Being the financial center of the country, Makati Philippines is a thriving city where the prestige Makati Business Club and Philippine Stock Exchange are located. Makati is well known for its multi-ethnic and multicultural lifestyle, that’s why most expats in the Philippines choose to live in this city. Besides its welcoming atmosphere for various cultures and ethnicities, Makati also has all kinds of facilities that make this city a great place to live or stay, like shopping centers, hotels and condos, financial hubs, entertainment venues, and many others. Many of these establishments are owned and managed by foreign businessmen, perhaps this is also one of the reasons why Makati Philippines is very popular worldwide.
If you see Makati Philippines today with all its modern infrastructures, skyscrapers and colorful lifestyle, it would be hard to imagine that this city used to be a swampland. Even Juan Miguel de Legazpi during the Spanish colonization era said this place is worthless. Initially the city was developed to be a farming community and was part of Santa Ana de Sapa, a wide municipality that was part of today’s Manila. Then in early 1600s this city became the pilgrimage center for the churches of Saint Paul, Saint Peter, as well as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Then in honor of Saint Peter as its patron, the city was named San Pedro de Macati.
Many years go by and a lot of investors starting to come and build their businesses in here. It didn’t take very long until this city was known for being one of the most thriving business centers in the country and that caught the attentions of foreign investors. Finally in 1914, the name “San Pedro de Macati” was shortened by the Philippines Legislature to just “Macati”.
Today, the population of Makati Philippines is more than 530,000 and the number keeps on increasing, which is actually a quite large number considering the total land area is only 27,36 sq. km.
Being an important business center in the country and a highly desirable area for expats and upper class societies, the living cost in this city is significantly higher than most of the cities in the Philippines. However for tourists with low budget, they can still find accommodations with cheap prices but still have decent facilities.
In its development, Makati turned to be not only the center of the nation’s economy but also one of the greatest tourist destinations in Philippines. Besides various great accommodations from luxury five star hotels to budget inns, Makati also has lots of entertainment centers, fabulous restaurants, and so many interesting tourist attractions from memorial center to museums. There are also various interesting festivals you can find in this city, some of the most popular are:
Belen sa Makati – This is a popular celebration that starts in December. During this event, all major building in the city are decorated with colorful lights as well as lanterns. Usually the barangay center and schools in the area also setup their own nativity scene.
Caracol – This festival is celebrated in an effort to preserve natural resources of the Philippines and being held in January on the last Sunday of the month. The participants in this festival are generally wearing costumes that represent the nature, like trees, animals, flowers, etc.
Flores de Mayo – This is the biggest event in Metro Manila with 120 beautiful ladies representing 32 barangays of corporations, government offices, local offices, establishments and municipality in Makati.
While some of the most popular places of interests in the city are:
Libingan ng mga Bayani – This is the heroes cemetery where many Filipino soldiers of World War II are buried. Two Filipino presidents are also buried in this location, they are Diosdado Macapagal and Carlos P. Garcia. The place itself is known for being a great location for photography.
Greenbelt Chapel – Located in the Greenbelt Park, this is a very popular church among Christians as well as tourists. It has a really beautiful park where people can relax.
Ninoy Aquino Monument – This is a monument built to honor Benigno Aquino, the late senator and national hero of the Philippines.
Ayala Museum – This is a place where you can learn a lot about the Philippines history and culture. In this museum you can find a lot of precious historical artifacts and there are also many paintings of the Philippines famous painters, like Juan Luna, Fernando Zobel and Fernando Amorsolo. This is actually one of the most important museums in the country.