The Rockwell Center (Photo from WikiMedia Commons: By Hollyckuhno)
Makati City, Metro Manila’s most important business district, is known for the full and busy lifestyle that seems to emanate from its buildings, streets, and people. Teeming with local and multinational corporations, offices of important government agencies, luxurious malls, swanky hotels, and lots and lots of interesting restaurants, the city literally never sleeps.
However, there is quite a portion of the city that remains quiet and laidback, not to mention that they are becoming quite the go-to destinations in their own right. So the next time you find yourself in Makati, make sure to visit these places.
Being Makati’s first settlement, Barangay Poblacion has always been where the city’s local government office is situated. The site of Makati’s first municipal hall is now the Museum of Makati, while the current city hall stands on a piece of land donated by the Ayala family.
Poblacion is also one of Makati’s busiest barangays outside Bel-Air and San Lorenzo. It is home to at least three mixed-use townships, notably Rockwell Center, Century City (which is home to the Philippines’ tallest skyscraper Gramercy Residences), and A. Venue. Also surrounding these places are gentrifying streets that in recent years have become food meccas, including P. Burgos and Kalayaan Avenue. These places are home not just to interesting restaurants and holes-in-the-wall, but also budget and boutique hotels that are popular among backpackers.
A former sitio of Barangay Tejeros, Barangay Carmona officially became a barangay in the 1960s and for many years is known as the home of the Santa Ana Race Track. With the horses, racers, and bettors gone, what remained is a huge track of land (21 hectares to be exact) which is now being developed by Ayala Land subsidiary Alveo Land into Circuit Makati—a mixed-use real estate project touted to become Makati’s entertainment district.
In addition to residential condo towers (Solstice Residences), high-rise offices (Stiles), and an upscale shopping mall (Circuit Mall), Circuit Makati will also feature many leisure options, such as City Kart Racing, ball events at the Blue Pitch, and the Mountain Dew Skate Park. Meanwhile, concert and events are regularly held at Globe Circuit Event Grounds (while an indoor theater is in the pipeline).
Guadalupe Viejo got its name after the foundation of the historic church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, now known as Nuestra Señora de Gracia, in the early 17th century. Being home to one of Metro Manila’s oldest churches, Viejo (as it is fondly called) attracts pilgrims from all over the metro.
Adding to the religious image of Guadalupe Viejo are two seminaries, namely San Carlos Seminary and Our Lady Guadalupe Minor Seminary. The Loyola Memorial Chapels and Crematorium is also located here, and located along Estrella Street is Colegio de Sta. Rosa, an exclusive Catholic school for girls established in the 18th century.
Primarily a quiet neighborhood, Viejo in recent years have seen the development of several prominent condo projects, including DMCI Homes’ Brio Residences, which is situated along EDSA near Estrella Street; and Rockwell Land’s Proscenium.
One of Makati’s busiest transport hubs (jeepneys going to as far as Barangay Ususan in Taguig and Taft Avenue in Manila terminal here), Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo is also home to Guadalupe wet market, which is one of Metro Manila’s biggest. However, a few blocks away from this very crowded section is the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Guadalupe, which attracts devotees from all over the metro.
Guadalupe Nuevo also has its own multi-level commercial complex that is directly connected to the Guadalupe Station of MRT. The barangay is also home to the headquarters of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
In addition to the busy four-level turbine interchange that serves as a junction between EDSA and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Barangay Magallanes is also known as the site as the Magallanes Station of MRT, as well as Alphaland Southgate Mall, which is directly connected to the said station. Beside the mall is a corporate tower owned by the same real estate developer, which now houses BPO companies, including Teleperformance.
Magallanes is a mix of residential and industrial components. Along Chino Roces Extension are various companies and corporate offices of the likes of Cloudfone, Adobo Magazine, and pharma giant GSK. At the other side of SLEX is the exclusive Magallanes Village, and just outside the village is Paseo de Magallanes—a strip mall-type estate that houses bars, restaurants, and other leisure spots. The barangay is also home to several schools, such as Asia Pacific College, Reach International School, Makati Hope Christian School, and OB Montessori.
Named after Filipino hero Pio del Pilar, who fought for Philippine independence in the 1890s, today’s Barangay Pio del Pilar is home to the Pasay Road Station of the Philippine National Railway, San Ildefonso Parish Church, and Walter Mart Makati.
Property developers have taken advantage of Pio del Pilar’s strategic location, being close to both the Makati CBD and Taft Avenue, and have built a number of affordable yet quality high-rise condos in the area. Some of these residential towers include Federal Land’s One Lilac Place, Avida Land’s Avida Towers Asten, Vista Residences’ Laureano di Trevi, Cityland Towers, and Makati Executive Towers. More residential projects are being in the area.
Bounded by main thoroughfares EDSA and South Superhighway, Barangay Bangkal is peppered with small and medium enterprises. What used to be an area abundant in bangkal trees is now one of the city’s keeper of hidden treasures. Evangelista and Hizon streets, known for various automotive shops, thrift stores, and flea markets, are where antique junkies can find rows of shops to scavenge through the wide selection of old and wooden furniture, sculptures, lamps, vinyl records, books, and other collectibles. Meanwhile, major establishments include DMCI Homes head office, West Tower Condominium, AMA Computer College, CW Home Depot, SM SaveMore, and Wyeth Phils, Inc.
Barangay San Antonio has put itself on the map mainly for its famous namesake neighborhood San Antonio Village, where prominent residents like the Binay family live. But more than just a dwelling for well-known figures, it is predominantly a commercial area, with the presence of numerous business establishments. Residential towers are also prominent, such as Avida Towers, The Linear, Makati Prime City, Kingswood Makati, and Skyland Plaza.
Another famous landmark is the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart located at Sacred Heart Street (formerly Dao Street), where most of the residents go to hear the Holy Mass. When it comes to the music scene, Cafe saGuijo at Guijo Street is one of the most popular places to watch OPM bands perform live.