Located in the southernmost part of Metro Manila, Muntinlupa is known as the "Emerald City of the Philippines." It is bordered by the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Bacoor, and Laguna the Bay, the largest lake in the country. Muntinlupa has been commended for its rapid rise, competitiveness, and remarkable systems and regulations that allowed businesses to flourish. It is the site of towering office buildings, vast business establishments, and upscale residences.
Muntinlupa is famous for its glitzy commercial areas. The Alabang Town Center is one of the popular shopping malls for the residents of Muntinlupa and its neighboring cities. Apart from its array of high-end stores, the mall and the nearby commercial strips are filled with restaurants that offer various delectable dining options. The Festival Alabang is another mall where you can shop for great bargains, catch special events, and visit family entertainment centers. The nightlife in Muntinlupa is also lively with the number of bars in the area.
You can also find the country's smallest lake in Muntinlupa. Home to numerous koi fishes and tilapia, the Jamboree Lake is a great spot to just hang out and enjoy the calm scenery away from the atmosphere of a concrete jungle. Another place where you can take a stroll is The Japanese Memorial Cemetery. It is the resting place of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, a general of the Imperial Japanese Army who fought the Americans in the Philippines during World War II. Japanese soldiers who died during the war are also buried there.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Taking the taxi to Muntinlupa is the most convenient option. You can find them in all major roads in Metro Manila so hailing one wouldn’t be a problem.
Alternatively, you can also book a ride via Grab or Uber. These ride sharing services are easily accessible with just a couple of taps on your smartphones.
Taking the bus, on the other hand, is the more affordable option, especially for the budget traveler. Alabang is the most common entry point to the rest of Muntinlupa City. Alabang-bound buses are easily found along Taft Avenue so getting there from Manila wouldn’t be a problem. If you’re coming from other parts of Metro Manila like Quezon City and Makati, you can find buses headed to Alabang along EDSA.
Recently, the RRCG Bus Transit has partnered with the government to offer Point-to-Point Bus Service to the commuting public. From Greenbelt 1 in Makati, there are premium buses that go directly to Alabang Town Center non-stop.
You can take the LRT-1 to Baclaran Station. From there, you can ride a jeep to Las Piñas followed by another jeep to Alabang.
The last Philippine National Railway station in the south is Alabang Station so taking the train is also another option.
From Las Piñas, you can take the jeep along Alabang-Zapote road. If you’re coming from Parañaque, ride a jeep along West Service Road. You can also head to Southland via BF Homes and ask the driver to drop you off at the Alabang-Zapote Road. From there, you can either walk or ride another jeep to your destination.
How to Get Around
Jeeps and tricycles are available around Muntinlupa City. You can ask the drivers for suggestions on how you can get to your destination in the city.
What to See
Despite being known as a highly urbanized city with skyscrapers and high-end residential villages, Muntinlupa City is also home to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)—the main insular penitentiary of the Philippines. The iconic, castle-like façade of the Bureau of Corrections Administration Building is known to most Filipinos as it is often shown in movies and television dramas.
In the midst of this highly urban city, the Jamboree Lake offers a welcome refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The lake is found in the NBP compound and is a favorite spot among nature lovers who come here to relax, commune with nature, and go bird watching. It is also a scenic place in the city to have a picnic with friends and family.
The Memorial Hill, also inside the NBP compound, is where you’ll find a vintage Japanese canon from World War II. This small hill is also the final resting place of NBP’s famous director, Eriberto Misa. The Japanese Memorial Cemetery is another memorial site in the compound where the remains of Japanese soldiers and General Tomoyuki Yamashita and buried.
Also located in the city is the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. It is one of the premier tertiary hospitals in the Philippines, with a mission to deliver “world class compassionate and integrative healthcare services to every individual.”
Muntinlupa City is home to some of the country’s most important and fast-growing commercial centers: the Filinvest Corporate City, the Madrigal Business Park, and the Northgate Cyberzone. Enterprises, multinational corporations, and various BPO companies have set up shop in these areas over the last couple of years.
