Special Feature

The Weird, the Crazy, and the Silly Sights and Stories in the Metro

Happy April Fools Day! On this special day when chances are you may be trolled by fake news or be rickrolled somewhere in your Youtube viewing, the Urban Roamer has decided to put this special little entry talking about some of the weird, crazy, and silly sights and stories in the metropolis. Some of them interesting, some of them trivial. But they are nevertheless things that you can’t help avoid seeing or wondering about from time to time, which you can read up on below.

Where is SM Northmall?

It has always bugged me that SM’s southernmost mall in Metro Manila is called SM Southmall while its northernmost mall in the metropolis goes by a generic name that SM malls are named, in this case SM City Fairview. Until now, I cannot comprehend why it had to be so.

(file photo courtesy of SM City Fairview on Twitter)

For the sake of consistency and balance, SM City Fairview should have been given the more fitting name that is SM Northmall. Besides, SM in Fairview is fairly large in area and has an annex building now. I dunno but it was a missed opportunity.

Glorietta 5: AKA the Bastard Glorietta Building

Speaking of malls, another weird mall setup is the one concerning Glorietta 5 (G5) in Ayala Center. It’s weird in the sense that it stands by its lonesome in a corner while Glorietta 1-4 are connected together as one structure in the middle.  While there is an underground connection between Glorietta 5 and the main Glorietta buildings, the fact that it is underground highlights that disconnect in a way. As far as foot traffic is concerned, G5 is not getting much compared to the other four. It’s as if it is the bastard Glorietta sibling that is being ostracized for being a black sheep or something.

(file photo courtesy of Ayala Alveo Land)

Perhaps it would have been better if Glorietta 5 was named something else.

The narrowest pedestrian sidewalk in the metro

If walking along the metro’s sidewalks are a struggle considering the presence of sidewalk vendors, try walking at what could be the narrowest sidewalk in the metro, perhaps in the country, right along the EDSA northbound side where the Line 3 Ortigas station is located. It’s so narrow, it’s a one way type of sidewalk.

Thanks, poor urban planning!

Disconnected Zamora Street in Manila

By normal street layout logic, a street’s length follows a straight path design. If a street’s length gets interrupted for some reason, in some cases the continuation of the street follows the same path where it left off, so to speak.

Then there’s the curious case of Zamora Street in Manila’s Pandacan district where the street gets disconnected when it intersects with Quirino Avenue. It’s like someone sliced an item into two but leaves it as is and doesn’t bother putting it back together. In this case, the remedy was naming one of the streets as East Zamora and the other as West Zamora. Still, it’s a weird street layout.

The Other Quirino Avenue

Many people think of Quirino Avenue as the stretch of road from Nagtahan to Roxas Boulevard. But there is also another Quirino Avenue in existence, stretching from the intersection of United Nations Avenue and Paz Guanzon Avenue up to the main Quirino Avenue.

Technically, the other Quirino Avenue is known as Quirino Avenue Extension, though it’s not an extension since it does not continue along the main Quirino Avenue stretch but serves more like an appendix of the main road, causing confusion among some people. How it became so baffles me to this day; I don’t mind seeing Quirino Avenue “Extension” renamed to something less confusing.


I’m sure there are other similar examples out there. If there’s anything not covered in this
piece, feel free to share other examples.


  • Chitetskoy

    And there is another street in Loyola Heights — Katipunan Ave was named Carlos P Garcia Avenue and there is a road around UP Diliman from UP Town Center to University Avenue called CP (Carlos P) Garcia Avenue! Haha. Darn poor urban planning.

    PS. I envy the wide sidewalks in overseas cities. While main roads in overseas cities are wide, about 3 meters wide, EDSA sidewalks must deserve those wide sidewalks. Our city engineers are idiots, period.

    • urbanroamer

      Actually the portion of C5 along Loyola Heights still retains the name Katipunan Avenue; Carlos P. Garcia Avenue is the portion of C-5 from the Pasig River to SLEX if I’m not mistaken.

      Spot on the sidewalks in other countries compared to here.

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