What the city lacks in size, it makes up for in its power-packed institutions and establishments. Indeed, it would be next to impossible to find a patch of land that isn’t put to good use.
The globe at the Mall of Asia roundabout lights up at night.
While it is the “third smallest political subdivision in the National Capital Region,” Pasay City is home to the biggest cosmopolitan hotspots, big enterprises and most attractive landmarks in the country.
By geographic terms, Pasay is large enough to house the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) complex, which include the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Villamor Air Base. All of the city’s 18.50 square km of land area has domiciled a wide array of restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment centers, situated along the eponymous Roxas Boulevard and facing Manila Bay, considered as one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia.
Pasay City is composed of seven districts, with 20 zones and 200 barangays. The breadth of its territory complements its outstanding economic growth, business potential and rapid urbanization. According to the socio-economic profile of its comprehensive land use plan, which is available at pasay.gov.ph, the city of Pasay is a “facilitator of trade among its neighboring local government units.” The city’s progress should give credence to its healthy economic machinery. Aside from adjacent airports that obviously provide constant influx of tourists, which also means palpable profit, Pasay also credits its intense commercial activity with the longstanding spiritual mecca in the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, or more popularly known as Baclaran Church. This is where people not only flock to for religious devotion but also for the commercial promise within the old church’s vicinity. The cathedral is swathed by a number of small business owners that offer cheap goods that address people’s varying needs.
The city’s provision of accessible and convenient transport system and strategic roads is also a come-on among out-of-towners. There are 15 bus terminals, 9 of which are commercial garages, in Pasay, many of which are situated in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares. There are also 2,500 tricycles that assist in short-distance travel. Moreover, the city also has two rail transit terminals via LRT and MRT.
The city believes that “these linkages facilitate economic interdependence.” While Pasay lacks the capability to produce food and other basic necessities, it more than makes up for its government’s astuteness to liaise with other Metro Manila LGUs and 21neighboring regions for trade, production, and distribution.
The Mall of Asia Eye stands 55 meters, and can carry up to 216 passengers.
Meanwhile, its public market is not to be belittled as it is considered an integral part of the city’s trade and source of employment. The government’s public market boasts of more than 13,000-sqm, two-story structure that provides space for 1,500 stall owners. Pasay’s privately owned public market, on the other hand, spreads to about 500 sqm. Filipinos continue to flock these markets as they are home to Metro Manila’s most affordable finds.
Doing business in Pasay is as convenient as it is fruitful. Hence, Pasay City has also become a place of residence for corporate offices, which continue to boost its local employment. Investors have taken great interest in providing services in the city. Private investments have been the “lifeblood of Pasay’s economy.” As far as the city’s leading industries, general merchandising and retail occupy the largest chunk of its profit-making machines (56.6%), followed by professional services (16.5%) and utility services (9%). Rest and recreational, personal services, allied medical services, manufacturing, public terminal and commercial garage, and private learning institutions also make up Pasay City’s industrial machinery.
At present, recreational and cultural destinations have successfully attracted both local visitors and foreign tourists. To date, some of the city’s biggest crowd-drawers are SM establishments like the Mall of Asia, the MOA Arena, the SMX Convention Center and the SM headquarters; and Resorts World Manila.
It is also home to popular attractions and notable event places like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine International Convention Center, Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas (formerly Folk Arts Theater), Manila Film Center, Coconut Palace, the World Trade Center, Cuneta Astrodome, Aliw Theater, Nayong Pilipino and Star City. It has successfully fused business and culture, where money fosters commerce, heritage and art.
The newly built, 15-story Hotel 101 Manila, conveniently located near the corner of EDSA and Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, offers 522 rooms, and puts guests squarely at the center of the action in Pasay City.
Pasay City also takes in national government offices like the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Senate of the Philippines and the main office of the Philippine National Bank. Power is comfortably nestled in the city, with the arm of the law, tourism and finance finding their perfect homes.
Indeed, Pasay is not a stranger to big enterprises and equally big profits, larger-than-life entertainment and experiences, and power and prominence. Opportunities swarm its highways and boulevards like an investment hotspot, where big commercial and residential paradises converge for urban living like no other.
The bright, colorful lights illuminate its busy streets and the sounds of belching cars testify to Pasay’s celebrated industriousness and development, where every corner reeks of vibrant activities that define energy and growth, which disperse with utmost urgency.
Pasay’s passionate pursuit for all things big when it comes to perpetually grabbing development opportunities has been duly established. The city never gets tired of mowing its green pastures and reveling on its inherent glitz and glamour. Consequently, with every new building that stands tall or stretches wide in the city is a promise of even bigger things that await the place that never settles for anything less than important.
The 20,000-seater MOA Arena has become the venue for big-ticket events.
Photos by Paolo Aseron