Nostalgia over Star City after massive fire

October 3, 2019 - 9:53 AM
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Star City fire
A photo of Star City after the fire on Oct. 2, 2019 from the Pasay City Command, Control, Communication and Information Center.
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The fire that gutted most of structure of Star City complex, along with the Manila Broadcasting Corp. facility, triggered nostalgic memories to Filipinos online who used to visit the old amusement park.

A huge fire suddenly broke out at Star City in Pasay City in the morning of October 2.

No casualties have been reported but 80% of the park was affected, which includes the icy exhibit Snow World and the park’s own Star Theater, according to Pasay City Fire Marshal Superintendent Paul Pili.

Facebook user Marvin Margallo shared that Star City reminded him of his childhood. He also attached photos of the place during the fire.

“Isang special na lugar kung saan nagbigay satin ng masayang mga ala-ala na di natin malilimutan na sa isang iglap ay tuluyan ng nawala,” Margallo said.

Twitter user @theklmanuel similarly cited school field trips to Star City as the most memorable for him.

“As a kid from the province, one of my most vivid memories was field trips to Star City. Feels sad to see all these go to ashes. Hoping everyone’s safe,” he said.

At 6 am of October 2, the Facebook page of Pasay City Command, Control, Communication and Information Center shared photos of the aftermath of the fire.

The photos showed the once colorful and lively park turned into a ghostly, charred compound. Included in the post was a photo of Star City caught in the terrifying inferno.

The post made rounds over 177,000 times on Facebook and reached platforms Twitter and Reddit.

Ito po ang nangyaring sunog sa star city kaninang alas dose ng madaling araw.(CTTO)

Posted by Pasay City Command, Control, Communication and Information Center – C3 on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

 

Based on the reports, the blaze erupted at 12:22 am and was raised to Task Force Bravo wherein 19 fire trucks were deployed to stop the flames. The situation only became under control at 4:30 am.

Pili also said that the fire may have started in the stockroom and spread quickly due to the structure’s materials.

While the origin of the fire is yet to be determined, the Bureau of Fire Protection said that it could be arson.

Pili specified that firefighters were suspicious that the fires appeared to have simultaneously started in different parts of Star City.

Fire reached the MBC facility

According to radio station Yes! The Best 101.1, the fire that razed Star City also affected the head offices of the Manila Broadcasting Corp.

“Despite the catastrophe, MBC FM stations Love Radio, Yes the Best, and Easy Rock will continue regular broadcasting operations. DZRH is expected to go back on-air within 48 hours or less,” part of the statement read.

MBC officers, meanwhile, were closely coordinating with the authorities to identify the suspect and cause of the incident.

Star City, unfortunately, will be closed for the Christmas season.

Park for the 90s kids

The Star City complex, a 35,000 square meter area, started off as a small attraction for children at a fair called the Toys and Gifts Fair at the Philippine Center for International Trade and Exhibitions in 1991.

It is owned by the Elizalde family, specifically Fred Elizalde, who also happened to own MBC, among other companies.

During its heydays, Star City was once dubbed as the “Entertainment Center of the Philippines” due to the 3,000-seat Star Aliw Theater where foreign artists Dionne Warwick, Stephen Bishop, Sergio Mendez and Toto have performed before.

Elizalde’s wife, Lisa Macuja, also held several performances there as well.