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Makati Central Business District

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Title: Makati Central Business District  
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Subject: Metro Manila, Makati Poblacion, Dasmariñas Village, University of Makati, List of airports in the Greater Manila Area
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Makati Central Business District

The skyscrapers of Legazpi Village in the Makati CBD as seen from Greenbelt

The Makati Central Business District, also known as the Makati CBD, is the leading financial and central business district in the Philippines located at the heart of Makati in Metro Manila. It is politically known аs "Central Cluster" in the West District of Makati. It is different from the civic center of Makati known as "Makati Poblacion" which is situated at the northeast portion of the district. It is bounded by EDSA, Gil Puyat Avenue, Arnaiz Avenue, and Chino Roces Avenue. The whole district occupies barangays of San Antonio, San Lorenzo, Bel-Air, and Urdaneta.[1]

Many of the skyscrapers in Metro Manila are in this area. 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 business district is also considered as one of the most vibrant commеrcial districts in Southeast Asia. It contains the Ayala Center, one of the region's major shopping centers.

The financial district is managed by two groups - the Makati Commercial Estates Association (MaCEA)[2] and the Ayala Property Management Corporation (APMC).[3]


Pre-War Period

Downtown Makati started out as part of the wide municipality of Santa Ana de Sapa (part of the City of Manila today)[4] and became a town of its own in 1670, then as San Pedro de Macati in honor of its patron, Saint Peter.

In 1851, Don José Bonifacio Roxas (a member of the Ayala-Roxas family) purchased the farm estate of "Hacienda San Pedro de Macati" from the Jesuits for 52,800 pesos. The western portion of the estate is now what is called the downtown.[5] Since then, Makati and its development remain close to the Zobel de Ayala family.[6]

Plaque on the Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle

In 1901, the Americans declared the whole area south of the Pasig River, including the whole Hacienda San Pedro de Macati (Downtown), down to Barangay Ayala Alabang, a US military reservation; thus establishing Fort McKinley, which is currently known as Fort Bonifacio. That same year, the whole town, with a population of 25,000, was incorporated from Manila to the province of Rizal with Marcelino Magsaysay serving as the town president.

In the 1930s, the first airport in Luzon island, Nielson Field, opened in what is now the Ayala Triangle within the hacienda. The airport was officially inaugurated in 1938, and Philippine Airlines began its operations there in 1941.

The tracks of what is now the Philippine National Railways reached the town very early in the decade, which is located at the western portion of the downtown at present, with 3 stations serving commuters and residents alike.

Postwar Period

After the destruction of World War II that brought upon Makati, the town grew rapidly, and real estate values boomed. As Nieslon Field closed down in 1948 the plan was set for the building of the central business district. The first centrally planned communities from the Ayalas' farm estate were established in the 1950s. And some of the gated communities (Urdaneta, San Lorenzo San Antonio and Bel-Air Villages) that were developed grew into commercial areas and office parks.

The multiple-lane Ayala Avenue was completed in 1958, which once part of the runway of the first commercial airport in the country, the Nielson Airport. The downtown was developed into high density residential and commercial areas according to specific zoning regulations.[7]

In the early 1960s, Ayala Corporation commissioned some of the first high-rise buildings to rise along Ayala Avenue from one of the country's best known architects, Leandro V. Locsin.[7]

The Makati Stock Exchange (MkSE) was established on May 27, 1963 with its trading area located along Ayala Avenue in downtown.[8] Although both the MSE (Manila Stock Exchange) and the MkSE traded the same stocks of the same companies, the bourses were separate stock exchanges for nearly 30 years until December 23, 1992, when both exchanges were unified to become the present-day Philippine Stock Exchange.

In the late 1960s, Downtown Makati has been the financial capital of the Philippines due to urban decay of the City of Manila.[4] The downtown district rapidly developed during the terms of town mayors Maximo Estrella, Rafael Bañola and Jose Luciano, who encouraged the massive development of the town and welcomed foreign and local investors to what was tagged as the nation's number one municipality at that time. Bañola's mayorship saw the building of the Ayala Center complex in the mid 1960s.

Martial Law Era

Rufino Pacific Tower, tallest steel-framed building in the country, built in 1994

In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos imposed Martial law in the Philippines. The formal announcement of the proclamation was made in the evening of September 23.[9] But the economic activity in the downtown was still ongoing, with Nemesio Yabut as the then town mayor, preparing the district for Makati's full integration as a part of the new region of Metro Manila (the National Capital Region officially) and as a founding member of the Metropolitan Manila Commission, which it achieved with the commission's formal establishment on November 7, 1975, ending Makati's many years as a town under Rizal Province.

