The Greenhills I Remember and Love

Greenhills

My love affair with Greenhills started when I was 4 years old and my mom and dad would bring me along to Greenlanes for their company bowling leagues. To this day, by sound alone, I would know if someone hit a strike or not. The crisp sound is undeniable. Paeng Nepomuceno had a shop in Greenlanes and I remember wandering in there and chatting him up. He even gave me a lollipop from this jar that he kept on his desk. There was a machine right outside his shop that cleaned bowling balls. If I close my eyes, I can remember the smell that would come out of that machine as it whirred to polish a ball. It was not an unpleasant smell, like how some people like the smell of gasoline.

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Greenlanes

Green Lanes
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During those days, the early 1980’s, the waiters in Greenlanes wore white long-sleeved shirts and black pants with black bowties. I made friends with them because I was always there. ย I even remember the name of one of them, Arthur. If I was able to go back in time and I had to identify him in a police lineup, I would be able to point him out in a heartbeat. He had thick black hair with thick eyebrows and dark eyes. The waiters would bring my mom her coffee with cream with loads of sugar which I would sip out of sometimes. They came in these sturdy white cups and saucers with green lines around them. The burgers in Greenlanes came in wooden plates served with fried banana chips instead of french fries.

 

When you entered Greelanes then, the lobby would be lined with appliances like White Westinghouse refrigerators and La Germania gas ranges and stoves. These were the prizes given away to the winners of the league and my dad brought home one of those refrigerators and gas ranges together with two trophies that were taller than me. In the center of the bowling alley was a large wooden counter where you can get your shoes and your paper and acetate score sheets. Back then, scoring was done manually and you had to mark the acetate score sheet with a special kind of pencil. It was then projected onto a screen on top of the lanes. I remember that my parents would wait after the games as the final scores were tallied. They usually went on until close to midnight.

Dunkin’ Donuts

One evening I distinctly remember was when Dunkin’ Donuts opened in Manila and their first branch was in Greenhills. It was right at the corner of Ortigas Avenue and Club Filipino Avenue even before Pizza Hut opened a branch there. After bowling, my mom and I went and the donuts seemed so huge back then. The smell of frosted sugar wafted all over the place and the aircon was in full blast. Even though I’ve never been to the US, it felt like you were in the States when you walked in. ย The first donut I ever tried was Strawberry Frosted and we even brought home some Munchkins that were in a special glass jar.

Now I don’t know how this happened but while my parents bowled, I was able to wander around outside Greenlanes. I can’t recall if my older brothers were with me or I was with the older children of the other bowlers.

Pizza Inn

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Right outside of Greenlanes was Pizza Inn. Seems strange now when you think about it because right around the corner was the very popular Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Pizza Inn had dark colored glass on its facade and their “mascot” or logo was this guy wearing a jacket throwing and twirling a pizza up in the air. If I can remember correctly, you can actually watch as someone prepared the pizza dough from outside the restaurant. This corner spot is now occupied by Mister Donut.

Choo Choo Junction

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Before turning the corner, there was Choo Choo Junction across the service road right beside the North Western Street ramp heading up to Connecticut Street. It wasn’t a railroad-themed restaurant, it was an actual restaurant INSIDE a steam train. Needless to say, it was very cramped but man, what a dining experience for a little boy. We ate there a couple of times and Choo-Choo Junction was known for their spaghetti. They even had a spaghetti dish on a sizzling dish where a raw egg would be cooked right in front of you.

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Game Room

When you turned the corner, there was a small Game Room before you reached Shakey’s. While they had those booths where you could play Pong and Pacman, they also had those table top games where you could play Space Invaders. Before you reached the Game Room though, there was a set of steps that led to a door that was the entrance to a bar, a club, or a disco that of course I never ventured into because I was a child. I should try to find out the name of that establishment and update this article.

Shakey’s

Of course, Shakey’s was a destination by itself. Back then, bands would play at night (they were called “combos” during that time) and you could hear the music blaring from outside. They served beer and the waiters wore these styrofoam hats that they would give away to the kids. Back then, Shakey’s was a “pizza parlor” and it had the air of a saloon rather than a family-friendly restaurant. There was this yellow and red wallpaper all around and “Ye Olde” signs littered the place. If you were buying pizza to take home, they came in these thin white boxes and the oil would quickly seep through the flimsy cardboard. You didn’t really mind because the smell of Shakey’s thin crust pizza with cheese and garlic was simply heavenly. I remember a promotion they had where they would give away superhero masks like Superman, Spiderman, and Batman where you simply wrapped the rubber bands around your ears to wear them.

Unimart

A crowded Unimart
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On the other end of Greenlanes was UniMart. My parents would sometimes give me money to buy a toy or snacks to keep me occupied while they played. On those nights, I would walk over to Unimart and buy myself a big bag of Jack ‘N Jill Chiz Curls or Chippy. I would eat through the whole bag until I got to the small plastic toy or sticker inside. Other nights I would go to the toy section in the supermarket. I remember buying this Batmobile once and I played with it in Unimart itself once we paid for it.

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The floor right outside the line of cash registers seemed so much expansive back then and I would roll that toy car on the floor. I also remember buying a Spiderman web shooter that you can wrap around your wrist. Of course, it was nothing more than a variation of a toy gun with those mini projectiles with plastic suction cups in the end. I also remember that there was a gazebo type structure in the entrance of Unimart where you could sit to eat.

