Monday, December 28, 2009


Construction of the church started in 1704 and was completed in 1894 by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo.

It is probably the best-known “earthquake Baroque” church in the Philippines. Large coral stones were used for the lower level while bricks were used for the upper levels of the church. The walls are 1.67 meters thick and are supported by 24 carved and massive buttresses.
The Church is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental designs.
The bell tower near the church, dating from 1793, served as an observation point of the “Katipuneros” during the Philippine Revolution in 1896 and again by the guerrillas during the Japanese occupation.

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The mall is the centerpiece project of SM Prime at the SM Central Business Park, where five one-story buildings serve as the company's corporate offices (the sixth building being occupied by TeleTech Holdings, Inc. as their flagship site in the country). Construction began in mid-2002 right after the completion of a contemporary medical school, dining strip and residential complex at Macapagal Boulevard, adjacent to the SM Central Business Park.

The SM Mall of Asia’s design team includes Arquitectonica, design Architect; Robert Carag Ong and Associates, architect of record; GHT Services, project manager, and Hilmarc Construction (for the South Parking Building, Main Mall, and Entertainment Mall) and Monolith Construction Development Corp. (for the North Parking Building), general contractors.

The mall would have opened before Christmas Day of 2005 but had been delayed due to hitches in the delivery of construction materials. Frequent rains in the last quarter of 2005 also delayed the turnover of mall space to tenants. SM Prime decided to move the opening date to March 3, 2006.

On February 27, 2006, local newspaper Manila Standard Today, reported that a team of Pasay City engineers found huge cracks underneath the structure, which was causing the structure to vibrate.[10] When questioned about the inspection, the Pasay City Engineering Department denied making any statement regarding defects in the Mall of Asia. Engineer Edwin Javaluyas, Pasay City engineering officer, in his letter to SM Prime Holdings Inc., said he never stated that the city hall’s engineering department inspected the Mall of Asia on February 23, 2006.[11]

SM Prime however decided to move the opening to May 21 of that year. Jeffrey Lim, corporate information officer of SM Prime Holdings, emphasized that a rescheduling of the mall’s opening was made to give the company an opportunity to allow more tenants to open shops and denied that the change was due to structural defects.[12]

On May 20, 2006, the mall was officially inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with a special screening of Everest in the San Miguel Coca-Cola IMAX Theater. The movie was shown three days after tri-athlete Leo Oracion reached the treacherous mountain’s summit.

The Mall of Asia was constructed within the reclamation area. It is built on 19.5 hectares of reclaimed land and has a gross floor area of 390,193 square meters. The mall is located at the southmost tip of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. A roundabout was constructed in the front of the mall with a huge bronze globe similar to that of the Universal Studios Theme Parks and the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park in New York City. On November 18, 2009, the globe was turned into an LED Globe also known as GlobAmaze. 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.[2]

Its the largest mall in the Philippines.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Robinsons Galleria

Robinsons Galleria is a large shopping mall located at EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City just near SM Megamall. It is Robinsons' flagship mall. The mall is owned by John Gokongwei, founder of JG Summit Holdings and Robinsons Land Co. It was built in 1990 with a total gross floor area of approximately 216,000 m2 (2,330,000 sq ft). Currently, The entire mall is undergoing major renovations and redevelopment as the West Wing is halfway completed. Robinsons Galleria will become an even modern, more tech, more exciting shopping experience.

Robinsons Galleria, flagship mall of Robinsons Land Corporation, is a landmark along Quezon City's busiest intersection, EDSA and Ortigas Avenue. Robinsons Galleria is a 5-level shopping mall with more than 400 shops, dining outlets, entertainment facilities and service centers that satisfy the discriminating tastes of students, executives and families from the surrounding areas and beyond. It is located within a mixed-use complex composed of two high-rise office towers -- the Galleria Corporate Center and the Robinsons-Equitable Tower, deluxe hotels. The Holiday Inn Galleria Manila and Crowne Galleria Manila, the Galleria Regency and the historic EDSA Shrine. Employees and guests of these establishments ensure captured markets for the Galleria mall.

