Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback - Meralco building and the Ortigas area

Do you recognize this area or that building in the middle of the deserted field?  That building standing by its lonesome is the Meralco building along Ortigas Avenue in Pasig, Metro Manila.  I didn’t get the date of this picture as it was a part of a collection of historical pictures of Meralco at its museum, taken during their anniversary in 2008.  My husband’s late cousin worked at Meralco as a company nurse for many decades and invited us to one of their anniversary celebrations.  It was my family’s first time to be on the Meralco grounds.

What amazes me about this picture is the scarcity of buildings and houses around the area and the handful of cars along the main avenue.  Here is a more recent picture of the area, taken from the site, (you can learn more about the electric company from this website).  

Going by this area on our way to Binangonan, we usually get stuck in traffic with the front of this building being a major intersection.  Turning right would bring you to the SM Megamall area, which is not just the home of this sprawling mall but other malls, hotels, businesses and high-rise condominium complexes.  Going straight along Ortigas would bring you past Medical City and several subdivisions such as Valle Verde.  All these residential subdivisions and businesses in the area have made this area quite a hub of activity – a large leap from the era when the Meralco building was the sole building in this part of the Metro.

Commuting back then only took minutes while it takes hours in our days.  I have friends who went to school at St. Therese College along D. Tuazon Quezon City.  They lived in the Katipunan area, which would take an hour at least of commuting time.  Back then, in the 70s, the streets weren’t as congested as they are now, so the commute would take half that time.   Even travel from nearby provinces like Rizal to Metro Manila was bearable, unlike today where it takes anywhere from an hour or two or more, depending on the time of day or the traffic situation.

Times have changed, some things for the better, but for other things such as the traffic and congestion in the Metro, for the worse. 


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