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Funhouse

When I was 8 years old, I had to ride with my older cousins from school back to their house for a family get together. Before going home though, we passed by Greenhills first. This was the first time I was going there without my parents. My cousins were teenagers already and they went to a shop called “Funhouse” in Padilla Arcade. When people think of Greenhills, they automatically think Virra Mall, Shoppesville, and UniMart. No one seems to mention or remember the old Padilla Arcade anymore. Padilla Arcade was in between Greenlanes and Unimart. Anyway, my cousins wanted to go to this place called Funhouse. Funhouse was this new store where you could buy those items you would see in ads in comic books. Funhouse sold items that you could use to play jokes and pranks on other people like fake blood, itchy powder, stink bombs, that telescope that gave you a black eye and of course, x-ray glasses. When we got there, I saw this giant Frankenstein statue on the counter and I froze and I couldn’t go inside. On top of that, Statler (one half of those two elderly critics on the balcony in “The Muppet Show”, Statler and Waldorf) was hanging from ย a hangman’s noose on one side of the store. I guess those two scary images were too much for my 8 year old self and I couldn’t get myself to enter Funhouse. Back in the Toyota Hi-Ace, my cousins enjoyed their loot and they made fun of me for being such a scaredy cat.

Chrisareth

The old Padilla Arcade was also home to Chrisareth. I read from the Dork Side that Comic Quest was actually in Padilla Arcade also but the only comic book store I remember there was Chrisareth. What I remember though is that Chrisareth was more like a row of wooden bins with old comic books rather than an actual shop or store. When comics became popular again in the 90s with the X-tinction Agenda storyline and the Infinity Gauntlet, my friends and I would go to Chrisareth to buy old issues of “New Mutants”. Chrisareth was run by this middle-aged, ponytailed dude.

Ricky Reyes

Yes, believe it or not, there was a time when Ricky Reyes was the cool place to go if you wanted to get a fashionable haircut. What we could call a flagship store now of Ricky Reyes was located inside Padilla Arcade. It was P50 or P70 pesos for a haircut there before and that was considered a fortune in those days.

McDonald’s

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I actually celebrated my 8th birthday in McDonald’s Greenhills. The year before that, I celebrated it in the newly opened McDonald’s in Cubao complete with the party, the games, the giveaways, and that Ronald McDonald cake with the candle shaped like your age. When I was turning 8, we felt like I was already too old for that so I just treated my classmates to some cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes in McDonald’s Greenhills. What the Greenhills branch had though, that the Cubao branch lacked was the Play Place. I don’t recall if they already branded it as Play Place before but it was the first McDonald’s in the Philippines that had a playground.

McDonald’s Greenhills also became a favorite hangout of older students from both La Salle and Ateneo every Friday. Those older cousins of mine that I mentioned earlier would hang out there with their classmates at the end of a school week. I remember my cousin Miko Magsaysay going there once with his classmates Dino Deato, Ninoy Leyran, and Alfred Joven. I remember one time when another cousin of mine, Raymond “Bodjie” Ignacio was hanging out there with his friends. We waited for him as he stepped into Shoppesville which was across the street and when he came back, he had with a new pair of argyle socks. He told us that his classmate bought it for him.

This was also the time when it was a status symbol to be working behind the counter in McDonald’s. The teenagers who worked there spoke private school English and wore their McDonald’s uniforms, together with their braces and pimples, with pride.

Regina’s

Regina’s is an institution in Greenhills. This gift shop, owned and managed by Miguel Paterno, has been in the same corner location in Shoppesville for as long as I can remember. In fact, they successfully outlasted Gift Gate which was right next door. Gift Gate back then distributed Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, KeroKeroKeropi, Zashikibuta and Lego in the Philippines. During the late 80’s, Regina’s is where you went to buy Spanish colognes like Nenuco, 23, and Denenes (which were all the rage), stationery, Trapper Keepers, magazines, comics, toys, and various other knick knacks that any budding teenager would go crazy for. I remember they even sold those popular Dragonfly badminton shoes there. We went there one time and our cousins’ friend, Dwight Dator was friends with the owner, Miguel Paterno, and he gave us a discount on our purchase.

Regina’s stands there to this day and everyday you can still see Miguel Paterno behind the counter manning the cashier. In the last 30 years, this guy has not aged one bit and still looks the same as he did in the late 80’s.

Jonel’s

Moving on with Regina’s, one of the other integral parts of Greenhills is of course, Shoppesville. While it’s really a small building compared to the mega shopping multiplexes of today, I would still get lost in the four corners of Shoppesville. For some reason, I wouldn’t know how I would end up from ย one side to the next. I know there is Jonel’s in one corner near the entrance from McDonald’s where you could shop for imported sneakers like Tretorn and K-Swiss. Jonel’s was definitely one of the many shoe shopping stops in Greenhills if you came into some money during your birthday or Christmas. Nowadays, the space that Jonel’s used to occupy is now an exclusive Converse store.

Nova Fontana

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Across from Jonel’s in the other corner, every kid back then would get excited at the sight of the Nova Fontana sign. Of course, Nova Fontana was one of the toy shops that had a wide assortment of He-Man, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Thundercats, A-Team, Blackstarr action figures, Transformers robots, Barbie dolls, Tamiya RC’s, all sorts of model cars, boats, and airplanes, and even role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, I vividly remember the logo of TSR, one of the popular creators of role-playing games in the late 80s and 90s, being on the sign of Nova Fontana. It’s hard to miss when you’re going up the stairs on your way to Tickles on the 3rd floor.

