Jun 30, 2010

Official Marikina City Website Adopts New Theme

The official website of Marikina City at http://www.marikina.gov.ph adopts a new header as the new mayor of Marikina, Del de Guzman assumes office.

The current theme is a blue background theme with seamless tiles of shoes displayed to reflect the city's pride for its shoe industry.  A photo of Mayor de Guzman is now located at the top left header with the tagline "Home of the World's Largest Shoe" pertaining to the Guiness Book of World Record entry for World's Largest Shoes custom-made in Marikina currently located at the Marikina Riverbanks Center.

The Marikina City website previously won the Best Website in the (e-LGU) Local Government Unit and People's Choice in the 10th Philippine Web Awards.

Preparations for Marikina Mayor Inauguration

Preparations are undergoing at the Marikina City Hall for the inauguration of Mayor-elect Del de Guzman.   The new mayor is set to be sworn in to office on June 30.

Several tents and chairs are being erected behind the city hall.  This is also the area where busts of all the former mayors of Marikina are located.
Jun 26, 2010

Marikina Riverpark and Marikina Riverbanks

In the past, friends have asked for directions how to get to both Marikina Riverpark and Marikina Riverbanks.   As similar as the names are, they're 2 different and separate places within Marikina.  The only thing they have in common is that they're both beside the Marikina River.

Marikina Riverbanks is home to the Marikina Riverbanks Center which is a mall home to Savemore Supermarket, Off-Price Dept. Store, Handyman and a lot of specialty and outlet shops.  The mall is also popular for its huge section dedicated to shoes of all brands.   The World's Largest Shoes made by Marikenos is also displayed in the mall right beside the shoe stores.

Riverbanks Amphitheater at night
Aside from the mall, there are also several other establishments within the Marikina Riverbanks. There's the amphitheater along the river banks which serves as a park and concert venue.  There's the Skyline Riverbend Hotel which is one of the two distinct hotels in the city.  There's also a branch of the Sykes call center at the side of the hotel.   In front of the hotel parking lot is the Kotse Network used car dealer with several cars displayed for sale.   At the other end of Marikina Riverbanks is Dencios Bar & Grill Restaurant with an upperdeck and a birdseye view of the Marikina River from a vantage point.  Just across the Grill is the E-com Building where the Philippine Science Centrum is located and Figaro and 7-11 by the roadside.

There are 3 ways to get to Marikina Riverbanks.  If you're coming from C-5 Libis, take the Marikina fork and follow the road parallel to the Marikina River.  It will take you straight to Riverbanks.  If you're coming from Antipolo, travel via Marcos Highway and take the exit after passing SM City Marikina and the bridge.   If you're coming from Aurora Blvd in Quezon City, take the left fork flyover leading to Barangka, Marikina.  Turn right at the 2nd stoplight which leads to Marikina Riverbanks.

Marikina Riverpark is around 2 kilometers away from Marikina Riverbankst.   Both places are also connected by a pedestrian path parallel to the Marikina River and it would take a 10 - 15 minute walk to get from one to the other.  

During the day, Marikina Riverpark serves as a bike and jogging path to several nearby residents.  Health conscious people also form regular groups and exercise daily at the Riverpark.   Just beside the riverpark is a prominent statue of a lady and a ship.  The Lady statue is popularly known as Marikit-Na who in one legend is believed to be where the name Marikina was derived.  The ship behind her used to be a floating restaurant but discontinued service after Typhoon Ondoy.  During the Christmas season, the entire open lot of Marikina Riverpark is transformed into a bargain tiangge area where hundreds of vendors put up stalls to sell all kinds of items in time for the holiday season.

Marikit-Na Statue at Marikina Riverpark
Marikina Riverpark is known for its colorful and lively nightlife.  At night, the Riverpark suddenly becomes alive with lights and sounds as several bars & restaurants are situated along the river side.   The likes of bars such as Bonchalet, Papajeks, East 53 and Enzimone offer food, drinks and live entertainment till the wee hours of the morning.   The river at night reflects the well-lighted pedestrian paths ideal for late night strolls at the park.

To get to Marikina Riverpark from Quezon City, head to Aurora Blvd and take the left fork flyover to Marikina proper.  Go straight until you reach the Marikina Bridge.  To the right is the Marikina Riverpark.   From C-5, take the same route as going to Marikina Riverbanks and head to the end connecting A Bonifacio St.  Turn right and head straight till you reach the Marikina Bridge.

If you're bringing a car, you need to take a left turn at J.P. Rizal after crossing the bridge.  Then, take the immediate 1st left which  will lead you to a road under the bridge which connects to the Riverpark stretch.  Parking is free along the Riverpark.

In any case, both Marikina Riverbanks and Marikina Riverpark are worth visiting and provide a scenic view of the Marikina River.

