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26 May 2009
I have very fond memories of SM City North EDSA. When it newly opened in 1985, our family visited the new mall and even back then, we were already fascinated at how big the mall was. I was still a kid then and we loved going to the amusement center where we would play, win and collect tickets which I even have till this very day. I remember catching glimpses of celebrities, both local and foreign, who would visit the mall to perform and hold autograph sessions at the SM Entertainment Plaza. I was even able to catch a live episode of Family Kwarta o Kahon hosted by Pepe Pimentel when it used to tape there. And snacking at the food court and rest was a must after all the excitement afterwards.
When I was in college, my classmates and I would go to SM City North EDSA to watch a movie during our breaktime. I even remember that we watched two movies straight at the SM Cinemas when we learned that we had a 6 hour break in between classes for that day. When I graduated from Ateneo, my very first job was a musical arranger and I had to collaborate with my co-arranger who lived in Valenzuela. We would regularly meet over merienda at Wendy's at the SM Annex to talk about our next song. And after a heavy brainstorming session, we'd relax by playing some rounds of bowling at the SM Bowling Center. When I needed to buy computer parts, I'd go to Cyberzone which used to be located where the carpark is. I bought my very first hi-tech mobile phone there too. I guess in a way, I grew up with the City as it evolved during the years.
And now that SM City North EDSA introduces The Sky Garden, the newest addition to its ever-growing city, I couldn't let the opportunity slip to learn and experience this new addition. After all, it's because of this newest addition that SM City North EDSA is now the largest mall in the Philippines.
The entire Sky Garden is an elevated structure connecting SM's The Block, the City Center and The Annex as well as the overpasses crossing EDSA and North Ave. Living up to its name, the Sky Garden is beautifully landscaped with trimmed grass, green tress and groomed bushes. I later learned that the Roof Garden has fifty five botanical species which grow on lightweight garden soil. I couldn't help but notice that simply strolling around the Sky Garden leaves very few traces that you're actually beside a very busy highway. It actually takes you away from the busy metropolis and gives you a feeling of serenity without having to go far away.
In addition to the tranquil green scenery, there are various ponds and fountains spaciously spreaded out at the Sky Garden. There's the calm and soothing pond surrounding the soon-to-open Starbucks Coffee, multiple mini fountains parallel to the walkways, and the most spectacular waterfall leading from the Sky Garden to the ground level. The waterfall is a 2-storey drop from the Sky Garden to another pond at the base near the bus terminal. Who would've known that EDSA would gain such a scenic waterfall courtesy of the Sky Garden ?
Cafes, grills and eateries are conveniently positioned along the walkways. You could snack, dine, or simply have a cup of coffee at the Sky Garden. And even if the mall closes, you can hang out at the Sky Garden because they offer patrons extended hours.
At the heart and center of the Sky Garden is the Sky Dome. This is the newest venue for events which can accommodate more than a thousand people. Half of the dome-shaped top is transparent. You may even be able to see the moon and the stars on a bright night even from inside the Sky Dome.
The main artery of the Sky Garden are the well lit and covered walkways leading to different parts of the Garden as well as to and from the malls. I was also impressed by the sound system for the entire Sky Garden as state-of-the-art Boss branded speakers are placed in each section of the covered walk's stretch. Whether playing relaxing music or a making a public service announcement, everybody within the Sky Garden will surely hear it.
Another thing I noticed is that the entire Sky Garden is curved. From the covered winding walkways, to posts and establishments within the Sky Garden including the Sky Dome, everything is curved. It breaks out from our notion of malls being square or rectangular buildings with stores in them. most of the artistic structures also follow that fashion. It's another reason for its uniqueness.
Take a stroll with your loved one. Hang out with your friends. Watch an event at the Dome. Or simply admire the surroundings.
Overall, the Sky Garden is one beautiful sight. I'm thrilled with SM City North EDSA's newest addition. A city never stops evolving and the Sky Garden is a perfect addition for people in a busy city. After all, what would a city be without a garden ?
