Pasig: Ortigas Cityscape
It was in 2005 when we last went to SEC building to take photos of the busy roads of Ortigas Business District. I thought of returning here but my former companions are already long gone. I instead brought with me the flock: Ian, Michael, Eli and Rachel to take some photos after several years.
Weeks before our visit we contacted the management to grant us necessary permissions. Though we haven’t gave the guards any formal letter, we honestly told our objective and from then we were escorted upstairs. We made our visit on a holiday when the offices are closed. The empty offices made the interiors look like a ghost town.
At the rooftop we can see the skyscrapers of Ortigas, Eastwood, Cubao and the long stretch of EDSA. We can also see the Sierra Madre mountain ranges at the distance. At the western side we can see San Juan and some tall buildings in Manila. While observing the western scenery the sun slowly sets.
As nighttime came lights from passing vehicles, as well as from the MRT trains that passes by every minute, began to fill EDSA and Ortigas. Lights also gave light to the buildings standing around the area.
At one corner of the busy road is a dark, quiet spot — that’s the deep excavation at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas.
In the span of one decade, we saw how far the area developed. It is still evolving before our eyes, with several building construction simultaneously taking place in the area.
- From Cubao, take the bus going to Ortigas Ilalim. Alight before reaching Ortigas. From here you can see the SEC building.
If going south, take the bus going to Cubao or Ortigas Ilalim. Alight at Robinsons and from here you can take a walk.
Take the MRT-3 train and alight at the Ortigas station. From here, walk towards the SEC building.
- While we often use this road as part of our normal commute, one of the memorable experiences by some of the flock is when we became part of the historic EDSA 2 in 2002.
- A commercial center in front of SM Megamall is named Highway 54, one of the former names of EDSA.
If going to the SEC building, just contact its office and state your objective. Make sure that your visit falls on a holiday when offices are closed, to avoid inconvenience.
Don’t forget to give a small tip to the guards on duty.
DASH OF HISTORY
- About Ortigas
First owned by the Augustinian friars, the Hacienda de Mandaloyon was sold to Phil C. Dudley and Don Francisco Ortigas. The partnership which owned the land changed several times, and at one time then-Senator Manuel Quezon (who would later on become the Commonwealth President) became one of the partners. The current owner of Ortigas Center is the Ortigas and Company.
By the time of the EDSA Revolution I 1986, much of Ortigas Center are still vacant lots. Development started to pick up in late 1980s. John Gokongwei opened his first mall, Robinsons Galleria, in 1990 and SM opened their third mall, the Megamall, a year later.
- About EDSA
The road is currently named after Epifanio delos Santos, a notable Filipino scholar, patriot, and historian during the American occupation. He was appointed the Director of the Philippine Library and Museum, the post he held until his death in 1928. He was known for being fond of collecting Filipiniana and writing history about the Philippines.
Construction of the road started in the 1930s. It was finished just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, and was named the Avenida 19 de Junio (19th June Avenue) after the birth date of the National Hero Jose Rizal. In the 1950s, the road was named Highway 54 because of misconception that the road is 54km long (the road is actually 23km from Monumento, Caloocan to Roxas Blvd, roundtrip = 46km). The road got its current name in 1959.
The road became a frequent venue for demonstrations: in 1986 when dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in a peaceful revolution; in 2002 when then-President Joseph Estrada was ousted while still under impeachment trial; and the failed uprising just months later in an attempt to unseat Estrada’s successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Currently, due to traffic situation, demonstration at the entire stretch of road is forbidden.