Jun 21, 2010

Photo: Construction For Cordova Tower

This is the backview of the Bluewave Marquinton where the soon-to-rise Cordova Tower is being built.  Cordova Towers is the 3rd condominium building constructed within the Marquinton Residences.   Marquinton Residences is located along Sumulong Highway corner Gil Fernando Ave.  For more details about Cordova Towers, watch this AV presentation.
Jun 20, 2010

Photo: Central Warehouse for Heavy Equipment

Located at the corner of Gil Fernando Ave. and Aquilina Street in Sto. Nino is the Public Service Center where the city engineering holds office.  It's also serves as the parking lot for heavy equipment such as dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes and cement mixers.  A small bulldozer monument is situated at the corner.
Jun 19, 2010

Midnight Marikina River

This is Marikina River along the Riverpark around midnight.   The lights along the Riverpark pedestrian and bike path illuminate the river.

Kung Tayo'y Maglalayo Likes Marikina

courtesy of abs-cbn.com
The ongoing ABS-CBN teleserye "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo" has had several on-location shoots, and several of them were shot in Marikina City.

Most of the action-packed car chase scenes were shot along Gil Fernando. Ave. in Barangay Sto. Nino near the Marikina Public Service Center where the Engineering Division is located.   The end of Gil Fernando Ave. is a wide road with huge empty lots filled with grass and trees on both sides.   There aren't any houses or buildings here which makes it ideal and safe to close the road temporarily for the telenovela's on-location shooting purposes.
location usually used to shoot chase and action scenes 

Other locations include Marikina Heights near St. Scholastica Marikina and the C & B Mall where scenes of the rotonda were spotted in previous episodes.   Scenes including Astrud (Jaclyn Jose) and her lawyer talking were recently shot inside Biksa Coffee in San Roque.

From Biksa Coffee
The stretch of Aquamarine St. in SSS Village is also used for the telenovela's on-location shoots.   If you're  familiar with the street, you may catch glimpes of the Concepcion Dos Barangay Hall, Marikina Convention Center, SDS Medical Center, and Water Nymph resort all along that street.

Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo is aired every weeknights around 9:00pm on ABS-CBN and online streaming via TFCNow.
Jun 11, 2010

Princess' MTV Shot At Pan de Amerikana

The newest music video of up and coming acoustic artist Princess Velasco was shot entirely at Pan de Amerikana, along Gen. Ordonez St. in Marikina Heights.  In the past, the Pan de Amerikana bakery & restaurant has served as background for photo shoots, model portraits and magazine features due to its unique interior design.

The video "You Still Have My Heart", taken from Princess' 2nd album entitled "Addicted To Acoustic 2"  was shot on location at the restaurant featuring some familiar backgrounds inside such as the giant black and white chess board, the pillars at the back of the elevated platform and the side of the chessboard.   The video shows Princess singing and playing the guitar in different positions using the restaurant's scenery as backdrops.

Photo: Bike Station

This is the bike station for the Marikina Sports Center.   The use of bicycles is encouraged in Marikina City.   Several bike lanes and bike paths have been scattered around the city for cyclists to get from one area to another within the city reducing vehicular accidents.
Jun 10, 2010

A Demolished Bay Tree

What used to be popularly known as Bay Tree at the corner of Katipunan Road and Gen. Ordonez (formerly Molave St). is no more.    Some who are not  familiar with the place (usually those asking for directions) used to mistakenly call it "Bay 3".  But for those who are familiar with this supermarket, it has been at this corner since the 1980's.   It has been there long before the Molave Wet & Dry Market was built just across it.  Bay Tree also used to be home as well to several small stores adjacent to it and also served as a tricycle terminal along the Katipunan Ave side.

Most of the time, Bay Tree served as shelter from the rains as people would stay here until rains subside.   It also served as waiting shed for commuters waiting for the SSS Village jeeps and a meeting area for Marikenos living nearby.  The building has been totally demolished and is currently just a vacant lot.

Bay Tree and Florings are 2 supermarkets surely to be remembered by Marikenos from SSS Village and Marikina Heights.
Jun 9, 2010

Photo: Shoe Expo At Freedom Park

Several tents have been put up at Freedom Park in front of Marikina City Hall for Marikina shoe retailers to showcase their shoes.  
Jun 8, 2010

McDonalds Marcos Highway Reopens

The McDonalds Marcos Highway branch has been one of the most popular fastfood branches in Marikina.   It has been a permanent fixture along Marcos Highway for years and has been home to thousands of meetups, birthday parties, family day lunch outs, friendly meetups and late night hangouts with friends.  Unfortunately, due to the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy, several businesses were submerged  including this McDonalds branch.
elevated at least 4 feet from the ground

Fast forward to 8 months after the destruction of Typhoon Ondoy,  McDonalds Marcos Highway has reopened its branch to the public last June 1, 2010.  The old place was severely flooded which is why the fastfood chain wasn't just renovated but actually rebuilt its store entirely from the ground up.   As a result, the new McDonalds is 4 feet higher above the ground including its terrace, function rooms, playground and drive thru thus making the branch flood free.  The store still has its McCafe counter inside and still operates 24 hours a day.

Everything has been upgraded: a new look, new interior design, new party rooms, cozy seats and a spacious outdoor terrace for the smoking area.   The function rooms can anywhere from 30 to 100 guests.  What's interesting is that the function rooms aren't only limited to birthday parties.  The manager of McDonalds Marcos Highway also mentioned that the function rooms can be reserved for business meetings for up to 2 hours with a minimum of P3,000. consumable.  For inquiries on reservation and booking, call 646-0665.

