The City of Makati is one of the 16 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Makati is the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia. As the host of various embassies, it is also an important center for international affairs.
With a population of 510,383, Makati is the 16th largest city in the country and ranked as the 40th most densely populated city in the world with 18,654 inhabitants per km2.
Makati was founded by Spaniard Miguel López de Legazpi, who dismissed Makati as a worthless swamp. According to folklore, Legazpi asked for 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,” literally meaning ebbing tide.
Makati became the financial center of the Philippines during the 1950s. Many districts and landmarks in the city have become well known to outsiders. Makati has been iconified as the “Financial Capital of the Philippines”. Anchored by Ayala Avenue, Makati is the financial capital of the Philippines and is the home of the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Makati Business Club, one of the most important economic hubs in the Philippines. World-class research universities are located in the city.
Makati is noted for its highly cosmopolitan culture, also being a major cultural and entertainment hub in Metro Manila. Many expatriates live and work in the city. Makati is also home to many first-class shopping malls, which are located at Ayala Center and Rockwell Center. Makati also has the tallest buildings in the Philippines like PBCom Tower and G.T. International Tower, a Federal Land project.
The city also has many of the country’s five-star hotels like The Peninsula Manila, the Shangri-La Hotel Makati and the Intercontinental Hotel Manila. Independent business travelers also benefit from budget hotels like the Saint Illian’s Inn, El Cielito Inn, The Copa Businessman’s Hotel, and The City Garden Suites, while serviced apartments like The Salcedo Suites, Fraser Place Manila, Jupiter Suites (Jupiter Arms Hotel) and The Oxford Suites are gaining in popularity among business-minded travelers as well.
Today the city is one of the most modern cities in the country and the Philippines’ major global economic competitor in Asia. However, it faces challenges due to the disparate gap between the new city in the west, which contains the Central Business District, and the old city in the east, which is largely poor and where most of the city’s slums are located. Despite this, Makati City is said to be the most outstanding and richest city in the Philippines.
The Central Business District (CBD) is where most of Makati’s financial resources are concentrated. This is an informal district bounded by EDSA, Gil Puyat Ave., Antonio Arnaiz Avenue/Pasay Road, and Chino Roces Avenue. It mainly encompasses Legazpi Village, Salcedo Village, Ayala Center, and parts of Bel-Air. Much of the area is owned by Ayala Land, Inc and administered through Makati Commercial Estates Authority (MACEA), its subsidiary.
PBCom Tower along Ayala Avenue is the country’s tallest building and reaches up 259 meters. It is the headquarters of the Philippine Bank of Communications, or PBCom. The Makati CBD is considered to be one of the most vibrant commercial districts in Southeast Asia.
One of the trading floors of the Philippine Stock Exchange is housed in Ayala Tower One and at the old Makati Stock Exchange Building, both also along Ayala Avenue. The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the country’s oldest bank, has its headquarters at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas.
Other companies that have their offices and country/regional headquarters within Makati City, most within the CBD, include Thomson Reuters, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), IBM, Procter & Gamble, Citibank, Ayala Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Metrobank, Intel Philippines, Microsoft Philippines, Nestlé, Syngenta, Shell,Startek International Ltd. Convergys Corporation, Commonwealth Insurance Company (CIC), Aegis PeopleSupport, Inc. (APS), Pan Pacific Computer Center, Inc. (PPCC), Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc., Holcim Philippines,CEMEX PHILIPPINES and JG Summit, Accenture. Hewlett Packard’s main Philippines office and an HP service center are in Makati City. Asiana Airlines operates a sales office on the sixth floor of the Salcedo Tower in Makati City.
In 1975 Philippine Airlines was headquartered in the PAL Building in Makati City.
Ayala Center, along EDSA and Ayala Avenue is the most known commercial center in the city. Developed by the Ayala Corporation, it contains two shopping malls, Glorietta and Greenbelt, five star hotels, and an office building. The larger of the two shopping malls is Glorietta, which itself is a cluster of malls. Rising from Glorietta 4 is the Ascott Tower (formerly Oakwood Premier), a luxurious hotel-apartment residence at the heart of the center. Along the periphery of Glorietta are three department stores: SM Department Store Makati, Rustan’s, and the Landmark. Across Makati Avenue from Glorietta is Greenbelt. This is one of the most sophisticated, modern, and expensive malls in the country. Greenbelt features dozens of coffee stores and restaurants, all overlooking a well-landscaped green park at the center where a domed Catholic chapel dominates the skyline. Other hotels in the vicinity of Ayala Center are the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, the Manila Peninsula, the Dusit Thani Group, the Hotel Intercontinental Manila, and Renaissance Makati City Hotel. Soon to rise is the Raffles Residences Manila, now under construction at the corner of Makati Avenue and Arnaiz Avenue.
