Thank God for Ayala & FVR


DURING Yuletide, my family and I enjoyed watching the Christmas Lights & Sound Show at the Ayala Triangle in Makati. The celebration of lights coming to life started on November 12 and ended on New Year’s Eve on December 31. It has been going on now for three years since the Ayala Triangle Garden was developed in late 2010.

My wife and I went on a date last Sunday night in Makati. First, we watched the Lights & Sound Show at the Ayala Triangle to enjoy the fascinating display of lights that twinkle to the sound of Christmas carols. I love it best with the beat of the music on Filipino songs.

Filipino music really has a different beat that is truly our own! I just had to take a video of the mesmerizing display of multi-colored lights.

After the Ayala Triangle Garden, we walked to the Makati Shangri-La Hotel where there is the annual Christmas decoration at their grand lobby. The 2014 theme this time was on balloons and there was a gondola good for two where you could sit for picture-taking which we could not resist doing. Typical Filipinos with their “Kodak-kodak!”

The wife and I proceeded to the cavernous Lounge to listen to live music and take some alcoholic drinks. I always enjoy the place especially during daytime with the view of the garden outside. You would not think the hotel is located at the busy corner of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue, which hopefully will be soon renamed “J. R. McMicking Ave.” to honor the Great Visionary who built Makati after World War II.

Two days later last Tuesday, we went back to watch the Lights & Sound Show with our two daughters. The wife offered to treat us for dinner while we enjoyed the enchanting lights from the restaurant row, which was jam-packed with hungry customers. I simply love it seeing my fellow Filipinos and foreigners alike coming to Ayala Triangle Garden. I saw grandparents and parents with their children and grandchildren. It was a lovely scene. Of course, there were dogs, too, like the handsome Chow dog with their pretty owners.

On our two visits to the Lights & Sounds Show, there was something that always came to my mind. If Ayala Corporation and/or Ayala land, Inc. (ALI) can sponsor such a thing for public enjoyment, why can’t the national government and the local government units (LGUs) do it for their constituents? It is the people’s money after all!  It does not cost much to do it, especially if done regularly on an annual basis.

My estimate for a similar Lights & Sound Show for a period of 31 days in December would only be around Five Million Pesos (P5.0 million). This is chicken feed even at double to P10.0 million to the national government and to the big cities with huge revenues like Quezon City, Makati, Pasig, Parañaque and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila. Same for regional centers like Baguio, San Fernando, Lipa and  Legazpi in Luzon; Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas; and Davao City and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.

No public parks in Makati?

The development of the Ayala Triangle into a Garden-Park gave the residents of the condominium buildings in Legaspi and Salcedo villages a place of leisure to go to on top of their own respective parks. People working in the offices of Makati — like the residents in the area — can also go jogging, brisk-walking or strolling in the landscaped park with the old trees as added attraction. Tall Palm trees were likewise planted with the height now at almost ten meters or 30 feet.

For decades, the big open space of Ayala Triangle remained undeveloped. I recall thinking of writing to Ayala Corporation in the early 1980s for them to develop what was then called  “Roxas Triangle.” The idea in my mind was to do a mini-version of a Central Park in New York City. Anyway, the open space was later used for protest demonstrations against the Marcos regime in the aftermath of the Aquino Assassination in August 1983.

The lush gardens at the Ayala Triangle is now considered a refuge or sanctuary from the fast-paced life of Makati. The wide space of greeneries is complemented  by a strip of posh restaurants and cafes that have opened with alfresco setting. The Ayala Triangle Garden is now a place for leisure, an ideal place for people who want to relax, unwind and get in touch with nature. It is an urban oasis in the heart of the Makati business district.

My estimate for the park development inside the Ayala Triangle Garden does not exceed P30.0 Million for an area of about five hectares. There is also the wide and lighted pedestrian sidewalk around Ayala Ave., Paseo de Roxas and Makati Ave. where people go jogging and brisk-walking or pass through going to the Greenbelt and Glorieta areas. My estimate for the sidewalk development that rings the park inside is around P20.0 Million.

So why can’t the City of Makati develop its own parks for its residents to enjoy? If the Makati government can spend Billions of Pesos for its overpriced buildings, why not spend P30.0 Million to P50.0 Million for a public park that its denizens can use and enjoy?
I read the signage of a Makati City government Resolution designating one side of Makati Ave. beside the Ayala Triangle every Sunday morning from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM for public use. It is simply ridiculous that one of the richest LGUs in Metro Manila have no public parks that they have to use one side of Makati Ave. beside Ayala Triangle for it.

The Binay political dynasty could have developed a promenade along J. Rizal Ave beside the Pasig River. They have been in power now for almost three decades.

Thank FVR for SLEX rehab and Skyway

Every time I go home and take South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) or the Skyway above it, I am ever thankful to former President Fidel V. Ramos for rehabilitating SLEX and building the six-lane Skyway. It only takes ten pleasurable minutes to drive from EDSA to the exit at Sucat Road (Dr. A. Santos Ave.). I really enjoy the drive and it makes me feel like I am living in a progressive country.

