The Story of Ayala Triangle: Beginnings as Nielson Field

If open spaces are considered the soul of a city, then there is little doubt that Ayala Triangle serves as the soul of Makati, especially the central business district area. In a way, such distinction is fitting as it also happens to be an open space with a rich history of almost 80 years and counting, having undergone many transformations into what it is today, not to mention what is to become of it.

Today, the Urban Roamer presents to you this mini-series that details the past, the present, and the foreseen future of this triangular patch of land in the middle of Makati,


an aerial photograph of Nielson Field (courtesy of Timawa.net)

The beginnings of Ayala Triangle is itself a milestone in not only in the history of what is now the Metropolitan Manila area but also in the history of Philippine aviation as a whole when in July 1937, Nielson Field was opened to become Manila’s first airport. At that time, it was already considered the biggest and best-equipped airport in Asia, having two runways which still exist today but as major thoroughfares now, Paseo de Roxas and a portion of Ayala Avenue. Continue reading


A Tribute to the “Jollijeep”

In the midst of the western modernism we see today in the Makati Central Business District, there is an element of Filipino-ness one can see behind the tall skyscrapers of glass and concrete. I’m not even talking about the jeepneys that ply along the main thoroughfares of the district but something not many people realize.

I am referring to those tin-colored food stalls located along the inner streets of the district that served the lunchtime needs of the working population there. The ones popularly known as the “jollijeeps.”

Continue reading


Street Art in the Heart of Makati

For a long while, Makati, particularly the central business district area, has been perceived as a stuck-up type of place, where you can’t expect to see “fun” except in the malls located in the CBD. While this is understandable given its stature as a business district, it deprives this part of the metropolis a unique character, other than a dull, grey district that is deprived of “fun” and color…in a literal and figurative sense.

Things have changed recently when the Makati Commercial Estate Association decided to give a vibrant atmosphere to an otherwise uninteresting area as it hired a bunch of street artists to decorate some parts of the district, in particular the Dela Rosa Carpark buildings along the Dela Rosa elevated pedestrian walkway in Legaspi Village.

Continue reading


Roaming the Yuchengco Museum

RCBC Plaza is one of the most known landmarks in the Makati Central Business District, partly because of its strategic location at the intersection of the city’s two main thoroughfares: Ayala Avenue and Sen. Gil Puyat (also known before as Buendia) Avenue. There is also the presence of some diplomatic missions in the country, as well as it being the home base of one of the country’s prestigious conglomerates, the Yuchengco Group of Companies who owns various businesses such as the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation or RCBC, (after which the building as named) Malayan Insurance, and the Mapua Institute of Technology.

But aside from being a center of commerce and diplomatic missions, RCBC Plaza is also a hub for culture and arts with the presence of the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium where plays, concerts, and other performances are held and the subject of this post today on the occasion of the National Heritage Month and International Museum Day, the Yuchengco Museum.

Continue reading


Horacio de la Costa

If you were one of those who caught Pope Francis’ mass at the Manila Cathedral last January 16, you may have chanced upon the words of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in which he quoted a fellow named Fr. Horacio de la Costa who said that the resiliency of the Filipinos can be traced to “music and faith.”

Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ (courtesy of Ateneo de Manila University)

While there is little argument to be made about that statement, some have raised a question as a consequence of the Cardinal’s statement: who is Horacio de la Costa? Today, this edition of The Guide will try to answer the question about this man’s identity and his contributions to religion, history, and even the landscape of the metropolis. Continue reading