• Pasay

    Blues in the city: The Roadhouse Manila Bay

    The Urban Roamer must make a confession. I love blues music, the most un-mainstream as one can be as far as musical tastes are concerned. As it is, it is frustrating that this music does not have even a little exposure in the city’s pop-infested radio stations or in the downsized record bars. Yet, it is also remarkable and surprising to see the blues scene in the city enjoying a solid and steady presence thanks to the musicians who have the passion for this music as well as the bars that have been supportive enough to hold blues nights for these musicians to belt out their blues. Then came in…

  • Pasay

    At the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

    Of all the hotels in the metropolis, only a few can boast of having such a history and prominence as the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in the reclaimed Cultural Center of the Philippines complex near the Manila Bay. It was one of the hotels built at the height of the Marcos era to showcase the Philippines to the world in the midst of the events going on at the time. To be specific, the hotel, which was first known as the Philippine Plaza Hotel, was built to house the delegates of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting which was to be held in Manila in 1976. (an event Marcos successfully…

  • Pasay

    Leveriza and the story of Pasay’s “development”

    It was one sunny weekend sometime ago that I found myself in Pasay. I was about to go to the Mall of Asia but I figured out to do a quick little stroll around the inner Pasay area, particularly around the area of Leveriza Street. Leveriza is said to be named after one of the princesses who lived in the 16th century, around the time the Spaniards came to Manila, who of a kingdom that encompasses roughly much of today’s Pasay.

  • Pasay

    A Palace Made (Mostly) of Coconuts

    Palaces come in different shapes and sizes so to speak. Then there’s the Coconut Palace. And yes, it does it exist in case you haven’t heard of one yet.   The palace first sprang to life as a pet project of then First Lady Imelda Marcos who wanted to showcase homegrown Filipino architecture at its finest. To do the job, she commissioned an architect named Francisco Mañosa to make her dream into a reality. Work began in 1978 and would be finished just in time for the visit to Manila of the then leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II. Originally, the Coconut Palace was offered to…

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