"Makati City: From Swamp To Swanky Metropolis" Top 5 Page for this destination Makati by cyndymc

Makati Travel Guide: 547 reviews and 2,181 photos

Makati's Metamorphosis

I still remember my dad saying his biggest regret was not buying lots in Makati when it was not yet fully urbanized. The lots in what is now known as Ayala Center were being sold to military officers staying at Fort McKinley (now Ft. Bonifacio) for only 50 cents (Of course, that price was many, many years ago) per sq. meter. He scoffed at the offer because the place was undeveloped with some swampy areas; he thought it would be very difficult to build a house for our family there. Some officers bought lots and made much money when they sold out to developers. Everytime we went to Ayala Center, my dad remembered that experience...and I remembered that story when I studied the history of Makati.

Like my dad, Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Governor-General of the Philippines and founder of Manila, who first spotted the swampy area of what is now known as Makati in 1578, dismissed it then as a worthless swamp. And by twist of fate, when Legaspi asked the natives what the name of the place was, they didn't understand his language. So, Legaspi was misconstrued to be asking what had happened to the place. The natives answered, “Makati, kumakati na” (meaning “low tide; the tide is receding"), as they pointed to Pasig River where the tide had ebbed. From then on, the place was called Macati, later known as San Pedro de Macati in honor of their Patron Saint, St. Peter. But to the locals, it was spelled Makati, as they associated it with the Tagalog word "kati", which refers to the rise and ebb of the tide.

Today, Makati City is one of the most progressive and highly urbanized modern cities in the country.

Makati's "Split" Personality

Makati City is regarded as the financial capital of the Philippines, sometimes called the "Wallstreet Of The Philippines"...But the fact remains that Makati has a "split personality": The upscale part of the city is in the west, while the poorest side of the city in the east, mostly composed of the city's slums areas.

Makati As Shopping Haven

Makati is known to be the site of the most modern and swanky malls in the country, truly a shopping haven. Further development of Ayala Center is ongoing, and Rockwell is becoming a favorite destination for shoppers and diners, too.

  • Last visit to Makati: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated Apr 12, 2011
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  • felidel's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 7:12 AM

    Makati's skyscrapers are so modern now. I realized I haven't been there in a long time.

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