Friday, November 14, 2008

they chose jollibee

architect-conservationist-columnist agusto villalon apparently is happy with conservation efforts in the city.

i dunno. it may be that things have changed. i still remember the dismay i felt when told that they (i don't know who exactly) were taking down Broad Building, the old multi-storied edifice beside shopper's plaza, facing the sunken garden. at the time that they leveled it, the place looked like it didn't really want to go on existing anyway, but i think resuscitating it was still within the realm of possibility.

talking of sunken garden, they did fix that, but then they fenced it and gated it and people can't really go in. its a virtual secret garden. so secret many people not of my generation (read: younger than me) don't know it exists.

my favorite old building in zamboanga is BPI on Valderoza Street.

The picture of BPI here, taken from the online database of Heritage Conservation Society, does not really do it justice. But this one below, of Plaza Manila Building, right across City Hall and fronting the Rizal Monument, is a good photograph.

Both still exist. The other old and beautiful commercial building in this area, BPI Family Bank, is now.........Jollibee.

this photo was taken and posted by marseilles on igougo

when bpi family bank closed operation in zamboanga, ateneo tried to acquire this building with the intention of converting it into an art gallery cum museum. though ateneo now has a kick-ass gallery within its la purisima campus, this downtown location would have made it more accessible to the public. such an ideal location not just for accessibility but for the atmosphere. upon exiting the building, you will see, from left to right, city hall, rizal monument, the AE Colleges (it looks old, art decoish; and btw, it's now Universidad de Zamboanga - a very olde worlde name, don't you think?), then finally, plaza pershing.

but they chose to put a fastfood there instead. i wonder who made that decision. because it sure sucked.

except for this part, downtown zamboanga does not look pretty. the old buildings look run down. the new buildings can be divided into two categories: blah and boring or hideous and horrible.


  1. Right on the spot! I just don’t get it sometimes…golden bell across southway from photos looks like mc donalds head office, Shoppers chain of stores, Mindpro – totally hideous! The city has no sense of preservation! Zamboanga convention center and zamboanga plaza – hay sayang….jasmin tower and the structure across it – hay, migraine haha

  2. "jasmin tower and the structure across it – hay, migraine haha"

    husband points these two out to my kids as space ships. aliw naman ang mga bata. if nothing else, the owner has lakas loob. haha.


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