Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The incorporation of the Philippine Stock Exchange on July 14, 1992 was the culmination of exhustive efforts to integrate the Manila Stock Exchange and the Makati Stock Exchange as a unified entity. It has two sites: Tektite Tower at Ortigas Centre, Pasig City; and PSE Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Makati City — twin trading floors belonging to a single Exchange. The One Price-One Market exchange was achieved through the successful link-up of the two existing trading floors on March 24, 1994; hence PSE was established as the sole Exchange of the country.

These photos were taken at the PSE Plaza, an ultra modern structure on Ayala Avenue with a beautifully landscaped park behind it.

Unfortunately, the Exchange will soon relocate to its new home in nearby Fort Bonifacio. The reason: Makati City has been a bad host for business.

Although hailed as the country’s financial center, it has also become the political rally capital of Metro Manila. Major rallies, unarguably, produce chaotic traffic jams, which in turn, precipitate lost man-hours and decelerated productivity; hence, bottom line figures awashed in red ink.

Notwithstanding, with or without these rallies, Makati City continually accumulates traffic build ups due to the glut of residential and commercial complexes confined in such a small area. In addition, Makati City's skyrocketing costs of property taxes, rentals and leases compel the bean counters to seek other viable, cost-effective locales.

Other businesses may soon follow PSE’s lead and join this exodus; reminiscent of when Makati’s Ayala took away from Escolta, Manila its title as the premier financial district of the Philippines. Now, Mandaluyong and Taguig have emerged as contenders for this prestigious distinction.

Philippine Stock Exchange Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Makati City

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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:23 PM


Blogger Amadeo said...

Good observations on what could very well be the future of Makati, with or without the blessings of the powerful Ayalas who originally owned more than 80% of the real estate in what could now be called Central Makati.

I say Central because it has only been lately, maybe within the last 5 years, that I learned of the other “face” of Makati. This was when a brother bought a unit in a multi-unit, multi-storey apartment complex – in Makati almost within viewing distance of the prominent Makati skyline.

I had always thought that the “villages”, like SanLo or Forbes, were the neighbors where one could readily view the emerging skyline. Turns out there is an “old” Makati also situated in the periphery, which looks and feels just like “old” Manila – narrow streets, old residential buildings clustered close to each other, etc. And many residents who could be classified among the masa. It even has flooding during rain outbursts.

I understand this is where the constituency of perennial Makati mayor Binay is ensconced. And not in the high-rises, where the owners, entrepreneurs, and their workers are elegantly attired.

And maybe, this also partially explains why Makati has become more than just an economic powerhouse center. Necessarily, politics has also planted its stakes there.

A little confession. I was fortunate to have worked for the flagship business of Ayala, BankPI, for many years. And also with the other contender, MetroBank.

September 21, 2006 12:38 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Makati sure is packed. It reminds me of our city, Kuala Lumpur where everything is at the centre and the traffic is bad because all the business centres are focused in the city itself. And it's full of skyrocketing buildings as well. I guess that happens when a country's economy is booming.


September 21, 2006 2:08 AM  

Blogger ipanema said...

I've been to this building several times. I like the coffee house on the second floor (am not sure if it's here or another floor), I'm not sure if it's Starbucks or just a coffee house. When you're at the lobby, you can see that it's high-ceiling and facing you are elevators.

September 21, 2006 3:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you for pointing it out, Amadeo -- the other side of Makati City. And from what I understand Central Makati (mostly owned by the Ayala's) was once an "hacienda" as Binondo was.

Much like Manhattan, Central Makati is great for walkers because of its well-paved sidewalks and the convenient walkways created by the Ayalas to interconnect Greenbelt with Landmark and Glorietta. It's a wonderful community ideed for the monied. I had also seen the other side of Makati City as you had mentioned -- once when I went with a friend to get his car air conditioner cleaned at Evanglista Street; the other time was when I took a wrong turn around the Rockwell area and got lost in those narrow streets similar to San Juan's.

