Friday, February 18, 2011


There is something about bridges that enthralls my spirit. Perhaps, it is the lofty feeling of soaring above ground for a moment's glimpse of the cityscape.  It might also be the idea of being removed from one world to another, such in the case of crossing the Del Pan Bridge from the slums of Tondo to the tourist havens of Intramuros and beyond.

I have always been drawn to river crossings as a kid.  I grew up in a neighborhood a few blocks away from the Nagtahan Bridge. Once or twice, my dad and I used to walk  until our feet carried us to the bridge's crest. On top, we watched barges pulled by sturdy tugboats pass under. I also recall the undeniable relief of seeing the jeep I used to ride get pass Plaza Miranda and on to Quezon Bridge.  The snarling traffic and urban chaos of Quiapo giving way to the evergreens and wide open spaces of Lawton has always been a refreshing sight.

It was a tip from Discreet Manila that brought me to Rockwell.  When the nerdy gentleman had told me that a bridge was being constructed there, the pathfinder in me vowed to see the structure before it opens to sedans and SUVs. But news of its inauguration came as a complete surprise.  Its roads were paved before I could step foot and gloat about my discovery.

Rockwell - Barangka Bridge

The bridge, known for the streets it connects spans the mighty Pasig River. It separates the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong at the heart of Rockwell Center. The two-lane river crossway boasts of a truss design. While considered diminutive in comparison with  the timeless Ayala Bridge in Quiapo, the new bridge serves as a shortcut to the central business district, while easing the bottleneck forming along Makati Avenue during rush hours.

Much can be said about this arch of minimalistic creation, but I will leave the striking details for fellow sojourners to explore.  Look for the behemoth across the river. The nostalgic reminder of Mandaluyong's industrial center will be gone soon.   

The country's tallest skyscraper casts its long shadow over the river's southern bank. Its modular rooms will soon become homes to the country's moneyed elite.  

Learn, how the bridge could be accessed from Boni Avenue. It might be a long walk from the main street, but the view from the bridge on a quiet late afternoon is rewarding.

Rockwell Center

Finally, put  yourself  in the shoes of a hovel dweller living along the riverbank's northern edge.  How does it feel to have the opulence and decadence of a world far away, just a bridge crossing from a home that will soon be no more?


dabo said...

Yep, itatayo na ang Acqua Residences, development ng Century Properties sa lumang site ng Noah's Ark Sugar Mill (?)..

Mr. Hush Hush said...

hehehe Mugen! I cross this bridge everyday when it opened :) It's sooo convenient and I live nearby ;p

Spiral Prince said...

we all have our happy places hidden in the urban chaos of cities. they allow us to snatch brief moments of serenity and clarity which we like to immerse and lose ourselves in.

your choice of happy place is really interesting, Mugen. there are many layers of symbolism and ideas inherent in them, but even then, its being a bridge speaks a lot already. call it over-analysis, but i do think that there truly is more to them than what we already think.

Kiks said...

mugen, i am reading setting sun, a collection of writings by japanese photographers and i saw a semblance between your writing and theirs.

Sean said...

i really like the way you write.

i also live nearby with a view of the river. i guess not for long.

Mu[g]en said...


Coming from a master, I am humbled pre. Thanks.

So, are you moving elsewhere?


Is there a way for me to get a copy of that book?

Curious akong malaman yung writing style ko. Hehehe.

Mr. Hush:

Lemme guess, nakatira ka sa isa sa mga units sa Rockwell. Lol. Dun ka ba sa Plaridel (?) or Manansala (?)

Mu[g]en said...


Bah! Hindi pa sila tapos sa Grammercy, meron na naman sila bagong itatayo?

Do you remember that spot where we rested our feet next to Pasig River? I still do.

Spiral Prince:

Anywhere the sun touches on a blissful quiet late afternoon is a happy place for me. But tranquility dwells where trees bloom. :)

jericho said...

so, how come i cross the Tsing Ma Bridge - allegedly the longest one in the part of the world where I am - and cannot think of anything about how long it is?

love the last paragraph ... yeah, I wonder what do they think. bridges don't necessarily connect. sometimes they magnify the disconnect in society. :)

Mu[g]en said...


I guess crossing the bridge there doesn't mean going from one world to another. The striking difference here in our city is quite too hard to ignore.

Louie said...

Simula nung lumobo katawan ko, hindi ko na naeenjoy long walks, I hope I can also explore once again to discover new things. Kailangan na talaga seryosohin ang pagpapapayat! Hehe!

Nicely written as always, I felt like exploring around also while reading this.

Sean said...

staying put for the meantime. view lang siguro yung maaapektuhan.