Jan 31, 2009

Tumana Bridge - Connecting Two Cities

In the 90's, there were only a few roads that led out of Marikina City to the neighboring cities Quezon City, Pasig City, Cainta and Antipolo City.   A. Bonifacio St. was the main artery of Marikina leading out to Marcos Highway and eventually connecting to Aurora Blvd in Quezon City.

An access road though was developed to have an alternative means to get to Quezon City from Marikina City and that is the Tumana Bridge.  

From J.P. Rizal Street in Concepcion, turn at the Bagong Farmers Avenue 1 and this road leads straight to the Tumana Bridge.  In September  2008,  the House of Representatives approved the new name of Tumana Bridge which is now known as Gil Fernando Bridge.

The change was due to the newly constructed and elevated flyover connecting two major districts, Concepcion in Marikina City and Balara in Quezon City.   Before this new bridge, an old bridge existed but was impassable the moment the Marikina River's waters rised.    The bridge was almost as low as the river water which is why the bridge disappears when it is submerged in rising waters.  The new bridge has taken care of this problem.

The bridge is strictly enforcing the passage of standard vehicles on the bridge.   Bicycles, pedicabs, people and trucks are not allowed to use the bridge.

This is what I call a scenic route as you traverse the bridge from Marikina and cross the river to the serene fields and quiet neighborhood along the hillside in Balara eventually winding up to Katipunan Road.  You can cut enjoy the scenery and cut travel time by half by using this access road.   

Jan 30, 2009

Paliparan, The Long Stretch of a Road

The long one way roads connecting Bayan and Concepcion are collectively called Paliparan.  One end connects to Shoe Avenue, one of the main roads in Bayan, Marikina City and the other end leads to Bayan-Bayanan Ave. where the Immaculate Concepcion Church is located.  Their actual road names are E. Santos St. (one way from Bayan to Concepcion) and E. Rodriguez St.  (one way from Concepcion to Bayan).

Both roads are parallel to each other. This is a prime road for motorists as jeeps from Montalban, San Mateo, Parang and SSS Village all traverse this road to get to Bayan.  It's basically a straight and flat road.

Ever wondered why they call those roads  Paliparan ?

Well, during the Japanese occupation, this area used to be a Japanese airfield which planes used to land and take off, hence "Paliparan", which is Tagalog for "runway".  This is also the reason why this multi-kilomter road is so straight.

So the next time you pass Paliparan, think of passing through a road that used to be a airplane runway.

Jan 29, 2009

Shoe On The Run

Ever seen a giant shoe ?  Well how about a gigantic shoe on wheels ?

Marikina City, known for its progressive shoe industry, has built a unique pink high heel shoe which is actually built on top of a tricycle framework.  It's officially called Motorized Cycle Footwear, built by the Engineering Department of Marikina.

The pink color and shoe both represent the spirit of Marikina City combined with the creativity the city constantly shows via its city projects.

When this shoe goes to the streets, may be you could sing this song to the tune of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" 

"These shoes were made for riding,
That's just what they'll do.
One of these days these shoes
are gonna roll along with you"

Florings Bids Farewell

Florings, the long time minimart, and grocery along Rainbow St. and Lavander St. has now closed. This store within SSS Village has been around for decades.  I remember when I was little that Florings was one of the reliable stores to buy food and body products if we ran out of some or needed something quickly.  My mom used to buy canned goods, crackers and some knick-knacks at Florings in the '70's when they moved to Marikina.  It started out as a small sari-sari store and slowly grew occupying a bigger corner lot.
I guess with the advent of a myriad of convenience stores which have all been more accessible than before, that Florings naturally was going to lose out to them.
Nevertheless, Florings has served the thousands of residents within the vicinity for nearly four decades.  To Florings: thank you for your service.
Jan 28, 2009

Katipunan Extension Shortcut Open To Light Vehicles

If you're coming from BayTree, Gen. Ordonez, SSS Village, Marikina Heights and even Bayan-Bayanan, you must be familiar with the long straight Katipunan Road which leads all the way to Sumulong Highway via the Katipunan-Sumulong road. 