Tickles

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On the 3rd floor of Shoppesville was Tickles. They were also a specialty gift store like Regina’s. They sold a lot of imported goods that you wouldn’t find in other stores like Snoopy items and those harlequin dolls with porcelain heads that were very popular back in the day. Girls from Poveda and ICA would frequent this store to buy stuff for school like pencil cases, notebooks, binders, and cute pens and pencils. Of course, where the girls are, the boys are sure to follow so you would see some guys from La Salle, Xavier and even Ateneo loitering outside Tickles as well.

 

Issue

I think Issue came a little later. I can still remember their green and orange signage. Issue was known for very affordable but trendy and stylish dresses and blouses for moms. My mom used to shop here all the time. They had bundles and stacks of clothes all over the store and while my mom would browse here, I would gladly wander over to the toy stores instead. Naturally, Issue was very successful and they opened up another store in the 3rd floor also and called it “Next Issue”. Clever, right?

Kamico’s

I really don’t remember if this famous (or should I say “infamous”) taco stand was already called Kamico’s back in the day but it seemed like it was just a nondescript food stall before. I say infamous because the lady who operates Kamico’s is notorious for being unpleasant. She never smiles or greets the customers and she’s known to be very curt when taking your order. I think that over the years and decades, people have learned to accept this from the place. It’s in a convenient location and the greasy tacos were a quick and tasty snack to tide you over between shopping breaks. I remember when these tacos were only 15 pesos each, then they became 35 pesos, and now I think they go for 65 pesos.

Chocfull Of Nuts

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Going back to the 2nd floor of Shoppesville, right near Nova Fontana is Chocfull Of Nuts, another Greenhills and Shoppesville institution. They serve an odd combination of sweet and savory food like pastries and dimsum. Shoppers have been flocking to Chocfull of Nuts for cupcakes, chocolate cake, taisan slices, siomai, asadao siopao, cuapao, and even lumpiang ubod and pork empanadas since time immemorial. If I remember right, there’s not even a place to sit here. They are all for takeout.

Bike Shop

Shoppesville is also specially memorable to me because this is where my uncle, Roberto “Bobby” Baizas, bought me a special edition Hutch BMX Bike as a present. I was 11 years old then. During the heyday of BMX bikes in Manila, the Hutch bicycle was the most coveted in Manila. Bike shops would display it in the center of their stores and they were quite expensive. More than 3,000 pesos during that time. To put this in perspective, my first BMX bike (A red Team Fox bicycle) which we bought when I was 7 years old was only 340 pesos. Needless to say, I was the first kid in my neighborhood to ride around in a Hutch BMX bicycle. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of this bicycle store but it was the only one in Shoppesville so any frequent Greenhills visitor would know what store I’m talking about. It was on the ground floor of Shoppesville right beside the escalator and right across House of Minis.

Le Ching Tea House

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Ah Le Ching, Le Ching. Are there any words to describe your food? When I visited Manila after two years of living and working in the US, I had to go to Greenhills to eat in Le Ching again. Funnily enough, before I left for the States, Le Ching was the last place I ate in. I know that everybody talks about their Spare Ribs and Rice but I am more partial to their Beef Brisket and Rice. I would order that with a side of Hakao siomai and a cold Coca-Cola. They served their food in these aluminum bowls and you would scoop it out onto your plate. Everytime I start my meal here, I always think that there’s no way I can finish all that rice but the food is just so tasty that not a single rice grain would remain after.

Comic Quest

I mentioned Chrisareth in Padilla Arcade earlier but really our first comic bookstore destination in Shoppesville is Comic Quest. In high school, Relly Torres, Andy Maquiling, and myself would carpool with my classmate Eddieboy Moran and almost weekly we would stop by Comic Quest to pick up his latest Batman comics. In those days in the 90s, it seemed like we would go to Filbar’s in Virra Mall for Marvel comics and Comic Quest for DC comics. I still remember the father and son team that owned and ran Comic Quest. The dad was always very serious and businesslike and it was his son that we chatted up if we wanted more information about coming issues.

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147 thoughts on “The Greenhills I Remember and Love

    1. Being familiar with all the establishments/stores you mentioned, Kudos to you !!!!
      Your comments are all to a “tee” especially the “unpleasant lady” in Kamico’s Tacos….Definitely agree. I think her name is “Egay” LOL !!!! About the disco above the arcade you mentioned, it’s called “The Scene” (if no one else previously identified”. Had my 18th B-day celebration there knowing the owner….Adding some more (maybe no longer there your time since obviously I was ahead of you) and maybe my contempo could relate to: La Cibeles (best churros and spanish chocolate), Ultima beauty salon, House of Mini’s steak house and IHOP right beside it, The Mercury Drug, Ling Nam, Celine, Cindella etc…..A security guard whom I haven’t seen for 30 years I bumped into was surprised as I recognize him and asked if he recognize me he said “Yes I do” but didn’t want to easily believe him so, I put him to a test asking “If you remember me, what was the car I used to drive when I frequent this place”? Without batting an eyelash he said “A black Celeste” !!!! which was indeed a correct !!!! Of course gave him a “prize” for that !!!!Gee,those were the days!!!! A lot had come and go but last year I went (2016) some are still standing……I vividly remember my presence there in those areas, The old Shoppesville, Virra Mall, the Crossroad, Padilla Arcade and The Unimart as my favorite supermarket ’til rustan’s came….. Again thank you for all these wonderful memories and I hopr you continue…..Best wishes to yo

  1. I was born in the 90s but my recollection of greenhills included BEST TOYS at virra mall where my brother and I would buy Pokemon cards. Of course, there’s also National Book Store at the end of Virra Mall and DEC where we used to buy fruit shakes.

