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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrTaguig City is a bustling city that is part of the greater Metro Manila. This city used to be both a progressive fishing community, being bordered on the east by Laguna de Bay, and an agricultural center owing to its vast plains. But in the past years, Taguig became a highly industrialized city hosting the FTI (Food Terminal Inc.) Special Economic Zone now called Ayala-owned Arca South. This zone houses various food, garments, and electronics manufacturing industries and will soon have commercial areas as well.
However, the biggest change that made Taguig grow overnight was the C-5 highway construction and the development of Fort Bonifacio into the modern and upscale Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Being a relatively new development, BGC enjoys well-studied urban planning and zoning. Traffic congestion and flooding is not an experience that residents and visitors of BGC will have to contend with, although this is not something that can be said with the rest of Taguig.
Etymology and HistoryTaguig came from the word ‘taga-giik’ which referred to people who threshed rice during harvest but Spanish Friar Alvarado found it difficult to produce and was only able to say ‘tagui-ig’ which eventually was shortened to Taguig.
It was originally part of the Kingdom of Tondo until it became an independent municipality in 1908, and eventually a city in 2004 after the development of Bonifacio Global City and the C-5 highway construction.
Bonifacio Global City was formerly a part of the 2,578-hectare American military base called Fort McKinley. After the 1946 Philippine independence, the base was converted by the Philippine government into a Philippine Army Camp and renamed Fort Bonifacio. Bonifacio Land Development Corporation bought a portion of the land and together with Metro Pacific Group, developed it into what it is today.
TransportationTaguig is to the south of Paranaque and Pasay and therefore, near the international and domestic airports. Two major thoroughfares traverse the city: South Luzon Express Way (SLEX) and Circumferential Road or C5. Buses and jeepneys ply different routes to and within Taguig. Taxis can go to almost all areas of Taguig from any area in Metro Manila.
Bonifacio Global City also operates its own transport system. The eco-friendly coach buses have 6 major routes and are available 24 hours per day. There are bus stops at important points. On Saturdays and Sundays from 2 PM to 7 PM., you only need one ticket to explore BGC on The Hop On, Hop Off bus. You can also explore BGC on foot.
ShoppingBecause of the recent development of BGC, Taguig now hosts several big and classy shopping centers that cater more to the middle and upper class:
- Market! Market! - McKinley Parkway, Taguig - Singapore-style collection of stalls.
- SM Aura Premier – McKinley Parkway & C5 Road Corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City - upscale mall.
- S & R Membership Shopping – 32nd Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City - sells imported grocery.
Smaller shopping areas within Bonifacio Global City that carry local and foreign brands include Bonifacio High Street Central on 5th Avenue, The Shops at Serendra or Serendra Plaza on McArthur Avenue; Crossroads on 32nd Street, One Parkade on 7th Avenue; Two Parkade on 7th Avenue, The Fort Strip on 5th Avenue corner 26th Street; The Forum on 7th Avenue, Burgos Circle at Forbes Town Center; and Venice Piazza which is the first phase of The Venetian Mall at McKinley Hill Town Center.
In other parts of Taguig City outside BGC, the other shopping centers include Sunshine Plaza Mall on FTI East Service Road and three Puregold Stores located in Tuktukan, Western Bicutan, and Hagonoy.
DiningThere is a horde of dining options in Taguig aside from Filipino food. Restaurants featuring cuisines from different countries such as American, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean, to name a few are available as well. While street food may be tempting, there is no guarantee on food safety and is not recommended for foreign visitors.
Bonifacio Global City has a long list of restaurants, cafés, and pubs which are well-recommended, including the following:
- Hungry Hound – Globe Tower, 32nd Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; pub food specialties.
- Malcolm’s Deli Fusion – 5th Avenue Corner McKinley Road, Bonifacio Global City; artisanal deli.
- Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar – Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; nouveau Italian cuisine.
- Phat Pho – Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; Vietnamese noodle.
- Le Soufflé – The Fort Entertainment Center, Bonifacio Global City; French cuisine.
- Agave Mexican Cantina –Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City; Mexican cuisine.
- Kabisera ng Dencio’s – Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City; Filipino cuisine.
- Mamou – Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; continental food specializes in steak.
- New Bombay – Crossroad Buildling, 32nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; Indian food.
- Quiznos’ Toasty Subs – One Parkade, 7th Street corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City; sandwiches.
- Ton Cha Ya – The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City; Japanese cuisine.
- Tapeo – The Forst Strip, Bonifacio Global City; Spanish cuisine.
In other areas of Taguig outside BGC, it is highly advisable to eat at well-known fast food chains such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut; KFC, Jollibee; Chowking, Kenny Rogers; and Burger King.