And if you're leaving the city going towards Cainta, Pasig or Quezon City, one of the most popular routes is to take a left turn at the intersection of Sumulong Highway and Gil Fernando Ave., which leads to Marcos Highway.  This is a good route.  However, the stoplight at the intersection (near Bluewave Marquinton) takes almost 5 minutes long before your side turns green.

This is where the new Katipunan-Sumulong extensions comes in handy.   

A new road across the Katipunan-Sumulong road crosses Sumulong Highway and follows the zigzag curvature path of the creek and connects to Mt. Kennedy St.  You can turn right after crossing the bridge which leads to Mt. Vernon.  This road will lead you to Gil Fernando Ave. bypassing the major intersection (and possible traffic) along Sumulong Highway. 

Since this new road is also two-way, you can traverse this road heading to Sumulong Highway, where you'll see Kia Marikina to your immediate right.

The access road though is only allowed for light vehicles as the bridge can only support 5 tons.  A vertical clearance of 2.20 meters is imposed in the form of a metal pole placed horizontally above both ends of the access road to prevent ten wheeler delivery vans, trucks and buses to use the road.

Unfortunately for some hard-headed motorists whose vehicles won't fit the 2.20 meter clearance, you'll see some of them get stuck.  And then a few have forced their van resulting in damage for both the steel pole and their top.

Nevertheless, this road is indeed a shortcut especially when traffic along Sumulong Highway builds up.   The road is not well lighted during evenings so it's best to use it during the day.

Jan 27, 2009

Proposed Convention Center

If you happen to pass by Marikina Hotel on Pio del Pilar St. within SSS Village, then you'll notice that just right beside it is a huge construction going on.

A few months ago when this site was being prepared for construction, I had no idea what it was going to be.  I was guessing it may be a school, a new company, or even an extension to the Marikina Hotel.

It's kinda taking shape now and when I checked out the sign in front, it says that the building being built is a proposed convention center.  There's no completion date written but from the looks of their pace, it seems that it may open some time this year.

That's exciting cause I don't think there is any convention center yet here in Marikina City.  And its location just right beside the Marikina Hotel is ideal cause they could complement each other.   Convention attendees can easily check in to the hotel for convenience.  

I think this will be a fine addition to Marikina's establishments.
Jan 25, 2009

Floating Lights

I bet you're familiar with street lights located along the sidewalks on top of tall posts.   Some wide roads may have some additional lamp posts on the island divider.

You may be amazed with the Marikina street lights along A. Bonifacio... because they're floating at the center !

Along the stretch of A. Bonifacio street from Marcos Highway passing through Barangka and Sto. Nino,  all the way to the Marikina Bridge are a long series of lights floating above and center of the road.

The lights are actually suspended by cables which are fastened from both sides of the street.  In addition, all the lights are connected via cables from one light to the other, creating some sort of a web of cables but are barely visible especially at night.   It gives off the effect of floating lights.   Also, the lights make the road well lighted as opposed to the standard lamp posts which light up the sidewalk and could barely light the road.

I haven't seen this in any other city in the Metropolis so seeing this in Marikina makes the city unique.

Marikina City Website Finalist in Philippine Web Awards

The Official website of Marikina City is once again a finalist in this year's 11th Philippine Web Awards.

Last year, the Marikina City website won the BEST e-LGU Website (City Category) and
the People's Choice Award for Best City Website.
This year is the 2nd time for Marikina City to join the Philippine Web Awards and it is now one of the finalists in the Local Government Unit - City Category.  This year, we're up against The Official Websites of Tagum, Manila, Muntinlupa and Iligan City.

In addition, the website is also eligible to win the People's Choice Award.  To vote via SMS, text
and send to 2973 for Globe subscribers and 2955 for Smart subscribers.

Visit http://www.philippinewebawards.com for the complete list of finalists.
Jan 24, 2009

Banking Convenience

If there's one thing Marikina City is filled with, it's banks.   Several banks are scattered all around the city for banking convenience with a wide selection to choose from.

