If there is one thing senior citizen Harvey Chua loves about the city she’s lived in for 36 years, it’s the parks.
While Makati is known for its skyscraper-filled business district, it has other things to offer both visitors and residents, as well. Shopping malls, art galleries, green spaces, party locations, and eating places are just some of them.
“I like that it’s orderly,” added Chua. “I like that it doesn’t have garish lights. I like the look of the city. It’s attractive.”
The Adphoto general manager was at Greenbelt 5 on Thursday to judge a photo competition titled “Makati: Capture It as It Happens,” headed by the Makati Commercial Estate Association (MACEA) in collaboration with Ayala Land and the Pinoy Photography Organization.
The exhibit was part of the “Make It Happen, Make It Makati” campaign which presents the different facets of the city as a leader in business, lifestyle, entertainment, and culture. Five contest categories—artsy, green, party, sporty, and techie—illustrated these aspects of the metropolis.
“Generally people would think that Makati is filled with business. They think, ah, this is all you do, all business,” said Cesar Campos, former MACEA president and now member of member of its Board of Governors.
“The five different categories will highlight that you can make it in Makati—your events, whether it is [related to] sports, or business, or art. This contest will highlight the different categories in making people aware that Makati is the place for you to stay or work in. All of these are intended to make them aware of the vibrancy and atmosphere of friendliness in Makati.”
There were three winners for each category, receiving P15,000 as the grand prize; P10,000 for the second prize; and P5,000 for the third prize.
2nd runner-up – Jamie Singaldor
1st runner-up – Christian Sangoyo
Champion – Roy Rivera
2nd runner-up – Brigido Alcayde
1st runner-up – Angelo Fortun
Champion – Kienne Eco
2nd runner-up – Mishale Aragoncillo
1st runner-up – Abigail Pua
Champion – Richmond Chi
2nd runner-up – Roger Tingle
1st runner-up – Angelito Sarinas
Champion – Mark Anthony Sola
2nd runner-up – Ralph Lucero
1st runner-up – Joel Vicera
Champion – Patrick Jayson Bayani
“First is impact,” said Chua of the qualities the winning pieces had. “It must stand out right away from the other entries. After the initial impact, you study the picture and you see [whether] it complies with the topic, the theme. And then you look at some technicalities. Does it look amateurish? Does it look like there was some genuine effort? Or it was just a quick snapshot?”
According to Campos, the competition was launched to foster the photographers’ creativity.
“This is to encourage these photographers who have to really study how they can present (the city) well,” said Campos. “It is a contest that will help the artistry of the people participating. About 380 photographs [were] submitted for this contest. Maybe it’s another way of saying that Filipinos are not only good in singing, but are also artistic.”
Artistry that can also be found in his favorite thing about the city. “I like the arrangement within the business district. There are at least seven underpasses to make it safe for people to cross. And nowhere in the Philippines have they done a similar thing,” said Campos.
“We also have elevated walkways. There are railings to prevent people from just walking across the street. It is pedestrian-friendly. I was part of this project and it helped a lot of people working in Makati. You hardly hear of any accidents [due to] crossing.”
There are still some things to that the city can improve on, however.
“I would want the interconnection of buildings like Hong Kong,” said Campos. “Although that is part of our attempt in making the [city] pedestrian-friendly. We have several buildings right now where you can go into it and continue [on], like the Enterprise and RCBC.”
Chua, on the other hand, wishes there were more parks.
“I know that Makati doesn’t have a lot of space, and so I see the effort to put greens even in corners, wherever there’s a little bit of space.” She added that she was appreciative of the Ayala family who opened the Ayala Triangle and the Greenbelt Park to the locals.
Another thing on her wish list: an accessible library.
“There is a library in City Hall, but imagine if it [were] along Ayala [and] it’s all glass. Even if you’re walking as a pedestrian, you know that that’s a library that you can explore. But it’s hard sometimes to wish for things like that when we also have poor people and you’ll have to take care of them first before [attending to the whims] of people like us.”