Having long been known as the metropolis’ center of commerce and finance, Makati has enjoyed both positive and negative benefits. With regards to the positives, well it’s pretty much common knowledge with the “prestige” Makati has long enjoyed over most of the metropolis. On the other hand, this image has become a problem for the city as well as it has long been regarded as a place only for the businesspeople and the rich, bearing a “snotty” and “high class” vibe that gives an impression of being a “boring” city, bereft of a lively atmosphere that the youth especially can enjoy.
In an effort to improve this perception, there have been efforts in recent years to make Makati more :”hip” and “fun.” One of those early efforts was the establishment of an avant-garde community on the outskirts of the business district called “The Collective.”
The Collective first opened its doors in the 2000s in what was before an old warehouse. The expansive warehouse was converted into this collective (hence the name) of artists and businesses who have set shop there. It can be said that it was Makati’s answer to Quezon City’s Cubao Expo, though it’s something some in The Collective may disagree with.
Soon enough, it became a haven for Makati’s rising avant-garde community of artists and entrepreneurs, seeking to create a different image of Makati. As soon as the sun begins to set, the place comes to life with clothing stores, art shops, restaurants, and bars open up until late at night to early morning.
Its location along Malugay Street can be considered both an advantage and disadvantage. On one hand, it is quite removed from the business district, allowing The Collective to thrive on its unique identity and be a unique landmark in the Makati cityscape. On the flipside, its location is a disadvantage in itself as no public transport plies along that street and one has to make a bit of a walk. To compound things, as a structure, it is obstructed from view by the towering buildings of Gil Puyat Avenue and, lately, the high-rise developments along Malugay St. itself.
Then there is the rise of Makati’s Poblacion area as the city’s hub for entertainment and youth culture, which no doubt took away some of the audience The Collective aimed to target. It also did not help that if one visits The Collective these days, it felt it was past its prime with a number of businesses already closed and it looking dull and empty at night, especially if there are no events happening there. The Collective became further obscured in the midst of the developments going on in Makati.
Despite the slowdown of business and visitors, the Collective has soldiered on as a venue. There are a number of good restaurants that one can check out, each offering a different variety of cuisine to satisfy whatever one’s palate may crave for. If you’re lucky you could catch a performance going at the B-Side bar.
If anything, The Collective is an interesting place to spend a short while, especially if there’s no event happening there. If anything, it deserves a bit more.