Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOrtigas Center, second to Makati, is an important financial and central business district with a concentration of high-rises that house international and local conglomerates, including business process outsourcing companies with thousands in worker population. Within the area are luxury hotels and gigantic shopping malls that bring in hordes of people which account for congestion throughout the day.
HistoryOrtigas Center is originally part of the 4,033-hectare Hacienda de Mandaloyon owned by the Augustinian Friars which was eventually sold to Don Francisco Ortigas and Dr. Frank Dudley. In 1931, Ortigas, Madrigal y Cia., S. en C. was incorporated to develop the property. This estate eventually became San Juan, Quezon City, Pasig, and Mandaluyong of which Ortigas Center is a part of.
How to Get thereTaxis within Metro Manila will take you directly to any place you want to go to in the Ortigas Center.
The buses that traverse EDSA have several bus stops along the EDSA side of Ortigas Center while buses that ply the Antipolo-Divisoria route will pass by the Shaw Boulevard side of Ortigas Center. There are buses that go from San Juan City to Rizal which traverse Ortigas Avenue.
MRT (Metro Rail Transport) Line 3 running along EDSA has stations at Shaw Boulevard and Ortigas Avenue depending on what area of Ortigas Center you want to go to. If you want to go Star Mall or Shangri-La and the areas near them, get off at Shaw station and take the elevator going up to exit at the Shangri-La side (not the EDSA Central side).
ShoppingFor retail therapy, Ortigas Center is one of the prime spots to go with a wide array of shopping malls to choose from.
- SM Megamall – After its 2011 expansion, this shopping mall is now the third-largest in the world and the largest in the Philippines with three buildings housing 1,220 shops, restaurants, theaters, and even a skating rink.
- Shangri-La Plaza – This is an upscale shopping and lifestyle place popularly called Shang. It has about 300 high-end shops, restaurants, and high-tech theaters.
- Robinsons Galleria – A shopping mall owned by Robinsons Malls with over 400 shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.
- Star Mall – This mall, with shops, dining places, and cinemas, enjoys direct link to the MRT.
- St. Francis Square Mall – It is a 4-storey mall with about 1,000 shops, stalls, and restaurants.
- The Podium – It is an upscale mall owned by SM Prime that caters to luxury shoppers with designer brand shops, chic restaurants, and state-of-the-art movie theaters.
- Tiendesitas – Literally meaning “a collection of little stores”, Tiendesitas is divided into villages that sell handicrafts, fashion (apparel and accessories); pets, pet supplies; plants, antiques; food, delicacies; furniture, organic personal care products; and novelties.
DiningBecause taste is relative to individual taste buds, the plethora of dining options in Ortigas Center is just perfect. Those who prefer fine dining can choose Heat at EDSA Shangri-La, Manila with its international buffet. Jazzy Sunday brunch at the Oakroom in Oakwood Premier combines relaxing jazz music from a 3-piece jazz ensemble with American breakfast and lunch goodies with the carving station taking center stage. House of Wagyu at The Podium features a pricey yet mouthwatering selection of Wagyu steaks, Oyster Rockefeller, and salads.
SM Megamall houses over 200 restaurants including TuanTuan Chinese Brasserie with Hong Kong and Macau dishes, Osaka Ohsho specializing in gyoza; Ippudo Philippines has Japanese specialties, Linguini Fini for artisanal Italian cooking; Boqueria for a great Spanish cheese paella, and Abe with Filipino food-like Lamb Adobo.
For budgets between ₱400 ($8.80) to ₱800 ($18), The Podium has Madeca with Filipino/Mexican cuisine, New Bombay for Indian cuisine; Yaku Japanese Restaurant. At the Shangri-la Plaza, great choices are Café Via Mare for Filipino cuisine and Woo Galbi for Asian food. SM Megamall has Buffalo Wings N’ Things for wings and ribs while Robinsons Galleria has Pho Bac Vietnamese Restaurant.
AccommodationsBecause the Ortigas Center is home to prominent financial and commercial conglomerates aside from being a leisure center, it is not surprising to see several hotels and other accommodation options in the area.
NightlifeThe Metrowalk Entertainment Complex, located at the corner of Meralco and Ortigas Avenues, is a popular dining and shopping hub but it brings in night-owls looking for some fun. Some of the popular places in Metrowalk include the trendy Elbow Room Lounge, Music Platinum Family KTV; Dencio’s Bar & Grill, Mugen Bar; Decades Bar, Aruba Bar; and Love 2 Laugh Comedy Bar.
Our Lady of Peace EDSA ShrineLocated at a prime location on the crossroads of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA, this shrine was conceived by the Filipino people in gratitude for the 1986 People Power Revolution , a bloodless revolution that ousted dictator President Ferdinand Marcos. The church was designed by renowned architects and open out directly into the streets. There is a bronze 14 Stations of the Cross and an imposing bronze Our Lady of Queen of Peace image at the apex.
People Power MonumentThis monument was made by Eduardo Castrillo in 1993 and is located in the corner of EDSA and White Plains Avenue, less than a kilometer from the EDSA Shrine. It is in commemoration of the People Power Revolution that culminated on February 25, 1986, where 2 million people including civilians, military, religious and political groups joined. This monument celebrates the victory of the Filipino people against the dictatorship.
SafetyOrtigas Center is one of the safer areas for visitors even at night, unlike other areas of Metro Manila where extreme care must be taken especially at night. However, it is not to say that visitors to Ortigas Center must relax their guard on their valuables as thieves and scalawags are abound, even in this area.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: May 22, 2015