October 15, 2008

Power struggle

The Manila Electric Company, better known as Meralco, is the only power distributor in Metro Manila. In fact, it is the only power distributor in almost half of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. It was set up in 1903 by an entrepreneur from Detroit mainly to operate Manila's electric tramway system, with power generation and distribution only as an extension of the transportation business ('Meralco' comes from the company's original name: Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company). During WWII, the company's assets were seized by the Japanese. In 1962, Eugenio Lopez Sr. bought the company and it became Filipino-owned for the very first time. In 1972, when Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, the government again forcibly seized control of Meralco and it was returned to the Lopez family only after the People Power Revolution in 1986. This year, there is another struggle for control of the power company—between the Lopez family and the Government Service Insurance System, one of the major stock holders of Meralco. Accusations are being hurled all over the place and, for a time, it was always front page news. The news may have moved on to the next big thing, but I don't think the power struggle has been resolved yet. The simple but elegantly curved building is the building most associated with Meralco and is located in the company's large complex in the Ortigas Center.

Meralco building at night

10 comments:

tr3nta said...

look like very tall buildings... nice to see night shots...

MumbaiiteAnu said...

What a beautiful building. Between the power struggle, are the consumers facing any problems?
Great night shot of the building.

Laurie said...

I was wondering, like mumbaiiteanu, if the consumers were affected by the struggle now?

Lovely night shot, Hilda. That building really is elegant.

Eki Akhwan said...

Interesting and curious story, Hilda: How a power company becomes the object of power stuggles throughout its history. :D

Webradio said...

Hight bildings and good text, Hilda...
See You later.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting post. I guess we all have similar places.

ken mac said...

that is a beautiful angle on a very striking building. What power politics at play!

JM said...

Loved reading your post, this is the kind of thing we don't get on the news. Also great shot af a fantastic building!

Hilda said...

Anu and Laurie:
There is no service disruption because of the struggle, thank goodness!

Shelagh said...

This is a stunning picture!