    Oh how can I forget the dumpling stall in the middle of Virra Mall.

    Those were the days when you could actually chat up with the owners and they will be the ones to personally assist you with your requests. This meant a lot for kids like me when we only had a meager budget of 200 pesos to spend in Best Toys or Nova Fontana.

    I actually miss this sense of community that’s lacking in modern malls nowadays. Not complaining, just reminiscing.

  2. Hahaha ang galing talaga nang memory mo. Grabe. Bilib na ako. Well those days were the best.

    Arby’s was in front of dunkin donuts. Other side of the parking lot near ortigas. The old tom sawyers. During saturdays around 10pm cars would gather at the greenhills parking lot. Some would just open their cars and play loud music. Others would wait for challenges for a drag race and the proceed to edsa to race. It was like an impromptu car show. While drinking bartles and james or the bar gin sour. Other would buy zombie from tia maria’s and drink it at the parking lot.

    1. Thank you Manong Bodjie! I remember those days pretty well but I only lived them through your teenage experiences. I remember your conversations about The Bar Gin Sour and I remember hearing about the Zombie drink from Tia Maria’s from you and your friends also! Best days indeed. Worth remembering and preserving before we all completely forget.

  3. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I was rather fond of the old Greenhills rather than the new. Most of the places you mentioned here are familiar to me like pizza inn, fun house and green lanes, to name a few. I remember playing bowling and billiards then although I was never good at such games but then all in the spirit of fun. Pizza inn a good friend of mine celebrated his birthday then when we were still in grade 2. One place I was rather fond of is uncle Martin’s ice cream. That was where I first tasted ice cream with those dips that would quickly harden. My favorite dip was tutti frutti. There was also this train ride where the tiangge is now located. Cross roads arcade was where most of the dining establishments were then. San Francisco steak house and Tom Sawyer’s were two places I remember in that area. There was also this shop in virra mall that sold porn magazines that were hidden which sad to say I do not remember the name anymore. Parking was still free in those days. Ah to go back to the good old days.

      1. Shop&lift was owned by ricky lee. Managed by sonny & yolly. They use to rent out beta tapes of art house films.also lps, cd tapings, etc. Ricky, lino brocka used to hang out there.

    1. Oh my, uncle martins ice cream!!
      The first ice cream with dips and sprinkles I have ever encountered. .
      Beside the escalator which was also near Filbars and Bread connection. Nearby was the American sports house. . The feels. . ๐Ÿ˜ข

  4. Thanks Ricky for this trip down memory lane! I have fond memories of Greenhills esp Jonel’s where I bought my K-swiss (saved up for months to buy a pair! 5 buwan ata akong hindi nag recess! hahaha) and espadrilles.

  5. This article made me tear up. I’ve always been a greenhills boy since the late 70s. I know it like the back of my hand. This is the Greenhills I grew up and fell in love with. If only people could share more photos of old GH.

    Thanks for this, man.

    Other notable shops/establishments worth mentioning: Mom & Pop, Par 44, Coney Island, Dayrits, Bread Connection, Christian Joel, Chocful of Nuts, Ultra Noblia, Cindy’s, Shiroi Hanna (Japanese Resto – ground floor Virramall)

    1. Hi Chuck! Thanks for the heartfelt words. I’ve mentioned this to you before. My mom said that she used to bowl with your mom in Greenlanes and that we were playmates. Are your parents still around? Kindly ask them if they remember my parents, Mel and Violy Baizas. Thanks pare!

      1. Will do! Sorry this reply took so long. LOL!

        I chanced upon this post again just now and it felt good reading it one more time. Of course, it made me tear up — again. So much feels.

        True blue laking-greenhills peeps would know. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Ultra Noblia was the competitor of Nova Fontana. There were still there during the mid-90’s until they tore down and renovated VMall.

  6. Greenhills is an eyesore now. Too congested. Used to have wide and spacious roads around the area, including Shoppesville and Virra Mall. It was cool and ok to hang out at the parking lot then listening to Culture Club, Giorgio Moroder, Billy Idol, etc.

  7. Wasn’t there a Magoo’s Pizza too? And a Pancake House all decked out in orange and pink upholstery… And a Carl’s Jr. sa harap ng Virra Mall. Diba palaging may skateboarders sa bubong ng Virra Mall noon? I also remember Peach and Plum at Crossroad Arcade as well as all those staple Chinese restos… East Ocean, Jade Garden, Green Patio…

    I wonder what the central tiangge area used to be before it became what it is now (the big area in between Shoppesville and Virra Mall)? For some reason my mind goes blank when I try to remember. I can only recall the fishpond.

    1. Hahaha! butch, I am almost certain that there might have been a Magoo’s Pizza also. You’re right. One of the first Carl’s Jr branches opened in front of Virra mall. I will cover all of that, the koi pond, and all others as I continue to fill out the article.

