Tuesday, June 26, 2007


With only until this Saturday left in Mayor Atienza's term, the incoming City of Manila administration couldn't wait but start demolishing the public seating areas on the Rizal Avenue Pedestrian Mall, a project spearheaded by the outgoing mayor.

Word on the street suggests that incoming Mayor Lim wants vehicular traffic to once again ply on this avenue beginning this Monday as he reports for his first day of office.

Is Manila Zoo next?


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:00 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Eric - whatever happened to Manila Zoo? Guess the animals there became extinct? hehehe.

As a child, I remember hearing great stories about Manila Zoo from my siblings and cousins whenever they went to spend summer vacation at my uncle's place in Quezon City. Me naman, being the over protected youngest child, had to wait till I grew up to be able to visit the Zoo. Problem however was, I only got to see the Zoo when I was already a mom to Marco and Aypee when I accompanied them to their field trip. And that time, the Zoo was already in its deteriorated state. :(

June 26, 2007 11:30 PM  

Blogger Photowalker said...

Manila Zoo has lost a lot of animals. I visited the Manila Zoo early this year and saw mostly birds.

And lot of the animals were gone already. No more Giraffe, Kangaroo, Deers, Rhino, etc.

I plan to go back and see if they have anything new to feature since they were undergoing renovations when I visited.

June 26, 2007 11:40 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Bakit sisirain? There must be a way to preserve those pillars and seats para mapakinabangan naman! May halo bang vindictiveness yan at sisirain mo ang legacy na sana iiwanan ng dating GatPuno ng Maynila? Masyadong Gung Ho ang ugali nitong si Mr. Lim! Kung bubuksan sa mga sasakyan ang Avenida Rizal ulit, huwag naman sana sasagsaan na lang ang mga pinagkagastahan ng pera ng taong bayan. Maganda yang luluwag na ulit ang kalsada at sana ay kasama na rin ang pagluwas ng mga illegal na sidewalk vendor diyan at siyempre ikatutuwa ng mga negosyante sa Avenida Rizal. Alam mo sa Maynila, dapat matapang kang mayor pero ilalagay mo sa tamang lugar ang machisimo mo, ang tapang na may kasamang responsibilidad ay siyang dapat. Nasaan na napunta ang mga hayop sa Manila Zoo? Ipinagbili na rin ba? Naku! wag naman sanang ginawang sapatos yung mga buwaya diyan dati! I think it was in 1961 when the Zoo was first opened to the public...korekek mi if I'm wrong!

June 26, 2007 11:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats too bad, great b&w though!

June 27, 2007 1:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oo nga, bakit sisirain? i sure appreciate mr lim's anti-drug campaign (before). but why demolished landmarks? there's better things to do in manila than demolition. and manila zoo, that's sad. i have so many happy memories in that place. wag naman sanang pabayaan ang zoo and the animals that's left. sigh...

ps: just blog hopping, hope it's alright if i add you to my blog roll, thank you!

June 27, 2007 1:42 AM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

Is this the one under the LRT? Well, the last time I was there it was a open to vehicular traffic. It should be again, don't you think?

I have not seen the zoo, ashamedly admitting this omission, but I believe that the zoo needs a new location, somewhere closer to nature (free open space) than malls, just my opinion.

June 27, 2007 3:37 AM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

photo cache,

can you explain why you think the road should open again to vehicular traffic?

and as to the zoo, doesn't it make more sense to have a zoo closer to kids who otherwise don't have a chance to enjoy nature and open spaces?

June 27, 2007 4:46 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

ang dapat nalang gawin ni mayor lim ay bawasan ang mga jeepney na halos walang pasahero at tanggalin ang mga tambay/squatter na naglilipana sa lugar. siguro mas mura magdemolish ng semento kesa mga barungbarong.

sa zoo naman, wag naman sanang sirain di pako nakakabalik dun eh hehehe. seriously, pwede parin namang mas pagandahin yung zoo imbes na gawing PBA dome. baaaad move kung ginawa nila yun.

June 27, 2007 6:17 AM  

Blogger Ean said...

