Venice, in the Philippines.

As anyone who monitors their dreams will know, it is amazing how similar one place can seem to another. Take, for instance, Megaworld Lifestyle’s Venice Grand Canal “lifestyle” mall in the McKinley Hill township of Taguig City in the Philippines. We learn from Wiki that it is “pet-friendly”, and “home to an array of shopping brands, a supermarket, lifestyle stores, bookstores, services shops, novelty shops, and wellness and fitness centers”. In these respects it is identical to the Italian Venice. Also, like the original, it was designed by Italians. It seems churlish to nitpick about superficial differences rooted in dusty old history, when these essential up-to-date core values have been so meticulously set in place. A significant point is that in common with Italian Venice, the Philippine counterpart has real residents, those who live in McKinley Hill. I wonder how long it will take them to develop the embittered sense of nostalgia that original Venetians have. At what point, one wonders, will they start to say “Venice isn’t what it was…”, or “tourists are going to be the death of us, mark my words…”, or “why are all the bookshops closing?” And will there be McKinley Hill equivalents of Canaletto, Proust and Thomas Mann? I really hope so!

11 thoughts on “Venice, in the Philippines.

    • Hi Bruce – good question. I forgot to say that Megaworld has a Pigeon Feeding Activity for kids every afternoon. I suspect this will soon be abandoned, as it was in real Venice, when they realise what a nuisance the birds can be. As to the water, I guess its eau-de-nil clarity is sustained by a potent cocktail of chlorides. In 1905 the developer Abbott Kinney ran into problems when he built a “Venice” outside LA: “However, problems arose with the waterways.  First, the water management system originally installed proved inadequate to provide circulating ocean water to the canals. As time went on, the water became fetid and took on a strong odor.  Then, in 1920 Abbot Kinney passed away, and along with his demise came demands to fill in the canals to make space for the increasing number of auto-mobiles.  Civic leaders and business owners were especially vocal in expressing this idea.  When Venice finally incorporated into the city of Los Angeles in 1925, those in favor of eliminating the canals succeeded in swinging city policy-makers to their side. By 1929, all of the original canals built by Abbot Kinney were filled in and replaced by roads.”

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