Pasig was the capital city of the Rizal Province before the formation of the National Capital Region in the Philippines. The city's eastern section is mostly composed of residential areas while the western section is sprawling with commercial establishments and business centers. From its humble beginnings as a rural settlement, Pasig has evolved into one of the highly urbanized cities in the country
One of the most popular attractions in Pasig city is Ortigas Center. It is also one of the premier commercial and business districts in the Philippines. Technology centers, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) offices, and the headquarters of some of the country's industry giants can be found here. Ortigas Center is also popular for its commercial areas where you won't run out of choices for dining and shopping. Popular destinations in Ortigas include El Pueblo and Robinsons Galleria.
Also in Pasig is Tiendesitas, a shopping and entertainment destination where tourists can browse for various local goods. The stores have wide selections of handicrafts, clothes, native accessories, antiques, furniture, and Filipino food. Tourists can also go around Tiendesitas in a traditional horse-drawn carriage called the "kalesa".
The rich history of Pasig can be discovered in the Pasig City Museum. It is located inside the mansion of Don Fortunato Cabrera Concepcion, the mayor of Pasig from 1918 to 1921. The three-storey mansion was built in 1937 as a gift to Don Concepcion's wife, Victoria Concepcion. The mansion's museum features galleries that present the timeline of the history and development of Pasig City.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Getting to Pasig City is made convenient with the help of taxis. The flag down rate is PHP 30.00, and every succeeding 500 meters or 90-second waiting time is charged PHP 3.50. Ridesharing services like Uber and Grab are also available if you’re coming from any part of Metro Manila.
By Jeep or Vans
Jeeps and vans are the cheaper alternatives to taxis. Pasig-bound jeeps can be found at EDSA Central jeep terminal, the Ortigas entrance of Robinsons Galleria, and General Romulo Avenue in Cubao. From Makati, there are UV Express vans headed for Rosario in Pasig that pass by Ayala Avenue.
There are no trains that go directly to Pasig City, but there are some stations near it. If you’re taking the MRT, you can alight at the Ortigas Station or Shaw Boulevard Station. For those riding the LRT 2, you can also alight at Santolan Station where shuttle services and jeepneys are available to take you to various points in Pasig.
What to See
Pasig City is one of the oldest municipalities in the Philippines. In fact, it celebrated its 443rd founding anniversary in July of 2016. Having survived all of four centuries, the city has a few landmarks that will let you take a glimpse of its historic past.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral, located in the southern section of the city, is the first Marian parish ever built in the Philippines. The cathedral was founded in 1573 by the Augustinian missionaries. Its management eventually passed on to the CICM Fathers until the Filipino clergy took over. The cathedral now serves as the seat of Roman Catholic Diocese of Pasig.
Bahay na Tisa is what the natives of Pasig call the oldest bahay na bato in the city. This ancestral house was built in the 1850s and had been a witness to the many events that transpired in the city over the last two hundred years. Its walls are made out of adobe, while its roof was originally made out of tisa or baked clay until it was replaced with asbestos, which is easier to maintain. Its windows, on the other hand, were built using capiz shells.
When it comes to bread, Panaderia Dimas-alang is already considered an institution in Pasig City. This quaint bakery is said to be the oldest bakeshop in the city, turning a century old come 2019. If ever you’re in the area, do drop by to get a taste of their pandesal—the recipe has been in existence since 1919.
Located not too far away from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the Pasig City Museum stands as a repository of artifacts and treats its visitors to a visual narrative of the history of the city. The museum is housed in the old Concepcion Mansion, which was owned by the former mayor of Pasig, Don Fortunato Cabrera Concepcion.
The Pasig City Mega Market, previously known as the Mutya ng Pasig Public Market, is also another attraction in the city—and a massive one at that. The market is three stories tall and houses almost 3,000 stalls that sell anything and everything from food items to clothing. Some have even dubbed it the “Divisoria of Pasig.”
On the other side of town are clusters of buildings and skyscrapers where the country’s leading businesses and enterprises hold office. The iconic Meralco building is situated along Ortigas Avenue and serves as the headquarters of the Manila Electric Company. It is also home to the Meralco Theater, a popular venues for theatrical plays and other various performances. The building is also notable for its fascinating lights display, especially during Christmas time.
