It’s been years since I last wandered at the Araneta Center and yes, a lot have changed for the better. Down the memory lane, it is a popular place for entertainment. You can find a lot of cinemas and malls here. The big dome and the famous Fiesta carnival, the favorite hang-out of Filipino kids.
Thanks to the QC Blogventure, I was able to explore Araneta Center today and see it’s new offerings for the public to enjoy.
During the tour, my colleagues shared a lot of memories about Cubao. An example of our lively discussion was The New Frontier Cinema. It opened in 1967 and was known as Asia’s largest cinema. Today it is known as The Kia Theatre.
The theatre orchestra capacity is up to 2,301 and 2,700 for standing patrons.
The newly renovated lodge has comfortable chairs.
Just in front of the Kia Theatre is the Rustan’s Tower and Gateway Mall. I never thought that I can find a pocket park in the heart of Cubao.
I’m talking about The Topiary Garden that nestled at the 5th floor of the Gateway Mall. Best view here is during sunset and well, at night.
Passing by the Topiary Garden, you can reach the Gateway Gallery. It’s the largest cultural destination in Quezon City that promotes industry, culture and education.
Currently, Sining Saysay exhibits Philippine History in Arts. It is a product of five years collaboration among University of the Philippines, the UP Alumni Association, and the Araneta Center.
A few more steps outside Gateway Mall is the Big Dome now the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. It opened on March 16, 1960, and became historical during Flash Elorde’s triumph over Harold Gomes with 36,000 crowd. One of most dramatic boxing matches in history happened in the Araneta Coliseum in 1975. It was the ever famous Thrilla in Manila by boxing icons Muhhamad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Also a few blocks away is The Farmers Market that opened in 1974. It is also known as the bagsakan ng kalakal from the provinces. Best buy here are the seafoods, though the prices of fruits, meat and vegetables are also cheaper compared to other markets.
You can find Timbangan ng Bayan in some points of the market. It was a model project that the local government implemented it in all public markets in the city.
Aside from the commercial and entertainment structures, the Araneta Center is evolving into a live-work-play environment. It currently boasts its residential towers like the Manhattan Parkview Garden and internationally known hotels like The Novotel.
Novotel soft-opens today, October 12. It has 401 hotel rooms and suites.
Novotel has exceptional venues for occasions like the grand ballroom, the soon to be finished bridal garden and a 360-degree view of the Metro Manila skyline. For business matters, they have six meeting rooms and boardrooms.
After the tour inside Novotel. We proceeded at the Mowelfund Museum at 66 Rosario Drive where we were briefed about the history of Philippine cinema.
Old memorabilia and other stuff of Philippine movie icons are in the house.
You can also find old props and equipment used in film-making.
It’s my first time in Pambansang Museo ng Pelikula and honestly, it needs the support from the current showbiz industry and personalities.
Our five-hour tour started while having lunch in Four Season’s Buffet and Hot Pot in Manhattan Parkview, Araneta Center and ended at Gerry’s Grill Timog.
To sum it up, I have learned a lot of new things from the Blogventure. It is really worth knowing the history of your home, learning how it was before and how it evolve today is really nurturing, amazing and inspiring. It is something worth sharing for future generations to live, love and value.