09/12/16

Bright Lights Dimming: The Nearing Demise(?) of Broadway Centrum

Given the state of how the Philippine television industry works, we do not really have much venues that broadcast TV programs which are located outside the studio complex of the broadcaster. Then again, such venues like New York City’s Ed Sullivan Theater where US late night program The Late Show (of both David Letterman and Stephen Colbert) are a rarity themselves. There is, however, one notable example broadcast venue located beyond the studio complex, of GMA Network in this case. Today, this urban roaming takes us to that Quezon City landmark known as Broadway Centrum.

Knowing its geography and history gives one the impression that its name connotes more than a single meaning. The first is its location at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Doña Juana Rodriguez Avenue, also known as Broadway Avenue in Quezon City’s New Manila district. Then there is also the “showtime” and high energy live performances that the name “Broadway” evokes. While the QC Broadway was nowhere as fabulous as NYC’s Broadway, Broadway Centrum at least gave us some semblance of that vibe through the programs that were broadcasted in this venue over the years. Continue reading

11/1/13

A walk along Balete Drive

In the metropolis of Manila, and in the Philippines as a whole, no street has been the stuff of so much legend and mystery than that (in)famous stretch of road in the district of New Manila in Quezon City known as Balete Drive.

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It is said that back in the old days, the main landmark in the area where the street is now stands was a massive balete tree, In Philippine folklore, the balete tree just happens to serve as dwelling for supernatural creatures like the kapre and tikbalang. It can be surmised that the tree was eventually cut down to give way to the road.

accident prone area Continue reading

10/6/12

The “IT hub” in Gilmore Avenue

The New Manila of the old, as was noted before, was mostly a residential enclave among the upper and middle class families. Whatever commercial activity there was in the area in those days were minimal and did not do much to alter the landscape of the neighborhood.

But in recent years, commercial activity in the area began to spike. Partly contributing to the commercial development is the influx of a new industry: the computer retailers that set businesses left and right mostly concentrated along that patch of road called Gilmore Avenue.*

Gilmore IT hub

the Gilmore IT hub area, which encompasses this stretch of Gilmore Avenue and adjacent roads

*Interestingly, Gilmore Avenue was named after a person who had nothing to do with technology matters. It was named after an official during the American colonial period named Eugene Allen Gilmore, who served twice as acting governor general during the late 1920’s. Continue reading

09/28/12

The residences of New Manila

During the American colonial period in the Philippines, particularly during the 1920’s-1930’s, the country’s capital city Manila was experiencing unprecedented progress and commercial expansion. Along with it came the creeping problems brought about by such progress, though back then, they were as grave as they are today.

New Manila

Quezon City’s New Manila district roughly encompasses the barangays of Mariana, Valencia, Damayang Lagi, Kristong Hari, Kalusugan, and portion of Kaunlaran, the residential enclave centered in the barangays of Mariana (where most of the houses featured here are located) and Valencia

For Manila’s upper and middle class families, these changes brought out much stress that they consider moving to Manila’s outskirts or suburbs instead. This was not left unnoticed by the property developers of the time as they scrambled to develop what was then a vast wilderness found a few kilometers outside the city limits.

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09/7/12

a new Magnolia rises

It feels like it was yesterday when I wrote about 2 years ago about the old Magnoila Ice Cream House at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Doña Hemady Street that was being demolished at that time to make way for a residential-commercial development.

Fast-forward to today as residential-commercial property developer Robinsons Land Corp. unveiled the first phase of its planned development for the old Magnolia property, a 4-level, 108,000 sq. meter shopping mall dubbed as Robinsons Magnolia.

IMG_0376 Continue reading