The Park at the Madrigal Business Park is where the residents go for a quiet walk after a day at the office. You can do fitness activities like running, brisk walking, or jogging. There is also the MTB Trail at Filinvest, which mountain bikers will surely find exciting. Meanwhile, golfers can tee off at Southpoint Driving Range, located in Parkway. It is open daily from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
Where to Eat
With vibrant restaurants all over the city, you’ll never run out of options in Muntinlupa. Whether you crave for Chinese food, French cuisine, American burgers, or even Filipino dishes with a twist, you’ll surely find what you’re craving for in the city.
Sushi Ninja in Westgate comes highly recommended for those who love Japanese food. Their spicy salmon salad is a must try, including their Oedo-Toshi—a kind of toshi sushi made with seared wagyu beef with wasabi mayo and negi.
For a fulling Filipino dinner, LASA Bistro in Commercenter is the place for you. The kare-kareng crispy tadyang and their Thai-inspired crispy tilapia are some of their delectable bestsellers.
Caviar, also in Westgate, is a fine dining restaurant that serves authentic French cuisine. It also has luxurious offerings like their selection of Beluga, Ossetra, or Sevruga caviars. You should also try their bisque de homard and their rib eye steak.
For some Korean fare like samgyupsal and bulgogi, you can have your fix at Seoul Koreana. Meanwhile, you can try Burger Geek if you want to bite into quality and freshly made hamburgers.
Neil’s Kitchen, also found in Westgate, is another restaurant to check out when in Muntinlupa. They offer unique dishes that will give you a new experience when it comes to Filipino food like sinigang paella and crab fat palabok. They also have a quaint Christian bookstore onsite called My Father’s Bookstore, owned by author Ardy Roberto and former beauty queen Miriam Quiambao-Roberto.
Where to Shop
The Alabang Town Center is one of the city’s iconic malls, having been in the area since 1982. It has undergone several changes over the years in order to serve its customers even better. This open air mall features several cinema houses, gaming arcades, hundreds of retail and dining places, and an activity center where various concerts and events are often held.
Festival Alabang also has a vast number of stores and restaurants to its guests. Aside from shopping, visitors and their children can enjoy its attractions like an indoor roller coaster, bump cars, and go-karts. Various recreational centers are also available in the mall.
Fare: PHP 20.00++
The minimum bus fare going to Alabang is around PHP 30.00 for a one way trip. When riding the PNR train, the fare is from PHP 10.00 to PHP 25.00 depending on your destination. A jeep ride will cost you PHP 7.00 for the first four kilometers, while a tricycle ride may be anywhere between PHP 20.00 to PHP 40.00.
For those taking a taxi, the flag down rate is PHP 30.00. PHP 3.50 is added to your meter for every 500 meters or 90-second waiting time.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 4,000.00
Muntinlupa has numerous options for dining. Fast food chains offer value meals for as low as PHP 100.00. Fine dining restaurants offer meals as much as PHP 4,000.00. On average, a budget of PHP 250.00 to PHP 300.00 per meal would be more than enough in most dining establishments in the city.
Shopping: PHP 500.00++
Most malls in Muntinlupa City cater to a more affluent market so you can expect branded and signature stores in the area. For instance, a shirt of good design and quality can cost PHP 500.00, while a pair of jeans can set you back PHP 900.00 or more.
Activities: PHP 200.00++
Ride-All-You-Can tickets for the attractions in Festival Alabang can be bought for about PHP 200.00 per head. For those who want to play golf at the Southpoint Drive Range, the rate starts at PHP 400.00 per hour. Movie tickets at Commercenter sell for PHP 200.00 to PHP 250.00. You can also enjoy bowling at Astrobowl for about PHP 120.00 per game per person.
Accommodations: PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 4,500.00
Alabang is one of the preferred destinations for a nice staycation within the metro. Budget travelers and staycationers can expect to shell out PHP 1,500.00 for an overnight stay. Posh hotel rooms with complete amenities and services are also available, some of which are priced at PHP 4,500.00 a night.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
When dining in restaurants, tipping is no longer necessary since a service charge is already included in your bill. Leaving tips, however, is fine: a modest PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 should be enough.