In the early 1980s, the rallies converging on Ayala Avenue was characterized by the exhaustion of the peculiar crony capitalism that evolved under Marcos' long reign. Following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino nearly a century later in 1983, the downtown area, where the rallies oftern happened, was one of the many places of rallies and mass demonstrations that were the basis of the People Power Revolution against the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986.[7] It was that decade that witnessed the emergence of a so-called moderate opposition, with the Makati Business Club, against Marcos' ailing authoritarian regime.[7] Established in 1980, the MBC, a union of executives from business entities operating in the district, was then a voice of opposition to the dictatorship, and it was once of the leading organizers of what was then dubbed the Confetti Revolution.

After the death of Mayor Nemesio Yabut during the People Power Revolution, she appointed Jejomar Binay as the acting mayor of the town of Makati and was elected as mayor in 1988. Having spent his childhood in the municipality and himself a veteran of the Confetti Revolution and of the opposition activities during the Marcos administration, his first term bore witness to the events of the coup d'état attempt in December 1989, which hit the district directly.

Recent Years

In the 1990s, the country's first skyscrapers started to rise here in the business district. The country's first skyscrapers that rose in the downtown are the Pacific Star Building, The Peak Tower, Pacific Plaza, and the Rufino Pacific Tower.

By virtue of Republic Act 7854, passed by Congress in late December 1994 and signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on January 2, 1995, became the City of Makati. On February 4, 1995, the character of the new city was ratified in a plebcite with 91% of voters in favor of cityhood.[10] The whole people of Makati especially the businessmen in downtown celebrated the remarkable event.

Ayala Triangle with the city's new slogan - "Make it Happen, Make it Makati."

In the early 2000s, the downtown had been a primary target of political rallies and terrorist attacks.

On May 17, 2000 at 5:02 p.m., Glorietta inside Ayala Center was bombed injuring 12 persons, mostly teenagers. According to local authorities, the homemade bomb was placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade. It was said to be the precursor of the May 21, 2000 SM Megamall bombing and the December 30, 2000 Rizal Day bombings.

From August 2000 to January 2001, a wave of protests against the former president Joseph Estrada happened in the district. The anti-Estrada protests in Makati focused on Ayala Avenue, which cuts from EDSA to Buendia (presently known as Gil Puyat Avenue).[7]

2007 Glorietta explosion ripped through the Glorietta 2 on October 19, 2007.[11] The death toll in the explosion was 11, while 120 were injured.[12][13] Although there were conflicting reports as to the cause, it was concluded that the explosion was caused by a faulty liquefied petroleum gas tank located in a Chinese restaurant.

In 2011, The Occupy Wall Street movement protesting economic inequality and the power of United States' financial institutions has spread from New York City to other parts of the world, including the Philippines. The movement's supporters' first action was held on October 14, when protesters marched in Makati City from the Ninoy Aquino monument on Ayala Avenue to the American Chamber of Commerce. The movement here in the country is called "Occupy Philippines", which has other protests held in the US Embassy and Rizal Park in Manila after the protest in Makati.[14]

On 2014, the Makati Tourism Foundation and Makati City Government started a tourism campaign called "Make it Happen, Make it Makati", which promotes tourism mainly in the business district[15]


Barangay Bel-Air

Barangay Bel-air is an affluent enclave in the heart of Makati Central Business District which was established early in 1950’s. It has a total land area of 1.7121 square kilometers. It is the third largest among the posh villages in Makati City. As of 2010, the population of the barangay reached 18,280 according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The barangay includes Ayala North, Buendia Area, Ayala Triangle, Salcedo Village and Bel-Air Village. The predominant land use of this tobacco pipe shaped barangay is both residential and commercial. The barangay boasts commercial buildings and establishments.[16]

Bel-Air Village is the third subdivision developed by Ayala. The development, which started in 1957, was undertaken in four (4) phases. The village boundaries are clockwise, Estrella Street, EDSA, Jupiter Street, Nicanor Garcia (Reposo) Street, Kalayaan Avenue, Amapola Street, back to Estrella. The total land area of Bel-Air Village is 78.7242 hectares, of which 64.6748 is subdivided into 950 residential lots.[17]

Ayala Triangle is a sub-district of Downtown Makati, comprising the land between Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. The Ayala Triangle Gardens is Makati’s Central Park, formerly the only urban oasis in Makati at the heart of the central business district, now will be developed into mixed commercial and residential space.[18][19] This triangular block also houses the Makati Stock Exchange, the Ayala Tower One and the Filipinas Heritage Library, built on the site of the historic Nielson Tower.[20]

Salcedo Village and Ayala Triangle

Salcedo Village is a business park developed by Ayala Corporation located in Makati Central Business District. It is formerly a residential village. It is named after the de Salcedo brothers - Juan and Felipe - who are both Spanish conquistadors who were part of the Legazpi's expedition.[21] And now it is the home of the country's notable office skyscrapers like the PBCom Tower and GT International Tower

Ayala North is an informal district bounded by the streets of Gil Puyat Avenue, Ayala Ave. Ext., Metropolitan Avenue and Nicanor Garcia Street. It is the home of Ospital ng Makati and educational institutions like FEU Campus Makati and MIT Campus Makati, which is along Gil Puyat Avenue.

