Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Okay, just when I thought I heard the worst of it when it came to government development plans in the heart of downtown Manila, I stumble upon this. If the government's permission to construct a hideous sports complex in Intramuros, an inappropriate oceanarium in Rizal Park, and a high rise condominium in Adriatico circle seemed like the height of administrative chutzpah/neglect/idiocy, how about these current plans to destroy the Manila Zoo? Just yesterday, I read about the newly elected officials of Manila City Hall charmed by the idea of selling off Manila Zoo to developers for a basketball coliseum (and from what I hear from insiders in city hall, a luxury condominium complex too - someone please confirm). All with the blessings of vice-Mayor-elect Iskho Moreno and Rep. Amado Bagatsing. What the hell? I mean - yeah, I totally agree that the place should have been shut down years ago and all the remaining animals sent off to the much more humane Avilon Zoo in Rizal. But really, a condo and basketball coliseum? Think of the parking problem. And what about those gorgeous trees inside the zoo?

How about this as a better idea? Let's ship off all the animals to Avilon for some fresh air, let's tear down the concrete walls, open up the space to the public and convert the zoo into the Manila Botanical Gardens. Wouldn't that be lovely? Let's even get Mayor Lim's favorite charity, The Winner's Foundation to oversee the conversion. And as a complement, let's convince the Martels of Harrison Plaza (above) to take out a massive loan and redevelop their shopping complex next door so that it takes full advantage of the bayview across and mini forest. Let's tell them to ask the Ayalas for some advice. It would be great to see something like Greenbelt or Serendra overlooking the Manila Zoo trees and South China Sea sunset, donchatink? And, hey - there is even enough room for a luxury condominium too! Because I mean, c'mon, Martels, what the hay? Even the Ortigases and the Aranetas have redeveloped their properties. You are the last to get on board. You own the fricking Philippine Tatler for crissake and your flagship real estate is, well... gross and unbefitting for the "cream" of Philippine society. By the looks of the place, you guys might as well own Tempo. Sorry. My apologies to Tempo.

Thank you ajanem for the photo.