Hmmm, what next? Maybe they're going to bring down the Intramuros walls for more roads? Opening the street to traffic is ok. But deleting manila zoo? Oh common! Sure, a stadium will generate more profit for the city. But is it worth the sacrifice? Hmmmm...

Some Intramuros Pics here (fregatta.blogspot.com) ^_^

June 27, 2007 9:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few years back I was happy to see that some form of urban renewal was happening in Manila;the Rizal Avenue pedistrian roject, the Baywalk,Plaza lawton improvement,some improvement on the pasig river bank. I hope Mr. Lim has something good to offer than just destroying what the previous mayor had done. His brush painting of suspected drug user/pusher in the slum of Manila was just pure media circus.He should have spray painted the mansions of his drug lord friends in Makati and Alabang.

June 27, 2007 10:02 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From my understanding, Rhoda, Manila Zoo has gone through several makeovers and now boasts quiate a collection of animals.

What's troubling is the ongoing brewing interest by some parties to relocate the zoo and develop this prime piece of real estate.

Mayor Atienza, during his appearance on ANC, claims he will vehemently oppose this move although already no longer a city administration official.

June 27, 2007 10:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Last I was there was during my early elementary school days, Photowalker. I have been planning to visit since coming back to Manila, but of those I invite would rather visit Avilon Zoo in Rizal.

I'd better go check out Manila Zoo soonest.

June 27, 2007 10:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what Mayor Atienza claims, Pete, Manila Zoo is the very first zoo in Asia so I'm guessing it has been there long before the sixties (another subject to research).

I was shocked to come across these demolished seating areas yesterday when I traversed Avenida on my way to Hidalgo Street in Quiapo.

Sad, really.

June 27, 2007 10:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks Luke. But this photo has become a symbol of the demise of the short-lived Rizal Avenue Pedestrian Mall.

June 27, 2007 10:27 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

At this point, Sardonicnell, I can only hope that something good will come out of this madness, which will benefit the entire city.

What a smart blog you have with wonderful photographs to boot. Did you take them yourself? I have also bookmarked your site and will include on my del.icio.us list later on.

Thank you for visiting.

June 27, 2007 10:35 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

omg! cant wait to get his hands on those pillars :( so sad

i have always liked Mayor Lim but if he's going to trash Manila Zoo, i dont think i'll ever forgive him! they have improved the Zoo but y'all correct insaying that there are no more animals left... no giraffe, lion, rhino, etc.

visited the zoo last april, check out my trip to manila zoo http://heyokity.blogspot.com/2007/04/trip-to-manila-zoo.html

June 27, 2007 10:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Photo Cache. Right under the LRT along Rizal Avenue. I personally oppse its reopening to vehicular traffic because I enjoy walking along it on my way to Quiapo or Binondo.

But Manila Zoo is supposedly a historical landmark. By the way, the Central Park Zoo in right smack in the heart of Manhattan -- a popular attraction to kids and adults alike.

June 27, 2007 10:43 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with you Urbano.

Although we have a bigger and nicer Avilon Zoo somewhere in Rizal, we need a small one right here in the city for city kids to visit. We need not put incredibly exotice animals there; just the basic attractions. Besides, the park-like ambiance offers a respite to our heavily polluted environment.

The Central Park Zoo serves that kind of purpose.

June 27, 2007 10:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tama ka, Carla.

Technically, I think Metro Manila can use more green parks!

Dapat ata bisitahin ko na itong Manila Zoo this weekend at baka mawala na next month ... hehehe.

June 27, 2007 10:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Worse, Ean, they are now building a sports complex right along the walls of Intramuros near the gold club. Yuck!

No, we have to retain Manila Zoo and improve it!

June 27, 2007 10:50 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I felt the same ay you did, Leo!

I don't know much about Mayor Atienza's overall performance as the city's head official, but the renewal programs he created made me respect him, because he made Manila a better place for a blaikbayan like me. I didn't expect him to bring back the full glory that Manila touted years ago, but he certainly did what he could to enliven it now.

