Makati: Buendia Cityscape

One of the places I am fond of visiting are observation decks. From here, high from the ground level, you can see your alternative point of view. However, there are not much view decks in Metro Manila, aside from a few private buildings. Nevertheless, we tried to seek permission from one of the buildings that were being constructed in Makati. Several days later we received a reply, granting us permission to take photos from their rooftop. That very afternoon I rushed to prepare together with the flocks (Ian, David, Lhordy and Michael) and went to Cubao, and from here we took the bus going to Leveriza. Our excitement quickly turned to annoyance, thanks to the notorious EDSA traffic. The golden hour that we are rushing to catch up was replaced with rush hour, to our great dismay.


Skyscrapers of Makati are almost situated along Buendia (seen here) and Ayala.

After an hour of bus ride we got off and walked to our destination, only a few meters away. It was not long before the torrential rains came (and at this point we are already asking each other sino ang may balat sa amin?). In just a short while the streets quickly became flooded and we became stranded. Fortunately it happened that we sought refuge in a noodle house so we decided to warm ourselves as we wait for the weather to calm down.

After almost an hour of rain it finally stopped, and we resumed our walk, not minding the high waters in the flooded streets. Upon reaching our destination we were assisted towards the rooftop which is 30 floors high. Though we were allowed to get in, the security is very tight. There are airport-style scanners at the lobby and you need a keycard to gain access (we were advised not to name the building in our blog, but you can carefully study our photos for the hint).

View from the eastern part of the building; from here you can see the stretch of Buendia Ave. crossing Pasay Road. On a clear day, Manila Bay can be seen from here.

View from the eastern part of the building; from here you can see the stretch of Buendia Ave. crossing Pasay Road. On a clear day, Manila Bay can be seen from here.

Upon reaching the rooftop, there are still faint drops of rain, so we settled at one floor below where we can be protected by shade. We were so disappointed that we missed the opportunity to see the majestic view that is only visible during daylight. From here, you can see the buildings in Ayala, the western Manila, some parts of Pasay including Roxas Blvd and the Manila Bay.
The skies are dark because of the cloudy weather, but the spectacle of the thunderstorms dancing from the sky brings us excitement.

We did not stay very long to protect our cameras and some equipments from getting wet and we quickly packed up. There are disappointment because aside from arriving very late we did not expect this kind of weather, but we were still rewarded by the beautiful view from above. If we will be given another chance to return, we will be making sure that we are better prepared.


View from the southern part of the building

A large portion of land (hacienda) of what is now called as Makati is already owned by the Zobel de Ayala families since the Spanish era. During the Commonwealth era, part of the hacienda was offered by the Zobel de Ayala family to the government as a site for an airport. With the introduction of commercial air transport, the Nielson Airfield became the Philippines’ primary gateway to the world. The Philippine Airlines, established in 1941, made its maiden flight from this airport.

Shortly after Second World War, the Nielson Airfield ceased operations, and commercial air transport moved to nearby Villamor Airbase (where the Ninoy Aquino International Airport currently stands). The former airfield was redeveloped by the Zobel de Ayalas into what it is now known as the Makati Central Business District. Its runways now became part of Ayala and Paseo de Roxas avenues. The only original part of the airport standing is the Nielson Tower, located near the corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, and currently houses a restaurant.

View from the eastern part of the building

View from the eastern part of the building


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  1. Totoy says:

    Ask ko lang kung pano makasecure ng permit? Tnx

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