Back in the day, Metro Manila was part of Rizal province, and Pasig was Rizal's provincial capital. Now, Pasig lends its name to the river that bisects Metro Manila, and is one of the fastest growing commercial centers in the region.
Although most establishments in Pasig are residential and industrial, it also has places where visitors can go and have a good time. If you're anywhere near the Ortigas Center, for example, you can find places like:
Ace Water Spa
If you're looking for relief from the summer heat, look no further than Ace Water Spa. Considered one of the best swimming pools in the Metro, Ace Water Spa charges a hefty Php550 (US$11) per 4-hour session. The price is worth it though, as the pools are well-kept, and the fee already covers lockers, basic toiletries, and facilities for hydrotherapy and herbal treatments. You can buy swimsuits and towels at a nearby swim shop in case you forget them.
Ark Avilon Zoo
As the only indoor interactive zoo in the Philippines, Ark Avilon Zoo is perfect for kids who love animals. Let them see Venus the Bornean orangutan live, or have them mesmerized by the beauty of Tyson the python. Of course, your kids can see other exotic species as well, and feed the animals if they want to — provided they comply with zoo regulations!
Tucked at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Meralco Avenue is Pasig's newest lifestyle Center, Capitol Commons. Housing 10 hectares of upscale restaurants, clothing stores, and green parks, Capitol Commons is a stone's throw away from the similarly-named Kapitolyo. The area is also home to the Estancia Mall, which houses some of the top fashion brands in the world.
Greenhills Shopping Center
Tell a Filipino that you're shopping at Greenhills, and they'll know that you're looking for the best — the best bargains, that is. Spanning 16 hectares, and housing an incredible 2,000 stores, Greenhills Shopping Center poses a formidable challenge even for seasoned shoppers. Still, that challenge is worth taking, as you can grab items for as much as a tenth(!) of their original price elsewhere.
Lopez Museum and Library
Built in the 1960s, the Lopez Museum is the oldest private museum of art and history in the Philippines. It contains Don Eugenio Lopez Sr.'s personal collection of Filipiniana books, artifacts, manuscripts, maps, and other rare items. The museum also displays works by legendary painters like Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo, making it a must-visit for art and history lovers alike.
Dolljoy Gallery and Museum
Unless you have pediophobia, the Dolljoy Gallery and Museum is a great place to see dolls of all shapes and sizes. Aside from displaying dolls and doll-related accessories, the museum doubles as a store that has patrons from within and outside the Philippines. They also have an auditorium, where kids can watch a cartoon while warming up for a tour of the museum.
Situated along Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Park is a hidden paradise in the heart of Pasig City. It's smaller compared to most parks around the Metro, and stepping on the grass is strictly not allowed. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a place to calm your nerves amidst the fast-paced city life, Ortigas Park delivers with its fountains, coffee shops, and Pokemon Go hotspots.
Also known as Rainforest Adventure Experience (RAVE), the Pasig Rainforest Park is an all-around recreational space for children and adults alike. It has a mini-zoo, a playground, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, zip line, skating rink, boating lagoon, and other facilities your whole family will enjoy. For more information on the park, check out their official website.
If Makati has Power Plant, and Quezon City has Trinoma, Pasig has The Podium. An upscale shopping mall along ADB Avenue, The Podium has a select lineup of boutique shops, beauty and wellness centers, and a cozy yet cutting-edge movie theater. The mall is also home to a wide array of cool dining options, such as Ramen Nagi, Sebastian's Ice Cream, and Wildflour Café + Bakery.
Next to SM North EDSA, SM Megamall is the largest shopping mall in the Philippines, and one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Occupying a land area of 10 hectares, and a floor area of 474,000 square meters (5,100,000 square feet), the mall boasts a myriad of shopping options that'll make you wish you had unlimited cash. Also, it's a few blocks away from Shangri-La Plaza, another one of Pasig's upscale shopping malls and a favorite venue for international film screenings.
Green parks, malls, hole-in-the-wall restaurants — you name it, Pasig City has it. As long as the city continues to grow into its status as one of the Metro's most important commercial centers, visitors will find their special place in Pasig.