Manila Zoo site eyed for PBA coliseum

By Waylon Galvez – IMAGINE THE PBA dome at the site where the current Manila Zoo is located. Seems like a perfect place. Well, that’s what PBA Board of Governors chairman Ricky Vargas thinks after meeting with two newly-elected Manila officials recently as the league prepares to make its choice where to put up the PBA Dome.

“It’s a good location, the PBA dome at the heart of the city,” said Vargas yesterday during a chat with sportswriters at the Araneta Coliseum.

Vargas spoke last week with Vice Mayor-elect Isko Moreno and District 5 representative Amado Bagatsing and both expressed support to the idea of constructing the PBA Dome in Manila.

However, the only problem is where to relocate the zoo, which needs Congress approval.

While Manila is an ideal area, Vargas, however, said that the vacant area in Quezon City, near the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA, remains as the top contender because of its accessibility.

PBA Commissioner Noli Eala, in a talk with sportswriters Tuesday evening, said the likely site would be in Quezon City, at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue.

He said the PBA is negotiating to lease a 10-hectare site in the area and he described the negotiation as “nearing completion.”

Another area being considered is the reclaimed area in Macapagal Avenue and Vargas said they will have a second dialogue with officials from the SM Mall of Asia sometime next week.

But Eala said the Mall of Asia negotiation has failed and the QC site has become a viable alternative.

“Actually there are many options for the PBA to take,” said Vargas, adding that building the PBA Dome is part of my goal as the chairman before his term ends after the 2006-07 season.

The idea of constructing a permanent PBA home cropped up early this year.

Vargas, who represents Talk ‘N Text in the PBA Board of Governors, said that he already asked his Sta. Lucia Realty counterpart Buddy Encarnado, who chairs the site and design committee, to make its presentation.

“We have to agree on the site first before we come out with the design. There are already bidders for the design,” he said.

One of the architects who submitted a design of the Dome was the one which made the plan for the construction of the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in California, USA.

Vargas said he hopes to get the report from Encarnado before the board meets on June 28.

“We have Europeans willing to finance (the construction of the Dome), then there’s MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan), as well as the SMC (San Miguel Corporation) group of Mr. Ramon Ang ready to help. This is the best opportunity for us,” said Vargas.


by Carlos Celdran via Walk this Way


Okay, just when I thought I heard the worst of it when it came to government development plans in the heart of downtown Manila, I stumble upon this. If the government’s permission to construct a hideous sports complex in Intramuros, an inappropriate oceanarium in Rizal Park, and a high rise condominium in Adriatico circle seemed like the height of administrative chutzpah/neglect/idiocy, how about these current plans to destroy the Manila Zoo? Just yesterday, I read about the newly elected officials of Manila City Hall charmed by the idea of selling off Manila Zoo to developers for a basketball coliseum (and from what I hear from insiders in city hall, a luxury condominium complex too – someone please confirm). All with the blessings of vice-Mayor-elect Iskho Moreno and Rep. Amado Bagatsing. What the hell? I mean – yeah, I totally agree that the place should have been shut down years ago and all the remaining animals sent off to the much more humane Avilon Zoo in Rizal. But really, a condo and basketball coliseum? Think of the parking problem. And what about those gorgeous trees inside the zoo?

How about this as a better idea? Let’s ship off all the animals to Avilon for some fresh air, let’s tear down the concrete walls, open up the space to the public and convert the zoo into the Manila Botanical Gardens. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Let’s even get Mayor Lim’s favorite charity, The Winner’s Foundation to oversee the conversion. And as a complement, let’s convince the Martels of Harrison Plaza (above) to take out a massive loan and redevelop their shopping complex next door so that it takes full advantage of the bayview across and mini forest. Let’s tell them to ask the Ayalas for some advice. It would be great to see something like Greenbelt or Serendra overlooking the Manila Zoo trees and South China Sea sunset, donchatink? And, hey – there is even enough room for a luxury condominium too! Because I mean, c’mon, Martels, what the hay? Even the Ortigases and the Aranetas have redeveloped their properties. You are the last to get on board. You own the fricking own the Philippine Tatler for crissake and your flagship real estate is, well… gross and unbefitting for the “cream” of Philippine society. By the looks of the place, you guys might as well own Tempo. Sorry. My apologies to Tempo.

Find more like this: Environment, Sports


  1. Darwin says:

    Buhay nga naman. Basketball muna bago environment! Kudos Carlos for your suggestions.

  2. Sheree says:

    Love that visual! Na ‘basketball-eye’ (black-eye) ang Philippine Owl! Ayos :-(

  3. ej 23 says:

    Hangin di ata ang laman ng Utak ni Vice Mayor Elect Isko Moreno…tsk..tsk…tsk..

  4. An interesting discussion is value comment. I think that you should write more on this matter, it might not be a taboo topic but usually individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  5. […] Manila Zoo site eyed for PBA coliseum – Amado Bagatsing. What the hell? I mean – yeah, I totally agree that the place should have been shut down years ago and all the remaining animals sent off to the much more humane Avilon Zoo in Rizal. But really, a condo and basketball coliseum? […]

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