A booming municipality of the Rizal province after the Second World War, Mandaluyong is now one of the most progressive cities in Metro Manila. Mandaluyong City is famous for its shopping malls, entertainment hubs, commercial strips, business areas, and hotels. Some of the city's high-rise buildings serve as the offices of numerous companies, including the conglomerates and industry giants in the Philippines.
Mandaluyong is the first place you should visit if you want to go shopping because of the number of malls found in this busy city. You can find the latest trends in SM Megamall, Shangri-La Plaza, The Podium, and two Robinsons Malls. The malls also have cinemas, restaurants, family entertainment centers, and are the venues for special events like conventions, fairs, fashion shows, and musical performances if you are seeking other entertainment options.
Also located in Mandaluyong is The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, one of the first golf clubs established in the Philippines. Named after the noises made by the crows inhabiting the area before it was developed, the country club has been the host of prestigious international golf tournaments.
Despite the popularity of the urbanized districts in the city, there are also historic places of interest around to visit. The Plaza Tatlong Bayani is a monument dedicated to Laureano Gonzales and Vicente "General Kalentong" Leyva, revolutionary heroes who came from Mandaluyong. The monument also includes a statue of Andres Bonifacio, the "Father of the Philippine Revolution" and leader of the revolutionary society, Katipunan. Mandaluyong also has a Rizal Monument to remember the sacrifices of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
You can get to Mandaluyong from any part of Metro Manila by using the the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3). You can go alight at Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard and Boni stations, which are all within Mandaluyong.
Numerous city buses ply the stretch of EDSA on a daily basis, which all eventually pass by Mandaluyong. Currently, the Metro Manila Development Authority has a scheme in place where buses can only drop off passengers at certain areas along the avenue. Passengers headed for Mandaluyong can only alight at Shaw Starmall and Pioneer/Boni for southbound passengers. Northbound passengers, on the other hand, can go down at Pioneer/Boni, Shaw Boulevard, or SM Megamall.
There is a terminal of jeeps located in Forum Robinsons. The jeeps pass through Boni Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares of Mandaluyong. The Rizal Technological University, Mandaluyong City Hall, Maysilo Circle, San Felipe Neri Parish Church, Mandaluyong Elementary School, and Mandaluyong High School are just some of the landmarks in the city that you will pass by. At the last stop near Kalentong, there will be jeeps headed for Manila.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Taxi is the most comfortable way of going to Mandaluyong. The flag down rate is PHP 30.00, with an additional PHP 3.50 for every 500 meters.
Ridesharing services like Grab and Uber are also available in the city, offering comfortable and convenient transportation services with just a few taps on your smartphones.
How to Get Around
Like all cities in Metro Manila, jeepneys and taxis can get you to the different places in Mandaluyong. Feel free to ask the locals or your hotel for the most affordable way to get to your destination in the city.
What to See
The San Felipe Neri Parish Church is located in the middle of the busy downtown Mandaluyong. Beyond its beautiful façade and architecture, the church is also known in history as the site of one of the bloodiest encounters during the Philippine Revolution in 1896.
Plaza Tatlong Bayani was built in the city in honor of the brave men who fought in the Philippine Revolution. The three statues in the plaza are Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the Katipunan; Laureano Gonzales, a native of Mandaluyong who is a katipunero; and Vicente Leyva (also known as General Kalentong), a milk peddler and also a native of Mandaluyong who helped in fighting off the Spanish conquistadors.
Although not really a tourist attraction, the National Center for Mental Health is a popular and important establishment in Mandaluyong, occupying about 47 hectares of land in the city.
Man-Made Attractions and Activities to Try
The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong is one of the oldest golf and country clubs in the country, founded in 1930 by William J. Shaw. This premier golf course features an 18-hole all-weather championship course that has become the venue of many gold tournaments in the country.
Perfect for the kids and the kids-at-heart, the Trampoline Park opened its doors to the public sometime in early 2016. As the name suggests, this recreational park located in The Portal at the Greenfield District features trampoline-laden floors where guests can run, dance, and play games all while jumping and defying gravity.