June 27, 2007 10:53 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Like I said, Pusa, despite this madness, I remain optimistic that Mayor Lim has postive changes/programs in store for all Manilenyos.

I will visit your pictorial on Manila Zoo.

June 27, 2007 10:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the kind words, senor enrique. i'm still new in photography, some of the pix in my blog are mine and some from friends experience in the field. you on the other hand, have the "eye" i wanted to someday develop as i engage in this hobby. you've captured excellent images.

as for the future of manila, i sure hope that the city will benefit from this so called "change" that mayor lim is trying to implement.

thanks for visiting my blog, God bless!

June 27, 2007 1:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, demolishing the seats are bad enough (to me) and to say it might be the zoo next is just incomprehensible. There are animals in there ... But I guess Mayor Lim must have future plans for the people there.


Just gotta be optimistic with the changes and their plans, right?

June 27, 2007 1:48 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

I have to wait and see what Mayor Lim would do to unite the Manilans and to improved the surroundings plus the ease of travel around Manila. Pag na palpak, puwede naman daw siyang batuhin ng kamatis, yung sariwa lang daw, wag yung bulok. :D

June 27, 2007 2:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi eric, we interviewed incoming manila mayor alfredo lim in our radio station, and he said that he is not going to demolish manila zoo... not once did it came to his mind so the rumor is not true...

June 27, 2007 5:08 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Kyels. I'd like to give the incoming administration a chance to manifest their vision of a better Manila for all.

June 27, 2007 9:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Reyd, one of Mayor Lim's agenda is to promote tourism. One way to do this is by creating better walkways and smoother flow of traffic. This way, our foreign visitors will feel comfortable while gallivanting around the city.

June 27, 2007 9:31 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Lino,

Thank you for sharing with us that great news!


June 27, 2007 9:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Lim opens up all the potential roads and demolish everything that he feels is hampering traffic,it will not be enough,simply because vehicular traffic in Manila is like it's population growth.Uncontrolled!When smart cities around the world is discouraging use of motor vehicles and turning roads into rivers/water features,Lim will demolish pedestrianized streets.Vindictive politics or whatever this move is STUPID & MORONIC!


June 28, 2007 6:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Let's not forget, either, the enormous amount of money wasted by such demolitions, IndioBravo.

Apparently, this hurried reopening of Rizal Avenue to motor vehicles suggests a highly politicized element behind it all; nothing to do whatsoever with cost-efficient urban planning.

June 28, 2007 7:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello again, Sardonicnel!

I missed reading your second comment and just now responding to it. Sorry!

Thank you, too!

I'm sure you'll develop the necessary skills in no time and catch up to your more experienced photographer friends :)

June 28, 2007 7:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the pedestiranized Avenida Rizal was that when it was done, they simply thought of replicating what Mayor A, apparently, saw in Shanghai. What he didnt consider that that these 2 cities have 2 very different situations. For one, Shanghai's main street (Nanjing Road) is STILL one of the main shopping places in the city so it makes perfect sense to have it pedestrianised The Avenida Rizal has long ago deteriorated into a patchwork of urban blight and cannot (not in the this lifetime!) compete with the suburban malls. Yes, the idea of creating urban spaces is nice and sorely needed in this city but what Atienza did with the Avenida reminds me of how our baranggay treats our streets: They close it down whenever they feel like to because they have a beauty pageant or a basketball league, woe is the traffic!

If the main reason to keep the pedestrianized street is to simply an create open spacesm, then why not extend the Luneta or open us the existing lots and turn them into parks instead?

What Mayor Lim should do is ask an expert opinion from the leading urban planners/architects/
businessmen of the country. If the city government can come up with creative means other than it being an open space, then lets leave the legacy of Atienza behind.

June 28, 2007 11:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for sharing with us your insight on this regard, Ivan.

Perhaps, that is what is truly needed from here on forward: a collaborative input/effort from our urban planners, architects and business communities. This way, a more sucessful renewal project could be had.

June 28, 2007 12:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree to that proposition as well.Will the good Mayor do that,that's the million dollar question.


