Fort Bonifacio – Living in a Bubble

I have been living in Manila for two years now, and I’ve lived in Makati for the majority of that time. Two months ago I moved to Bonifacio Global City – also known as The Fort, or simply BGC – and it was the best decision I ever made.

BCG is right next to Makati, just 1.5 kilometers (just under a mile) away over the flyover on Buendia Avenue, but in terms of appearance and atmosphere, it may as well be a thousand miles away.

Bonifacio is a new residential “barangay”, “barrio”, or district; a place where, as recently as five years ago, there were just fields of green and the vast expanse of an army base. That base has now been reduced in size, and the rest of the area has been built up into a slick and modern residential and business zone that, due to its recent construction and the fact that the designers have apparently learnt from the chaotic nature of Makati, is spacious and well-thought out.

The streets are laid out in a US-style grid pattern, which makes everything easy to find; the roads are wide and spacious with plenty of space in between the buildings, too, making the whole place seem so open (and which also means that there is a greater degree of privacy in each residential unit); there is a paved and very broad High Street full of restaurants, cafes, art installations and temporary exhibitions; there are several chic clubs and exclusive bars, especially the newly opened Valkyrie or the swish Sky Lounge; and there are a variety of shops to be found, mostly in the vast but still fairly compact Market Market shopping mall and along the High Street.

The best thing of all, though, is the fact that it is so peaceful and quiet compared to the rest of Manila. This is, primarily, because there are no jeepneys and no tricycles allowed, which may seem extreme, but it makes the roads a much more leisurely experience, cutting out half of the traffic and thus the noise of beeping horns and rickety old engines. Walking to the shops is a pleasure, especially on a Sunday when it is all so quiet, and if you have a family, going to the High Street, especially the top end where most of the restaurants and bars are to be found, is really quite a pleasurable experience that can be enjoyed by everyone.

BCG is well-designed, open, green, tranquil, self-contained, and safe, and now I personally couldn’t live anywhere else in Manila. The only thing to take note of is the fact that getting in or out at the height of rush hour can take quite some time, but it is absolutely worth it, and this goes for most places in Metro Manila anyway.

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