For those who love puzzles, Breakout Philippines has a branch in Paragon Plaza along Reliance Street. Curious players are locked inside a room and the only way out is to solve the mystery at hand. While you’re there, try solving Adarna’s Lair, which is said to be the hardest mystery to solve.
For art enthusiasts, there is Art Underground, a popular venue for contemporary art projects and galleries.
Events and Festivals
Every December, people flock to Policarpio Street to feel the holiday vibe. The houses in the area are decorated with grand and extravagant Christmas displays that shimmer to the delight and fascination of the locals as well as visitors different parts of Metro Manila.
Where to Eat
When it comes to dining, you’ll have tons of options in Mandaluyong City. At the corner of Reliance and Pioneer Streets is the Pioneer Street Market. The place is like Salcedo Weekend Market in Makati but is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Instead of the open air setup of most weekend markets, the Pioneer Street Market is air conditioned. Many of its booths and stalls sell organic and artisanal products. The food offered vary from Filipino to Italian, American, and even Indonesian.
There is also the Banchetto at Robinsons Forum, a collection of food stalls that has become a favorite pig out place for the working class in the city. It is open from Wednesdays to Fridays, from 8:30 PM to 6:30 PM only.
The variety of dining options in Mandaluyong is so vast that even the pickiest eater will feel at home. For burgers and burritos, you can try Garahe at San Jose Street, a garage that was turned into a burger joint. For breakfast lovers, Kanto Freestyle in San Joaquin offers a wide selection of all-day breakfast menu. Meanwhile, head over to Liberty Center along Shaw Boulevard and look for Puñta Manila, owned by celebrity Paolo Bediones, for their Latin American dishes. Other recommended restaurants to check out include Burp at the Uptown Center and Charlie Wanton Special in Haig Street.
Bars and Clubs
Partygoers will enjoy Mandaluyong when it becomes a vibrant spot in Metro Manila at night. The city has numerous bars that offer great food and booze like Borough in The Podium, Central BBQ Boy Grill in Pioneer corner Sheridan, Rehab Gastrobar in Barangka Drive, Coal in the Greenfield District, and Bunk in Highway Hills.
Where to Shop
Mandaluyong is undeniably one of the best places in Metro Manila for shoppers. You can shop ‘til you drop in its malls like SM Megamall, The Podium, Robinsons Forum, and Shangri-La Plaza. Aside from featuring the latest trends in its boutiques and stores, the malls also have cinemas and are occasionally the venue for events like bazaars and concerts.
Fare: PHP 20.00++
The MRT fare varies depending on your destination and point of origin. The base fare starts at PHP 13.00, while the farthest destination can cost you PHP 28.00. Jeepney rides, on the other hand, cost a minimum of PHP 7.00, while a bus ride starts at PHP 10.00 to PHP 12.00. Meanwhile, taxis have a flag down rate of PHP 30.00, with additional PHP 3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters or 90-second idle time.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 5,000.00
Mandaluyong has many fast food chains scattered throughout the city where you can have a decent meal for just PHP 100.00. For luxury dining, upscale restaurants can charge as much as PHP 5,000.00 per dish. But for most restaurants in the commercial areas, a budget a PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per person should be good enough.
Shopping: PHP 500.00++
Given the multitude of shopping malls in the city, you’ll surely have a grand time hopping from one store to the other. On average, quality shirts sell for about PHP 300.00 to PHP 500.00, while jeans are at PHP 600.00 to PHP 900.00 a pair. If you’re looking for high-end and luxury items, you can find them in the boutiques in Shangri-La Plaza, where a designer bag or a pair of shoes can cost a whopping PHP 70,000.00.
Accommodations: PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 5,000.00
There are also quite a number of lodging facilities available in Mandaluyong. For budget travelers, there are quality hotel rooms that go for as low as PHP 1,500.00 a night. For rooms with more amenities, an overnight stay in a hotel can go for as much as PHP 5,000.00.
Activities: PHP 300.00++
Most attractions in the city don’t have entrance fees. For the amusement parks, however, the rates start at PHP 300.00.
Other Fees and Activities: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
When dining in restaurants, a service charge is already added to the bill so tipping is actually no longer necessary. You can still leave tips if you insist; PHP 20.00 or a PHP 50.00 should be good enough.