North vs Central vs South Metro Manila;  Which will you pick to live in?

North vs Central vs South Metro Manila

Updated on May 22 2024

Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, is an amalgamation of diverse cities and municipalities that have merged into one metropolis. Covering a total area of 619.57 square kilometers, this highly urbanized region is a buzzing hub of culture, commerce, and government. The region is typically divided into three areas - North, Central, and South Metro Manila - each boasting its unique characteristics.

North Metro Manila

Quezon City Memorial Circle Tri-Tower Photo

North Metro Manila includes cities like Quezon City, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and municipalities like San Juan and Malabon.

Quezon City, the largest city in Metro Manila, is a bustling urban center with numerous educational institutions, like the prestigious University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University, making it an academic hub. The city houses key government institutions, including the Batasang Pambansa, where the House of Representatives is seated.

The North is also known for its vibrant culture and entertainment scene. It is the home of the Philippines’ entertainment industry, with major television networks, like ABS-CBN and GMA Network, headquartered in Quezon City.

On the flip side, some parts of the North, like Caloocan and Valenzuela, are industrial zones with heavy traffic and a high density of factories. It is also noteworthy that North Metro Manila experiences a higher incidence of flooding due to its low-lying areas and the prevalence of several waterways.

Central Metro Manila

Bonifacio High Street Photo w/ Sundown

Central Metro Manila comprises Manila, the capital city, and cities like Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Makati.

Manila, often regarded as the historic heart of the country, is rich in cultural heritage and historic landmarks. Intramuros, the oldest district of Manila, showcases the country's Spanish colonial history, while Rizal Park and the National Museum enrich the city's cultural landscape. The city also houses prestigious educational institutions like the University of Santo Tomas and several government offices.

Makati, often referred to as the financial hub of the country, is home to multinational corporations, banks, and major shopping centers. It boasts modern skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, and upscale residential areas. Meanwhile, Mandaluyong and Pasig are emerging as important business and commercial centers.

However, Central Metro Manila also struggles with issues like congestion, pollution, and socio-economic disparities, with stark contrasts between affluent areas and densely populated, impoverished communities.

South Metro Manila

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Photo

South Metro Manila, consisting of cities like Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Pasay, is known for its well-planned residential areas and burgeoning business districts.

Alabang in Muntinlupa City is a booming business hub with numerous shopping centers, hospitals, and private schools. It also has exclusive residential areas like Ayala Alabang Village. Parañaque houses the Entertainment City, a gaming and entertainment complex, and the sprawling SM City Sucat mall.

Pasay is a mix of entertainment, business, and residential areas. It hosts the Mall of Asia, one of the largest malls in the Philippines, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, showcasing the country's rich arts and culture. It also contains the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, making it a vital gateway to the country.

Despite the growth, South Metro Manila is not without challenges. Traffic congestion is an issue, especially near the airport, and certain areas are prone to flooding.

Metro Manila is a diverse and dynamic region. North Metro Manila offers a blend of academia, government, and entertainment, with the bustling city life contrasted by industrial zones. Central Metro Manila, the heart of the nation, combines history and modernity, housing the country's financial hub and historic landmarks. South Metro Manila, on the other hand, offers a mix of residential tranquility, business growth, and entertainment.

Each area has its unique charm and challenges, reflecting the broader socio-economic and cultural diversity of the Philippines. As the nation continues to grow and develop, these differences will continue to shape the identity of Metro Manila, influencing the lives of millions who call it home.


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