Often, I asked my family on how bad the traffic for travel South of Metro Manila  could be like without the rehabilitation of SLEX and the construction of the Skyway. Traffic congestion can be as horrendous as EDSA that has become one giant parking lot too often.

I am also grateful to FVR for building C-5 (Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Ave.) during the first years in his term as president. It has been in operation for 20 years now since it opened in early 1995. I can imagine how traffic congestion along EDSA would be if the parallel national highway with six lanes (C-5) was never built.

I wonder how life would be like if the C-5 and the Skyway were not constructed and the SLEX portion from EDSA to Alabang were not rehabilitated to the world-class standard that it is today.


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  1. The city of makati have develop a nice park along J. P. Rizal near Guadalupe bridge which you failed to see. Makati have a lot of multi purpose gym located in the different barangays not in the Ayala controlled areas which you also failed to mention. Take not almost half Makati then belong to the Ayala which they won’t sell to the city government so it is impossible for the city to develop.

    • Agree. Most people don’t know these things and yet there are some who are quick to make nonsense comments. As an OFW and away from our country for almost a year, I have seen the improvement in PH economy. I have observed there are many brand new cars on the road. Property market is booming and the GDP has improved.
      For example, the former Santa Ana Race Track is being converted by the Ayala to a first class property development called Circuit Makati. The development will feature a theater, a 1,500-seater performing arts venue envisioned to showcase Filipino world-class talent and “Broadway-type” entertainment.

    • Johnny, I am familiar with the parks in Makati. In fact, I first approached then Makati Mayor Jojo Binay in 1990 to develop small open space on the right side of EDSA (southbound) just after the Guadalupe Bridge. Our NGO was starting then the “Greening of Metro Manila” project.

      If you are referring to the gated park of mark bounded by EDSA and J. P. Rizal in Guadalupe, I am aware and I have seen many, may times. You won’t miss it if you are in the area.

      There is also another park along J. Rizal Ave. bounded by the Pasig River. It is located in front of the University of Manila. The park has a garden and swimming pool that was built more than 10 years ago.

      My point in my column is why can’t the City of Makati develop an area where its denizens can walk for leisure and/or exercise. As I wrote, the Makati government can develop a Promenade along J. P. Rizal Ave across the Rockwell area.

      Ayala only owns 1,650 hectares in Makati that was the Hacienda Dan Pedro de Macati. Other areas like the former Sta. Ana Race Track was bought by Ayala only recently from the Reyes’ family.

      Thank you for your comment..Much appreciated.

  2. chthonic monster on

    ha ha no thanks fvr, you brought us the world’s most expensive electricity! the IPP Mafia, the ERC Mafia!

    • mali! Nanay ni Pnoy and may kasalanan ng mataas na kuryente. Isara BNPP ng hindi napapakinabangan.

    • Yes, I have heard that PH has the highest in the region and the world. We had the Cheapest electricity rates in the region in the late 1980s to early 1990s under the President Corazon C. Aquino. The only problem was the power outages that lasted 8 to 10 hours a day from 1990 to 1992.

  3. During the 2010 Presidential election where Sen. Manny Villar was also a candidate for President, remember reading an article demonizing Villar for construction of C5 which his political oppositions spread a campaign that C5 was constructed to benefit Villars housing development . Your article clarifies every false accusation by LP whose up to this day has not done anything but all sorts of corrupted ideas and I hope Filipinos before they cast their vote would not rely on “tsismis” but research what every candidate running for a gov’t position,has the qualification and integrity, instead of those whose personal motive is self-enrichment and their KKK . Another big problem Filipinos may have are lack of Comelec transparency votes,will be bought thru PCOS (pre programmed)n favor of highest bidder.Remains to be seen.

    • Yes, PCOs now a Big Issue with Smartmatic getting the contract in the last minute. I believe that the Supreme Court would INVALIDATE the contract with COMELEC in the same manner they did before. A former COMELEC Commissioner. who is an IT expert, has questioned the transaction. Likewise, the PCS has witten to the Comelec Chair on he matter.

  4. Agree. The Ayalas and Former President Ramos has achieved a number of goals such as the infrastructures and park you mentioned. Could they have done more? Of course i.e reduce or eliminate corruption, better living conditions, reduce poverty, bigger investments, better Manila airport, better roads, better buildings similar to Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore. We hope and pray that the next President will continue the improvement in the economy of the country.

  5. In fairness to PGMA, she continued with the Skyway from Bicutan to Alabang in 2008, ten years after construction stopped due to the Asian Crisis in the late 1980s. It was competed in 2010 time for leaving the presidency.

    PGMA also extended the Star Express started by FVR from Lipa to Batangas City. She likewise connected SLEX from Calamba, Laguna to the Star Express in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Marami rin siyang nagawa! in public infra.