Makati's Central Business District

Makati City or just simple Makati lies in the heart of big Metropolis of Manila. The city is known for its upscale shopping malls, and is also home to high fashion brands, restaurants and hotels and is home to many to many affluent Filipinos. Makati is considered to be the center of financial, commercial and economic hubs and home to the Philippines' "Philippine Stock Exchange" (PSE).


Cost of Living

Makati City's cost of living is significantly higher compared to neighboring Filipino cities, owing primarily to its skyrocketing real estate value and relatively upscale commercial and residential selections. However, compared to other major cities of the world, Makati City offers service, accommodations, and value that are not that expensive. Furthermore, bargains comparable to other Philippine cities may be found in certain areas in Makati, such as Makati Cinema Square, The Landmark, Cash & Carry, and Guadalupe Mall, that even for the most jaded backpacker will make a stay in Makati more than economical.


Originally founded in 1670 as a visita of Sta. Ana de Sapa under the jurisdiction of the Franciscans, Makati City was first dismissed as "worthless" swamp land by the Spanish conquistador Juan Miguel de Legazpi in 1571. Yet over the centuries, this small community would leave large imprints in social, economic and cultural history. The friars established two of the earliest churches in the Philippines, the Nuestra Señora de Gracia in Guadalupe and the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Makati, drawing pilgrims from all over the country. At the turn of the century, the Americans established Fort McKinley in Makati, and in 1901, San Pedro de Makati, with a population of 2,500, was incorporated into the province of Rizal. On February 28, 1914, the Philippine Legislature passed Act 2390, shortening the name San Pedro Makati to Makati in the 1930s, the first airport, Nielson Airport, opened in what is now the Ayala Triangle. The first centrally planned community was established in the 1950s, and since the 1970s, Makati has been the undisputed financial and commercial capital, the once worthless swampland becoming prime real property. Makati has also figured prominently in the political history of the Filipino. The community was one of the cradles of the revolt against Spanish colonial rule, and following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983, the epicenter of the protest movement against the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos. On January 2, 1995, Makati became an independent city by virtue of Republic Act 7854.


The main language choice for communication in this affluent Philippine city is English, making the stays here of international travelers and businessmen a relatively enjoyable experience. A knowledge of Filipino, the local language, will benefit any traveler.

Get in

Makati City has some of the strictest traffic rules in Metro Manila. Traffic marshalls actively enforce rules. This means that you can't tell your bus to let you on or off anywhere within its route except at designated stops. Moreover, the colour coding scheme is active all day unlike in other neighbouring cities when they are only enforced during rush hour.

By train

The MRT Line 3 elevated train has four stations along EDSA. These are the Guadalupe, Buendia, Ayala and Magallanes stations. Getting off at the Ayala Station will set you in the middle of the Ayala Centre, a complex of shopping malls and restaurants.

The MRT-3 is a quick and inexpensive way to get into the city. The cost of an MRT-3 ticket ranges from 11 to 14 pesos.

By car

Two of Metro Manila's main arteries pass through Makati. The Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (EDSA) pass along the southeast part of Makati and connects the city with Mandaluyong City and Pasay City. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) runs through the western part of Makati and connects the city with Manila to the north and with southern Metro Manila. The Skyway, an elevated highway built on top of SLEX, provides residents coming from southern Metro Manila a fast way to reach Makati. SLEX and EDSA intersect at the Magallanes Interchange, which is the most complex system of elevated roadways in Metro Manila.

Other major roads in Makati include Buendia Avenue (Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue), which connects EDSA and SLEX in the north; Ayala Avenue, an important street that runs through the Central Business District; and Makati Avenue, which connects Ayala Avenue with Buendia Avenue and also extends north to cross the Pasig River to Mandaluyong City.

By bus

Buses plying the Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (EDSA) route from Baclaran in Paranaque to Quezon City and Caloocan City pass through the Central Business District daily. As mentioned above, you can't load or unload just anywhere, you have to wait or go to the designated stops. There are separate loading and unloading zones which you must observe.

By river ferry

Pasig River Ferry service has been suspended since January 2011. No word on when it will be back.

The Pasig River Ferry stops at two stations in Makati: Valenzuela (near the city government complex) and Guadalupe (near Guadalupe Bridge). Although neither station is in a convenient spot for tourists, which makes this option far less convenient than hailing a taxi. It may be worth keeping the ferry service in mind as another means of getting into Makati from other riverside districts such as Intramuros in Manila.

Get around

If you need to use public transportation try, it will show you the right type to your destination.

