The Makati Business District is well known for its many glitzy bars, restaurants, and hotels. However, not all of the interesting establishments are necessarily located along the more popular Ayala Avenue. There are quite a number of hidden gems that can be found in Barangay Pio Del Pilar, if you know where to look. If you want something a little different from the usual, then it's time to visit this barangay and see what you've been missing out on.
Considered as part of the Westside Cluster or Cluster 2 in the first district of Makati, Pio Del PIlar used to be a rice field called Culi-Culi. Back in the day, it not only had lots of vegetables and fruit trees, but it was also home to over a hundred horses. These horses were used for the calesas, which were the main way of getting around the city in the past. In June of 1962, this barangay was eventually given the name Pio Del Pilar. The name inspired by General Pio Del Pilar, a hero who once lived in the area. Now, Pio Del Pilar boasts quite a number of residential and commercial establishments.
There are a few ways to reach Pio Del Pilar. If you're coming from EDSA, you could take any of the buses that ply through Ayala Avenue, and alight once you reach Mayapis or Pasong Tamo. Another option is to take the MRT 3 and alight at Ayala Station. Then, walk to the jeepney terminal near the Shell gas station, and take a jeep going to Washington. You could also take the LRT 1 and get off at Gil Puyat station. From there, take a PRC jeep or LRT Ayala Leveriza bus, and ask the driver to drop you off at either Mayapis or Pasong Tamo. Another way to get there is to board the Philippine National Railways train (PNR) and alight at Buendia station. If you're in a hurry, though, taking a taxi may be the best option for you.
The main modes of transportation within Pio del Pilar are jeeps and tricycles. You'll only ever have to pay the minimum fare, as the overall routes are not too long. However, to really get a feel for the place, we recommend walking so that you don't miss the few hidden gems here and there. You could also rent or bring a bike to get around a little more quickly without spending a lot on commuting.
There are a number of churches you could visit within or near Pio Del Pilar, such as the Church of God, Makati Gospel Church, and the San Ildefonso Church. If you want to take a look at some antiques, drop by Unique Bisyo in the nearby Makati Cinema Square. Art lovers will want to head on over to the NOVA Art Gallery and Finale Art File.
Because of Pio Del Pilar's proximity to other busy areas, you won't run out of things to do in Makati. If you're stressed out, why not get a massage at the Sensefinity Spa in Makati Executive Towers or Mont Albo Massage Hut at the JAKA Center along Pasong Tamo? You could also shop around the many stalls and stores in Cash & Carry Mall. If you're in the mood for a movie, head on over to Cash & Carry's top floor where they house two cinemas. For more recreational activities nearby, Makati Cinema Square is the place to go. There, you could go bowling, try out your archery skills at the Kodanda Archery Range, or release some stress at the Armscor Shooting Center.
There are many places to eat at Pio del Pilar, as well as in places close to it. For those craving Japanese cuisine, hop on over to Saika for some ramen, bento, or sushi. Want some authentic Chinese dishes at an affordable price? You can't afford to miss the Xiao Long Bao at Lao Beijing (formerly known as Peace and Happiness), a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant located at Makati Executive Towers. For your milk tea cravings, you can drop by a number of different shops including Eternitealeaf, Tea and Co., and Moonleaf. To enjoy a cup of coffee, you could visit The Curator Coffee and Cocktails.
Are you in the mood for some beer? It's time to head on over to the Obeertime. Known for its rambunctious atmosphere, it's perfect for a night out with the boys. Want to chill at a place that feels like a secret haven? Go down a little further on Chino Roces Street, and visit Finders Keepers along Sabio St. If you just want to get a drink and some good food, head on over to Dweet Bar & Restaurant along Malugay St.
Want to stay in a hotel that will make you feel like you're living in a turn of the century Filipino house? Book a room at the Herald Suites, which isn't too far from the Ayala and Greenbelt Commercial Center. If you need a more affordable place to stay, try Saint Illian's Inn. If you'd like a hotel that is located just a little closer to the airport, though, then VIP Suite may be your best bet.
Always prepare loose change for your fare. Since the driver is usually in charge of computing and giving you change, save them all that work by preparing the exact amount. That way, you won't have to anxiously wait for the driver to give you your money.
If in doubt, always ask for directions. Though there are many jeepneys that seem like they'll bring you to the same destination based on their placards, it's best to double-check. Otherwise, you might end up in a different part of the place you meant to go to.
Make sure to bring an umbrella and rain boots during the rainy season. Due to the geography of the area, Pio Del Pilar can get easily flooded during heavy rainfalls. Thus, it never hurts to be ready in case flooding may occur.