5 Things People Don’t Know About The Fort


the fortWho hasn’t heard of Bonifacio Global City? It’s become the place to live, work, play, learn and shop. It’s home to some of the most popular clubs and restaurants, the stage for a thriving arts and culture scene, and a favorite venue for everything from marathons to cozy family reunions. It’s developed a reputation for being one of the most prestigious business addresses. Tell anyone that you actually live there, and you’re bound to hear one of two things: “You’re so lucky!” and “So, are you looking for a roommate?”

That’s the Bonifacio Global City everyone knows and loves, but there’s a lot more to discover about this lifestyle hub other than the fact that it’s really cool. Here are some little-known trivia.

The Fort’s first residents were soldiers

During the colonial period, the United States government acquired Taguig and used the area as a military camp for American soldiers stationed in the Philippines. At the time, it was called Fort McKinley, after the famous general. In 1949, when Fort McKinley was returned to the Philippines, it was renamed Fort Bonifacio, partially to pay tribute to Andres Bonifacio’s bravery, but also because the hero’s father was a native of Taguig.

The Fort has a secret underground tunnel

Photo courtesy of http://www.remate.ph

Photo courtesy of http://www.remate.ph

Seventy feet beneath the urban landscape of The Fort lies a network of tunnels that has been part of the country’s history for more than 76 years. These secret tunnels bear witness to history that spans the American and Japanese occupations in the country.

According to historians, work on the tunnels began in 1936. Igorots were hired to dig up the tunnels, which were originally going to be used to transport supplies from the Pasig River to the military bases inside the fort. It’s estimated to be 2.24 km long, reaching as far as Muntinlupa and parts of C-5 road.

It has 32 built-in chambers (one even equipped with a deep-well for drinking water) and exits that lead to nearby Pembo and East Rembo. Until now, certain portions of the tunnels remain unexplored. It’s slated to be declared a heritage site by 2014.

For the curious, the entrance to the secret tunnel can be found near a popular shopping mall.

The Fort is an open air museum

Take a leisurely walk around The Fort and you’ll soon find out that you’re surrounded by great Filipino artworks – sculptures from some of the Philippines’ most established artists.

Among the sculptures to watch out for on your next jaunt around The Fort are:

  • Balanghai (Gerry Leonardo). A kinetic sculpture inspired by the balanghay.
  • Kasaysayan Bawat Oras (Juan Sajid de Leon Imao ). A 16-meter work made of reinforced brass sheet and cement. It’s a working sundial which can accurately tell the time.
  • Ang Supremo (Ben-Hur Villanueva). This brass-bronze statue of Andres Bonifacio captures that historical event when members of the KKK tore up their cedulas.
  • The Trees (Reynato Paz Contreras). The 6.5 meter tall sculpture showcases  three interlocking trees, a symbol of the relationship between progress and Mother Earth.
  • Pasasalamat (Ferdie Cacnio). This brass representation of two fishermen thanking God for a bountiful harvest is found along Rizal Drive.
  • Transformation (Lor Calma). At night, the lights and cascading water make this artwork truly breathtaking.

You can also find the interactive works of contemporary artist Reg Yuson in Bonifacio High Street: Specific Gravity (suspended boulder fountain), Hearsay (twisted pipes that you can actually use to talk to a person at the other end), Presence (free-standing floor chimes), and Bearable Lightness (a collaboration with fellow artist Ronald Achacoso).

The Fort’s master plan is modeled after the perfect city

When the ancient Greek architect Hippodamus imagined the perfect city, he prioritized systematic order. Everything–from the flow of the streets to the functions of each component — contributed to the citizens’ quality of life and the overall sense of harmony. To achieve this, he closely studied how a city works, its functional problems, and the most efficient solutions.  He even computed the ideal allocation of space between the “private, public and sacred”–thus addressing everyone’s needs.

Hippodamus’ concept earned him the title “the Father of Urban Planning.” He would’ve been proud of the Fort’s master plan, which follows his ideals. Its landscape is the perfect mixture of residential, business, and public spaces. The modern road network and efficient traffic system also epitomize his standards of efficient design.

The Fort has an eco-smart transportation system

No jeepneys are allowed inside The Fort. Not only does this policy help maintain smooth traffic flow, but it also paves the way for a more environmentally-friendly public transportation system.  Commuters can use the shuttle bus and the electric tricycles, which do not emit any noise or smoke. Hurrah for a greener and calmer ride!

But it gets better: the Fort’s wide sidewalks actually make it easy and even pleasant to walk from one place to the other. Those who work or live in the area can attest to how accessible everything is. Why do you think people love jogging at The Fort — it’s one of the few places you can go where you’re not scared of getting run over or being robbed at the next street corner!

…and the next most exciting thing that’s happening at The Fort is…

Hot property investment options! Megaworld, the Philippines’ top residential condominium developer and BPO office landlord, is embarking on a series of projects within Bonifacio Global City. True to the company’s motto of “Live.Work.Play.Learn.Shop”, Uptown Bonifacio will combine business, residential and recreational facilities. With Megaworld’s excellent track record for creating prestigious lifestyle hubs (from Eastwood to McKinley Hill) this is bound to make The Fort an even more exciting place to be.

Author: Megaworld at the Fort

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Megaworld is the country’s leading residential condominium developer and pioneer of the LIVE-WORK-PLAY-LEARN-SHOP township concept.


2 comments on “5 Things People Don’t Know About The Fort

  1. Lourdes Labarcon

    Nicole, thanks for writing about the fort where i was born & raised as an army brat. but i think you got some data wrong. Ft. McKinley was named after the US president in the early 1900’s. it was in the early 60’s when it was renamed Ft. Bonifacio..my birth certificate showed my birthplace as Army Station Hospital, Ft. William Mckinley, Makati, Rizal in 1958..Andres Bonifacio’s father was a native of Masantol, Pampanga. Taguig only acquired the fort in 1993, before this that town never showed any interest in the place where families of poor soldiers lived..oh, there are jeepnesy plying the route of guadalupe to gate 3 that crosses thru the fort. and why not? save for american battle monument, these jeepneys are the only few vestiges of the fort’s past, do not steal that from us…yes, the fort is now so classy & im proud of it but some of us who grew up there miss the tall acacias & the rolling golf courses inside the camp..when i was a high school student at UST in the 70’s & classmates asked where i was from, they would wonder “fort what? where is that?” now, everybody knows..BTW, there is a restaurant in San Francisco named after the fort called McKinley where old paintings & drawings of the old camp during pre-war are exhibited.

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