• Quezon City

    Balara’s Hidden Park

    Whenever one hears the mention of the place called Balara (or, more formally, Matandang Balara), it evokes either of the two things: being the area right across the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus and being the center of the metropolis’ waterworks authority. Even in the current setup where Metro Manila’s waterworks administration is divided between Maynilad Water Services Inc. in the western portion and Manila Water Company in the eastern part, both companies as well as the government body that oversees them, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) are still based in the Balara compound. Inscribed at the top of the gate of the Balara compound is the…

  • Quezon City

    Automobiles of Authority: Visiting the Presidential Car Museum

    The National Historical Commission of the Philippines has been on the roll these past few years. During that time, it has successfully transformed its museums from boring relics to interactive showcases, making them fun, educational landmarks worth visiting even more. A tour these days of the Rizal Shrine in Intramuros, Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan, and the Quezon Memorial Shrine Museum in Quezon City are just a few examples of the splendid work the NHCP has done. At the same time, the NHCP has been busy conceptualizing new museums as well, one of which just opened last Sunday, August 19 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of…

  • Quezon City

    Sleek, Snazzy Skyscraper*: The SSS Building at East Avenue

    *Apologies to Paulo Alcazaren for blatantly taking inspiration from one of his articles for the title of this entry 2017 actually marks the 60th anniversary of the Social Security System or SSS, the country’s social insurance program catering to Filipinos in the private, professional, and informal sectors. To be specific, it celebrated its 60th year last September 1, the date the Social Security Act (first enacted in 1954) was implemented, establishing the SSS as a result. Originally, the SSS offices were located in the old GSIS Building along what is now A. Villegas and Natividad Lopez streets then called Arroceros and Concepcion streets, respectively. Which should not be a surprise…