Buendia Area got its name from the former name of Gil Puyat Avenue. The offices of Department of Trade and Industry is located at 385 Industry and Investments Building along Buendia.[22] SM Cyberzone Buildings and other mid-rise commercial buildings is found along Gil Puyat Avenue. Buendia MRT Station serves the area. It is one of the two underground stations that can be found on the transit, the other being is the Ayala MRT Station, which is also serves the business district.

Barangay San Antonio

Barangay San Antonio has a land area of 0.8958 square kilometers which occupies 3.3% of the City’s total land area. Based on the 2010 census of population released by the National Statistics Office, San Antonio has a percentage share of 2.2% or 11,443 versus the City’s population with a density of 13 persons per 1,000 square meters.San Antonio is bounded Barangay La Paz in the north, Barangays Pio Del Pilar and San Lorenzo in the south, Barangays Sta. Cruz and Bel-Air in the east, and Barangay Palanan in the west.[23]

San Antonio Village is a medium density residential village in the northern portion of the barangay. Other recognized structures located there include the San Antonio National High School, San Antonio Elementary School, National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, and St. Paul the Apostle Sanctuary. Moreover, the most notable personality residing in the village is Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and his family.

San Antonio South is an informal highly density residential and commercial area in the southern portion of the barangay. It is bounded by Metropolitan Avenue, Chino Roces Avenue, Ayala Ave. Ext., Yakal and Dela Rosa Streets. It consists of highrise residential and commercial buildings.

Barangay San Lorenzo

Barangay San Lorenzo belongs to the 1st congressional district of Makati and is included under Cluster 1 or Central Cluster. It is considered as one of the richest barangays in the Philippines for embraces part of the Central Business District from where its revenue mainly comes from. It has a total land area of 1.7341 square kilometers with a population of 10,006. The population density of Barangay San Lorenzo is computed to be 6 persons per 1,000 square meters.[24]

Ayala Center is a major commercial development operated by Ayala Land located in the central business district of Makati. It is a premier shopping and cultural district in Metro Manila.[25] The area is bounded by Ayala Avenue on the east, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) on the south, Arnaiz Avenue on the west, and to north by Legazpi Street and Paseo de Roxas. The Ayala MRT Station of the MRT Line 3 serves the area.[26] The development originally started with a number of separate shopping arcades and Greenbelt Park before expanding to cover over 50 hectares. Glorietta and Greenbelt Malls is located within the complex. This lifestyle hub is the Philippine’s shopping mecca, and is serviced by upscale hotels.[27]

Greenbelt Mall, Ayala Center Complex

Legazpi Village is a business park built by the Ayala Corporation within the Makati downtown area. Originally a residential village in Barangay San Lorenzo. It is named after Miguel López de Legazpi, a Spanish conquistador who became the Spanish East Indies's (present-day Philippines) first Governor-General under the Spanish rule.[28]

Pasong Tamo Area is an informal district located along Chino Roces Avenue outside San Lorenzo Village. Don Bosco Makati and other warehouses are located in this area.

San Lorenzo Village is a residential village located at the south of Legazpi Village and Ayala Center. It is the home of Assumption Makati.

Barangay Urdaneta

The Peninsula Manila along Ayala Avenue.

The smallest barangay to complete Central Cluster is Barangay Urdaneta with a total land area of 0.7399 square kilometers. It is one of the first centrally planned communities together with Forbes Park, San Lorenzo and Bel-Air which was established in the 1950s by the Ayala Family. Originally, Urdaneta and Bel-Air formed part of a single village called “Beldaneta”.[29] The barangay is bounded by the roads of EDSA, Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, and Buendia Avenue. Its bounding barangays are Bel-Air (north and west), San Lorenzo (south), and Forbes Park (east).

Roxas Triangle is a district and intersection of the major streets of Paseo de Roxas, Makati Avenue and Gil Puyat Avenue. The offices of Development Bank of the Philippines and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company are located here. Mandarin Oriental Manila and Roxas Triangle Towers are also located in the area.

