Our next sight is Bonifacio Circle in Fort Bonifacio Global City. Unfortunately, it is only in Google Maps and Google Earth that you can still explore this sight. Why? Well, Ayala Land, which is a co-manager of the Fort Bonifacio area, decided to destroy this rotunda up to the outer Katipunan Circle to put up Bonifacio High Street, their latest strip mall.
While Bonifacio High Street is a really nice-looking upscale mall with lots of high-end boutiques and restaurants, the whole of Fort Bonifacio is not as beautiful with it. What made this former base area really striking was the set of concentric circular roads that provided an orderly look to the district. There’s nothing like it elsewhere in the Philippines. The circles are best appreciated as seen from satellite images. Don’t you think those circles look really pretty in Google Maps?
Another thing that made Bonifacio Circle special is that it held the record for the largest rotunda in Metro Manila at 178 meters in diameter (I pointed this out back in 2005). I defined rotunda as an unbroken perfectly circular road, i.e., one that doesn’t have other roads in it. The outer Katipunan Circle is also a record holder: it was the largest circular road (not necessarily a rotunda) in the Metro at 420 meters.
Photo of the Bonifacio High Street by Peter Emmett.
Since the Katipunan and Bonifacio Circles are no more, which roads hold the records now? Well, for the largest circular road, there’s the street at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig (272 m.) and Liwasang Kalayaan in Marikina (275 m.). As for the biggest rotunda, it’s the Teodoro F. Valencia Circle in Rizal Park (142 m.). This rotunda is also known as the Agrifina Circle (because beside it are the former buildings of the Department of Finance and the Department of Agriculture). Runners-up are Belen Street/Paco Park (126 m.) and SM Mall of Asia’s rotunda (113 m.)