During my trip to Manila, I wanted to try so many things but ended up being flooded with so many other options and better alternatives coming along the way. To be honest, I only have 2 full days to explore this vibrant city of Makati and of course, that was not enough.
But let me share with you some of the things I’ve discovered (1-8) and some of the things that I would love to try when I get back again soon (9-15).
1. BOOK A HOTEL NEAR THE MALLS
If you have little time to spare to explore Makati City (specifically the Ayala Center area and nearby areas), it is highly recommended to stay closeby. Some of the hotels attached to Glorietta Mall are Ascott Makati which is right at the entrance of Glorietta 4 and Holiday Inn Suites Makati in Glorietta 2. If budget permits, Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Fairmont Makati, and Hotel Raffles Makati are some of the best options in terms of accessibility. However, there are also many budget hotels and backpackers hostels that are available around the city.
2. TRY MR. KOREA UNLIMITED BBQ
They saved the day for us! I am not aware that malls in Manila are closing early (like as early as 9pm!). And coming late from the airport, I thought we could catch some late dinner at the mall. But what’s left were either pubs or restos that are also about to close. Good thing we found this new Korean Samgyupsal restaurant right at the end of Glorietta 3 Park. They just recently opened that time and they are one of the latest addition to the many Samgyupsal restos that have invaded the entire metropolis.
3. SHOP AT UNIQLO GLORIETTA 5
Not only food, but many retail outlets from other countries – especially from South East Asia like Japan and Korea are also enjoying wide popularity in Manila. Proof to that is the opening of the largest global flagship store of UNIQLO. It is the biggest store in the country and in Southeast Asia which covers 4,100 square meters, occupying two levels of the Glorietta 5 shopping mall in Makati City.
4. VISIT “TOP OF THE GLO”
One of the articles that I read as I prepare for this trip, dubbed Makati as “a pioneer when it comes to the mall experience”. And for Makatizens and its visitors, there’s a new spot that is an escalator-ride away coming from the mall to the topmost floor of Glorietta (adjacent to Holiday Inn & Suites Makati). It is called Top Of The Glo – a rooftop garden patio that is becoming a favorite chill-out spot in the City.
Also featured in this the innovative outdoor concept at the roof deck of Glorietta is JAPAN TOWN, a row of Japanese Restaurants offering affordable ramen, sushi, Japanese buffet, and many others.
5. CHECKOUT AVIDA SHOWROOM IN GLORIETTA 2
After a quick meeting with Ayala peeps, we went straight to their showroom which is conveniently located within the mall. Not only that they have information booths scattered all around the mall, but they also have a showroom complete with scale models and mock-up units of their condominiums.
Want to see your dream home without going to the actual site? Visit them and have a glimpse of the lifestyle that awaits you.
6. DINE AT DIN TAI FUNG – GREENBELT 3
Strolling around this huge complex can be tiring, exhausting, and can be pretty draining (budget-wise). While overlooking the green gardens of Greenbelt 3 as wells as the many international restaurants around it, I was particularly hooked when I saw Din Tai Fung – a Taiwanese restaurant franchise specializing in Huaiyang cuisine including the iconic mouth-watering soup dumpling called Xiao Long Bao. Would you want to travel to Taiwan? Start from here…
7. NIGHTCAP AT POBLACION
It was raining almost everyday in Manila. So traffic was chaotic and it made our adven-tour a bit difficult. But since I am curious to see this popular hangout place, our team braved the traffic and made our way through the alley roads of Makati Avenue. When we reached the place, we saw some of the highly recommended places: the Z Hostel popular for its rooftop bar, the Smoke Yard, Alamat Filipino Pub and Deli, and more. The vibe wasn’t as I’ve expected since it’s still early and its raining (we reached there past 6 o’clock in the evening), and I thought it would be fun to come back with group of friends.
I suggest reading these articles for more ideas about Poblacion, Makati: Poblacion Food Crawl in Makati, Philippines and The Coconuts Manila guide to Poblacion: Restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs in Makati’s hippest hood.
I will definitely go back to this place. While it has lots of resto-bars that serve beer, wine, and cocktails, I also know that there are other food spots that we can discover in this area.
