Heritage Sites

Bringing Back Roxas Boulevard's Glory

Metro Manila

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Mar 13, 2015

Manila Bay is known for having one of the most beautiful sunsets and Roxas Boulevard, the promenade fronting it, provides front row seats to this majestic view.

First called "Cavite Boulevard," it was part of Architect Daniel Burnham's urban plan of Manila in the early 1900s. It was later named "Dewey Boulevard" in honor of the American Admiral George Dewey, then to "Heiwa Boulevard" during the Japanese occupation, and finally to its present name in the 1960 to honor President Manuel Roxas, the fifth president of our country.

Manila in the 1960s
(Photo via mamimomikuto.wordpress.com)

With the change of names came the change in its landscape especially during the recent years — from road narrowing, addition of light posts, putting up of food stalls, removal of said food stalls, placement of benches, removal of said benches, and so forth and so on.

(Photo from cutenadevil, with Creative Commons - Attribution License under Flickr)

Now, Roxas Boulevard will be getting its much needed makeover.

WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Roxas Boulevard Makeover - Phase 1 from Rizal Park to the CCP
(Photo used with permission from Paulo Alcazaren)

Paulo Alcazaren posted on his Facebook just this morning (March 13, 2015) the details of the ongoing project.

(Photo and text used with permission from Alcazaren)

In summary:

  • renovations on both sides and center island
  • stronger waterside revetment (barricades or seawall)
  • new raised planter as additional barrier and protection from storm surge
  • parallel pedestrian and bike lanes separated by planting verge
  • a new planting verge to separate the esplanade and the road
  • monuments will have mini-piazzas
  • removal of strombotic lights
  • new functionally elegant lighting poles

READ MORE: When in Manila: Sail into a Stunning Sunset

The renovation is a joint initiative of DOT and DPWH through the urban design and landscape architecture plan of PGAA (Paulo G. Alcazaren & Associates) Creative Design.

Alcazaren is one of the awarded and topnotch architects and urban planners of our country so you just know that the future of Roxas Boulevard is in good hands. You can just check out for yourselves his over 200 projects in 14 countries, including high-end residential and mixed-use developments, hotel and resorts, and large site planning in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bahrain, and, of course, the Philippines. (Info from conference.surp.upd.edu.ph.)

By the way, PGAA also designed the Iloilo Esplanade in the Visayas.

READ MORE: The Splendor of the Iloilo Esplanade
Photo and story by Belle Piccio
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