Just along Gil Fernando street, the main artery connecting Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway, are 7 different banks relatively close to each other.  

Coming from Marcos Highway, the nearest are Planters Bank to the left and the ever busy Landbank to the right.  Across the street from Landbank where jeeps load and unload passengers is the newly opened Bank of
 Commerce.  This used to be the Pares joint which now relocated to 3 stalls farther.

Cruising further along Gil Fernando is one of the new banks opened here, BDO.   It's sharing a spot in the new building with with New Horizons Computer Learning Center just beside and a Bikasa, a new coffee shop behind it.

Next is RCBC.  Occupying a huge block near across St. John of the Baptist hospital and one of the nightly restaurants along Gil Fernando, this bank has been one of the longest established banks in the vicinity.

Less than a minute apart by foot are Metrobank, Allied Bank and Asia United Bank.  Metrobank is the biggest of the 3 occupying a huge chunk of area and is its own building.  There is ample parking and the security guards here never cease to smile back at you when going in or coming out.  Asia United Bank is a relatively small bank which opened around 2008 and is just right beside the shoe store Happy Feet.

And finally, the last bank along this stretch is the government owned Veterans Bank.  
Just across Shell gasoline station, this bank caters not only to veterans but for other government-related payments such as BIR and SSS.   From every 20th of the month onwards, you'll always see a huge tent with seats outside as veterans come in the dozens to collect their monthly benefits.

Majority of these banks run under regular banking hours 9am-3pm.  If you can't seem to fit your schedule to their hours, there is Veterans Bank which closes at 4pm and BDO which runs on extended hours until 6pm.  For the early bird, Landbank opens as early as 8:30am.  And conveniently located nearby is McDonalds, so you can conduct your banking once it opens to avoid any long lines and then have breakfast afterwards.

Whatever needs you may have within this part of Marikina City, hopefully one of these banks will cater to you banking needs.

Jan 22, 2009

Starbucks Brewing in Marikina

Based on the official website of Starbucks, there are a whopping 135 branches in Metro Manila alone.

A big chunk of that number goes to Makati, being the business district and Quezon City for its massive geographical area.  Marikina City is not saturated with Starbucks branches, but for those who are in the vicinity and crave for it,  there are two Starbucks branches available for your caffiene fix.

The very first one to open is located at the Ground floor of Bluewave Marquinton Mall along Sumulong Highway.   This cozy branch is open as early as 7am and closes at 12:30am on Sundays to Thursdays and as late as 1:30am on Fridays and Saturdays to cater to those who crave fora late night Starbucks drink before going home from a gimmick or for those who just want to get together and hang out.

The 2nd branch is at the ground floor of SM City Marikna and just opened late last year.  There is available (though paid) parking just across the Starbucks branch here for those who want to order without entering the mall.

Luckily, both of these branches have their own doors so even if they're accessible from inside their respective malls, they're not limited to mall hours.

"Mocha Frap for Marikina !"

Naval Dental Clinic

There's a new dental clinic in Marikina and it's the Naval Dental Clinic.  It just opened a few days ago.  It's located along Gil Fernando Ave. and across the newly transferred Tapsi Ni Vivian restaurant.

I don't know much about this clinic yet.  What I find weird though is the name.  Why is a Naval clinic in a city with a river being the closes body of water there is to the ocean ?

Nevertheless, I have to say that the newly opened clinic looks pretty classy from the outside.

Update: We got word that it's only the building that is new.  It used to be located beside the "Tindahan Magdamag" store across near the corner.  Thanks for the update !

A Doctor Near You

If there's one thing in Marikina City I've noticed, it's that there is an abundance of hospitals.  I'm not sure why so, but it is convenient and gives you a vast selection to choose from. 

