Urban lifestyle and affluence are nowhere more pronounced in the Philippines than in Makati, the country’s classiest city. Bustling and modern, it is the country’s model for city planning, rising in less than a decade from vast stretches of empty land to become the nation’s premier city.
This affluent city southwest of Manila is the country’s financial center, earning it the nickname, “Wall Street of the Philippines.” The major banks, corporations, department stores as well as embassies of the different nations are based here. Situated along Ayala Avenue is the Makati Stock Exchange, which houses the trading of stock. Fully developed, well-reputed city villages provide the perfect address for office buildings, shops, and restaurants.
Right in the heart of bustling Makati, spread along Ayala Avenue, is Ayala Center, the country’s business and financial center. Encompassing the Glorietta and Greenbelt shopping malls, among others, Ayala Center is also a commercial complex completely at par with the world’s most modern business cosmos. Within it is the Ayala Museum, among the city’s primary repositories of history, culture, and heritage, along with the Filipinas Heritage Library and Museo ng Makati.
Makati has the highest concentration of the country’s finest department stores, fashion boutiques, exclusive jewelry shops and antique stores, shoe stores, bookstores, and most other commercial establishments. In identified portions, the city contains the most exclusive residential subdivisions, including Forbes Park, where many of the country’s wealthy and powerful families make their homes. Five-star hotels and restaurants further provide the ultimate avenue for a life of comfort and relaxation.
Around the northern and eastern borders of Makati City curl the serpentine length of the Pasig River, which separates the premier urbanscape from the adjacent cities of Pasig and Mandaluyong and the municipality of Pateros. Fort Bonifacio and its crowded barangays sprawl along the eastern fringes. Due west is Pasay City, joined at various points to Makati's major arteries via the South Superhighway, Gil Puyat and Taft Avenues. Across Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) from the Ayala Center are the posh villages of Forbes Park and Dasmariñas. The trend spills over Makati's boundaries all the way down the South Superhighway towards the newer subdivisions of Magallanes and Merville Park in Parañaque, and Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa. Villamor Air Base, skirting the highway due southwest, is the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force. The city occupies a total land area of 29.9 sq. kilometers.
Makati City has a population of 444,867, according to the 2000 Census. This figure represents an increase of 39,824 or 8 % over the 1995 Census figure. Among the cities and municipalities in Metro Manila, Makati ranks fifth in population, with a 5 % share. In a span of 97 years, Makati's population grew 193 times. The 1903 Census placed the population at 2,700.
Although its population is slightly less than half a million, the daytime population of Makati City is estimated to be a million during a typical working weekday because of the large number of people who go to the city to work, shop, and do business, especially in the Central
The city consists of three Barangays, which are subdivided into two Congressional Districts. It has been classified as a Highly Urbanized City.