Makati’s concrete eyesore: the JAKA Tower

Sometimes, no matter how beautiful or well-planned an area is, there will be eyesores that will stick out like sore thumbs thus ruining the landscape. To be fair, these structures were not meant to be built as such, but their continued existence is something that bugs a lot of people not just because of aesthetics but for safety reasons too.


One example is the unfinished JAKA Tower along Ayala Avenue which originally had some grand ambitions to be the tallest building in the country. It was supposed to house the offices of the JAKA group, a company connected to the family of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Construction began in 1996 and was supposed to be completed by 1999. Continue reading


The Mercatos of the Metro

There are a number of food/weekend markets out there in the metro these days. Some may say this growing presence is bordering on oversaturation, while others do not seem to mind that. Especially if they have something different to offer for a discriminating palate.

Then there are a few that stand out thanks to longevity and loyal patronage among a growing fanbase. Out of that few, there are those that have stood up well enough to establish by itself a growing network of food markets in the metropolis. Such is the success story of Mercato Centrale. Continue reading


From ABC to TV5: a history thru places

October marks the anniversary of the Philippine television industry which first made its mark in 1953. As its own to commemorate the milestones of the Philippine media, (broadcast media in particular) this blog will dedicate this month writing some interesting tidbits and places in broadcast history, past and present.

Long considered as titans in the print media industry with their ownership of Manila Times and the Liwayway Group of Publications to name a few, the Roces family found themselves getting involved in the booming broadcast industry in 1960, thanks to the license given to them by Philippine Congress. Thus, on June 19 of that year, Joaquin “Chino” Roces founded the Associated Broadcasting Company.

Originally starting out with studios along Roxas Boulevard, ABC would also have studios along the former Pasong Tamo St., nearby the head office of Roces’ Liwayway Group Publications. During its first 12 years, ABC was considered one of the top TV networks of the time, and a fierce competitor of ABS-CBN, then already known as the number one broadcast network, not to mentioned it being owned by another influential family in the media industrty as well, the Lopezes. Continue reading


the park at Salcedo Village

First things first, Salcedo Village is not an actual village filled with residences, except perhaps for some high-rise condominium residences scattered throughout the area. It’s known more as a business address, where companies like Shell, Chinabank, RCBC, and PhilamLife to name a few; schools like the Lyceum Law School and Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools; and embassies like the Saudi and German embassies are located.

In the midst of the busy character of this area, it’s interesting and good to note that at the heart of Salcedo Village a wide green space known as the Salcedo Park, or, officially, the Jaime C. Velasquez Park, one of those who helped develop Salcedo Village and the Makati Business District as a whole to what it is today. Continue reading


the quiet sentinels of Makati

The stretch of Makati Avenue in the busy commercial business district of Makati is an interesting sight by itself, not much because of the tall buildings along this road, but of the 3 monuments that gives this part of the city a distinct flavor, not to mention a reminder of what Philippine heroism is all about.

They also share a common history: all 3 were erected in 1972, a project of the Ayala Corporation in, for which sculptor Jose Mendoza was hired to do the work. Continue reading