BPI, I think, is the oldest bank in the country; whereas Metrobank is one of the largest/profitable these days. I will make mention of these banks in my upcoming blog, and once again, would appreciate your insight.

Thanks :)

September 21, 2006 6:25 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I have seen photos of Kuala Lampur's skyline, Kyels -- a statement of a flourishing modern city, especially with those twin towers.

Makati Central (as Amadeo had pointed out) is undoubtedly a thriving residential and business community, but unfortunately, as in most urban landscapes, you cannot add any more roads to ease the growing traffic. Yet, there are more and more high rise towers being erected there. Unbelieveable :)

September 21, 2006 6:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

This is one of the most strikingly handsome buildings along Ayala Avenue, Ipanema. Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about its architect.

Makati has many interesting modern architecture. There should be a Website exclusively listing the fine architects responsible for their designs.

I didn't go upstairs but explored the park behind it. I was shooting a picture of one of the trees when I was startled by a guard whistling at me to stop taking pictures of the tree. Absurd! What the tree has to do with security is beyond me.

September 21, 2006 6:41 AM  

Blogger g.knotee said...

i miss the makati central business district sometimes. this bldg is just across my old office, and their cafeteria is the bomb! ;P

September 21, 2006 8:04 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

Nice shots.

My very first job was at a futures trading company in one of the buildings there on Ayala. I've already forgotten how Ayala looked like back in the late 80s.

Makati used to be a quiet nice place. Rally capital na pala ngayon.

September 21, 2006 9:44 AM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

The first time I saw the PSE Plaza structure, while cruising thru the streets of Makati, I was awestrusk reasonably and was amazed at how beutiful and elegant it was, like it was a building that one usually see in world-class cities like Hongkong or Amsterdam. For that alone, this is one amazing feat. I hope that future realtors could follow the inventiveness and innovation of the builders of the PSE Plaza building...

September 21, 2006 10:12 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Would be nice of you to write about Bank of PI, the oldest bank probably in the Asian “hemisphere” and born out of a royal decree from Queen Isabella of Spain. It should reveal a lot of interesting and maybe not so common facts about its early years – like it used to print currency for the country before the US rule. Very interesting history trivia. Thus, maybe some pictures of their site in Plaza Cervantes, Binondo, old head office before Makati “usurped” the locale’s prestige.

While many may regard the ubiquitous presence of the Ayalas in the realm of business as less than complimentary, its history is very much part of Philippine history too. Including that of an American, Joseph McMicking, Jr., who married into the Ayalas in the 30’s, consolidated their then operating businesses and focused on real estate investment/development. Truly, the real precursor of their present thrust in real estate development. Now, the entire archipelago is their locale.

The title of the biggest private bank, in terms of total assets or net-worth or total deposits, has lately been a toss-up between Metrobank (owned/controlled by George Ty) and Bank PI. I believe Metrobank has the edge in the area of total assets.

Leandro Locsin is listed as being the architect of the Manila and Makati Stock Exchange buildings. But in the Pasig site building, I have not encountered any mention of the architect.

September 21, 2006 12:34 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You miss it, G. Knotee, because you have many fond memories of this neighborhood :)

I will try to feature more sights from this modern town in future entries :)

September 21, 2006 12:56 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Well, the rallies don't really occur all that often, Niceheart, but when it does ... the whole city seems to become completely crippled.

It is still nice with beautiful modern architecture, but it's crowded. I would like to go there more often since I'm not that too distant from it, but it's dizzying traffic schemes make it prohibitive for me.

However, if I have a personal driver, I'd be over there more often than usual :)

September 21, 2006 1:00 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It is truly a wonderfully-designed building, Major Tom. I was actually walking on the other side, but upon seeing it, I was immediately compelled to cross Ayala Avenue, explore the lobby, and take some pictures.

I can pit this against any NYC skysraper.

But I cannot pinpoint its architect due to a lack of information online. What a shame.

September 21, 2006 1:05 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Once again, thanks for the insight, Amadeo!