Rockwell Center is the other first-class shopping center in Makati. Rockwell features the large Power Plant Mall popular with expatriates. At the periphery of the center are many high-class residential condominium towers, the Asian Eye Institute, and the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools main campus, which houses the Ateneo Law School, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, and the Ateneo School of Government.
Many of the country’s wealthiest families live in North and South Forbes Park, originally developed in 1948, and Dasmariñas Village, first developed in the 1960s, on the other side of EDSA from the Central Business District. Other well-to-do people live in San Lorenzo Village, Urdaneta Village, San Antonio Village, Bel-Air Village, and Magallanes Village. These “villages” are not rural settlements, but gated communities. Many wealthy and middle-class Makati residents live in high-rise condominiums in Salcedo Village and Legazpi Village, two mixed-use zones located in the heart of the CBD. Most of the average residents of the city live in the city’s periphery, especially in the eastern portions of Cembo, Rizal, East and West Rembo, Pembo, Comembo, South Cembo, and Pitogo.
Makati City is home to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). AIM, located along Paseo de Roxas across Greenbelt began as a collaborative project of the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. The Ateneo Professional Schools, a unit of the Ateneo de Manila University has facilities in Rockwell Center and Salcedo Village. The Rockwell campus houses the Ateneo Law School, the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, and the Ateneo School of Government. The Salcedo campus houses the Ateneo Information Technology Institute. De La Salle University’s Professional Schools operates in RCBC Tower along Ayala Avenue. The Mapua Institute of Technology on Gil Puyat Avenue is an extension of Mapua in Intramuros, Manila.
Other notable colleges and Universities in Makati are the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries (ASCM), Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati, Assumption College, Colegio San Agustin, Makati Hope Christian School, Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, Asia Pacific College,International Academy of Management and Economics (I.AME)and the University of Makati. Assumption College, in San Lorenzo Village, is an all-female college. The University of Makati (officially, Pamantasan ng Makati) is a university run by the city government. Also in the city are the Makati Science High School and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino High School, both city-run high schools. Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Memorial Schools, named after Doña Remedios Romualdez, the mother of the former first-lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos a private nursing school owned by of one of Makati’s renowned hospitals, Makati Medical Center.
These are the educational institutions in Makati City:ABE International Business College AMA Computer College Asia Pacific College Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries (ASCM) Assumption College Ateneo Professional Schools Bangkal High School Benigno S. “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Science High School Bethany Baptist Academy Makati Centro Escolar University Makati Colegio San Agustin Colegio de Sta. Rosa De La Salle-Professional Schools, Inc. Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati First Academy of Computer Arts Far Eastern University – Makati Business School Fort Bonifacio High School Gen. Pio Del Pilar National Science High School International Academy of Management and Economics (I.AME) Information and Communications Technology Academy Lyceum of the Philippines College of Law Rolf Jost Information Technologie Institute Makati High School Makati Hope Christian School Makati Science High School Mapúa Institute of Technology Maranatha Christian Academy of Makati Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary Philippine School of Interior Design Pitogo High School RTRMS-Makati Medical Center St. Augustine School of Nursing San Carlos Seminary Saint Paul College of Makati Saint Mary of the Woods School San Antonio National High School San Isidro National High School STI Makati Think & Try Learning Center University of Makati Informatics Computer Institute of Makati
The Sta. Ana Racetrack, which is actually already a part of the City of Manila, beside Pasig River in the northern part of the city, is one of the two centers of horseracing in the country—the other being the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. Along the south-eastern border of Makati beyond Forbes Park are the Manila Golf Club and the Manila Polo Club. The Manila Golf Club features an 18-hole golf course amidst the lush greenery of the city. The Manila Polo Club counts among its polo enthusiasts some of the country’s wealthiest people. The Makati Sports Club in Salcedo Village is another popular place for sports people. The Makati Coliseum is another famous sports landmark in the city, where some of the biggest sports gatherings are held.
The Ayala Center also features, aside from its shopping malls, the Ayala Museum. This museum is most noted for its series of dioramas depicting major events in Philippine history, from the Battle of Mactan to the People Power Revolution.
Makati has many Spanish-era churches, such as the Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace) in the old town. At the Greenbelt Park stands the modern domed chapel of the Sto. Niño de la Paz. Between Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village is the Santuario de San Antonio, a popular church for weddings in the Makati area. The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart is located in San Antonio Village.Makati also houses the country’s only Jewish synagogue, Beth Yaacov.