Despite the fact that the show's run ended in 2003, its themes are still relevant today. In Makati, for instance, there's a PNR (Philippine National Railway) station that lies not only at the intersection of Buendia and South Super Highway, but also at the point where four barangays meet. These barangays — Palanan, Pio del Pilar, San Antonio, and San Isidro — add to Makati's unique character, as evidenced by the tourist spots below.
Cash and Carry Mall (Barangay Palanan)
A few blocks away from the PNR's Buendia station, Cash and Carry is the go-to mall for shoppers living in the four barangays. (In fact, some people visit the mall from as far away as Cavite!) It's not as large — or as comprehensive with its offerings — as the other malls in Makati City, but Cash and Carry offers a reasonable selection of basic goods like food, clothes, and household paraphernalia.
Also, in terms of facilities, Cash and Carry can give other malls a run for their money. For example, it has comfort rooms situated near two ground floor entrances (unlike in other malls where the comfort rooms are on the second floor, for some reason). You can also watch two of the latest movies every week, browse through goods at the mini-bazaar in front of Mercury Drug and National Bookstore, and check out unique products at the mall's Mezzanine section.
The Collective (Barangay San Antonio)
At first glance, The Collective doesn't look like a remarkable place. After all, it's situated along Malugay Street, which is about as similar to Ayala Avenue as the stonefish is to the maguro. Nonetheless, there's more to The Collective than meets the eye.
See, The Collective is home to countless works by indie artists. It's also a regular venue for mini-concerts, and is conveniently located near San Antonio's best hole-in-the-wall establishments like the Kenshin Japanese Restaurant, the Metro9 Café, I'm Angus Steakhouse, Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano, and many more. Granted, it's not the most glamorous joint in Makati City, but does that really matter?
Hatsu Hana Tei (Barangay Pio del Pilar)
When you think about Japanese restaurants in Makati City, you think of names like Izakaya Kikufuji and Mendokoro Ramenba. However, the city is also home to lesser-known — but no less deserving of praise — establishments like Hatsu Hana Tei.
Located in front of Little Tokyo, Hatsu Hana Tei will make you feel like you're in an actual izakaya in Japan. Aside from the atmosphere, the chef and customers are also Japanese. If you're craving for fresh sushi and sashimi sans the sky-high prices of most sushi places in Makati, Hatsu Hana Tei is one of the best places to "bei."
SM Hypermarket (Barangay San Isidro)
Right across the Buendia PNR station is SM Hypermarket, another place to shop in this part of Makati. You can easily spot it by the blue SM logo amidst a yellow green background, and it's near the intersection of Dela Rosa Street and South Super Highway.
Apart from the obligatory supermarket, SM Hypermarket offers other amenities, like BPI and BPO for your banking needs, North Park for your Chinese-Filipino food cravings, Watsons for your pharmaceutical concerns, and so much more. Also, if you're bringing a private car, you can leave it at the hypermarket's parking lot along P. Binay Street.
The great thing about these "homes along da riles" is that they're easily accessible via public transportation. Other than via PNR train, you can travel to this part of Makati as follows.
- Take any bus marked "LRT-Ayala-Leveriza" along Gil Puyat (Buendia) Avenue. Generally, these buses pass through Gil Puyat, Ayala, and EDSA, but make sure to ask the conductor if your bus stops anywhere near your intended destination.
- Ride any jeep marked "Guadalupe – Cartimar" or "PRC – Libertad." The Guadalupe jeeps pass straight through Gil Puyat to Guadalupe, while the PRC jeeps turn right along Washington Street, turn left along Dela Rosa Street, and turn left again along Chino Roces (Pasong Tamo) Avenue. Keep in mind, however, that not all PRC jeeps will have the same route, so ask the driver if they're passing through your intended destination.
- Near the corner of Gil Puyat and Mayapis Street, you can see a group of tricycles. If you want to get around Barangay San Antonio, tell any of the drivers where you want to go — but make sure you know how much you're supposed to pay beforehand! (For a list of Filipino phrases you can use to talk to the drivers, go here.)
Makati isn't all about glitz and glamour. Even its less impressive-looking places have their charm too. Pay a visit to Barangays Palanan, San Antonio, Pio del Pilar, and San Isidro, and you might just find a hidden gem we haven't featured here.