8. DINNER WITH A VIEW
After our attempt to checkout Poblacion, we went straight to City Garden Grand Hotel for dinner. As expected, it offers a panoramic view of Makati City. We enjoyed the food, the view, even witnessed a marriage proposal… while waiting for the rain to stop. Here are other suggestions for places with a good view of the city: I’m Hotel also in Makati Avenue, The Penthouse 8747 in Paseo de Roxas, Mistral Rooftop Bar in Raffles Makati, Z-Hostel in Poblacion, among others.
9. VISIT SOME MUSEUMS
From hereon, while these items are included in my original itinerary, I was not able to visit them personally. They are highly recommended places, but due to rain and limited time, I wasn’t able to see them personally. Nevertheless, they are still good places to visit #WhenInMakati.
Makati City also boasts of having several museums including the Ayala Museum located in Ayala Center if you want to learn more about the culture and history of the Philippines through the artworks and the exhibition of historical objects that range from archeological artifacts, life-size dioramas, and paintings.
There’s also the Yuchengco Museum for classical and contemporary paintings located in RCBC Plaza.
10. TRY THE JOLLIJEEP
The bustling city of Makati is home to many cozy restaurants and cafes. But these unique street food stalls are what feed the working force with its home-cooked style, popularly known as JOLLI-JEEP. They are aluminum food carts lining up the busy streets of Makati selling all kinds of food at really affordable prices. It’s not only because of the price and convenience which made these Jolli-jeep popular but also the personalized service and relationships built to these vendors they call “manong” or “nanay” who are serving home-style meals.
11. DROP BY WEEKEND BAZAARS
I was told that during weekends, two outdoor bazaars are happening. One in Salcedo Village and another one in Legazpi Village.
Salcedo Saturday Market is a vibrant community market where artisanal produce and fresh meat & vegetables are on offer. It is located in Jaime C. Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati
Legazpi Sunday Market is a weekly flea market featuring a wide selection of furniture, home goods, local produce & street eats located in Herrera st. cor Legazpi and Salcedo, V.A. Rufino St, Legazpi Village, Makati.
12. CHECKOUT CIRCUIT MAKATI
Circuit Makati is a riverfront redevelopment project by Ayala Land on the site of the former Santa Ana Race Track in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines. Click here for more information.
13. HEAD OVER TO LITTLE TOKYO
Before the malls paraded their Japan-themed installations and created special areas dedicated to this cuisine, there’s one popular place in Makati that has already carved a name for itself as – LITTLE TOKYO. It is a small compound in the bustling Makati, where Filipinos can get a taste of authentic Japanese food without having to leave the country. Read this for more details: 5 REASONS TO VISIT LITTLE TOKYO IN MAKATI
14. TRY “ANGKAS”
Filipinos are both resilient and ingenious. Faced with a bad traffic situation every single day, one company thought of a unique idea to brave the streets of Makati and provide alternative transportation. Angkas Biker is a passenger transport and curb-side delivery service, where users can book a biker to get a safe and efficient service (click here for more details).
15. STROLL AT THE PARK
While Makati is an urban jungle… there are still pocket gardens located in many places around the city. As it is also a mix of residential communities, many establishments especially malls, offices and residential towers have incorporated the green architecture technologies in their masterplans.
Some of the parks that you can visit include the Ayala Triangle Garden located at the back of the Philippine Exchange Plaza, the Urdaneta Park, the Salcedo Park, the Legazpi Park, and the Greenbelt Park.
MAKATI CITY is home to many residential projects of Ayala Land including their latest development, Avida Towers Makati Southpoint. Set to rise in the Metro’s prime business district in the south of Makati located along Chino Roces Avenue.
Being close to the city center means you’ll never miss out on anything. A productive day at work and a late-night get-together with loved ones will always be just a few minutes away with all the offices, schools, commercial establishments, parks, and museums surrounding the development. With right-sized units, sensible amenities, and retail areas designed to complement the urban lifestyle of on-the-go professionals, you get the convenience of home and having life’s essentials right at your doorstep. Have more time for the things that matter to you most, with the right home and the right amenities, at the right value, right here.
For inquiries, contact: https://www.atayala.com/avida
I'm a Christian, a husband and a father, a Filipino expat in Qatar, entrepreneur, aspiring blogger, freelance real estate consultant, lover of anything KOREAN, an adventurer.