-Laurico Parpan

Friday, December 25, 2009

Shangri-la Plaza ( jennifer paulo)

The St. Francis Shangri-La Place, also known as The St. Francis Towers 1 & 2 are twin-tower residential condominium skyscrapers in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. The towers are the 3rd tallest building in Metro Manila and in the Philippines, and are currently the tallest residential skyscraper and tallest twin towers in the Philippines with a height of 212.88 metres[1] [6] The building has 60 floors above ground, including a podium which connects the two towers, and 5 basement levels for parking, and are considered as one of the most prestigious residential buildings in the Philippines from the ground to its architectural spire.

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Jennifer J. Paulo

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Daraga Church

The church tower is what remains of the Cagsaua Church, which was buried by the 1814 eruption of Mayon Volcano.
Baroque-style Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church in Daraga, Albay
  • 12th Century - Early settlers were traders. The name Daraga came from a kind of tree that grew

in abundance in the hill where now stands the Catholic church with Baroque architecture.

  • 1587 - Evangelization by Franciscan missionaries. They called the place Budiao and then renamed to Cagsawa.
  • 1595 - Cagsawa became a "visita" and was attached to the town Camalig.
  • 1814 - Eruption of Mayon Volcano that caused the destruction of Cagsawa.
  • 1815 - Government for the town of Daraga was formally organized with Venancio Espiritu Salomon as Barangay Captain.
  • 1872 - Cagsawa was changed to Salcedo by Simon de Anda and later renamed Daraga
  • 1892 - Under Becerra Law, Daraga became a constituent of the City of Legazpi
  • 1922 - Daraga regained her autonomy when the Philippine Assembly ordered separation of Daraga from the capital town of Albay, composed of Albay and Legazpi City
  • 1948 - Under R.A. 306, Daraga was again incorporated to Legazpi as one of its district
  • 1954 - R.A. 993 creating the Municipality of Daraga
  • 1959 - Daraga’s name was changed to Locsin
  • 1967 - R.A. 4994 restored the name Daraga
  • 1973 - P.D. 125, Daraga was incorporated as part of Legazpi City, but implementation of this decree was suspended
SM North

Back then, the lot that was purchased in 1978 was no better than a vacant swamp remotely located from the center of the metropolis. SM Prime’s chairman, Henry Sy Sr., saw the potential of the place, standing at the crossroad for regional traffic coming to and from the northern provinces of Luzon. Sy took his inspiration to build SM North EDSA from the first few malls built in the U.S., which he thought Filipinos will want to have. Ironically, many thought his plan was ill-timed because the construction of the North EDSA mall happened when divisive political issues were prevalent in the country.

Old Facade of SM City North EDSA

The mall was opened on November 29, 1985, the first mall ever built by SM with a gross floor area of 125,000 square meters. “We had a tough time getting tenants to fill up the place. It was a risky period in our country’s history. So, we opened with only the SM Department Store and another small shop as the mall’s tenants,” said Mrs. Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation. But to everyone’s surprise and those of many skeptics, crowds came and filled the mall. “It was an instant success,” noted Mrs. Sy-Coson.

The mall was then composed of just the main building and outdoor parking areas. As more tenants came in and entertainment concepts were introduced to the mall such as cinemas, SM North EDSA came to be known as one that institutionalized the “one-stop shopping concept” and was the first to introduce “malling” as a pastime in the Philippines. The 5-level carpark, also known as Annex 2 building was built soon after, with the lower ground floor of the building quickly converted into more enclosed mall space. The two-floor annex was built after, expanding the mall's floor area and providing space for a bowling alley and four more movie theaters. The Main Building and The Annex was expanded with a Lower Ground Level and the first level of The Carpark Building was converted to a Cyberzone mainly for tech and gadget shops and later on, the Main Building added a 3rd level.

