• City of Manila

    Manila’s first flyover

    It is said that during the late 1930’s, at a time when Manuel Quezon served as President of the self-governing Philippine Commonwealth, he was keeping a mistress who lived in what was then the affluent district of Santa Mesa. So he would pay her a visit from time to time on a strict timeframe, something which was of convenience as well since he also maintained a residence in the area. (as well as some other prominent Filipinos during the prewar period) One day however, in one of those visits, Quezon and his entourage was stopped by a passing train along the railroad tracks that intersected Santa Mesa Boulevard. Being in…

  • City of Manila

    Some quick love in the city: Santa Mesa’s “motel row”

    Disclaimer: the following contents of this entry may contain some “inappropriate” ideas or language, in which the urban roamer apologizes for but deems them necessary for the entry. Be guided accordingly. Thank you! If you’re a first-time visitor to this part of Manila, to this part of Santa Mesa in particular, you might be surprised to see a row of establishments offering budget accommodations, considering this particular area is not really much of a tourist destination but more of a commercial/residential/education zone of sorts. The area that is come to be known as the “motel row” of Santa Mesa, which, for good or ill, what makes this district stand out…

  • City of Manila

    Santa Mesa’s “university town”: the “university street” of Teresa

    Right outside the main gates of PUP Mabini Campus is Teresa Street, which also serves to connect the campus to Santa Mesa’s main thoroughfare Old Sta. Mesa Street. The street is said to be named after the wife of Don Gonzalo Tuason (or Tuazon) from landed Tuason family which owned wide tracts land which happened to include Santa Mesa. And yes, it is also known as the maternal bloodline of the former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. Teresa St. is also notable for being the only remnant of Manila’s street pedestrianization program initiated by former Mayor Lito Atienza. Originally it was intended that the street not to be opened to any…

  • City of Manila

    Santa Mesa’s “university town”: PUP Mabini Campus (Part 2)

    If there’s one thing that would define a PUP Mabini experience, (whether you studied high school or college) and if there would one defining landmark of the campus that no true-blue PUP alumnus/alumna would miss, it would be the (in)famous lagoon right at the heart of the campus, with its algae-colored waters and the smell that has made it a stuff of legend. It’s also a pleasant surprise for me personally to see landmarks that you never knew as interesting before but have come to have a newfound appreciation as you learn things over time. Like for instance this building below which was and still serves as a canteen in…