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Makati City

Updated on October 2, 2014

Makati City - Where is it?

Makati City is one of the cities that comprise the Metropolitan Manila (Metro Manila). It is located southeast of and adjacent to Manila City, the Philippines' capital, It's a few minutes drive from Manila.

Makati City is the Philippines' financial capital. It is where the Philippine Stock Exchange is located and where multi-national companies establish their headquarters in the Philippines.

Makati is filled with towering buildings and condominiums, five-star hotels, and upscale subdivisions where the wealthy and the business executives live. It is the home of one of the wealthiest Filipino family, the Ayala family.

Makati also boast of its modern, first-class commercial centers like the Ayala Center.

Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Stock Exchange
"makati" means itchy
"makati" means itchy
"makati" means ebbed tide
"makati" means ebbed tide

How Makati City Acquired its Name

In the vernacular, the word "makati" has two entirely different meanings, depending on how it is pronounced. It means itchy, if you pronounce it stressing on the third syllable. When stressed on the second syllable (maka-ti), it means "ebbed tide".

The following is a quote from Wikipedia on how Makati was coined.

It was Miguel López de Legazpi, the founder of Manila and first Governor-General of the Philippines, who first spotted the area, which he dismissed then as a worthless swamp. Legazpi asked the name of the place but, because of the language barrier, was misinterpreted by the natives. Pointing to the receding tide of Pasig River, the natives answered, “Makati, kumakati na” meaning “ebbing tide.”


Makati City Map
Makati City Map
Makati City Map from Google Maps
Makati City Map from Google Maps

A Brief History of Makati City

In the pre-Spanish era, Makati was ruled by Lakan Tagkan, a native chieftain, and his wife Bouan. The area was predominated by the swamps and cogon grass overlooking the banks of the Pasig River.

It was Don Miguel de Legaspi, the founder of Manila and first Governor-General of the Philippines, who first spotted the area. Legaspi asked the name of the place but, because of the language barrier, was misinterpreted by the natives. Pointing to the receding tide of Pasig River, the natives answered, “Makati, kumakati na,” meaning “ebbing tide.”

Between the years 1578 to 1670, Makati was a “visita” or district of Santa Ana de Sapa under the jurisdiction of a Franciscan priest named Pedro de Alfaro. Makati was then known as San Pedro de Makati in honor of its patron saint.

In 1914, Philippine Legislature Act. No. 2390 changed the name San Pedro de Makati to Makati, which remained to date as its official name.

Seal of the City of Makati
Seal of the City of Makati
Seal of the City of Makati, vernacular version
Seal of the City of Makati, vernacular version
Makati City Hall
Makati City Hall
Makati City Mayor Jejomar "Jojo" Binay
Makati City Mayor Jejomar "Jojo" Binay

Makati City Government

Like other cities in the Philippines, Makati City is governed by a Mayor and Vice Mayor who are elected to three-year terms. The Mayor is the executive head and leads the city's departments in executing the city ordinances and improving public services.

The Vice Mayor heads a legislative council consisting of 18 members: 8 Councilors from the First District, 8 Councilors from the Second District, the President of the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) Federation, representing the youth sector, and the President of the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) as barangay sectoral representative.

The council is in charge of creating the city's policies in the form of Ordinances and Resolutions.

Makati is currenly headed by Mayor Jejormar "Jojo" Binay. He is one of the aspiring presidentiables on the coming Philippine presidential elections which will be held on May 2010.

Mayor Binay was appointed by the then Filipino President Corazon Aquino as officer-in-charge of the then Municipality of Makati in 1986. He was the first local official to be appointed after the 1986 EDSA Revolution ended the Marcos dictatorship. He has been re-elected several times by his constituents, and continues to introduce innovations in local government in the Philippines.

Makati City is a popular venue for huge, high-profile, anti-administration political rallies. This includes the burial of the slain former Philippine senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, that triggered the EDSA Revolution.

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

Famous Landmarks in Makati City

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

Perpetually green and abloom, it is known to be the biggest American cemetery outside of the USA. It is one of the loveliest and most serene spots in the Philippines, inspiring noble emotions in its visitors. It is also one of the places most visited by tourists, especially WW II veterans. The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Fort Bonifacio, Makati.

Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery)
Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery)

Libingan ng mga Bayani / Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

It serves as the burial ground of the 33,520 Filipino soldiers who were killed in Bataan, Corregidor, and throughout the country during the 2nd World War. Libingan ng mga Bayani is located in Fort Bonifacio, Makati.