25 May 2009
24 May 2009
23 May 2009
22 May 2009
19 May 2009
17 May 2009
16 May 2009
Last May 15, bloggers were invited an afternoon at The Block, SM North EDSA for a wifi testing event. I was present during their first wifi testing at SM City Marikina and so it was interesting to find out how fast and stable the connection was.
The bloggers registered at the 4th floor (cinema level) and was free to roam around the mall to check the signal and go online. I was equipped with a wifi-enabled PDA and my laptop and tried to connect at KFC. Unfortunately, my PDA couldn't detect the signal. My laptop did though. After having a snack, I went back to the bloggers area were chairs, tables and sockets were available for bloggers assure everyone they and their laptops would make it through the afternoon.
I did a bit of blogging, chatting and surfing plus checked some business e-mails and didn't encounter any difficulties in connecting. Some bloggers mentioned that the speed is fast. When I heard that, I opted to see it for myself and so I downloaded a podcast and watched a video on youtube. The speed was like my DSL speed at home. That's pretty impressive considering I'm within a range of bloggers all equipped to use the bandwidth simultaneously. The video buffered a bit but I also think it was because I was heavily multitasking on a slow laptop.
I saw some people accessing the internet via their PSPs or mobile phones... pretty convenient to access the net when you're in a hotspot as big as The Block.
Overall, the wifi testing was interesting. Nice to see the bloggers and each of their colorful, customized laptops in different shapes (ok, all of them were rectangular) and sizes.
Congratulations to the chicken who won the laptop ! I was just behind you ! hehehehe!
Universal Records always has these great warehouse sales every few months. That's why I never fail to go to each of their super sales. This time, it's a buy one take one CD & DVD Sale. They have wide selections to choose from. Looking for those expensive CDs you never got to buy cause you couldn't afford them ? Well now's your chance to complete your collection ! For prices as low as P40. and up you can get 2 CDs ! There are lots of genres to choose from, jazz, pop, rock, opm, instrumental, disco, classic, standard.. you name it, they have it.
There are also lots of movie and video titles to choose from. Even boxed sets of popular TV series' like Monk and Las Vegas are available at discounted prices.
I was there on its first day and there were already lots of people buying CDS in the bulk. Everybody had a box as their shopping cart and slowly each customer filled their boxes up with CDs to buy. I bought 10 CDs for a total of P260. I was also surprised to see cassette tapes being sold for two pesos each ! That's even cheaper than a blank tape !
The sale will be on every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from now till June 7. So that's May 15,16,17, then 22,23,24, followed by 29,30,31 and on June 5, 6 and 7. The sale is at the 10th floor of Universal Tower, 1487 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. The building is also where the Smart Wireless Center is. It's almost across Crossings Department Store.
I'll definitely be going back again to check out the other titles. Hurry and buy a ton of CDs at cheap prices !
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14 May 2009
06 May 2009
04 May 2009
Manny Pacquiao won the highly anticipated boxing match against Britain's Ricky Hatton in around 6 minutes. I think Pacman overestimated Hatton.
Also, the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight title, Batista, accompanied Manny to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, for his fight. You could see Batista standing right behind the boxer in the long line of entourage due to his massize size compared to normal Filipino build. The former champ is half Filipino and half Greek and is a big fan of Pacquiao.
As usual, the Philippines stopped in time as everyone was glued to a TV or widescreen in anticipation of the fight. During the morning and part of the afternoon, streets were deserted, churches were half filled, people either stayed in to watch the fight on TV or go to a stadium, sports bar or cinema where the fight would be shown live via satellite.
To Manny Pacquiao: congratulations ! You've brought glory once again to the Filipino.
02 May 2009
I just discovered the Cebu Pacific's Inflight Magazine has its own website. It's called Smile Magazine and you can check it out at http://www.cebusmile.com.
They feature travel, tours, sights, sounds and entertainment. It's just enough to read during your 1 to 2 hour flight. Browse the magazine in the comforts of your own home without distractions from a noisy plane seatmate, a stewardess offering snacks or someone needing to go to the bathroom and you're in the way.
Now I don't have to fly just to be able to get a glimpse of their magazine. Now if only the site had printable barf bags too.