Intramuros to become pedestrian-friendly, underground cabling stalled


(Photo by Pamela Ann Bangayan) Picturesque Manila Cathedral. The view of Manila Cathedral after the overhead cables in front of those were decluttered.
Inset: (Photo courtesy of Intramuros Administration) Inset photo shows utility cables being decluttered.

By Pamela Ann C. Bangayan

Almost a year after Intramuros Administration (IA) kicked-off its underground cabling project in Plaza Roma, the next phase is to bury all utility cables in Calle Aduana underground, as well as other tourist spots inside the historic district of Manila, with the hope to make the walled city more picturesque.

IA Architect Ramil Tibayan said that the said project is actually part of the 1991 Urban Development plan of the administration. However, it was only last year that underground cabling embarked and it was Manila Cathedral that was prioritized in line with the preparation for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015 in the country.

When started, the end-goal of IA, as an attached agency of Department of Tourism (DOT), is to attract more tourists in visiting Intramuros and to make them further appreciate the historic place by removing the eye soring overhead cables. Moreover, the administration eyes to make the district pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, hence, develop a less-polluted Intramuros.

Although not yet started the rehabilitation of A. Soriano Avenue or Calle Aduana is already being handled by Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, another agency under DOT, and is estimated to consume one or two years of construction.

On the other hand, Tibayan said in an interview with The Millennials’ Guild that this is not a kind of project where we can expect immediate results for this is a big task that requires a huge budget and a lot of factors are stalling the project, one of those is the latter.

“There may be a problem on the procurement process. Hindi ko talaga masabi kung ano ba yung nakakapag stall sa project na ito. Mahirap pagplanuhan dahil maraming involve. Hindi lang naman ito kuryente kundi pati ang drainage, telephone companies, and water supply since we are also planning to renew the streetscapes,” Tibayan said when asked about what he thinks are the factors stalling the project.

Another reason, according to an Inquirer interview with IA Chief Marco Antonio Luisito Sardillo III, is that the project is a “nightmare” since Intramuros already has existing development compared to the case of Bonifacio Global City which started “completely blank.”

Aside from Plaza Roma and Calle Aduana, other priority areas for development include Magallanes Drive, General Luna, Padre Burgos and other main thoroughfares of Intramuros.


A new and improved Manila Bulletin

by Carlo Angelo Suñga

A few touches and redecorations can make or break an art direction’s style, but for Manila Bulletin (MB), the new redesigns in their most recent renovations display near perfect execution.

Right from the entrance, the designated lobby that was once shaded gray and white all over is now added with a majestic blend of brown wood from the center ceilings to the walls. A few chandeliers now hang gracefully from the center ceiling.

The lighting, once bearing fluorescent colors, now glows of light yellow to complement the nature and artistic style of the center lobby.

In the center lobby, where there was previously a rectangular signage that boasted “Manila Bulletin” and its slogan “The Philippines’ Leading National Newspaper,” is now a grand arrangement of large gold letters of the company’s name with back lighting per letter.

The second floor is also entirely redecorated with a new overall design which eliminates the typical office setup. The heart of MB, the integral newsroom, is now positioned with long curved tables (instead of the traditional cubicle per employee).

Centered in the newsroom is the editorial desk that mimics a Star Trek-vibe, as according to MB the new design is inspired by the sci-fi hit’s signature Enterprise spaceship’s central piloting area.

Founded in 1900 as a shipping journal, Manila Bulletin is the second-oldest newspaper in the Philippines next to The Manila Times. MB has survived through the years by enduring the adjustment of times.

Recently, in the rise of modern technology, come overwhelming online capabilities. With this introduces the newest team in Manila Bulletin – the Social Media team.

Mostly composed of millennials, the Social Media team adheres to a set of online responsibilities that pertain to active social websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their office is decorated with cylindrical round tables with designated office spaces for each employee.

In addition, Manila Bulletin is the only newspaper publication that has a printing press under the same roof. MB’s printing press is one of the fewest in Asia, with the other printing press in Japan being included.

If there were to be an immediate story of extreme importance, the printing press would halt all remaining papers at the given time and include the newly updated papers for the day as soon as possible. The press will have to re-mat to stop production.

4 spots to visit in Intramuros if you’re “kuripot”

by Risha Heidiline Fernandez

Are you looking for places to unwind your mind from the stresses of work and school? Trying to brainstorm ways to kill time because you’re running short on money or simply heeding the call of the cheapskate in you? Then read along, you awesome street-smart survivor, because we’ve just compiled your holy grail.

  • The Hepa Lanes

Release the inner foodie in you and take a leap of fate at this affordable, gastronomical Russian roulette because these grub-selling carts are just everywhere. Streets near populous areas like San Francisco (where the cantunan can be found) and Victoria are teeming with stalls selling snacks at prices that can stretch the capabilities of your twenty peso bill.

  • The churches

To be perfectly candid, there’s not much need for some sales-talking here because these ancient beauties are one of Intramuros finest gems (hey, they weren’t called City of Churches for nothing’) — see that teal-colored dome over there? That’s the Manila Cathedral, a structure breathtakingly pretty you could probably cry. And that’s just the façade.

  • Manila Collectible Co.

It’s not a crime to be a window shopper, so get your art and history fix with this cornucopia of wonderful goods supplied by local artisans! Located just behind the Manila Cathedral (or if you want to be more specific, Cabildo cor. Beaterio St.), the lovechild of Artwork and Kultura is for those who are in need of appreciation for their own countrymen’s own works.

  • Plaza Sampalucan

Or unless you want to use the posh Plazuela de Sta. Isabel, this pocket garden located along General Luna is a fairly pleasing spot to sit back and relax. The park’s focal point, Memorare Manila 1945, is a sculpture erected by a group in honor of the 100,000 lives lost in the Liberation of Manila. Meanwhile, its infamous moniker came from the once abundant sampaloc trees that were, according to legend, planted in the area in reminder of the scandal which took place in 1621.

Now remember: you’re still in Manila so stay keen on your hydration and belongings, people!