Guide to Manila – Makati Edition

Guide to Manila – Makati Edition

Makati City, the business and financial capital of the Philippines is also home to upscale shopping centers and residential buildings. It has the highest concentration of multinational and local businesses. This city boasts a progressive economy and is considered the richest city in the Philippines.

I’ve practically lived in and out of Manila, and in and out of the Philippines, but I always consider Makati my one true home. Whether you’re a young professional, a fitness buff, a modern day housewife or the CEO of your company, I think you’d find it easy to live in Makati because of the great balance of lifestyle, work and entertainment this city can offer.

When in Makati, especially during Saturdays and Sundays, I’d recommend you put on your most comfortable shoes because there’s a long list of fun things to do that will involve a lot of walking.


Start early and drink your coffee. Get some fresh air and head over to Legaspi Active Park, a few blocks away from Greenbelt. Jog along the paths surrounded by the wide, green lawn. The park gets busy from 5:00am onwards as local residents emerge from their nearby apartments for some exercise. Be careful about photography as the security guards may not allow taking photos.

legPhoto by Pinay Media


After a good run around the park, cool down with a slow walk going home and freshen up with a nice shower. If you don’t live nearby, I recommend skipping the morning jog and start your Makati adventure with a nice breakfast. Go to Figaro in Greenbelt-3. If you like freshly brewed dark coffee, this small and quaint coffee place will not disappoint. They also have coffee based cold refreshments, fresh juices and light drinks if you are not a fan of strong coffee.

But for me, flat white always completes my morning. Figaro serves an all-day Filipino breakfast ranging from the famous bangus, longanisa and tapa – all served with with rice and two eggs. Free wifi is provided. If you like catching up with current events, grab your chance and read the news while enjoying a nice brekky.


Go to Ayala Museum. This six-storey edifice houses ethnographic and archaeological exhibits on Filipino culture, art, and history. Expect to see some highlights on The Diorama Experience, Maritime Vessels and Gold of Ancestors. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00pm, with an admission fee of 150 pesos.

Ayala_MuseumPhoto by Ayala Musuem


Time for lunch. Start walking and head over to Salcedo Weekend Market. On Saturdays, the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village turns into a market of good food. You’ll find fresh produce and cooked goods, local and international dishes and beverages and even plants, flowers and potteries.

You’ll find local restaurant brands in booths set-up side by side. Featuring their most popular dishes on the menu, these food entrepreneurs, both big and small, gather together weekly to promote local restaurants that serve dishes ranging from Filipino, Chinese, Thai, Italian, French and American cuisines. The weekend market is open from 6:00am until 2:30pm. Average dining costs from 200 to 300 pesos per person.



We only have two kinds of weather in the Philippines – hot and hotter. And I assure you, at this hour, you’re gonna want to hide under the shade or perhaps go to the mall to shop. There are shops in Greenbelt Mall that specialise in local and international brands that might just fit your preferences.

Shops like Bulgari, Chopard, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and other luxury and high end brands are found in Greenbelt-4 and Greenbelt-5. While sports and athletics shops like Nike, Adidas and international fashion brands like LacosteDieselZara and Topshop are in Greenbelt-3. There is a chapel in the middle of the mall compound- Sto. Nino De Paz Chapel. Basing on its architectural design, it’s been around a lot longer than the modern buildings and malls that surround it. You may want to take a look for yourself.



The good thing about Ayala Malls is that they are all interconnected. A footbridge conveniently connects Greenbelt Malls to The Landmark, and The Landmark is bridged to Glorietta Malls. Let’s go to TGI Fridays in Glorietta-3 for their happy hour.

They offer a bucket of San Miguel Beer (five bottles) for only 399 pesos and Margaritas (served either frozen or on the rocks) made with premium tequila, triple sec and margarita mix. If you’re not in the mood for beer and cocktails, perhaps some milkshakes and fresh juices could put a smile on your face. Happy hour lasts until 8:00pm.


Ayala Triangle is a nice park in Ayala Avenue I used to frequent when I needed some alone time. I often described it as Makati’s tiny version of New York’s Central Park. Located within the Makati Central Business District, Ayala Triangle is a perfect place where you and your friends can relax, eat and just have fun. On one side of the park is a strip of restaurants.

If you want to lay on the ground, you are most welcome but make sure you bring your own mat. Ayala Triangle doesn’t come close to Central Park but it’s the closest thing we have to nature within the hustle and bustle of the city. See the skies turn red and go dark as the sun sets. It’s a really nice view.


ayalatriangle_001Photo  by Pow


Time to end the day, but before that, head over to Rockwell for dinner. Mamou Too! is known to be “a home kitchen” serving the finest multinational dishes you’ll ever find in the area. Mixing traditional Filipino dishes with western cuisines in the menu.

From healthy, vegetarian, red and white meat appetisers and main dishes, you’ll surely find what will satisfy your cravings from A to Z. Make sure you’ll save room for dessert, Mamou Too’s dessert collection is a must-try!

Zane Balmaceda |
Contributing Editor

Born and raised in a multi-cultural environment and a firm believer that the best way to learn is to travel the world. He enjoys hiking and outdoor bootcamp. His passion for arts, writing, food and business administration lead him to be foodpanda’s Senior Marketing Manager in Hong Kong and in the Philippines.


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