Dining is of course the number one thing to do in The Fort. There are so many restaurants to choose from that it will take a while for one to visit all of them. However, The Fort also is a place for many other activities, some of which are quite unique. So if you have some time to spend in The Fort on a Sunday, here are some suggestions.
1. Join a fun run
The Fort is a popular place for fun runs. Just look at our list of What’s Happening and you can find quite a few. For example, in the month of December 2014, there are two fun runs in The Fort, while in January 2015 there will be four.
2. Gawk at fancy cars at Burgos Circle
At least every other Sunday mornings you can see fancy cars and their owners camp out at cafes at Burgos Circle. Mostly sports cars, sometimes there are vintage cars on display also. Many people come to just take photos and admire the cars. Too bad fancy cars are often associated with opulent display of wealth, but these machines are really quite beautiful in their own right. If you hang around long enough, you can even hear one of them roar – the sound of metal muscle.
3. Take part in activities in Bonifacio High Street
Believe it or not, there are activities happening in BHS at least once a month. In November, for example, on 22 November, there was an Asean-Korean Festival held along side the Cycle Asia event in Bonifacio Global City. Then there is the BGC Passionfest 2014 to be held from 28 to 30 November.
4. Tour of modern architecture in The Fort
The Fort being a new and high-end urban center in Metro Manila is home to many buildings that incorporate modern architectural trends and technology. For futuristic design, there is the Mind Museum, for eco-friendly buildings, there is Arya Residences among others.
In fact, The Fort has quite a handful of award winning buildings within its boundary. Here is a list:
- Globe Tower [32nd Street] – named best commercial architectural design and best commercial development (office category) by the Philippine Property Awards 2014.
- One Global Place [25th Street] – “Five Star” Best Office Development Award by the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2013
- Arya Residences [McKinley Parkway]– awarded the Best Residential Architectural Design and Best Residential Interior Design awards by the Philippine Property Awards 2014
- SM Aura Premier [McKinley Parkway]– awarded the Best Commercial Development (Retail) and Best Commercial Architectural Design (Retail) by the Philippine Property Awards 2014.
- Ascott Bonifacio Global City [28th Street corner 5th Avenue] – awarded the Best Hotel Architectural Design by the Philippine Property Awards 2014.
- Bonifacio High Street - awarded the Best Landscape Architectural Design by the Philippine Property Awards 2014.
Other properties in The Fort that were highly commended by the Philippine Property Awards 2014 were: Net Park (in the Best Commercial Architectural Design category), SM Aura (in the Best Landscape Architectural Design category), Avida CityFlex Towers BGC (in the Best Affordable Condo Development [Manila] category).
5. Walking tour of art installations in BGC
There are about a dozen of public art installations placed at various corners of BGC (look for names such as Balanghai, Kalikasan, Transformation, and Pasasalamat). In addition to these, there are interactive art pieces at Bonifacio High Street. The principal developer of Bonifacio Global City (Ayala Land Corporation) seems to believe that arts can add value to a real estate, and they are probably right. Not only did they finance the construction of art installations around BGC, they also organize arts event in BGC from time to time. For the latest art events, visit ARTS at BGC, go to this page #artworks if you want to see a list of the public arts installation (may not be up to date though).
Things that you cannot do even on a Sunday
The two public open spaces in The Fort, namely 28th Terra and 30th Track, even though they are called parks by the authorities, do not allow people to ride a bicycle (even bikes for 6-year-old kids) inside. Nor do they welcome skateboarders, roller skates or things of that sort.
Where can you do these things which are regarded as common recreational activities in most cities around the world? We really do not know. We only know that the "community rules" in The Fort forbid skateboards or the like on streets, but we do not know what exactly are the rules, where such sports are allowed, nor the consequences of fouling the rules (well, except when it becomes an incident like the one that took place in September 2014).
The truth of the matter is, as The Fort uses up more and more of its vacant lots, there is less and less open space. Little, if any, of all the money made from selling land for high-rise condo or office development has been allocated to provide public recreational facilities. While more and more people are moving in, to work or live, less and less breathing room and recreational facilities are available. If this trend does not change, then one can kiss goodbye to The Fort’s aspiration to become a modern city that resembles other advanced cities like Singapore or New York.