The Current Facade of SM City North EDSA

Businesses and real estate thrived where SM North EDSA was built, that over a period of 20 years, it has seen four expansions including The Block which opened in 2006. In July 2006, Annex 3 now better known as The Block at SM City North EDSA was opened featuring the Hypermarket, Toy Kingdom, additional four movie theaters and several shops and restaurants. In February 8, 2007, SM closed the Annex building from the public and later on, demolished for a major renovation of The Annexes. The annex was reopened in December 12, 2008. The Cinema 1 located in The Block was converted to a Digital cinema format. According to studies of large malls in the world by Eastern Connecticut State University, SM City North EDSA was ranked the 6th largest mall in the world in terms of Total GFA (Gross Floor Area) of 331,861 m² and was ranked second largest in the country.

On September 26, 2009, the mall was not spared during the height of Typhoon Ondoy. The entire lower ground floor was flooded for the first time since the mall was built[2].

Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel is a 570-room,[2] five star[4] hotel in Manila, Philippines, located in the heart of the Manila Bay area. The Manila Hotel is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines, built in 1909 to rival MalacaƱang Palace, where the Philippine president now lives, and opened in 1912.[1] It was built on 3.5 hectares (376,736.9 sq ft) of land along Roxas Boulevard.[5] It was the residence of General Douglas MacArthur from 1935 to 1941.[6]

On January 17, 2008, at Number One Rizal Park, the Manila Hotel Tent City's blessing and grand opening was held at 5:00 p.m. Its conference halls seat 7,000 guests, and it will accommodate another 2,500 guests, for wedding receptions, anniversaries, conventions, and exhibitions.[7]

The hotel contains the offices of several foreign news organizations, including The New York Times.[1] It has hosted numerous historical persons and celebrities, including authors Ernest Hemingway and James A. Michener, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, The Beatles, King of Pop Michael Jackson, Actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and John Wayne, publisher Henry Luce, entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, and many various world leaders.[5]


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene

Quiapo Church, officially known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a Roman Catholic church located in the District of Quiapo, Manila, in the Philippines. The church is one of the most popular churches in the country. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a much venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many people believe has miraculous attributes. The church was painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque edifice was burned down in 1928. Also known as St. John the Baptist Parish, the church at present belongs to the Archdiocese of Manila. The current rector is Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio.

Historical Background

When Governor General Santiago de Vera founded the District of Quiapo on August 29, 1586, the Franciscan Missionaries built the first church of Quiapo with Bamboo and Nipa. Unfortunately, this church was burned in 1639. Rebuilding and repairs at intervals gave the parish a stronger edifice which the earthquake of 1863 partially destroyed. Under the supervision of Fathers Eusebio de Leon and Manuel Roxas, the third church was completed in 1899, with Fr. Roxas raising PhP. 40,000.00 from contributions. In the fire of October 30, 1928, the church was left in ruins leaving its scarred walls and belfry. Dona Encarnacion Nakpil de Orense, head of the Parish Committee, raised funds for the reconstruction of the church and National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil was made responsible for the church's rebuilding. Miraculously, the church survived the ravages of the Second World War, despite its surrounding buildings being completely destroyed.

-Marissa C. Balid

Glorietta Mall

Glorietta was originally a park surrounded by establishments; in fact it was used as a location by Viva Films for its youth-oriented movie Hotshots. But in the early 1990s the Zobel De Ayala family decided to renovate Glorietta, Quad, Greenbelt and the whole of the Makati Commercial Center to a whole new mall which will carry the name Ayala Center.
The plan was to recreate Glorietta to an indoor facility and integrate it with the remaining buildings surrounding it as well as the newly-constructed buildings that replaced the ones that have been torn-down namely the QUAD cinemas; by the mid and late 90s Glorietta reached its popularity as a premier mall.
The Glorietta mall was opened in 1991 having a gross leasable area of 250,000 m², envisioned as one of the largest malls in the Philippines. Still today, Glorietta Mall remains as one of the biggest in Metro Manila. Glorietta is a one-stop, self-sufficient shopping center. Glorietta offers complete shopping and dining options ranging from apparel, accessories, home furniture, appliances to specialty brands. It has a fully air-conditioned atrium with water features, an indoor playground for children, and an activity center that hosts the best concerts and shows for its shoppers.
Other new buildings were also constructed in between 1999 and 2005, making Glorietta bigger than its original construction plan.

-Marissa C. Balid