AccommodationTaguig City was not a tourist destination in the beginning, until the advent of the Bonifacio Global which brought in a mass of visitors for business and leisure. These posh hotels are new additions to BGC:
High-rise residential condominiums also offer short-term and long-term accommodation.
- Loft Residences – 2nd Street corner 30th Street, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
- The Luxe Residences - 28th Street corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
- South of Market Private Residences – 26th Street corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
- Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila – 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
- Crescent Park Suites – 2nd Avenue corner Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
- Grand Hampton Suites – 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City.
- Craft Pub & Grill – The Fort Entertainment Center, 5th Avenue; live bands and karaoke.
- Rocket Room – Garden Level, Bonifacio High Street Central; great place to wine and dine.
- Prive Luxury Club – The Fort Entertainmetn Center – boutique nightclub.
- Skinny Mike’s Sports Bar – 32nd Street; cold beer and sports games on HDTV.
- Urbn Bar and Kitchen – Fort Pointe II Building, 28th Street – music and dance with live DJ.
- Draft Gastropub – The Fort Strip – good food and cold beer.
- Skye– W High Street Building, 28th Street corner 11th Avenue – good food and drinks with live bands.
Outside BGC, the Napindan Castle Bed and Breakfast on Labao Street is an option for those who want to stay in the older section of the city.
NightlifeWhile you will never run out of choices for exciting nightspots in the whole of Taguig, the safest option would still be the swanky clubs and bars at the Bonifacio Global City. Here are some top spots of Taguig:
LandmarksTaguig is home to many industries, educational institutions, financial centers, and most of all, attractions that are worth visiting.
Libingan ng mga BayaniThis is a memorial ground located in Fort Bonifacio for 33,520 Filipino soldiers who died during World War II, many of whom were killed in the battle of Corregidor, Bataan. Laid to rest here are past Philippine Presidents and spouses, Medal of Valor soldier awardees, national artists and scientists, and other honorable Filipinos.
American Cemetery and War MemorialLocated in Fort Bonifacio beside Libingan ng mga Bayani , this is a memorial ground for American soldiers who fought during World War II in New Guinea and the Philippines. Manicured grounds with a variety of trees and shrubbery and 17,202 neatly-aligned headstones arranged in a circular pattern make this a serene and beautiful destination for visitors and war veteran families.
ParolaThis 17th-century lighthouse is located where the Pasig River meets up with Laguna Lake. It was the meeting place of the Philippine Katipuneros to plan out their moves for Philippine independence.
Dambanang KawayanThis century-old church is made of bamboo, including the altar and its benches. It is located in Ligid, Barangay Tipas.
VFP MuseumThe VFP (Veterans Federation of the Philippines) Museum has life-sized tableaus using different art forms combined with modern technology. It is a visual depiction of the encounters between the Filipinos and the Japanese during World War II.
Shrine of St. AnneOne of the oldest churches in the country that was built in 1587.
Museo de Sta. AnaLocated at the Shrine of St. Anne, the museum houses an exhibit of religious artifacts collected since 1857.
The Mind MuseumThis is a 1 billion PHP world-class science museum located at JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue in Bonifacio Global City. The entrance fee is ₱600 ($13) (3 hours) and ₱750 ($17) (all-day pass) for adults, ₱450 ($9.90) for kids and private school students up to college, ₱150 ($3.30) for public school student up to college and for teachers.
Bonifacio Global CityThe best thing that ever happened to Taguig, Bonifacio Global City is also called The Fort or BGC. Its master urban plan incorporated underground wiring system, substantial drainage for flood-less streets, wide roads, and a design that interspersed the best of other major cities in the world.
Together with high rises are large gardens, plazas, fountains, and footpaths which make this area a refreshing break from the chaos of the rest of Metro Manila. There are three parks: interactive kid’s park Terra 28th, Track 30th with a meditation garden and yoga lawn, and finally, the Turf BGC which is the country’s first artificial football turf. Scattered throughout BGC are chic world-class shops and a host of restaurants, cafés, and bars.
Not only is it becoming a financial and business center of Metro Manila, it is also the venue for many grand parties, festivals, and events. Evidences of the workings of a creative mind can be seen in the public art displays all over the place. BGC is definitely one of the best places to go to in Metro Manila.
SafetyNot all parts of Taguig City and Metro Manila may be safe for foreigners except for Bonifacio Global City which is generally a safe and peaceful place. Because of the exciting nightlife in BGC, this area can safely be a place to hang-out at night, something that is not advisable for other parts of Taguig and Metro Manila.
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Author: Convergence. Last updated: Nov 27, 2014