I had just posted an entry about our local Chinese traders and the birth of banking in the Philippines.

As you had suggested, I will create a separate entry on BPI and Metrobank together as follow-up to my today's entry.

Is the BPI building at Plaza Cervantes clearly marked? Drove by it once (near Jones Bridge) and that area seemed gloomy and deserted. Will explore it on foot soon.

It's rather ironic that the early Chinese community unable to secure loans directly from BPI now owns Metrobank :)

But I don't think Locsin designed the PSE building on Ayala.

September 21, 2006 1:13 PM  

Anonymous kars said...

my former finance class had a trip there. someday, if I have some money, I would invest in stocks. ;-)

and if Filipinos know about stocks as much as banking, we'll we would be richer than we used to be.

The masa, ironically, protest about the crisis caused by the government. Without much knowing that these rallies and protests too have caused economic instability in the country also a threat to such business district of Makati.

September 21, 2006 3:23 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I guess a prominent city like Makati is ideal to hold mass rallies because it can drum up additional attention, Kyels. But you're right, such events can disrupt major businesses.

I know some people who made their fortune on stocks ... good luck!

September 21, 2006 5:05 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Yeah, you are right Eric. And stocks, I'm too young to indulge in that "sport". Maybe later. Heehee!


September 21, 2006 5:37 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And don't put all your money into it, Kyels :)

September 21, 2006 6:10 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

When you look at Ayala Avenue you see that this place is growing old. Sometimes I wonder if some of those big old buildings are still occupied...
Fort Bonifacio (which is also owned by the Ayala's is brand new). Taguig is a new and hot city. Soon it will be as expensive as Makati.
If I was the owner of a big company I wouldn't hesitate and choose Fort Bonifacio for my headquarters.

September 21, 2006 8:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Not only those in Ayala Avenue, Sidney, but those in Salcedo Village as well. SOme I noticed merely renovate the lobby to give it a "youthful" appearance.

I have a love/hate relationship for Makati. I love it for its well-appropriated walkways and sidewalks and for its well-designed residential and commerical complexes. But its horrendous traffic and confusing traffic schemes make me want to stay away.

Fort Bonifacio I like, but again, I just hope they don't glut it with too many structures. They ought to take some cue from the master designers of the city of San Diego in California.

September 21, 2006 9:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Locsin & Partners were the local architects and conceptual design was done by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

As an aside, didn't you have any problems taking the photos? Makati has some beautiful architecture and it's wasted by over-zealous security policies, all done for the wrong reasons.

Sad, and ironic - Jaime Zobel is both an architect and a photographer.

September 23, 2006 11:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many thanks for sharing with us this much sought after information, Anonymous! Now we know :)

No one stopped me while I was taking these photos on the lobby; however, at the park behind the building, I was stopped by the guard from taking pictures of the trees.

Yes, the paranoia is annoying.

September 23, 2006 7:25 PM  

Anonymous Conwad said...

Go to or to get information on high-rise buildings in Makati (or anywhere in the world).

I agree with one of the anonymous persons who replied to this thread. Makati's/MACEA'ssecurity personnel are over-zealous (or plain paranoid). I was just questioned by a MACEA personnel earlier today for taking a photo of the building where I work in. I showed him my ID as proof that I work in the building yet he won't give me his name when I asked for it. I have been to another country and I could freely take photos wherever, whenever, be it inside the train station, the mall etc.

I also have the same problem in taking photos in the Ortigas Center area. What's wrong with these people?

January 15, 2007 3:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many thanks for the URLs, Coward; truly appreciate it.

Yes, it is really getting to be a nuisance to avid photographers this isue of not being able to take pictures of even our local architectural marvels yet, there are no ordinances supporting such prohibitions.

Saudi Arabia recently lifted its no picture law because government officials realized that pictures promote tourism. The Philippines which could use further growth in tourism ought to really support our local photography enthusiasts.

January 15, 2007 7:04 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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