      1. Magoo’s Pizza used to be in one of the pasillos. I think where the shoe center or what ever they call it is now. There was also another toy store for the more serious scale modelers / RC racers that my dad used to frequent whose name escapes me right now.

      2. Of course there’s Magoo’s Pizza along the alley between Shoppesville and Manila Bank Arcade. Thanks guys for the memories. My dad always brought us to Maxim’s Teahouse every single weekend. Greenwich was where my mom brought us for tacos in the middle of Padilla Arcade. An uncle (Eddie Tolentino) owned Lord and Lord Tailoring there with Mr. Caladiao as master cutter. That’s where I also played Galaxie, Don Pachi and Defender.

    2. That area used to have paved walkways with landscaped gardens. There was also a big fountain in front of Cinderella department store which had 2 entrances, one facing ortigas avenue and one facing the fountain area which is now the tiangge area (near the escalators of the tiangge). Yamaha used to hold regular recitals of their students in the open area nearer shoppesville, I participated in 2 recitals then.

    3. Yes Butch there was a Magoo’s Pizza before. It was within the vicinity of the tiangge area near what is now National Bookstore. In the central tiangge area there used to be a train ride then.

  8. I used to ride our BMX bikes with my friends all the way to green hills from our place in Santa Mesa and some of the stores that I remember,
    Odyssey music store
    Tokyo Hanna
    Cinderella
    Velayos
    Tom Sawyer chicken
    Jollibee by the crossroad

  9. Inside Unimart, around the late 70s to early 80s was one of the first Orange Julius outlets. I remember very vividly their flame broiled burgers and strawberry fruit shakes, made with real strawberries and not some commercially made fruit concentrate.

  10. There used to be a skate park in the top floor of Virra Mall if I can recall correclty. This is the reason why the roof is designed that way (not sure if this is still the case now)

    1. I remember the top floor skate park. It was not there long as they closed it off when they experienced their first fire in the third floor.

      That did not deter me from exploring going up to the 4th floor though. They never blocked off all the corner stairs going to the 4th floor so I would go up there and it would be deserted and I would spend whole afternoons by my self there running up and down the skate ramps. In hind sight the ramps were broken down and had holes in them from not being maintained so I could have been seriously hurt and no one would know where to find me……..

  11. I remember Uncle Martin’s Ice Cream at the bottom or under the escalator of Virra Mall on which the opposite side would be Bun on the Run.

  12. Thank you for this sentimental time warp! There was another comic book area in Padilla Arcade called Dex & Mae!

  13. What I remember most when I think of Greenhills is GoodAh! I have been, and will always be, a fan of their goto and lumpia ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I had never been to Greenhills during the 80’s and 90’s.
    Unlike now that we have MRT, Greenhills was relatively a far place from where I lived when I was a kid.
    But I always heard wonderful things and how great it was during the golden era.
    Reading your blog is like giving me a chance to peek through the tunnel of time and see how Greenhills was back in the 80’s.
    Thank you filling up what I missed.

  15. It was also in Greenhills where I think the First Teriyaki Boy opened? ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved their menu back then. It had much more variety than the one now. Also, the Food Channel that was once in the middle of the old Vira Mall. It was next to DECs Chinese food store. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. There was an RC track initially across Greenlanes on Connecticut St side. The R/C cars then were the big 1/8 scale gas powered cars. This was later moved to the Unimart side near Club Filipino. I used to race 1/12 electric R/C cars there 1983-1988/9.

    Another place I frequented was Island Photo to buy film & have them developed. Their shop was beside Greenlanes in an Arcade (Padilla?). They used fresh Kodak chemicals & photo paper. They sold a wide asssortment of film & gears. As a self taught student in photography on a student’s budget, I used to order contact orints as the 3R/4R prints were expensive.

    I also regularly visited CD Warehouse underneath Gift Gate for hard to get CDs. The store was always full. It was fun finding a rare CD to add to your collection.

    Thank you for your post. It brought back many memories. Btw, Miguel Paterno is my batchmate in Ateneo. He was already manning Regina’s way back then.

  17. correct me if i am wrong, wasnt padilla arcade the one beside shoppesville ? the small mall between unimart and greenlanes is manila bank arcade i think….,,,,,

  18. Oh my gad! Memories to death.
    Adding some:
    Ding dongs beside gift gate
    Goodies and sweets turtle pie and pastas
    Ciudad Fernandina
    Big 20 burger place
    An awesome movie theater in shoppesville with a seat for 2 where Outsiders was shown
    BBQ hole in the wall in shoppesville fronting mcdo
    The first bayo store

    I don’t remember the name of the all-glass tower near OB montessori that’s a bar and resto

    And that music bar in Annapolis

    1. Haha thanks so much Karen! Yes I will cover Goodies and Sweets. I remember that bar in the glass tower. My friends would go there. Thank you! Ding Dongs! They were also a shoe place but also sold imported clothes right?!

