The New Manila of the old, as was noted before, was mostly a residential enclave among the upper and middle class families. Whatever commercial activity there was in the area in those days were minimal and did not do much to alter the landscape of the neighborhood.
But in recent years, commercial activity in the area began to spike. Partly contributing to the commercial development is the influx of a new industry: the computer retailers that set businesses left and right mostly concentrated along that patch of road called Gilmore Avenue.*
*Interestingly, Gilmore Avenue was named after a person who had nothing to do with technology matters. It was named after an official during the American colonial period named Eugene Allen Gilmore, who served twice as acting governor general during the late 1920’s.
For a long time, Gilmore was known as a stretch of road which motorists use to get to Ortigas Avenue and the shopping hub that is the Greenhills area. In the olden days, Greenhills also held the distinction of being THE place to go for people to buy computers. For the IT geeks and computer hobbyists who would like to customize the hardware of their computers, Greenhills was also the place to be where they can buy computer parts and accessories at cheaper prices.
The computer boom in the 1990’s gave rise to more demand as computer hardware became more powerful and Greenhills became a bit too crowded for the computer retail industry there. One enterprising retailer decided to set up shop instead in Gilmore Avenue near the corner of Aurora Boulevard. Thus in 1997, PC Options**, opened for business to become the first computer retail store in Gilmore.
**Contrary to popular belief, the “PC” in PC Options does not stand for “personal computer” but rather the initials of the store’s owner. But then again, this could be a case of wordplay here
While the area was to be developed commercially, PC Options became popular among computer enthusiasts for a pioneering concept at that time of “build it yourself” where customers get to choose the parts they wish to have for their ideal computer, allowing customizations based on needs and budget. It did not take long before other businesses began to take notice and soon set shop not only along Gilmore Avenue but also along outlying streets, including Aurora Boulevard itself.
Eventually, the computer shops in Greenhills had to close down for a time as the Greenhills Shopping Center where they are based was undergoing major renovations. That move tipped the scale, so to speak, in favor of Gilmore as it became the major “IT hub” in the metropolis and its name becoming synonymous now with computer retail. Even with the reopening of the Greenhills computer stores, Gilmore remained unfazed in its dominant role in the realm of computer retailing.
The success of Gilmore’s computer stores have enabled some of them to expand into other areas as well, maintaining the same price levels as they sell it in Gilmore. Still, the Gilmore area remains as the metropolis’ “IT hub” as it constantly evolves in step with the technology that it espouses.
Acknowledgements in part to PC Options
© The Urban Roamer