Just where I'm located, there are 4 hospitals in a 2 kilometer radius. There are 2 hospitals along Katipunan Road near SSS Village.  One is SDS Medical Center at the corner of Katipunan and Aquamarine St.  This 4-storey hospital is relatively new and been around for 2 to 3 years.  And ocassionally, it's being subcontracted by GMA 7 for some of their telenovelas when they need a hospital setting.  My dad regularly visits this hospital as it is walking distance.

Less than a minute away to SDS also along Katipunan is the Immaculate Conception Hospital.  This has been around for a long time as the managing physician here has been our family doctor since I was a kid.  I've been admitted here around 10 years ago when I had dengue as well.   I've seen the hospital grow and expand.  The hospital now doubled in area than when it originally used.

Travelling from Katipunan to Sumulong Highway will lead you to the newest hospital in Marikina, the Marikina Valley Medical Center.   The hospital which opened in 2004, is right beside the entrance to Vista Valley subdivision.  This 6-storey hospital can handle a wide array of patients as they have a staff of doctors from every specialization.  

And last within the area at the end of Sumulong Highway is the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center.  
This public hospital is one, if not the biggest hospitals in Marikina City.  
The hospital which is just across Marikina Sports Center,  has been in operation for decades.   This hospital is regularly seen or mentioned on TV as News crews regularly visit this hospital to report of any patients admitted.  Wounded victims from vehicular accidents, crime or shootouts are usually brought here by default because it's the nearest hospital to city hall, the police station and Marikina's 166 Emergency Service.

There are many more hospitals within Marikina City.  These 4 just happen to be close to each other.  So if you're within the vicinity, you can easily choose which one to go to.

Jan 20, 2009

Free BF Calendars

Early this morning at the Marikina Sports Center, volunteers were giving away from wallet-sized calendars of MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando.  The picture shows Bayani in a Tux depicting his win on GMA-7's  Celebrity Duets Season 2.

There's no guarantee you can get this around the Sports Center vicinity.  But I guess volunteers will scatter around Marikina to give out calendars.

Jan 18, 2009

Cafe Mina Under Renovation

Cafe Mina, the cafe owned by sexy actress Ara Mina is currently undergoing renovation.  I haven't personally visited their establishment so I hope they re-open soon.

Cafe Mina is located at the E-com complex at Marikina Riverbanks.

SM City Marikina by Foot

For vehicles, SM City Marikina can be reached via Marcos Highway exiting the exclusive ramp built for SM City or via the service road to the immediate right which leads to parking. 
What many may not know though is that SM City can also be reached by foot via the access path following Marikina River's curvature.

Just across SM City Marikina, separated by Marikina River, is Marikina Riverbanks.  A floating foot bridge is provided for easy crossing from one side to the other.  

In addition, SM City Marikina happens to be on the side of the Marikina River where a long cemented trail is suitable for walking and biking.   You can be from as far as Lamuan and Bayan passing through San Roque and Calumpang and traverse the trail while enjoying the serene waters of the Marikina River as it curves and eventually leads to SM City Marikina.  From the path, you can cross the street to the ground parking lot and take the stairs leading to the mall itself.

So you can avoid parking or commuting fees while taking a leisurely route and exercise in the process before you go malling. 
Jan 16, 2009

Tapsi Ni Vivian Relocates to Bigger Lot

If you're familiar with the infamous Marikina restaurant Tapsi Ni Vivian, it has moved from its original location along Gil Fernando Ave. to a new building across and a few lots further along the same road. 

Tapsi Ni Vivian is now situated at HDR Building and sporting a new look with a bigger area. They officially helf their Grand Opening last January 15, 2009.

D' Original Tapsi Ni Vivian has been serving their special tasty tapa and bulalo since 1984. You can visit them any time of the day since they are open 24 hours.

Tapsi Ni Vivian At Bulaluhan is located at 32 Gil Fernando Avenue with telephone numbers 645-0125.
Jan 15, 2009

OLOPSC Admissions for Schoolyear 2009-2010

My alma mater, Our Lady Of Perpetual Succor College, is now accepting both student and teacher applicants for the schoolyear 2009-2010.