  19. Can I just say my husband and I couldn’t stop laughing regarding your write-up about Kamico’s taco store. The lady in the counter really does not smile. Her son is the one helping out now and he does not smile also. I think it won’t be Kamico’s anymore if you don’t get a frawn

  20. Ahhh! The simple pleasures in life… I remember the train that goes around the park in between virramall and shoppesville, where the SHIRT TALES mascots would also be walking around on Sundays.
    Shoppesville had bump cars on the ground floor, a cotton candy cart and my grandma’s favorite Digman’s halo halo. I would also frequent GIBSON’s bookstore in between Magoo’s and Cinderella to check out Archie comic books. I do remember the notorious owner of Kamico’s tacos… Wasn’t the taco bar just a part of their boutique on the 3rd floor? Regina’s is where the girls (myself included) would buy quilted wallets and bags, abanicos and cologne. Now, Regina’s is also my son’s favorite store. Wasn’t the first Sari Sari store in greenhills too? And if I remember correctly there’s another clothing store called Koalition Zoo? Remember the diorama display outside the cinema during Christmas season? Good times…

  21. Thanks for the memories. There was a smaller toy store right across from Nova Fontana in the same hallway. I remember going back and forth between those 2 store on Sunday afternoons. Sometime my aunt who always would buy me toys back then would check the price in one store, and have them beat it in the other.

  22. Hi Ricky!
    My late mom & dad, Cynthia & Amor Medina, used to bring me along at Greenlanes for bowling practices and leagues. They even let me join their leagues when I was in high school. I remember Violy & Mel Baizas. Nori & Peewee Leynes. I think Chuckie’s mom was Cindy Dreyfus, if my memory serves me right. Thanks for sharing those photos and memories. Our favorite after bowling treat were Dayrit’s and Ling Nam. They also get “taho” to take home from their fellow bowlers.

    Toni Medina-Romero

  23. Greenhills was our hangout place in the early 80s….how about big daddy’s, good ah!, And tropical hut burgers, 3 ms pizza, and a bakery near China Bank that made yummy Napoleon’s….thanks for your article brought back a lot of happy memories.

  24. I remember Budjiwara Salon back in the late mid to late seventies as a kid we would pass by that shop going to the movie theater and Unimart . I remember the soft serve ice cream machine inside Unimart . Thanks for reminding me of that Frankenstein monster which gave me a heart attack after just watching the ” Adventures of Sinbad ” used to be where I would buy ” fake blood” to terrorize my friends and classmates from Xavier School. The best part as a kid growing up was remembering how seemingly expansive Ortigas Ave was where there was nothing but grass fields between Xavier School and the Shops of Greenhills . How I miss dining on burgers at Tropical Hut when served on silverware and metal utensils . Well TH wasn’t at Greenhills but at the corner of Ortigas Ave but still .. Remember the days of old and happiness was just a trip to Greenhills…. Thank you for such an effort in resurrecting a part of my life I nearly forgot..

    1. Greetings to a fellow Xavierian. The fake blood you bought it from Funhouse? I remember the Fun House was where I bought this book with the title book about sex and when you get it from the case, there was this spring that would pop out from a slot in the book. There was also the snapping gum and if memory serves me correctly a cigarette where you just put powder in and puff on it to appear that you are smoking. It never gets smaller in size. I remember in high school I was offered taffy which turned out to be bloody taffy and I think the one who offered it to me also got it from Fun House.

  25. How about Greenwich? Before it was bought by Jollibee? It was located in Manila bank arcade if I remember right.

  26. The glass tower beside OB Montessori is Silhouette Towers. BTW, I went to OBMC from gradeschool to highschool 1980 – 1993. So I practically grew up in Greenhills ๐Ÿ˜Š
    I will never forget buying ponytails and wallets made of cotton fabric at Regina’s, and also the “crocheted ” school socks! I’m not sure which was selling it though. .

  27. Shoppesville also had Breadwinner and Katrina’s, noted meetup places of the mobile disco guys and highschoolers before they’d party in Corinthian Gardens. Memories!

  28. Most of my weekends, summer vacations and even after school were spent here ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Ricky!

  29. I remember my friend’s brother would bring us to watch the drag race at night….Virramall and Shoppesville…memories of my days with my Dad.

  30. Great article Ricky. Lots of fond memories of that place growing up. We used to pile up up to 13 guys in my friend Joy Rojas’ small Isuzu Gemini from La Salle and and head there almost daily.Does anyone remember the shop with the huge slot car track in Virra Mall? They were big slot cars about 5 inches long and you could rent one if you didn’t own one. Some guys would put plastic aero kits so they won’t fly off the corners.
    Also wasn’t there a Big Daddy’s somewhere there in the back near McDonald’s? Racers used to hang out there.
    I remember Maxim’s Tea House at the basement of Shoppesville. Excellent rice toppings and crab to this day.
    Connecticut street was mostly vacant lots and tall grass then. We would bike up and down and no worries about cars.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It would be great to see more pictures. ๐Ÿ˜„

  31. Dayrit’s in Shoppesville, Tom Sawyer, Orange Julius, Bread Connection, Filbar’s, and every boys favorite mag shop ” Shop and Lift”. Haha!

  32. do you also remember the old sun moon restaurant, is it still there? there was also a camera shop on the second floor of the padilla arcade in the center area, used to get photo and darkroom supplies there before knowing of raon. There was also the train in the middle of the mall before the tiange took over.

    1. Hi. The Sun Moon Garden restaurant is no longer located in the shoppesville area but it’s now along Club Filipino Drive. You will see it when you leave the Greenhills shopping center. It’s on your right before the Caltex gasoline station.

