Property giant Megaworld is paying tribute to the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), the historic institution where the 34-hectare The Upper East township in Bacolod now stands, with the construction of The Upper East House.
“We take pride in The Upper East bearing a part of the legacy of its location as the former site of the BMMC, an institution that played a pivotal role in jumpstarting economic progress in Bacolod,” Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for Sales and Marketing of Megaworld Visayas, said in a press conference Sept. 26.
“We continue to honor this legacy as we develop this historic site as Bacolod’s iconic central business district and to once again become a catalyst of progress in this part of the region,” she added.
She said they always try to preserve history and tradition in their projects, although The Upper East House will be the first curated showroom of Megaworld.
Set for completion by the fourth quarter of 2023, the three-level township showroom and information center will occupy more than half-a-hectare lot along the Upper East Avenue, beside the soon-to-open McDonald’s Upper East.
A retrofitted and refurbished century-old BMMC train, that used to be the main mode of transport to deliver sugarcanes during the early days of the sugar mill, will be placed beside The Upper East House, and part of the “bagon” will be a dessert station.
“We want to celebrate the history of BMMC where we are right now. The Upper East House will be a perfect blend of history and modern…the old and the new,” Harold Brian Geronimo, Megaworld Corporation senior assistant vice president and head of Public Relations and Media Affairs, said.
The BMMC spurred economic growth in Bacolod, and influenced social development as well as political rivalries and alliances in Negros Island, said journalist Modesto Sa-onoy, who specializes in the history of Negros Island.
The Upper East House’s vintage look will take inspiration from the elegant and sophisticated design of the BMMC’s “white mansion”, an old bahay na bato that used to be inside the former sugar milling complex and served as a vacation house of the Araneta family.
A gallery of BMMC memorabilia will be the main highlight of this iconic addition to the P35 billion township investment near the Bacolod Government Center.
Among its prominent design features will be the silong, which was used in the past for storage and to raise farm animals, and the tukod, a long piece of wood used to hold open, swing-out windows, Palmares-Fong said.
There will also be a spacious veranda and outdoor lounge with water feature fronting the eight-lane Upper East Avenue.
The interior walls will be adorned with decorative wooden panels, while calados or carved wooden screens, and cartouches or decorative ceiling panels, will hang from the ceiling as accents and to help circulate air across rooms.
As a showroom, The Upper East House will feature model units of the township’s residential developments and sales offices complete with facilities, she added.
The upper ground floor, on the other hand, will have spaces for retail shops and cafés.
Meanwhile, Geronimo said that McDonald’s The Upper East will open on Oct. 10, in time for the 43rd staging of the world-renowned festival of Bacolod. Several MassKara events will also be held at The Upper East.
The city’s first master-planned mixed-use community will soon have its own lifestyle mall, commercial parks, hotel, church, and other institutional and recreational facilities. Landers Superstore will also open its first superstore in Western Visayas inside the township next year.
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