Entrance exam dates for students who wish to enroll in preschool, grade school, high school and college, is on January 31, 2009.   

For teachers, you can contact OLOPSC Human Resources Department at 997-7777 loc. 17 (Their tarpaulin has one too many extra numbers) or e-mail them at hrolopsc@yahoo.com

Our Lady of Perperpetual College is located along Gen. Ordonez (formerly Molave) St.  You can reach them at 997-7777.
Jan 14, 2009

Marikina Riverbanks Amphitheater

Marikina Riverbanks is literally at the banks of the Marikina River, hence its name. 

This cozy place has been sort of a little Luneta for Marikenos as the soft grassy slopes are ideal for sitting down and hanging around.  It serves as a park for strolling.  The bottom cemented area is also a place where you can stroll with your bike.  If you don't have one, don't worry cause there are bikes available for rent as well.

The curvature of the Marikina River caused the nearby slopes' shape to appear as a huge semi-circle,  similar to that of an amphitheater.  This is why it's been coined the Marikina Riverbanks Ampitheater. 

Several Major concerts and performances have been staged here, including concerts of Eric Santos, Gary V and just last December 2008, the APO Hiking Society in a year-ender celebration of music followed by a grande fireworks display.

Be it day or night, the Marikina Riverbanks Amphitheater is truly worth visiting.
Jan 10, 2009

Czarina For Your Currency Needs

Czarina Foreign Exchange has been one of the longest money changers around the Metropolis.  Since established in 1978, they've added several branches, including one in Hong Kong and in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Here in the East, the closest Czarina branch to Marikina used to be their Q-Plaza branch in Cainta across Sta Lucia East.  But now, for the Marikina-based, they've added a branch at Bluewave Marquinton.   
Czarina has one of the most competitive and convenient exchange rates available.

Czarina Foreign Exchange is located on the 2nd floor of Bluewave Marquinton Mall right beside the PCSO Lotto outlet, Book Nook and the Globelines office.

Galileo, Soon in Marikina

This isn't a paid advertisement.  It's just relevant to announce here cause they'll soon be opening a branch in Marikina.  To know more about the program and its advocacy, please log on to www.galileoenrichment.com.

What is Galileo?

Galileo is a fun, exciting and meaningful after-school enrichment program for children in Math and English inspired by Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science.

Why Galileo?

Children enroll in the program for the following reasons:

-          for advancement, enrichment or remediation

-          to be academically competitive

-          to nurture their skills and talents

-          to have fun while learning

-          to improve their school grades; and

-          to gain more friends

Who may enroll in Galileo?

The Galileo program caters to pre-school and grade school students, ages three (3) to twelve (12), who are studying in prestigious schools.

When can a child start with Galileo?

The best time to begin a child’s journey in the Galileo program is NOW. The sooner you get him into the program, the sooner he will be able to reap the benefits of what the program offers.

The first step is to assess the child’s level in the Galileo program; the child can already start with Galileo after the said assessment which will only take fifteen (15) minutes.

Jan 8, 2009

Free Internet Access for Marikenos

If you enter Marikina City Hall, you'll notice that behind the information booth of the rear entrance are four computer terminals placed on high tables just enough for a good stance and positioning.   These terminals offer free internet access for Marikenos.

You'll need to login.  If you don't have an account yet, you'll need to register.  To register, just enter your landline number as username.  The system will check if your phone number is a registered phone number residing in Marikina.  Once verified, you'll be given your own account details. 

Once logged in, a timer will appear in a small window on the bottom right of your screen. You'll be given five minutes free, enough to check your e-mail, get details from any other website or visit the official website of Marikina and access their e-services.

Happy Surfing ! 
Jan 1, 2009

Welcome To Marikina City Life !

Hi ! I'm Jay and I live and grew up in Marikina City. Since most of my day evolves around this city, I figured I could put my knowledge of the city into good use by sharing it with everyone on the net.

I'll be posting tidbits of useful information, observances, events or personal experiences all pertaining to this wonderful city.

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for visiting !