Aerial view of Ugarte Field, Makati, the green square near the center.  Photo from
Aerial view of Ugarte Field, Makati, the green square near the center. Photo from

Ugarte Field

 It is a park at the Makati Stock Exchange Building, which was named in memory of Sebastian Ugarte, Executive Vice-President of Soriano and Co. in 1945. During the corrupt regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, when demonstrations started in 1983 as a result of the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino, Ugarte Field was the rallying point. It is located in the corner of Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, Makati.

Sanctuario de Guadalupe

It is the oldest historical landmark of the city. It is of Doric architecture, with massive buttresses to support its vault of hewn stones taken from the visible but extinct Guadalupe quarry. Sanctuario de Guadalupe is located in Bernardino St., Guadalupe Viejo, Makati.

Sts. Peter and Paul Church

Built in 1620, it has an architecture typical of the Spanish colonial mission churches: a rectangular single-nave plan composed of the nace, apse, and sacristy. There is a three-tiered papaltiars and keys, symbols of the Papacy - the first being St. Peter who, together with St. Paul, patron of the locality, dominate the façade. The altar with its carved retablo is the focal point. Sts. Peter and Paul Church is located in Barangay Poblacion, Makati.

Glorietta Mall, Part of Ayala Center
Glorietta Mall, Part of Ayala Center

Ayala Center

Situated right in the heart of bustling Makati, the country's business and financial center is also a commercial complex completely at par with the world's most modern business cosmos. Ayala Center is located along Ayala Avenue, Makati.

Dusit Thani Hotel
Dusit Thani Hotel

Five Star Hotels in Makati City

Hotel Dusit Thani (Formerly Dusit Hotel Nikko)

Dusit Thani is one of Makati City's best rates hotel. Strategically located at Pasay Road, Makati. Dusit Hotel is within walking distance or a short drive from corporate headquarters, banks, movie theaters shopping malls, and restaurants.

When the need to unwind arises, the country's most famous clubs and watering holes are just minutes away.

Manila Peninsula
Manila Peninsula

Manila Peninsula

Spacious guestrooms, business-like efficiency and traditional hospitality await guests at the newly renovated Peninsula Manila, which has been a favourite among visitors to the Philippine capital for 21 years.

Superbly appointed guestrooms are among the most spacious in the city, with traditional craftsmanship and the latest technology creating total comfort and efficiency. The luxury extends to the enlarged and remodelled marble bathrooms, which feature a separate shower stall, as well as TV audio and radio channels.

Century Citadel Inn
Century Citadel Inn

Century Citadel Inn

Situated in the centre of Makati's entertainment district, within walking distance of the business and shopping area, as well as the city's major banks, airline offices and restaurants, the Century Citadel Inn combines the fine service of a hotel with the convenience of a condominium, offering exceptional value to travelers who put a premium on impeccable service at affordable rates.

Makati Shangri-la Manila Hotel
Makati Shangri-la Manila Hotel

Makati Shangri-la Manila Hotel

Known for its well-appointed, spacious accommodations and exceptional restaurants. Makati Shangri-La Manila is a luxury hotel that provides business and leisure travellers with a serene haven at the central financial and commercial district of Manila.

Shangri-la is just twenty minutes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Mandarin Oriental Manila Hotel
Mandarin Oriental Manila Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Manila

The Mandarin Oriental, Manila is a luxurious center of warm hospitality, located in the heart of the Makati business district.

Recently voted among the Top 30 Hotels In the World and the Best Hotel In Manila, All guestrooms and suites offer the sumptuous surroundings that travellers the world over associate with Mandarin Oriental.

A multi-awarded hotel renowned for its quality cuisine and service, It Is also a six time overall champion in the Chefs On Parade Culinary Olympics Organized by the Hotel And Restaurant Association Of The Philippines. It is the only hotel in the city that offers a luxurious Thai inspired spa, a yoga studio and a health club under its roof.

Subdivisions in Makati City

Bel-Air Village

A private subdivision and gated community. To the north, the village is bound by Neptune-Anza-Orion-Mercedes-Amapola Streets, Estrella Street on the northeast, EDSA on the southeast, Jupiter Street on the southwest, and Nicanor Garcia (formerly Reposo) Street on the northwest.

It encompasses a total land area of 787,234 square meters and is roughly shaped like a tobacco pipe. Bel-Air was developed in four phases, and consists of 950 lots, thirty-two streets and two well-developed parks in Phases II and III, each with covered badminton/basketball courts.

Makati Avenue separates Phase II from the rest of the subdivision. The village is managed by the Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA), and comprises only a portion of Barangay Bel-Air, which now includes Ayala North, Buendia Avenue Extension, the Ayala Triangle, and the entire Salcedo Village. The current  Barangay Captain is Mr. Victor Gomez, Jr.

Forbes Park

Known also simply as Forbes, is a private subdivision and gated community established in the 1940s, Forbes Park was named after William Cameron Forbes, an American Governor-General of the Philippines.

