Thursday, December 24, 2009

Daraga Church

The church tower is what remains of the Cagsaua Church, which was buried by the 1814 eruption of Mayon Volcano.
Baroque-style Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church in Daraga, Albay
  • 12th Century - Early settlers were traders. The name Daraga came from a kind of tree that grew

in abundance in the hill where now stands the Catholic church with Baroque architecture.

  • 1587 - Evangelization by Franciscan missionaries. They called the place Budiao and then renamed to Cagsawa.
  • 1595 - Cagsawa became a "visita" and was attached to the town Camalig.
  • 1814 - Eruption of Mayon Volcano that caused the destruction of Cagsawa.
  • 1815 - Government for the town of Daraga was formally organized with Venancio Espiritu Salomon as Barangay Captain.
  • 1872 - Cagsawa was changed to Salcedo by Simon de Anda and later renamed Daraga
  • 1892 - Under Becerra Law, Daraga became a constituent of the City of Legazpi
  • 1922 - Daraga regained her autonomy when the Philippine Assembly ordered separation of Daraga from the capital town of Albay, composed of Albay and Legazpi City
  • 1948 - Under R.A. 306, Daraga was again incorporated to Legazpi as one of its district
  • 1954 - R.A. 993 creating the Municipality of Daraga
  • 1959 - Daraga’s name was changed to Locsin
  • 1967 - R.A. 4994 restored the name Daraga
  • 1973 - P.D. 125, Daraga was incorporated as part of Legazpi City, but implementation of this decree was suspended
SM North

Back then, the lot that was purchased in 1978 was no better than a vacant swamp remotely located from the center of the metropolis. SM Prime’s chairman, Henry Sy Sr., saw the potential of the place, standing at the crossroad for regional traffic coming to and from the northern provinces of Luzon. Sy took his inspiration to build SM North EDSA from the first few malls built in the U.S., which he thought Filipinos will want to have. Ironically, many thought his plan was ill-timed because the construction of the North EDSA mall happened when divisive political issues were prevalent in the country.

Old Facade of SM City North EDSA

The mall was opened on November 29, 1985, the first mall ever built by SM with a gross floor area of 125,000 square meters. “We had a tough time getting tenants to fill up the place. It was a risky period in our country’s history. So, we opened with only the SM Department Store and another small shop as the mall’s tenants,” said Mrs. Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation. But to everyone’s surprise and those of many skeptics, crowds came and filled the mall. “It was an instant success,” noted Mrs. Sy-Coson.

The mall was then composed of just the main building and outdoor parking areas. As more tenants came in and entertainment concepts were introduced to the mall such as cinemas, SM North EDSA came to be known as one that institutionalized the “one-stop shopping concept” and was the first to introduce “malling” as a pastime in the Philippines. The 5-level carpark, also known as Annex 2 building was built soon after, with the lower ground floor of the building quickly converted into more enclosed mall space. The two-floor annex was built after, expanding the mall's floor area and providing space for a bowling alley and four more movie theaters. The Main Building and The Annex was expanded with a Lower Ground Level and the first level of The Carpark Building was converted to a Cyberzone mainly for tech and gadget shops and later on, the Main Building added a 3rd level.

The Current Facade of SM City North EDSA

Businesses and real estate thrived where SM North EDSA was built, that over a period of 20 years, it has seen four expansions including The Block which opened in 2006. In July 2006, Annex 3 now better known as The Block at SM City North EDSA was opened featuring the Hypermarket, Toy Kingdom, additional four movie theaters and several shops and restaurants. In February 8, 2007, SM closed the Annex building from the public and later on, demolished for a major renovation of The Annexes. The annex was reopened in December 12, 2008. The Cinema 1 located in The Block was converted to a Digital cinema format. According to studies of large malls in the world by Eastern Connecticut State University, SM City North EDSA was ranked the 6th largest mall in the world in terms of Total GFA (Gross Floor Area) of 331,861 m² and was ranked second largest in the country.

On September 26, 2009, the mall was not spared during the height of Typhoon Ondoy. The entire lower ground floor was flooded for the first time since the mall was built[2].

Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel is a 570-room,[2] five star[4] hotel in Manila, Philippines, located in the heart of the Manila Bay area. The Manila Hotel is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines, built in 1909 to rival MalacaƱang Palace, where the Philippine president now lives, and opened in 1912.[1] It was built on 3.5 hectares (376,736.9 sq ft) of land along Roxas Boulevard.[5] It was the residence of General Douglas MacArthur from 1935 to 1941.[6]

On January 17, 2008, at Number One Rizal Park, the Manila Hotel Tent City's blessing and grand opening was held at 5:00 p.m. Its conference halls seat 7,000 guests, and it will accommodate another 2,500 guests, for wedding receptions, anniversaries, conventions, and exhibitions.[7]

The hotel contains the offices of several foreign news organizations, including The New York Times.[1] It has hosted numerous historical persons and celebrities, including authors Ernest Hemingway and James A. Michener, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, The Beatles, King of Pop Michael Jackson, Actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and John Wayne, publisher Henry Luce, entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, and many various world leaders.[5]


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