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JADSpirits Travel Log

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15 Snapshots of our Road Trip to Manila

The MOA Eya and the Manila Bay in the background
Last September 11, instead of road tripping to the province for the weekend, we traveled to Manila for a change. I started clicking my smartphone camera from Anda Circle, Port Area until bayside parking area of SM Mall of Asia.

We’ve been passing this road numerous times since 2003, but I never took the time to look at it behind a camera lens…until this trip.
All the photos are taken while inside the car, traveling non-stop to our weekend staycation, except for the one above. It was taken at the SM MOA footbridge connecting the bayside and the second floor mall area.

1. Old Philbanking Building at Anda Circle, Port Area

This old Philbanking building towers over Anda Circle in Port Area Manila
Completed in 1965, the 13-story Philbanking Building was designed by José María Zaragoza, who also designed the Casino Español de Manila building on T.M. Kalaw Street (completed in 1951); Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City (1954); Villa San Miguel in Mandaluyong (1954); Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila (1958); Meralco Building in Ortigas (1965); Commercial Bank and Trust Company on Escolta (1969).

According to the book “José María V. Zaragoza: Architecture for God, for Man,” by Ruben Defeo and Maria Lourdes Zaragoza Banson, the building’s original owner, Philbanking Corporation, vacated it for the National Power Corporation (NPC) in the early 1970s. It was occupied by NPC until 1981 when it was sold to BIR, which abandoned it a couple of years ago.

The book describes the design of the building as along the International Style, undulating curves with brise soleil (sun baffles) which serve structural and decorative purposes.

2. Bonifacio Drive

Bonicafio Drive is a 1.6km road between Intramuros and Port Area in Manila
Bonifacio Drive is a road running for 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) in a north-south direction between Intramuros and Port Area in Manila, Philippines.

It is named for national hero Andrés Bonifacio (1863-1897), the Supremo of the Katipunan and thus the father of the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire.

The road was previously called Malecon Drive during the American period. During Spanish rule, it was known simply as Malecón (Spanish for waterfront esplanade) which the road was prior to the reclamation of South Harbor (Port Area) during the late 19th century. It was also known alternatively as Paseo de María Cristina, after the then Queen of Spain Maria Cristina


3. Philippine Centennial Clock at Rizal Park

The 3-faced Bulova clock was erected in 1998 to celebrate the centennial of the Philippines
This three-faced, Bulova clock was erected in 1998 to celebrate the centennial of the Philippine Republic. It overlooks the grand Rizal monument, in Rizal Park, flanked by two statues of water buffalo.

This clock was a project by the Freemasons of the Philippines, and several plaques attached to the base recount various aspects of the history of the Masonic Order and its role in the history of the Philippines, including its fight for independence. Dr. Rizal himself, and many early leaders of the Republic were zealous adherents to the Masonic Order.


4. Embassy of the United States of America

The US Embassy was established when the Philippines was granted independence on July 4, 1946
The Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of the Philippines is situated in the Chancery Building of the Manila American Embassy along Roxas Boulevard (formerly Dewey Boulevard) in Manila. The Embassy has been representing the United States Government since the Philippines was granted independence on July 4, 1946.

The Manila mission is one of the Department of State's largest posts, employing close to 300 Americans and 1,000 Foreign Service national employees. The mission also hosts the only foreign office of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which caters to some 18,000 American and Filipino veterans and their widows in the Philippines [1](see also Filipino Veterans Fairness Act.)


5. Horse Drawn Carriage along Roxas Boulevard Baywalk

A photo of a horse drawn carriage along Roxas Boulevard Baywalk
I saw the horse first. I take my shot quickly…and this is what I capture. It could be better if Manila Bay can be seen in the background. But still, I love this as is…hope you do, too.


6. Cultural Center of the Philippines

The famous Cultural Center of the Philippines established in 1966
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Filipino: Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, or CCP) is a government owned and controlled corporation established to preserve, develop and promote arts and culture in the Philippines. The CCP was established in 1966. Although an independent corporation of the Philippine government, it receives an annual subsidy and is placed under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The CCP provides performance and exhibition venues for various local and international productions at its eponymous 62-hectare (150-acre) complex located in the Cities of Pasay and Manila.


7. Tanghalang Balagtas (Folk Arts Theater)

Folk Arts Theater, is a covered prosceniumamphitheater is where popular concerts are usually staged
The Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas, more commonly known by its original name of Folk Arts Theater, a covered proscenium amphitheater is where popular concerts are usually staged. It has a seating capacity of 8,458 in ten sections. The building was originally built to seat an audience of 10,000 and was commissioned  in 1974 for the Miss Universe Pageant, which was to be held in Manila. The theater was built in record time of seventy-seven days in time for the pageant and was designed by Leandro V. Locsin.


8. Philippine International Convention Center

PICC is a convention center and hosted numerous local and foreign conventions, meetings, fairs, and social events
The Philippine International Convention Center (Filipino: Sentrong Pangkumbensyong Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas, or PICC) is a convention center located in the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. The facility has been the host of numerous local and foreign conventions, meetings, fairs, and social events.