  33. Thank you for the memories. Please add: tacos food stall in Virra Mall, National Bookstore, April Two in Shoppesville, and the square pizza somewhere in the complex.

  34. There used to be a Cinderella beside Mister Donut. Don’t forget crossroad arcade with jollibee, goodies and sweets, etc… and virramall where papemroti, national Bookstore and a sporting goods store used to be.

  35. It’s like living in retro-greenhills as i read through the article and comments…
    Additional reason as to why 80’s- 90’s were best years..
    Thank you everyone!

  36. Ricky,

    If I recall, there was a time when Padilla arcade was closed in the early years of the Greenhills Shopping Centre. Then, it became the less-visited venue as Shoppesville and Virra Malls were constructed; plus the fact that Padilla Arcade hosted a lot of furniture shops (not kid-friendly, in other words). I believe this was in the mid/late 70s.

    Nakalimutan mo yung, Orange Julius! ๐Ÿ˜€

    PEACE!!!

  37. Awwww this brings back so many fond memories of Greenhills! I think Shiroi Hana was where we bought tonkatsu for takeout (cheaper that way), which we would eat after CAT. There was Icebergs and Tapa King along Annapolis. I remember the Baker’s Fair store where we could buy newly-cooked diced hopia. And the big Goldilocks behind Gloria Maris. The first outlet of Plains and Prints, Folded and Hung, and Meg were in Shoppesville. Collezione had a store there, too. I recall that the Greenhills Theater had an exhibit of sorts in the walkway leading to the theater. There’s the Post Office near the castaรฑas sellers. And so much more…

    I miss the old Greenhills.

  38. Bistro Lorenzo, Rock and Roll (footlong hotdog), April 2 (Boutique Store), Jayce K. ( where we would print calling cards), Maincut by Dodie (salon), Kimpura and Tropical Hut (still there) and ang main stay nang Greenhills — Boob-Z was here

    1. Beside squadron were several betamax rental shops. Video channel, trifari, group A, precision, foxs, beta tape center, jim rose, odd even, unique. Beta connection, martin lauren, unique, astro,Cardinal. Downstairs was allied video.

  39. I’m the daughter of the “middle-aged ponytailed dude” you described. Jun Miguel, owner of Chrishareth. And yes, he still looks the same and now in his 70’s. His passion for comics and playing in a band are his his way of life until now.

    My cousin, Corchie found this article and shared it to us.

    My dad enjoyed reading this article about Greenhills because it was a part of his life and us, his children as well.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Chrishareth.

      1. Chrishareth was the first to sell US comics in greenhills back in the early 1980s.Back issues from the US bases i guess.Filbars followed shortly afterwards. Local reprints of US comics were sold in unimart book section 1970s.

  40. I also remembered the Aristocrat resto located at the basement of shopsville across mcdo where we used to have dinner with my classmates in college after class. Also my friend’s car accessories shop, Troika, which is just beside Tia Maria.

  41. CV Magazine in Shoppesville. I used to buy WWF magazines and Archie comics there when i was a kid. I always wondered why there were posters of almost naked men hanging on their walls and why the shop was selling magazines with naked men on their covers. It was only after several years did i realize that those were gay porn stuff and the male owner (who’s also the cashier) was most likely gay.

  42. El Botin where Sizzlers is now.
    International ice cream at the waiting shed across Kimpura now.
    Space station no. 1 game room in Crossroad Arcade
    Green Patio
    Manshaokung Chinese restaurant 3rd of Virra Mall
    Big 20 burgers, Dalampasigan, West Lake Garden, Subarashii Japanese restaurant, West Villa all in Crossroad Arcade.
    Cindy’s in Virra Mall
    I used to love the chicken Mami at the food court beside Unimart.
    La Cibeles for churros and Spanish pastries!!!

  43. Thanks for this piece, Ricky. Brought back some fantastic memories. I’d like to add Goodah (before the Rodriguez and the Ortigas clans had a squat and the food joint was forced to transfer to Annapolis).

    Also, the old Brochure (did I spell it right?) where customers could have their DOS-based PC games copied to disks they should bring themselves. At the opposite end of the maze-like building was Ambassador Appliance which sold the cheapest FamiCom, Super NES and Sega Mega Drive consoles during that time. There’s also a shop at the second floor of Virra Mall that rented out Asian movies. Not a big deal these days what with torrent sites and streaming services and all, but during that time, it was the go-to place for Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese films and TV shows.

    The third floor was a gamer’s paradise, what with those rent-per-hour machines many shops offered. Also at the third floor, there was this dude with glasses and curly hair who sold bootleg VHS copies of anime shows. Now, I think that guy owns one of the bigger toy shops in Shoppesville.

    Ah. Wonderful times indeed. Reminiscing about them is rather bittersweet, however. Are we really that old?

    1. Brochiere is still in existence located at the third floor besides other computer shops in VMall. I remember buying my first computer there in the 80s and it was still DOS based. The games I remember playing were Karateka, Zaxxon, Mario Brothers to name a few. Brochiere now looks crappy to how it looked before in the 80s. The area where people play networking games I remember very well. We used to play basketball in Xavier every Sunday during the 90s and after that we would go to Le Ching and have spare ribs with Mountain Dew. After having lunch, the others would go to play those networking games which I never liked because even just watching them I would get dizzy.

  44. You forgot to include CD Warehouse. Only place to go if youre looking for music not available on Odyssey or other music stores.

