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Ortigas Is the True Midpoint of Metro Manila and Here's Why

We have evidence.
IMAGE AYALAMALLS.COM.PH / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Picture this: It's Friday night in Metro Manila, and a group of friends, hungry and exhausted from work, yet still exuberant enough for a round of drinks, asks this question, "Where are we having dinner?"

This is a litmus test for friendship. The question can cause friction among buddies and can even be a deal breaker when dating someone new. Because really, in this economy, who can afford to waste gallons of gas on the road and a lot of time in traffic? Is your best friend worth the trouble? Who's traveling to whom? Why are we going to you? Where is the best (and fairest) place for people to meet?

Social media offers Makati

Using Trinoma Mall in Quezon City as the starting point for the north and Alabang Town Center for the south, twitter user @sohkato, in a now-viral tweet, claims Glorietta in Makati City is the halfway point of Metro Manila.

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The Twitter user first plotted the distance between the two points on Google Maps, and found they are are 34 kilometers apart. With this in mind, she concluded that the halfway point between the two is Glorietta in Makati, since both Trinoma and ATC are 17 kilometers away from here.

But commuters from both sides of the city argued differently. Those from the north found the choice of Trinoma as the starting point as inaccurate, saying Fairview is the “true north.”

Some say Cubao is the true midpoint since it will take almost the same amount of time to get to Araneta Center from both sides. Interestingly, not much can be heard from those from the south. After all, they have the Skyway to help them get to the city.

So who is saying the truth? What is real? Can our friends’ judgments, clouded by the rising cost of gas and the grisly state of transportation, be trusted?

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This may be no definite answer to this topic, but we would like to present our case for the true midpoint of Metro Manila.

We would like to put forward Ortigas

Please don't think we're biased when we say the Mandaluyong-Pasig area is the true center and the best meeting place (Esquire Philippines’ HQ is found in this area).

First, consider how SM Megamall has become cool (thanks, Fashion Hall!), Robinsons Galleria now has more restaurants, and the new wing of Shangri-La Plaza Mall has all that space! Kapitolyo’s Locavore isn’t as crowded as the one in BGC, and we have two Frankies, too.

Ortigas is really the best option for everyone. Let's consider the evidence:

Take a look at this map

Metro Manila is divided into four districts. The first or capital district is the Manila area; the Eastern Manila district is composed of Marikina, Mandaluyong, Pasig, San Juan, and Quezon City; the Northern Manila district includes Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela; and the Southern Manila district has Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Pateros, and Taguig.

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The Pasig River bisects these districts into the northern and southern parts of Metro Manila. There are at least 16 bridges serving as channels between the two halves. And on this map, it’s apparent how the Mandaluyong-Pasig area is nearest the largest of these bridges, the Guadalupe Bridge, which connects the north and south of the city.

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Let's look at the Internet

With the main goal of helping keep friendships alive, there are also several websites that calculate the midpoints between two destinations.

Geomidpoint, a website that calculates the midpoint of two destinations based on their coordinates, says: “The geographic midpoint for any two points on the earth's surface is located halfway along the great circle route [of the earth], which is the shortest route that runs between both points, and would be like stretching a string between the two points on a world globe then finding the middle of the string.”

To test our proposition, we chose the most mentioned meeting places by Facebook and Twitter users and also the most accessible location for commuters: Fairview Terraces in the north and Alabang Town Center in the south. Both malls are not only accessible by car, but also through public transport. (As for the level of comfort to get to both locations, that’s for another story.)

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Now, when we plotted the two destinations on the site, the literal midpoint is somewhere in Mandaluyong, an unnamed building in a certain Barangay Mauway. And the nearest mall, or most likely meeting point for friends in this area is Shangri-La Plaza in Ortigas.

Let's look at the traffic

But what if we consider the traffic time and the available modes of transportation? Even with these in mind, the Ortigas area remains a strong candidate as the halfway point between the north and south.

Whatshalfway calculates the halfway point between two destinations based on two factors: distance and time spent on the road. For the former, the website found the midpoint is in Mandaluyong City, specifically, SM Megamall, as it’s 17 kilometers away from both destinations.

But for the latter, it concluded that the halfway point is somewhere between Cubao and Pasig or near Camp Crame. Commuters, coming from two locations, meeting at this halfway point would spend around 35 minutes on the road.

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Which is still a win for Ortigas. See you at dinner.

This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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