We've touched on the many interesting aspects of Makati City: its status as the Philippines' Financial Capital, its many shopping malls, and its awesome food choices, among others. But if you think that's all there is to the "Wall Street of the Philippines," think again. In this post, we've compiled 20 more facts about Makati City you probably don't know (aside from the ones we've already talked about before).
1. Makati is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, being home to half a million people (as of this writing) over an area of 27.36 square kilometers. At peak working hours, the population can balloon to over one million, due to the large concentration of businesses, shopping malls, and tourist spots in the area.
2. Makati is home to the PBCom Tower, the tallest building in the Philippines at 259 meters (850 feet). The city is also home to the second tallest building (Discovery Primea) and the tallest residential building in the Philippines (The Gramercy Residences).
3. Makati houses many foreign embassies, such as those from Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Switzerland, Thailand, Nigeria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Ireland.
4. Makati has one of only two Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) trading floors, located close to the Ayala Triangle Gardens.
5. Parts of Makati used to belong to the precolonial Kingdom of Namayan, until the area became part of the town of Santa Ana de Sapa. When the churches of Our Lady of Guadalupe and of Saints Peter & Paul were erected at the Santa Ana de Sapa, the town blossomed into a pilgrimage center and farming community. Eventually, the town was renamed "San Pedro de Macati" after the town's patron saint St. Peter.
6. During the 18th century, San Pedro de Macati became famous for its pottery.
7. In 1851, an ancestor of the Zobel de Ayala family, Don Jose Bonifacio Roxas, bought the "Hacienda de San Pedro de Macati" for Php52,800 (considered a hefty amount at the time). Ever since, the Ayalas have developed the area over the years. Even though Makati is no longer an Ayala hacienda per se, the family continues to exert considerable influence within the city and beyond.
8. When the Philippine Revolution broke out in the 1890s, the Makati chapter of the Katipunan was led by General Pio del Pilar, a resident of the area then known as Culi-Culi. Today, Pio del Pilar has a barangay in Makati named after him.
9. After the Spaniards ceded the Philippines in 1898, the Americans took the southern part of present-day Metro Manila (including Makati) and converted the area into a military reservation.
10. During the American period, Sta. Ana — the second horse racing track in the Philippines — opened in Makati.
11. Post-World War II, Makati's real estate values skyrocketed. The Ayala Corporation wasted no time developing the communities now known as Bel-Air, Forbes Park, San Lorenzo, and Urdaneta in the 1950s.
12. At one point, Makati — along with the other cities and municipalities within present-day Metro Manila — was part of Rizal province, until it separated from the latter in 1975.
13. Aside from EDSA, Makati was a center of protest activity against President Ferdinand Marcos. That's why a statue of Senator Benigno Aquino (the most well-known and vocal opponent of Marcos) stands at the intersection of Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue today, and why Makati is a frequent venue for activist demonstrations.
14. Following the Philippines' tropical climate, Makati is usually dry from January to May, and wet from June to December.
15. Makati is home to many Christian denominations other than Roman Catholicism, including Ang Dating Daan, Born Again, Iglesia ni Cristo, Protestantism, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
16. As of 2015, Makati is the second highest-earning local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines, with reported revenues of Php15.506 billion. Only Quezon City earned more (Php16.365 billion) within the same time period.
17. As of 2012, Makati has over 62,000 registered business enterprises, including over 1,000 business process outsourcing (BPO) companies.
18. The city also has one of the highest number of PEZA-accredited IT parks and buildings, meaning they enjoy additional fiscal and non-fiscal incentives from the government.
19. The Museo ng Makati wasn't always a museum. It served many other functions — as Makati's town hall from 1918 to 1961, as Makati's municipal library, and as the Philippine Eye and Ear Infirmary — until then-mayor Jejomar Binay enacted City Ordinance No. 186, which converted the old town hall into a museum.
20. Prior to the 1960s, Makati used to have the Santiago Hospital. The hospital was initially used to treat ailing Spaniards in the early 20th century, before being converted in 1935 into a general hospital for patients of all nationalities. Santiago Hospital was the only hospital within the Greater Manila area to remain open throughout the Battle of Manila, though that didn't stop it from eventually getting shuttered in the 1960s.
As you can see, Makati is an interesting city. We expect it to develop further over the years, and to have many more secrets to unveil. Until then, have a great time!