A few minutes’ drive from the Meralco building is Tiendesitas, a shopping complex along C-5 road that resembles the Chatuchak Market in Thailand. It has numerous stalls that sell food products, handicrafts, antiques, and handicrafts. Near Tiendesitas are entertainment centers for children like Fun Ranch and the Ark Avilon.
In the middle of the bustling city is the Rainforest Adventure Experience Park, also known as RAVE. The adventure park promotes having an active and healthy lifestyle both for its residents and its visitors. It has a camping area, butterfly garden, swimming pool, gym, basketball court, tennis court, and many more.
If you’re in need of some pampering, then you should definitely visit Ace Water Spa, located in Barangay Kapitolyo. This in-house water spa offers rejuvenating hydrotherapy services for a unique way to relax your mind and body.
Where to Eat
When it comes to dining, Pasig City will surely not disappoint. Barangay Kapitolyo is home to quite a number of restaurants that offer great food that are all affordable. Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina comes highly recommended since it always tops the list of restaurants to try in the area. Their beef nachos and beef quesadilla are totally worth every penny.
If you’re craving for some authentic Japanese cuisine, head over to Haru Sushi Bar and Restaurant where the servers are dressed like geishas to add an even more authentic vibe to your dining experience.
Café Juanita is also managed by the owners of Haru Sushi Bar and Restaurant. This bohemian-inspired restaurant is ideal for dates and features a delectable selection of Filipino dishes. Some of their best-sellers are maya-maya sa miso and kare-kare.
For burger lovers, head out to Charlie’s Grind and Grill for their impressive takes on the famous American staple. Ideal for quick meals or a lunch out with friends, this place has satisfying fares like wagyu cheeseburger and pulled pork sandwich.
Locavore PH is another must-try restaurant in Pasig because of its menu of Filipino dishes with a French twist. Try their sizzling sinigang, kare-kare wings, or their own take on bulalo called “pho lalo.”
Bars and Clubs
Come nightfall, the city comes alive with bright lights and upbeat songs as the bars and clubs become crowded with partygoers. Metrowalk located along Meralco Avenue, just within walking distance from the Ortigas Center, has multitudes of bars where you can sing or dance the night away. The PBA Café, Flare, and Song Hits are just some of the favorite spots in Metrowalk.
Other places to experience the nightlife in Pasig include Tipsy Pig at Capitol Commons, Reserve Liquor Lounge and Barcino at City Golf Plaza, and Cable Car at The Sapphire Bloc.
Fare: PHP 20.00++
The base fare for a jeep ride is PHP 7.00. For UV Express vans, it’s PHP 15.00. MRT fares start at PHP 13.00, while it’s PHP 15.00 for LRT 2. If you’re taking the taxi, the flag down rate is PHP 30.00 with an additional PHP 3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters of 90-second idle time.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 2,000.00++
An average budget of PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per meal would be enough for you to enjoy a satisfying meal when in the city. In some upscale restaurants, some dishes are priced at PHP 4,000.00 (good for two people). There are also fast food chains scattered throughout the city where you can enjoy value meals at only PHP 50.00.
Shopping: PHP 500.00++
There are a number of shopping centers in the Ortigas area. On average, a nice shirt from one of the country’s leading retail stores cost somewhere between PHP 300.00 and PHP 500.00. A pair of jeans is roughly around PHP 600 to PHP 900.00. Prices could be lower at the Pasig City Mega Market. You can even try your hand at haggling too!
Accommodations: PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 5,000.00
For the backpackers and budget travelers, there are hotels in the city that offer value-for-money accommodations which start at PHP 1,500.00. For those who want a bit of luxury, rooms with full amenities and services in hotels are priced at PHP 3,500.00 and above.
Activities: PHP 500.00++
At Fun Ranch, there is no entrance fee required, but the rides cost PHP 50.00 per head. At Ark Avilon Zoo, the entrance fee is about PHP 500.00. If you want some pampering at Ace Water Spa, the hydrotherapy services start at PHP 550.00.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
Restaurants usually include a service charge into your bill. In such cases, tipping is no longer necessary. You can still leave a tip if you wish: a PHP 20.00 or PHP 50.00 note would be okay.