June 29, 2007 4:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, IndioBravo, we can only remain optimistic that the new mayor will indeed create even more empowering programs for the benefit of all Manilenyos and visitors of the city.

June 29, 2007 7:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...



Said this on June 16th, 2007 at 8:42am:

I am for the reopening of that ROAD.

It is a national road, a major thoroughfare. Aside from probably violating some laws, Atienza is wrong about Avenida. What he should have done is to develop the side streets near Avenida. And there are other places where pedestrianization is apt. But not Avenida Rizal.

Said this on June 16th, 2007 at 8:51am:

Arbet, Based on what I saw parts of it were not maintained at all. Although, I still like to concept of complete streets.
3. Get a Gravatar!
Said this on June 24th, 2007 at 2:07pm:

The elevated mrt led to the demise of the streets it was built on, which includes Avenida Rizal. The buildings in the area are ideal for Manila’s tropical climate, not only it covers you from rain it makes strolling comfortable during hot seasons. Recently, Carlos Celdran was featured in UZ (Ch.2 show) to show the rich and various architecture styles that stretch Avenida. I remember the days when the street was still open, the traffic was terrible and the place was so chaotic, unfriendly and stressful. If you are a Manileno, you will just think that it is just one of the ugly parts of Manila. Plus the elevated MRT, vendors everwhere and rushing pedestrians cramped in the small arcaded sidewalks, you would not care if the place is relevant to Manila’s Heritage. When Atienza closed the streets and open it for pedestrians, although the elevated MRT is still there, there was a growing appreciation of the place. Whether it is a National Road or not, we might need to check our priorities. If we talk about the functional aspects of the city, I will agree with Arbet. But if we talk about means of saving what is left of Manila’s puny heritage areas, it is our obligation to do every measure to protect them. Roads are replaceable, routes can be redirected, these buildings aren’t/can’t. I must agree with juned, that parts of it were ill maintained but the concept of complete streets might not work for Avenida more, based on the scenarios I mentioned.Atienza’s objective for these open spaces and pedestrianization is to stimulate appreciation of what was once Manila’s Main street. I am not a fan of the aesthetics they created for the place but like what Celdran said, ” at least, it brought back Manilenos to our public spaces.” It is not a question of appropriateness, although with the variables present, I would say it is. Manila needs a serious surgical procedure, to function better and reveal its real riches, its heritage.

Said this on June 24th, 2007 at 3:35pm:

Metropulis, Thank you for your comment. I remember Rizal Avenue when it was still o

June 30, 2007 8:34 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks for sharing this with us Sidewalker!

Now, we can know and appreciate others' reactions to this particular major change in Manila.

July 07, 2007 6:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ano ba wala bang pulitiko na nag cocoment dito. kailangang kailangan ko kaya yun please lang mag post naman kau ng pulitikong nag cocoment please lang!!!
well hindi dapat ipasara ang manila zoo.
Balak ko pang pumunta doon later!!!

September 27, 2007 10:27 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Anonymous, folks here are sorta laid back :)

But Carlos Celdran has more biting commentaries on this regard.

September 27, 2007 1:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this walkway like yesterday. Too bad some "people" didn't appreciate the beauty of it. That's the problem with some of the "masang pinoy" nowadays. They just want money to come in their doorsteps...

I like mayor lim for his campaigns against criminality and drugs keeping Manila clean but demolishing projects of it's successors? i think this is a political motive.

First he Removed the existence of Baywalk.. Then he was going to remove the plaza fountains (namely liwasang rajah solaiman & liwasang bonifacio) but i'm glad it didn't push through...

Now he's thinking of removing the streetlights of the former mayor's (the one's with the logos of "Buhayin ang MayniLA").

I wish Mayor Atienza would run in 2010, but then again, the so-called "real manilenyos" wouldn't vote for his "corruption" thingys...

Ituloy, Ibalik at Buhayin ang MayniLA~!

PS: sorry for reviving this, it brought back the memories of dissapointment....

May 20, 2008 8:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Your sentiments are quite understandable. Yup, only in the Philippines can such things happen.

May 21, 2008 6:00 AM  

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