Ortigas Center is one of the fastest growing commercial and business centers in metro Manila.
Spread on its wide 100-hectare land space are a number of department stores, business offices, mega churches, and hotels. Some of its landmark business and entertainment facilities are the SM Mega Mall, St. Francis Square, Asia Development Bank, San Miguel Corporation’s head office, and Jollibee Foods’ head office, as well as a gigantic image of the Virgin Mary.
The most prominent structure in Ortigas is SM Mega Mall along EDSA highway. It is just one of the many SM braches scattered around the Philippines. With branches in every major city, SM is the most successful chain of super malls in the country. In fact, three SM malls made it into the list of 10 biggest malls in the world: SM Mall of Asia in Pasay is the 3rd largest in the world, SM Mega Mall is 6th, and SM North EDSA in Quezon City is 10th.
Behind SM Mega Mall is St. Francis Square, which is a contrast of SM. St. Francis Square sells cheap, unbranded shirts, skirts, shoes, pants, hardware, toys, household items and other day-to-day commodities. The shops and narrow paths are always crowded and prices are negotiable.
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St. Francis Square is more like the cheap shops in Divisoria and Tutuban, rather than its neighboring malls, SM and Robinson’s Galleria. St. Francis Square is located at the lower floors of the BSA Twin Towers, which are visible as you approach Ortigas Center from the Metrorail (MRT).
Also housed in the twin towers is the Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF), one of the three largest mega Evangelical churches in Ortigas and all over metro Manila. The other two are the Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) and Victory Christian Fellowship.
Beside the BSA Twin Towers is the Asia Development Bank (ADB). ADB is a regional development bank that facilitates the economic development of Asian countries, with 67 member-nations. The ADB complex is huge and made up of state-of-the-art office structures. Shoppers hopping between SM Mega Mall and St.
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Francis Square cannot help but notice the fully guarded ADB complex.
A few blocks away from the twin towers and deeper into Ortigas Center are headquarters of the two most important local businesses in the country:
San Miguel Corporation and Jollibee Foods Corporation. San Miguel Beer is a Philippine-made beer that is popular around the world, and Jollibee is the largest and leading hamburger chain in the country. Almost every grown-up Filipino drinks San Miguel beer, while almost every Filipino child loves Jollibee.
Perhaps the most iconic figure in Ortigas is the gigantic image of the Virgin Mary marking the EDSA Shrine. Located at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue, in front of Robinson’s Galleria, the EDSA Shrine was built to commemorate the People’s Power Revolution that peacefully toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. The image of the Virgin Mary has her hands wide open as though welcoming everyone who is coming to visit Ortigas.
Other important establishments in Ortigas Center are the Podium, Shangri-La Plaza, Shangri-La Hotel, the Philippine Stock Exchange Towers, Viva Entertainment, Star TV, Discovery Suites, Holiday Inn, University of Asia and the Pacific, Poveda College, and Medical City.