09/10/15

The Story of Ayala Triangle: Center of a Rising Business District

As the airport operations at Nielson Field have closed down by the 1950s, around the same time, plans were being made to convert the Zobel de Ayala-owned hacienda (where the airfield is located) into a modern business district, giving birth to the Makati Central Business District. As structures began to sprout left and right, the old airfield which became a triangular open space found itself in the middle of all this development.

However, it took a while for any development to be seen in the area. Apart from the Nielson Tower, the rest of the triangular space was pretty much a barren open space which sometimes was used as a football field. That football field evemtually became known as Ugarte Field, named after Sebastian Ugarte, a legendary figure in Philippine football. (and by the way, his family is related to the Zobel de Ayala, Aboitiz, and a number of Spanish mestizo families in the country)

But it would not be long for the Zobel de Ayala conglomerate to establish their presence in this piece of land, kicking off what would be a long association they would have with this triangular space. Continue reading

09/7/15

The Story of Ayala Triangle: Beginnings as Nielson Field

If open spaces are considered the soul of a city, then there is little doubt that Ayala Triangle serves as the soul of Makati, especially the central business district area. In a way, such distinction is fitting as it also happens to be an open space with a rich history of almost 80 years and counting, having undergone many transformations into what it is today, not to mention what is to become of it.

Today, the Urban Roamer presents to you this mini-series that details the past, the present, and the foreseen future of this triangular patch of land in the middle of Makati,

BIRTH OF AN AIRFIELD

an aerial photograph of Nielson Field (courtesy of Timawa.net)

The beginnings of Ayala Triangle is itself a milestone in not only in the history of what is now the Metropolitan Manila area but also in the history of Philippine aviation as a whole when in July 1937, Nielson Field was opened to become Manila’s first airport. At that time, it was already considered the biggest and best-equipped airport in Asia, having two runways which still exist today but as major thoroughfares now, Paseo de Roxas and a portion of Ayala Avenue. Continue reading