The Circulo Del Mundo and Its “Egg”

If you are going to or from the NAIA Terminal 3/Newport City area, or even just passing by the area, you are surely not to miss the rotunda called the Circulo del Mundo. More than that, you are sure not going to miss the structure built on that rotunda, a steel structure which some say looks like an egg. While personally, the structure looks to me like a futuristic spaceship with lots of “windows”, for the sake of convenience and popular opinion, the Urban Roamer will just go with the opinion of many that it looks like an egg.

courtesy of

For one thing, the presence of a structure at a rotunda is something that is nothing new. After all, we do have that structure at Mabuhay Rotonda and Santa Mesa’s old rotonda used to have a fountain. But this structure was a sight that aroused confusion and puzzlement among the people who see it, mainly because of the abstractness of it all, not to mention the structure was not easily accessible for the public to appreciate what it is about.

Actually, the structure’s real name is “Layag Islas,” a sculpture commissioned by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) under its former chairman Bayani Fernando in 2008 as a result of it winning of a design competition the agency sponsored. The winning design was made by Adrian Alfonso, whose original idea for the monument was that it was meant to be entered into so visitors will get to see inside multimedia presentations of the country being projected.

courtesy of Skyscrapercity

The structure was supposed to represent the current Filipino diaspora and the feeling of being home in the Philippines again the moment one enters the structure, conveying the spirit of longingness for home and how it is to return to the motherland.

That being said, the original plan was to have a driveway going to and from the structure for accessibility. However, the driveway plans were scrapped and the design of the structure had to be altered, making it less grandiose and accessible than it was originally intended to be.

It is these plans gone awry that has made the Layag Islas in the Circulo del Mundo be viewed by many as an anomaly . With plans that the structure will be demolished to give way to the construction of the NAIA Expressway, the news is met with apathy, if not a “good riddance” attitude.

Cannot blame them though, as plans gone awry have made people less appreciate the spirit the structure it was supposed to represent. One can only hope that whatever structures that will be built with a message in mind do not fall prey to unrealized plans our policymakers are notorious for.


Acknowledgements to Coconuts Manila and GMA News Online

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