The PICC served as the office of the Vice President of the Philippines until 2005. It also previously housed the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The construction of the PICC Complex was undertaken in a short span of 23 months, from November 1974 to September 1976, with Leandro Locsin as architect, who was subsequently named a National Artist.


9. The Coconut Palace

The Coconut Palace is a government guest house and cost 37 million Philippine pesos to build
The Coconut Palace, also known as Tahanang Pilipino (lit. Filipino Home), is a government building located on the campus of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in Manila, Philippines.

It was commissioned in 1978 as a government guest house and offered to Pope John Paul II during the Papal visit to the Philippines in 1981 but the Pope refused to stay there because it was too opulent given the level of poverty in the Philippines. It cost 37 million Philippine pesos to build.

The Coconut Palace is made of several types of Philippine hardwood, coconut shells, and a specially engineered coconut lumber. Each of the suites on the second floor is named after a specific region of the Philippines and displays some of the handicrafts these regions produce.

The palace is shaped like an octagon (the shape given to a coconut before being served), while the roof is shaped like a traditional Filipino salakot or hat. Some of its highlights are the 101 coconut-shell chandelier, and the dining table made of 40,000 tiny pieces of inlaid coconut shells. The palace celebrates the coconut as the ultimate “Tree of Life”, from the coconut's roots to its trunk, bark, fruit, flower and shell, the palace's design, form and ornamentation echo these elements.


10. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is an iconic 5-star luxury hotel that opened in 1976
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is an iconic 5-star luxury hotel nestled amidst an urban paradise. Opened in 1976, it has housed prominent personalities featuring royalty, celebrities and heads of state.

A structural masterpiece by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, the hotel features verdant grounds designed by landscape visionary and National Artist, Ildefonso P. Santos. The luxurious getaway boasts of unrivaled spectacular views of the Manila Bay and manicured landscapes and greenery. A seamless blend of French elegance and Filipino craftsmanship that echo within its interiors and exquisite venues, the hotel is a luxury experience that awaits the discerning traveler.


11. J.W. Diokno Boulevard

J.W. Diokno Boulevard is a 4.38km road parallel to Macapagal Boulevard
Jose Diokno Boulevard is a 4.38-kilometre (2.72 mi) long major collector road that runs north-south along the eastern perimeter of the SM Mall of Asia complex and parallel to Macapagal Boulevard in Bay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It provides access from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex and Roxas Boulevard north to the shopping and lifestyle hub by the Manila Bay in Pasay.

The 8-lane median-divided boulevard was formerly known as Bay Boulevard. It was renamed in 2007, including the short extension of Gil Puyat Avenue in CCP Complex which connects it to Roxas Boulevard, after the former Filipino senator, José Wright Diokno. The road was completed in 2011.

12. Palm Coast Avenue, SM Mall of Asia

Palm Coast Avenue, SM Mall of Asia


13. Pacific Drive, SM Mall of Asia

Pacific Drive, SM Mall of Asia


14. The MOA Eye, SM Mall of Asia

The MOA Eye is a 55-meter (180 ft) tall with 36 airconditioned gondolas
Located behind the huge SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is the huge MOA Eye, also known as the “Big Wheel”. It offers a 360 degree view of the SM Mall of Asia and surrounding areas of Pasay City and a better vantage point of the famous Manila Bay sunset. The ride last 10 minutes.


According to Wikipedia, "The Mall of Asia Eye is a 55-meter (180 ft) tall Ferris wheel which opened to the public at the SM Mall of Asia complex on December 18, 2011. It has 36 air-conditioned gondolas, each able to carry up to six persons, giving a maximum capacity of 216 passengers."

15. The MOA Globamaze

The MOA Globamaze is a 26 diameter steel framed globe
Located at the rotunda at the southernmost tip of EDSA, the 26 diameter steel framed globe has welcomed customers to the SM Mall of Asia since it opened in 2006.

Globamaze is the first and only full global video display in Asia with its high resolution and full display graphics made possible by the LED’s 26,300 pieces of point lights. This cutting edge LED technology is among other things, weather-proof, has superior brightness, and a long lifetime.

More than anything else, it is eco-friendly with its low power consumption. It is nevertheless, a visual feast, with its effects and pyrotechnics.

FOOTNOTES:

  • Jonjie grew up in Quezon City and in 1986, they transferred to Las Pinas. Me, on the other hand is from Bicol but I spent 3 years of college in Manila and work for a time in Pasig. From 2003 to 2006, we’ve done weekly commute, Cavite-Pampanga and vice versa because of work assignment. In 2006, we decided to relocate to Pampanga for good. Weekends, though not regularly, was visiting Jonjie’s family in Las Pinas.

  • Simply put, we became so familiar with the streets of Manila that we never paid attention to the interesting sights along the way. Until this trip, when I became a tourist in Manila, then I view things differently. And Jonjie acted as a tourist guide…