One can easily walk around the Central Business District by way of the sidewalks or the new pedestrian underpasses. Driving around the city is also possible. Some areas in the Central Business District are connected with overpasses where pedestrians can walk above the streets.

Taxis are also abundant. The flat rate is 40 pesos and a ride across town ranges from 100 to 150 pesos; to Ermita, 200 to about 250 pesos; to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 200 to about 300 pesos.

Airport taxis fall in two categories: Metered and Flat-Fee.


Ayala Museum





The Makati Central Business District is the home to some of the biggest companies in the Philippines. It is also where the top BPO's and contact centers are headquartered.



Ayala Center is the Philippines' Orchard Rd, it has a number of upscale malls. High class brands and restaurants usually have branches here. The cost of buying in Makati is far more expensive than its neighboring cities or in any other city in the Philippines because of the upscale brands they have in Makati.


Makati is packed with dining choices:



The pizza debate will rage in eternity but thankfully, you're never far from a slice in Manila. No matter your personal definition of pizza, Makati has you covered with a mind-boggling array of choices. Of course, they have Pizza Hut, Papa John's, and Domino's, which if that's your thing, you won't have to look far. The following are proven winners.

Local Franchises

American Franchises:




The epicenter of Manila's famous nightlife is Greenbelt where some of the city's best restaurants, cafes, bars and karaoke joints cluster around a park in the middle of the main business district. Meanwhile, there are a series of bars stretched out along Makati Avenue, northeast of Ayala Triangle, including the infamous P Burgos Street go-go bar area.

Northeast of Ayala Triangle




Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines,  +63 2-750-3010, fax: +63 2-750-2982. A 110-room property located along bustling Kalayaan Avenue (Makati Avenue), close to the Power Plant Mall. Fully air-conditioned executive studios, one and two bedroom suites, and luxury penthouses available. Best rates on official website start at US$38.

Fersal Neptune, #107 Neptune St., Bel-Air II,  +63 2 911-2161, +63 2 912-2691. Has 33 rooms categorized as Deluxe Double and Twin. From USD 42.00.


Thanks to its reputation as the country's premier financial district, Makati City is home to some of the country's pricier hotels. Many major international hotel chains have their local affiliates in Makati City.

Stay safe

Makati City is generally peaceful. Perhaps the more peaceful place than Makati is the Bonifacio Global City (Fort Bonifacio) area of Taguig. Choosing between Manila and Makati? Makati is much better security-wise.

Be mindful of people coming from outside of Makati though. They tend to be tagged as 'less civilized' by Makati City residents because most offenses in the city are made by them.

Be wary of strangers and take extra precaution when being approached. Avoid crowded places.

Metro Manila Police are generally foreigner-friendly. As usual, the recommended approach is to be on high alert at all times, as incidents may take place anywhere.


The international telephone country code for the Philippines is 63. The area code for Metro Manila (including Makati) is 2.


English is spoken everywhere. All traffic signs and business establishments are in English. In formal business engagements, English is the language of choice.

Expect heavy daytime traffic in Makati. Avoid traveling during peak hours. While jeepneys are banned from certain areas (namely Ayala Center), they are in full force everywhere else. Just like any urban area, Makati is noisy. In addition to the general traffic noise, the city is in the midst of a construction boom, and construction is ongoing 24/7. So when choosing a hotel, it's a good idea to find out in advance what is happening in the nearby vicinity. If there's a 40-story tower going up across from the Manadrin Oriental, which there is, ask for a room facing the other direction. It's highly recommended to use tap water for washing your hands and nothing more.

Be wary of taxi drivers. Every other driver will tell you he doesn't know where Greenbelt 3 is, thereby forcing you to give directions or allow him to circle the area, unmercifully driving up your fare. On Friday and Saturday nights, never light a taxi if the driver refuses to use the meter and insist on an extortionate fare to your destination, for instance, a normal cab ride from P Burgos Street to Greenbelt should be no more than 70 php. On weekends, it's usually 100 php just to get in the cab. Some drivers will outright refuse to take you based upon what they perceive to be their odds of getting a return fare.

Also, if you're that reckless, beware of citizens stealing your information and making charges to your accounts.

Generally speaking, Makati is the most civilized and comfortable metropolis in the Philippines and definitely the most Americanized outpost west of Hawaii. Travelers of all nations will feel comfortable. While the majority of travel guides will tell you that in contestible situations, the best advice is to smile and say Yes. Don't be a pushover. You'll never get up off the floor. Use common sense and if you have to get angry, do it with authority.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.