MAKATY CITY

Things to know

Things to know about Makaty City

English is spoken everywhere. All traffic signs and business establishments are in English. In formal business engagements, English is the language of choice.

Expect heavy daytime traffic in Makati. Avoid traveling during peak hours. While jeepneys are banned from certain areas (namely Ayala Center), they are in full force everywhere else. Just like any urban area, Makati is noisy. In addition to the general traffic noise, the city is in the midst of a construction boom, and construction is ongoing 24/7. So when choosing a hotel, it's a good idea to find out in advance what is happening in the nearby vicinity. If there's a 40-story tower going up across from the Manadrin Oriental, which there is, ask for a room facing the other direction. It's highly recommended to use tap water for washing your hands and nothing more.

Be wary of taxi drivers. Every other driver will tell you he doesn't know where Greenbelt 3 is, thereby forcing you to give directions or allow him to circle the area, unmercifully driving up your fare. On Friday and Saturday nights, never light a taxi if the driver refuses to use the meter and insist on an extortionate fare to your destination, for instance, a normal cab ride from P Burgos Street to Greenbelt should be no more than 70 php. On weekends, it's usually 100 php just to get in the cab. Some drivers will outright refuse to take you based upon what they perceive to be their odds of getting a return fare.

Also, if you're that reckless, beware of citizens stealing your information and making charges to your accounts.

Generally speaking, Makati is the most civilized and comfortable metropolis in the Philippines and definitely the most Americanized outpost west of Hawaii. Travelers of all nations will feel comfortable. While the majority of travel guides will tell you that in contestible situations, the best advice is to smile and say Yes. Don't be a pushover. You'll never get up off the floor. Use common sense and if you have to get angry, do it with authority.

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