  45. Before Budji Layug became a famous interior designer he was a famous hairstylist with a beauty salon in Greenhills called Budjiwara. I think the stars like Pilar Pilapil would go there. Too expensive and glam for us, so we’d just have our hair cut at Lily of the Valley or Ultima. Greenhills was also the place where I first tasted korean barbecue in the Kimchi fastfood stall.

  46. Never been to any of the places you mentioned (although my husband use to mention ‘Shakeys’ as his ex girlfriend favorite) but I feel like I took a trip back in time with your post. I can feel how it was to be there through the old pictures and your words.

  47. DEC special ube gulaman QUEUE music bar Beltron Computers RT Communication Sabado nights at Creekside Tia Maria’s Annapolis Fun house and Disco Stereo

  48. My parents took me to GSC when we were kids from the 60s to 80s. If I remember correctly, Unimart and the buildings in the front of Ortigas were first to be built. At the back of Unimart was the fish pond and its bridge. Then a large field at the back except for Greenhills Theater. Then buildings at the side like PCIB building (where Shakeys was), Padilla arcade. Shoppesville was in the late 70s and and also Virra Mall. Before there was any tiangge, it was the season of Christmas that popularized Greenhills. Why? It was there that a Circus was set up (I remember vaguely) and Disney events where Disney characters would hold shows (I remember a picture where I was with the Chipmunks). Was there a kite flying festival? Greenhills Theater design back then was to make it the premiere place for movie premiers. After that a vast parking lot. MacDonalds came in early 80s. It was also the in place for fitness as you can jog around Greenhills similar to the UP oval.
    Tiangges back then was unlike the one we had now. First is was about furniture, then cars, then clothes and then only on Christmas season or for a period of time.

  49. We have a store in virra mall Lady Jasmin. Its the first oriental home decor and furniture store in virra mall. We had it in ground floor at the back of La Elegancia. Then we moved in second floor occupaying Blims old place. I hope you still BRC for your tv fixtures .

  50. I also remember the kiddie cars that you moved when you stepped on the single pedal on the floor of the car. They were inside shoppesville, situated around some kind of indoor rotunda. My mom always took me there before we went home after shopping. I was 5 years old back then.

  51. Thank you for making this blog, yes memories, very precious indeed, remember there were these local fast food chains in virra mall near DEC, Cindy’s and Dinette? and on the 3rd floor opposite the theater, the arch rival of Best toy shop, Ultra Noblia, these 2 were were the go to place for those early 80’s japanese toy collectors, Nova fontana is more on the american themed cartoon toys.

  52. I have vague memories of the 90s Greenhills (born 1990). Although naabutan ko pa yung Virramall and the pond in the middle of Greenhills shopping center and Virramall where you can fish. I remember buying buns and we throw it in the pond. As well as the diao eng chay sa bungad ng Virramall. I remember them selling milk teas (or shake? my memories are so vague) with black sago (my favorite was the ube one). I also remembered the early Mcdo in GH (my mum said they were there when it was first opened since my mum’s boss’s cousin was the first manager at that branch) as well as me having my birthday parties there.
    Oh as well as the unimart canteen. we often eat there when we shop at Unimart when I was a kid (well, hanggang ngayon until the old unimart was permanently closed down days ago.)

    Wait, was Luk Yuen already there during the late 80’s?

  53. I fondly remember all the rides in greenhills back then: ground floor of Shoppesville had bumpcars (cylindrical ones) the went around the central elevates fountain, which when not in use had a robot shaped cotton candy machine, white colored only.

    Then in the tiangge area were the following rides: a cowboy style carousel where the horses had real horsehair manes and tails and leather saddles, a car merry go-round, a duck merry go-round on water, then sa Virramall area was the planets ferris wheel, octopus, game booths (pellet guns where you shoot plastic soldiers). Virramall ground floor also had bumpcars but the ferrari shaped ones

  54. Love the post, the content about the owner of Kamicos not being friendly was so spot on, haha! Hope Choc full of nuts expand, love their siopao and pastries.

  55. Who remembers Hard Court? A basketball themed restaurant along Crossroad Arcade. When you are facing Crossroad, it is on the left, near Jollibee and near Tom Sawyer’s.

  56. Growing up there in the late 70 and early 80 there were soo many things that a kids could do in GSC. We had a few shops in Virra Mall mainly in the 3rd floor (St. Michaels, and Fresh & Reasonable). While my parents minded the shop, I would just roam around the whole center. It was a very safe time where there were no kidnappings.

    Me and several other kids of other store owners hung around the bridge area between Unimart and Virra. If you actually walked along the the pathway where National book store was and head towards the back wall of that side, the pond area had several raised levels that had mini waterfalls.

    We would spend afternoons scooping up small fishes and tadpoles, and sometimes found some long Styrofoam sheets that we would bring to the back pond area to float on and have boat races.

    One thing that no one has mentioned here yet, was back in the early days someone had left a small monkey there, and it made one of the small islands near the bridge its home. It would swim around the pond looking for food. And one time, I was able to coax it out of the water by offering it break. It actually let me carry him from time to time.

    Aside from that, I loved spending time with my dad when the arcade had first opened in the ground floor. This was before Marcoss banned them. He played on the pinball machines while I circled around and played space invaders, defender, pacman, galaxian and crazy climber.

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