• Special Feature

    An SM Mall Story (As Told By 3 Malls) – Part 1

    The Christmas season is in full swing as people are trooping the shopping malls to buy Christmas gifts or to check out any of those Yuletide events happening in those malls. The Urban Roamer can bet any one of the 18(!) SM shopping malls in the metropolis would be one of the malls you’ll check out. Incidentally, this year marks SM’s 60th anniversary. Yes, SM has existed for that long, going way back to Henry Sy Sr.’s original shoe store business in Quiapo named ShoeMart (which was eventually shortened to SM as he began to expand his business to become a full-fledged department store). However, it can be argued that it…

  • City of Manila

    Of Bygone Days and An Uncertain Future: The Saga Of Harrison Plaza

    Before there was the mall, there was a park. Harrison Park as it was called and it was a pretty wide open green space. It served as breathing space in the midst of the growing congestion in southern part of the city. It also served as a natural extension to the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex located right across it as kids played football and softball in the greens. There is also Manila Zoo nearby, which made the park a children’s zone for play and fun. You can imagine how big the old Harrison Park was. Unfortunately, the bigwigs at Manila City Hall (the land where the park is located is…

  • San Juan

    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…