Apartment Ridge is a complex of apartment and condominium buildings along the streets of Makati Avenue and Ayala Avenue outside Urdaneta Village. The Peninsula Manila and Discovery Primea are located in this area along Ayala Avenue.

Urdaneta Village is a quiet and peaceful residential gated community within in its barangay. The name of the barangay came from the subdivision's name.


Skyline of the Makati Central Business District

Corporate headquarters

Most of the famous law firms, construction firms, stock brokerages and other big companies in the Philippines have their main offices here. GT Capital Group, JG Summit Holdings, Lucio Tan Group, Megaworld Corporation, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and Petron Corporation. Universal and commercial banking corporations have their main offices in the area like China Banking Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Savings Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Security Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank, Chinatrust Philippines, HSBC Philippines, Maybank Philippines, Philippine Bank of Communications and Philippine Veterans Bank.

Makati is the second home of broadsheet newspaper publications in the Philippines, behind Manila. The Inquirer Group, who owns Philippine Daily Inquirer, the second most widely read broadsheet newspaper in the Philippines, has its headquarters in downtown. Business newspaper publications like BusinessMirror, have their headquarters in the district. MediaQuest Holdings, one of the largest media conglomerates in the country, is headquartered here. The company owns most of the media establishments such as ABC Development Corporation (TV5), Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Cignal Digital TV (Cignal), and BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation (BusinessWorld). Smart Communications, which is a wholly owned mobile phone and Internet service subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, is headquartered in the district.[31]

The Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation, a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation is the largest automotive company in the country, which has its main offices in the district. The company owns the regional operations of Honda, Isuzu and Volkswagen in the Philippines.[32]

Regional headquarters

There are more than a hundred multinational companies, which are companies listed in Forbes Global 2000, have regional headquarters and operations in Makati, most within the CBD, like Procter & Gamble, Intel, Microsoft, Nestlé, Syngenta, Shell, Convergys, PeopleSupport, Colgate-Palmolive and Accenture. There are many call centers present in the area like Teletech, Convergys, PeopleSupport, and Teleperformance. Hewlett Packard Philippines 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.



The Makati CBD is the location of the Makati Medical Center, a private hospital operated and owned by Medical Doctors, Inc., the largest healthcare company in the country and a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. The district also contains the Ospital ng Makati, a public hospital operated by the Makati City Government.


There are several libraries in the metropolis are open to the public. The Filipinas Heritage Library is a famous iconic library situated in Ayala Triangle along Makati Avenue.[33]

The district is also home of Makati's prestigious schools and colleges. Some top universities of the Philippines is situated in downtown. The following are:

Shopping Centers

Parks & Museums

  • Ayala Museum
  • Ayala Triangle Gardens
  • Bel-Air Village Park
  • Glorietta Mall Parks
  • Greenbelt Mall Park
  • Jaime Velasquez Park
  • Makati Sports Club
  • San Lorenzo Clubhouse
  • Urdaneta Village Park
  • Washington Sycip Park



Downtown Makati is the one of the most easily accessed business districts in the Philippines. Public transportation within the city is facilitated mostly using inexpensive jeepneys and buses for commuters working in the district. Most of the buses and jeepneys come from EDSA, the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila. Buses plying the avenue from Parañaque to Caloocan pass through the central business/financial district daily. EDSA Carpark Building in Ayala Center is the main public transport terminal inside the district. It is accessible for shoppers going to SM Makati and Glorietta. This can also accommodate the vehicles of passengers riding the MRT. There are also available intercity bus in downtown that plies routes from Ayala Center to Fort Bonifacio via McKinley Road operated only by Bonifacio Transport Corporation. The city will open the new transport hub of Makati called the McKinley Exchange, which is also along EDSA outside downtown. It gives you an efficient and convenient transport experience for both commuters and tourists. People enter and leave the city through this new central transport hub.[34]

There are several parking buildings for car-owned people working in downtown. Taxi cabs are also available for people working in downtown. Because it is the leading business district in the metropolis, it sometimes experience traffic congestion. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is responsible for traffic regulation in the metropolis. In 1995, they implement road space rationing called Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program to reduce the traffic congestion. In Makati, they implement the number coding to all road vehicles from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with window hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., except on freeways.

The downtown district is accessible through the city's major roads and freeways. The following are:



It is also accessible through some train stations of the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT)and Philippine National Railways (PNR). The following are:


The city is 20 – 30 minutes away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via NAIA Expressway and Metro Manila Skyway.


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  26. ^ Route Map, Metro Rail Transit Corporation Passenger Information, retrieved July 7, 2006 Archived June 26, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
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External links

  • MakatiCBD
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