McDonalds Marcos Highway is located along Gunting St,. corner Marcos Highway, San Roque near Sta Lucia East Mall.

View Larger Map
Jun 3, 2010

Photo: View From Marikina Hotel

This is one of the views from the roofdeck of Marikina Hotel in SSS Village.  The buildings farther to Marikina are Eastwood City in Libis.
Jun 2, 2010

Marikina Profile: Newly Elected Mayor Del de Guzman

The 2010 Philippine Elections have come and gone and there have been a lot of things worth noticing.  The very obvious one was that the recent national polls were the 1st automated elections ever.

For Marikenos, it was a turning point since the Fernandos would be officially vacating the mayoral seat after 18 years, thus bringing in a new generation of government servants.   The people have spoken through their ballots in the recent elections and interestingly enough, it's the Liberal party who dominated the top positions for Marikina.  Newly elected Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman, Vice-Mayor Fabian Cadiz and 2nd District Congressman Miro Quimbo all hail from the liberal party.

Del de Guzman is no new name to Marikenos. Born on January 9, 1963 Del has finished his elementary and secondary education at H. Bautista Elementary School and Roosevelt College in Lamuan respectively and earned his degree in Political Science from University of The East in 1985.

As a Marikenyo servant, he has served as Councilor and Majority Floor Leader in the Municipal Council of Marikina from 1988 to 1992 and Vice-Mayor from 1992 to 2001.  He was vice-mayor when Bayani Fernando was the acting mayor during that time.  After serving as Vice-Mayor, he ran and was elected as Congressman representing Marikina City in the Congress since 2001.  He is also the 1st congressman of Marikina City to become the Deputy Majority Floor Leader in the House of Representatives. As he ends his term as Congressman, he will be the 11th Mayor of Marikina City.

Here's a list of organizations and affiliations that Del has been part of:

  • National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL)
  • National President, 1998 - 2001
  • Deputy Secretary-General, 1995 - 1998
  • Public Relations Officer, 1991
  • Vice-Mayors' League of the Philippines
  • Metro Manila President, 1998 - 2001
  • Secretary General, 1998
  • President Adviser for Youth Affairs, 1996
  • Public Relation Officer, 1995

Roosevelt College Marikina Scholarships

Roosevelt College Marikina has been one of the longest running schools in Marikina. Located along J.P. Rizal St, in Lamuan, Roosevelt College was founded in 1933 and have produced thousands of graduates since then.  Roosevelt offers Elementary, Secondary and Tertiary education.   They also have other branches in Cainta, Cubao, San Mateo and Rodriguez.

Their Marikina Campus also offers degree programs such as AB Psychology, BS Information Technology, BS Information Systems, BSBA Human Resources Development Management and BSBA Operations Management.  In addition, they also offer short term programs such as Computer Hardware Servicing and Computer Programming.

Roosevelt also offers 3 kinds of scholarships and financial aid to deserving and qualified college students.  Entrance Scholarships are for honor graduates from private and public schools who can avail of tuition fee discounts.  Earned scholarships are for non-graduating students in any year level who excel academics based on previous semesters.   Lastly, non-academic scholarships are granted to children of full-time Roosevelt College System employees based on order of birth and whether one or both parents are employed.  They may avail of tuition fee discounts as well.  In addition, scholarships are also given to Drum & Bugle Corps members, Members of the PNP, siblings enrolled in any unit/level of Roosevelt, full time personnel enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate leves and athletes.

For more information, visit the official website of Roosevelt Colleges at http://rooseveltcollege.edu.ph or contact them at 941-3584 and 941-3493.
Jun 1, 2010

Learn To Drive

I remember that in the 90's, I had to go to Aurora Blvd in Cubao just to take my driving lessons.  And then we'd drive in Marikina.  The last few days of training would be at the inclined portion of Gen Ordonez coming from Marist School.  That's where I learned how to drive a car in "hanging" position.   Unlucky for me that during those times, you didn't have a choice of car and so I had to learn the stick shift type even though our car was automatic.  The car was also a non-airconditioned car which made learning to drive a bit more unbearable and stressful.

Now you don't have to go far away as there are driving schools in Marikina.   Dynamic Driving Institute is located along J.P Rizal St. in Sto Nino.   Their main offices are at 319 and 442 J.P. Rizal, Sto Nino and with other branches at 18 E. Sumulong Highway (before Marikina birdge), Concepcion, Bayan-bayanan Branch (in front of Conception Church) and Bluewave Marquinton Mall.   They are accredited by LTO.  They offer driving training courses for both manual and automatic types with different packages starting from a 2 day rush course to a 15 day course.  All the cars they use are air-conditioned.  Plus they offer lectures on troubleshooting, defensive driving and traffic rules and regulations.   Learning how to drive now is much more easy and convenient.

To inquire and enroll at Dynamic Driving Institute, you can contact them from their main offices at  948-6476, 941-7884 and 0915-3488539 for their Sumulong and Marquinton branches.