much closer

Makati CBD skyline
from Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Definitely not the most flattering view as the boxy concrete residentials dominate the foreground, but this one captures some of the favorites from left to right: 1) KPF designed GT tower, which is the sharp one 2) the diagonally cut LKG tower, with its iconic helipad 3) PBCom tower, the country’s tallest since its completion early 2000s (hopefully not for so long), 4) The Enterprise Tower 1 aka, HSBC. Along with LKG, The Enterprise is a contender for the most dramatically lit scraper at night.

a cemetery of heroes

Makati CBD skyline from Libingan ng mga Bayani
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Libingan ng mga Bayani, which is Tagalog for Cemetery of the Heroes, was originally the Republic Memorial Cemetery when established on May 1947. It was renamed to Libingan ng mga Bayani by the late President Magsaysay on 27 October 1954. It houses primarily those who had been slain during and immediately afterwards the many battles of the local military. There are sections alloted to specific campaigns. Nowadays, most of the new ‘residents’ of the cemetery are military people who have passed away for reasons other than combat, like aged veterans.

The first Philippine chief executive buried in this cemetery is President Carlos P. Garcia. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s father, President Diosdado Macapagal, and his wife are also in LNMB. For other information regarding notable Filipinos in LNMB, and the Marcos issue, click here.

I come to this place at most 3x a year. Since our clan is a relatively young one, we only have one deceased member, which is my grandfather, who happens to be a veteran of a Korean war. We visit him on his birthdays, his death anniversary and every All Saints Day. All Saints is the toughest as it is a big cemetery gathering event in the Philippines, even in cosmopolitan Metro Manila. Luckily, LNMB isn’t as crowded and chaotic as other cemeteries. On any other day, a visit to this cemetery can be very relaxing. It has a tranquil feel to it, and it’s not the morbid type.

At the background we have Makati’s CBD skyline. Metro Manila has a lot of business districts and its skylines have this tendency to be divisible into clusters, unless viewed from the hills of Rizal Province.  Makati City alone has 2, the other one being the Rockwell area (but it’s slowly being incorporated). But of all the business centers, Makati CBD is Metro Manila’s primary CBD. It has the most prestige, the better designed buildings, the tallest scrapers, the most expensive spaces and the biggest names.

numero uno

Ayala Tower One and the Enterprise Center Tower One
Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Central Business District, Makati

The Enterprise Center makes more sense because it has a junior right beside it (not visible from the photo) aptly named Enterprise Center Tower Two. The Ayala one however, does not have a two. I know building name conventions are weird, but Ayala Tower originally had a Tower Two, at least in the proposal stage. It would have been within Ayala Triangle as well. Oh well, a skyline with one less skyscraper is okay I guess, especially that Ayala Triangle has mini park of sorts instead.

Oh, yeah. I’m a skyscraper fan. Not as big as before but still… And these two are some of my favorites. Ayala Tower One is classy and dark. Sleek from one perspective, majestic on another. The Enterprise Center is a masterpiece in my opinion. If it was a bit taller it’d be perfect. And by night time it has the most dramatic lighting. Nowhere near the neon symphony of Hong Kong harbour scrapers, but so damn fine.

theme day: lines

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Today is ‘Theme Day’ for the City Daily Photo folks; there are 164 cities taking part in October’s Theme Day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

The theme for this month is lines. It’s pretty difficult because lines exist in practically every photo. I’ve lots of mediocre shots to choose from. No standouts this time because it’s been rainy all September.

This area is actually very expensive. And the buildings in this photograph show anything but that, especially the ones in the foreground. If not for the valuable piece of land located in between the financial district and a well planned and over hyped development, I think the buyers would want to reconsider. And they don’t need a class in aesthetics. In the neighborhood, check Serendra for low-midrise stuff and Pacific Plaza and Essensa for residential scrapers.

by the bay

Manila (Roxas Boulevard) Skyline
from Harbour Square, Malate, Manila

Given its bayside appeals, Manila, specifically Roxas Boulevard’s version of a high rise skyline, does not compare to the skylines of business districts Makati and Ortigas. However, there are some upcoming major developments along the bay that may just change this bayside skyline dramatically.

Harbour Square is a new development in a place that was once (sometimes still) called Breakwater. Aside from spectacular views of Manila Bay, its regular sunset showcase and the vibrant Roxas Boulevard, Harbour Square has all those fancy cafeterias, fine dining restos, fast food chains, little bargain shops and everything mall-ish, except that it’s outside a mall and on a way smaller scale.