Makati is located a mere 7km northeast of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, Philippines. Cut through a quiet neighbourhood tucked inside Barangay Poblacion, Makati’s oldest ward, and you will find an energetic microcosm of life in Metro Manila, wedged along the southern banks of the Pasig River between a notorious red light district and an affluent enclave. The community packs into an area half a kilometre long and half again as wide, a city’s worth of contradictions: old-timers and newcomers, trends and traditions, vice and virtue. Ride along with Asian Geographic and Tracey Paska as she counts down the top 5 places to visit in Makati, Philippines.
1. NINOY AQUINO MONUMENT
The famous Ninoy Aquino bronze statue, sculpted by Peter de Guzman, commemorates the former senator who spoke out against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and was assassinated in 1983. It is built on the spot where many pro-democracy rallies took place in the 1980s and 1990s.
2. NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GRACIA CHURCH
Also known as Guadalupe Church, the Roman Catholic parish church is one of the oldest churches in Metro Manila. Known for its quaint Baroque architecture, it was first constructed in 1599 by Augustinian friars, the oldest religious order in the Philippines. Daily masses are held at 6am in English and 6pm in Tagalog.
3. GREENBELT MALL
Greenbelt is a shopping complex of five contemporary buildings, made up of Greenbelt 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 each with their own unique architecture style. The mall is open daily from 10am to 10pm and houses high-end designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Gucci and more.
4. AYALA MUSEUM
Located at the heart of Makati, the Ayala Museum is a great
place to spend the afternoon immersed in Filipino history and contemporary art. Among the museum’s highlights is its collection of pre-colonial treasures, indigenous textiles and the Filipinas Heritage Library, housing rare books and photo archives.
5. SALCEDO SATURDAY MARKET
The Salcedo Market is not to be missed if you’re in town over the weekend – from casual snacks to classy dining areas, this market is popular among couples and families. Tuck into a light breakfast with a cup of coffee and pick up beautifully-made arts and crafts, but be there early – it opens from 7am until 2pm.