It is divided into Forbes Park North and Forbes Park South and is bounded roughly by EDSA to the northwest, Bonifacio Global City to the east, the Maricaban Creek to the south and southeast, and Acacia Avenue/Dasmariñas Village to the west. One of the first villages to be developed by Ayala Corporation, Forbes Park is home to Manila Golf and Country Club and Manila Polo Club. It is also well-known for housing some of the country's wealthiest families and prominent expatriates, including the ambassador of the United States.

Video: A Glimpse of Makati

Video: Makati City Philippines

Video: Driving along Ayala Avenue and Glorietta in Makati

Video: Makati by Night - Christmas Spirit

Philippine Elections 2010 Poll

Is Makati Mayor Jejomar "Jojo" Binay ready for the Presidency?

See results

Festivities in Makati City

Likhang Kamay

It is a yearly exhibit of top of the line native handicrafts. Likhang Kamay is instrumental in the discovery and development of native crafts producers.

Chinese New Year

Frames of fireworks donated by the business sector are ignited after the presentation of the Dragon and Tiger dances. It is one of the events viewed by thousands of spectators.

Belen sa Makati

The façades of buildings are decorated by crèches and complemented by locally made lanterns in celebration of the yuletide season.

Caracol (last Sunday of January)

Conceptualized in 1988, Caracol is a Spanish term for a snail and refers to the "the shell used by the people to protect them from life's detrimental realities." It invites the viewers in merrymaking. A combination of the three major ethnic festivals of the country, it was declared the official festival of Makati through the passage of Resolution 351.

Flores de Mayo

It is one of the biggest processions in Metro Manila participated in by 120 young ladies representing the 32 barangays of the municipality, tourism oriented establishments, local and government offices and corporations based in Makati.


It is the venue for giving recognition to Ten Outstanding Students of Makati, the crème de la crème of youth leaders representing the private and public schools.

Ganito Kami Noon

Host and guests representing the local government and socio-economic sector wear turn-of-the-century native costumes during this event. Highlight of the evening is the Rigodon de Honor presided by the Mayor and his lady.

Bailes delos Arcos (June 29)

The dance is performed on the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul at Barangay Poblacion by daughters of past participants with impeccable reputations, as homage to the Virgen dela Rosa for her kindness. The "Dance of Virgins" is performed by young ladies.

Pasko sa Makati

Highlight is a raffle draw for the rank and file employees of the city. Chinese New YearFrames of fireworks donated by the business sector are ignited after the presentation of the Dragon and Tiger dances. It is one of the events viewed by thousands of spectators.


It is a street re-enactment of the life, death, and passion of Jesus Christ. The event is mounted during the Lenten Season in the barangays.

Other Tourist Destinations in Makati City

Guadalupe Ruins or Nuestra Señora de Gracia

The original church was of Doric architecture with massive buttresses to support its vault of hewn stones taken from the still visible but extinct Guadalupe quarry. Its walls are solid and stable and built in such a way that they still stand today as when the church was completed in 1629. Located at Bernardo Street, Guadalupe Viejo.

Saints Peter and Paul Church

It was built in 1620 with architecture typical of the colonial mission churches of rectangular single-nave plan composed of the nave, apse and sacristy. A three-tiered papal tiara and keys, symbols of Papacy, St. Peter being the first Pope with St. Paul, patron of the locality, dominate the façade. Focal point is the intricately carved retablo of the altar.

Sri Sri Radha MadhavaIskcon Sri

Sri Radha Madhava Center is one of the temples of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which has 400 temples around the world, and was founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The center practices and teaches vedic knowledge, like vegetarianism, yoga, meditation and science of god. Indian clothes and worship articles are available for sale, along with religious and vegetarian cook books.

You can also get to try their delicious vegetarian Prasadam (food offered to God). The center is located at 9105 Banuyo St, San Antonio Village, Makati and is very near the Makati commercial district. Their telephone number is 8963357, and is open from 4.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the morning, and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. in the evening.

Nielsen Tower / Airport(Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave.)

Now the Filipinas Heritage Library, the place provided the first private domestic flight of the Philippine Airlines and Iloilo-Negros Air Express Company immediately after WW II until the airport opened in Pasay City in 1951.

Ayala Museum (Makati Avenue, Makati)

The museum is a unique show window of Philippine history and culture. It features 60 dioramas (tri-dimensional portraits) depicting significant events of Philippine history and scaled down reproductions of native boats and foreign ships.

Philippine Army Museum (McArthur Drive, Fort Bonifacio)

It is a repository of antique guns, cannons, tanks, and other relics of WW II as well as captured paraphernalia, ammunition, and weapons of the New People's Army (NPA). A special feature is a tunnel with several arteries leading to different exits.

