Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mall Parking Part 1

I just could not keep myself from finally taking up something that has to do with transportation. But I'll be discreet, there won't be much theoretical matter in this article and the succeeding ones (Yes, I intend to get another and more shots at this!). I aim to have a more practical discussion of the topic at hand.

And that topic is...parking! Not parking in the general sense or maybe the art of parking. I'll be focusing on parking facilities at the shopping malls. Quite an original idea? Well, in Metro Manila, a metropolis that is transforming itself into a Megalopolis (if it hasn't yet done so), parking has always been an issue especially at the shopping malls.

The Clairvoyant raised the topic about which malls had the best parking including the design of the ramps while I was managing a curve up a hospital's parking area. I was in the process of complementing the well-designed ramp that was spacious enough to accommodate my old car and made the observation that there where no paint marks along the walls of the ramp. This was unlike the multi-level parking facilities of typical residential, office or commercial buildings where it seemed the designers (architects?) did their best satisfying the minimum requirements of the building code. Ah yes, the building code that manual of minimums that's often used by engineers and architects alike to take advantage of the uninformed public. But that's another story...

For this series on parking, I'll start with the malls and then maybe move on to other places of interest. But what right have I to compare parking facilities if I don't have a decent list of malls I and the Clairvoyant haven't gone to ourselves. So to conclude this first of a series of n articles on parking, let me list my specimens in no particular order:
SM (North EDSA, Megamall, Fairview, Centerpoint, Manila, Podium, Mall of Asia)
Robinsons (Galleria, Metro East, Novaliches)
Ayala (Glorietta, Greenbelt, Market!Market!, TriNoMa, Bonifacio High Street)
Gateway Mall
Ever Commonwealth
Greenhills/Vira Mall

Notice again that all of the above are well within the National Capital Region, the more technical term for Metro Manila. I do have a list of malls outside the Metro but I chose not to include them so as to be level in the assessment. For what it's worth, these include SM malls (San Fernando, Clark, Baguio, Bacoor, Lucena, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan De Oro and Davao); Robinsons malls (San Fernando, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cainta), Gaisano malls (Davao and Cebu), Ayala (Cebu), and the others. I also, purposely, did not include branches that have shared parking or didn't have a significant facility like SM Cubao or SM Makati. Obviously, the majority of people park elsewhere or take public transport to these malls.

Now on to Part 2...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Centennial of The National University of the Philippines

To the day, today marks the 100th year of the establishment of the University of the Philippines. Already there are a lot of events leading to this occasion and it culminates in the Grand Alumni Homecoming on June 21 (Saturday) at the Araneta Coliseum. Incidentally, the UP Alumni Engineers held its homecoming last Friday the 13th at the Melchor Hall grounds.

The first 100 years of the University of the Philippines is rich with history, symbolism and excellence. People might like to add activism and idealism to that and I would agree. But I too would like to think, to believe that UP being a microcosm of the Philippines also represents hope - hope that someday the great ideas, the inventions and innovations, the creations of this truly national university would eventually lead this country from the misery and helplessness. It is but appropriate that in this Centennial Year of UP, its alumni reflect on the real meaning of the Oblation. For aren't we supposed to offer ourselves in service to our country and our countrymen?

Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan! Mabuhay ang Pamantasan ng Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Pamantasan ng Pilipino!

For more information on the University of the Philippines System and the Centennial events, click on the link:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Adventures with Clara Clairvoyant 1

My wife has her own blog and she's been egging me to check it out everyday to see her new posts. I think it's great that she's able to find time to write as I've always loved to read about her (mis)adventures. She's practically traveled around the world and her latest trip took her to Berlin, Warsaw, Cracow and Prague. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to tag along that trip.

The last trip we had together was in Japan. We went around some of my favorite sites near Tokyo including the ancient city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture. Required stops included the Hachimangu Shrine and Hasedera. Here are a few photos from the trip:

Kamakura and Tokyo was fun and we're looking forward to Kyoto in the near future. Actually, we've never been to the U.S. together and that's coming up soon... Now, I hope I can take time off from work to be able to join her in New York this Fall.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Voltes V

The last time I was in Japan I made sure I made the rounds of shops specializing in anime figures. Many of these shops are found in the Akihabara Electric Town district easily accessible by surface train (JR) or subway (Ginza Line). The main objective was to canvass prices of figures of anime robots from childhood days. My wife and I specifically wanted to have a scale model Voltes V figure - one that had all the five components: Cruiser, Bomber, Panzer, Frigate and Lander.

After weeks of establishing the fair price for both new and 2nd hand models, we finally settled on a 2nd hand but never opened box. I won't mention the price but we were very satisfied with our acquisition upon returning to the Philippines. We're putting off the display until we get good shelves or a cabinet.

Here's a few photos of Voltes V from the box to the "volted in" stage. And, oh, you can see our dogzilla looking on in one of the photos:

The box containing the goodies;

Components: Cruiser is at top left, Panzer at middle left, Bomber at middle right, Frigate at lower center, and Lander at lower left.

(L) Voltes V brandishing the laser sword; (R) Dogzilla looks while the enemy volts-in

Future acquisitions are now being planned for Mazinger Z, UFO Grendaizer and the Getta robots. Here's looking forward to the next trip to Tokyo.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quick review

Whew! It's been quite a while since the last blog...actually, almost 3 months since I started this revival of what used to be my home on the net. I used to have the original Regin's Realm in Geocities but it somehow disappeared along with all the valuable material I had gathered during my 3-year stay in Japan.

Among others are memories of a wonderful and prayerful stint at the Sacred Heart Cathedral also known as Yamate Catholic Church. Katorikku Yamate Kyokai was a home away from home and its very warm community will always have a place in my heart as I reminisce services, stories, lunches, bazaars...and friendships. The parish priest at the time was Fr. Alfred Burke, who was a reassuring presence for ones like me who yearned for a figure who would stymie the onset of depression, of sadness while in a foreign land.

I have always made it a point to visit Yamate whenever I was in Japan and I've always marveled at how the community has continuously grown since I returned home in 1999. It is only fitting that I start, or shall I say re-start, Regin's Realm with thoughts on Yamate.