years, long before the shopping mall chains dominated the urban landscape.

EARLY YEARS

Greenhills Shopping Center came about from a masterplan of the development of the greater Greenhills area as a residential-commercial development project by the Ortigas and Company. Renowned architect Juan Nakpil came up with the design of the structure as construction would begin by 1966. By 1970, the shopping complex was completed with the opening of its first building that was to be occupied by what would become a landmark establishment in the shopping center and Greenhills as a whole, the Unimart Supermarket. But it would the opening of another building in the complex a short time after that would put Greenhills on the map as a shopping destination, the original Virra Mall. Soon after, Shoppesville opened as well.

the old Virra Mall (photo courtesy of Tsikot.com via Tumblr)

Unimart Supermarket, Greenhills Shopping Center’s first and oldest tenant. It has not expanded beyond the confines of the complex, that is until the opening of its second branch at another Ortigas development, Capitol Commons, which is happening soon.

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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