Museo ng Makati (J.P.Rizal St. Poblacion, Makati)

Primarily a municipal museum, it is the reservoir of the artifacts, treasures, and relics of the town's glorious past. It is also a venue of various exhibits showcasing the different regions of the country.

Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center(395 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati)

Established in 1945, this library provides accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information about the United States. It is a place where lectures and seminars are held. Film screenings and video tape recordings are done here as well. It is likewise a venue of visiting performing artists.

Makati Park and Garden (J.P. Rizal St.)

Considered as the city's main garden park, it has well-lighted park walks around fully landscaped gardens, a man-made lagoon and waterfalls, a gazebo and ornamental islet lighted fence, adjoining park spaces, and an amphitheater for cultural shows like the performing arts of ballet, folk dances, stage plays, contemporary and traditional bands.

Alliance Francaise Art Gallery (22 Keystone Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati)

This art gallery features paintings done by young and contemporary Filipino artists.

Finale Art File (G-20 Sunvar Plaza, Pasay road, Makati)

It features artworks on canvas, art photographs, and pottery.

Galleria Aurora (19 Ponce St. San Lorenzo Village, Makati)

Displays are limited to paintings done by more than 50 artists.

Galeria Jupiter (74 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati)

This gallery showcases Oriental art objects and furnitures. Also found here are Chinese and Korean antiques and ceramics.

Luz Gallery (Locsin Bldg., Makati & Ayala Ave., Makati)

It features interesting art pieces such as old prints, artifacts, old ceramics, antiques, sculptures, and brass figures. Osmundo Gallery(Dusit Hotel Nikko, EDSA, Makati). This gallery showcases antique furniture, Philippine saints and folk art, excavated Philippine pottery, Chinese porcelain, and heirloom pieces.

Ayala Center (Ayala Ave., Makati)

Right in the heart of bustling Makati, the country's business and financial center is a commercial complex at par with the world's most modern business cosmos.

Makati Cinema Square (cor. Amorsolo St., Makati)

Under the roof is an extensive collection of shops offering everything and anything from the finest merchandise at bargain prices, quality dining, blockbuster entertainment to top-of-the-line recreational facilities. Makati Stock Exchange(Ayala Ave. Makati). It houses the trading of stock.

Screenshot of Makati City Government Official Website

The official website of Makati City got hacked and is still down.  I wonder why they're not doing anything to bring it back online.  The hack message say "2003" and it's now year 2009.
The official website of Makati City got hacked and is still down. I wonder why they're not doing anything to bring it back online. The hack message say "2003" and it's now year 2009.

Comments on Makati City

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    • condominium profile image

      Jeffrey Dela Costa 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      This is a great hub about Makati City. What can I say, it's one of the busiest most cosmopolitan cities here in the Philippines. Also, my Makati condominiums are the best investments I have thus far... Many thanks

    • Makaticrib profile image


      6 years ago from Makati City

      Great hub Manila Girl! I've been staying in Makati for about a month and I'm still getting the lay of the land. I just started to write about serviced apartments/condo locations in Makati. Take a look at my hubs some time!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      its a great honor to be a public servant at makati city

    • Jason Matthews profile image

      Jason Matthews 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Nice Hub. I really like the pictures!

    • GlobalCityNights profile image


      8 years ago


      I love Makati! On of my most favorite cities in the entire world

    • Gicky Soriano profile image

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      I grew up in Makati. Spent a total of two decades of my life in this city. When I returned for a visit in 2004, the concrete landscape had changed tremendously. Lots of sentimental landmarks were missing. The new city's infrastructure had swallowed them whole. Thank you for the informative update nevertheless.

    • LVM profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub. Well researched. You're a member of HubPages for two months now. How about writing more hubs? Thanks.

    • gadfly profile image


      9 years ago from Ojai, California

      I love reading your takes on local features of your homeland -- excellent work. As an architect, I wish that you had stills of Sanctuario de Gaudalupe and Sts. Peter and Paul Church. I always look forward to your new hubpage postings.

    • Manila Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Manila Girl 

      9 years ago

      reneesjourney, thanks for taking the time to read my hub about Makati City. I hope you can visit Makati one day.

    • Manila Girl profile imageAUTHOR

      Manila Girl 

      9 years ago

      angel of love, Mayor Binay of Makati City is still running his infomercials and we'll never know. If he doesn't run for the presidency, he might team up with former president Joseph Estrad as a VP.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Never knew this place existed until now. Thanks for the extensive info.

    • Angel Of Love profile image

      Angel Of Love 

      9 years ago

      I learned a lot about Makati today reading your hub. Thanks! Is Binay really running for president?


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