Apr 06, 2022

The Gateway to the Philippines: Your Neighborhood Guide to Pasay City

Offering a picturesque view of the Manila Bay, Pasay City remains to be one of the premier lifestyle destinations in Metro Manila. This busy city is not only a major transportation hub but is also home to cultural sites and museums. It offers plenty of options for leisure and entertainment. This guide should help you in exploring and getting to know this extraordinary and world-class city. 

Patrick Roque | Wikimedia Commons

Pasay City: A Brief History and Background

Locals say that the city of Pasay got its name from a princess named Dayang-dayang Pasay of the Namayan Kingdom which existed around the year 1175. It owned the lands that we now know as Culi-culi, Pasay, and Baclaran. In 1727, the city’s name was changed to Pineda to honor  Don Cornelio Pineda, a prominent Spanish horticulturist.  

Pasay happens to be the third smallest among the cities in the National Capital Region. The city is divided into three distinct areas: (1) An urban area of about 5.5 square kilometers; (2)  An aviation complex that includes the Civil Aeronautics Administration complex, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the Villamor Airbase; and (3) the reclaimed land from Manila Bay.  

Aerous | Wikimedia Commons

Interesting Places To Visit in Pasay City

Resorts World Manila 

Resorts World Manila is the first and largest resort in the Philippines to date. This place offers non-stop entertainment and leisure featuring the Casino, the Newport Mall, and some high-end hotels. The Newport Mall features select international luxury brands, state-of-the-art movie theaters, 50 exquisite restaurants, and the ultra-modern Newport Performing Arts Theater. Conveniently enough especially for international tourists, Resorts World Manila is directly right across the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

Mall of Asia 

The SM Mall of Asia is a must-visit destination in Pasay, as it is currently the largest mall in the Philippines by gross floor area. Apart from branded shops and restaurants, the mall also features entertainment, leisure, and educational activities. Inside the mall, there is an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, concert grounds, an amusement park, the Science Center, the SMX Convention Center, and the Mall of Asia Arena that serves as venue to some of the country’s largest events and concerts. 

Lawrence Ruiz | Wikimedia Commons

Upside Down Museum  

It’s the newest thing in Manila. As the name suggests, the Upside Down Museum features an upside-down house complete with a living room, dining, kitchen, bedroom, office, and bathroom. It also features a steel bridge with actual cars—all upside down! Perfect for your Instagram and Facebook posts.

Upside Down Museum

Star City 

Star City is one of the most visited amusement parks in the Philippines, catering to both kids and the kids at heart. The park started from a small toys and gifts fair that eventually became the park it is now. Inside Star City, there are many indoor and outdoor activities suitable for all ages. Amusement rides include rodeos, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, carousels, and many other fun activities. A fire and then the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down for two years but it has once again opened its doors to the public starting February 24, 2022. 

xiquinhosilva | Flickr

Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum 

The Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum is a military museum founded on May 2, 1974 to honor the heroes and airmen of the PAF. This world-class facility features vital Philippine military aviation history and equipment used over the years. 

TheRamon FVelasquez | Wikimedia Commons

The Dessert Museum 

As the name suggests, this is a museum dedicated to the delectable, sugary goods and is the only one in the Philippines. It is made up of eight mouthwatering rooms with sugar-filled treats. This spot is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and those with social media feeds to sweeten up. 

The Dessert Museum

Lakbay Museo 

The Lakbay Museo is dubbed as the “First-Ever Philippine Interactive Millennial Museum.” It aims to give visitors a chance to go around Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in under two hours through an interactive experience. It showcases replicas of iconic landmarks, tasting samples of provincial cuisines, handwoven textiles, and traditional folk dances that visitors can join in. This museum aims to give the younger population a chance to know more about the Philippines and its rich history and culture. 

Galleria Duemila 

Here is another museum featuring the art of the Philippines. Galleria Duemila promotes contemporary and modern art made by Filipino artists. The gallery features an extensive collection of paintings, prints, and sculptures. Apart from that, you can also avail of their services of restoring paintings or preserving them. 

10 Must-Try Restaurants and Bars in Pasay City 

Looking for delicious bites to grab in Pasay City or a cool and cozy place to unwind? Check out this list of popular restaurants and bars in the area: 

  • Apartment 1B at The Henry Hotel – This restaurant serves gourmet comfort food 
  • Blackbeard’s Seafood Island at SM by the Bay – Considered the home of the original “boodle feasts” 
  • Johnny Kahuku’s Hawaiian Shrimp House at Newport Mall – Hawaiian-inspired restaurant with the laid-back luau vibe and atmosphere 
  • Parmigiano Ristorante Pizzeria at Resorts World Manila – Fresh pasta cooked out of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheels 
  • The Red Crab Alimango House – One of the top spots in Manila for fresh crab dishes 
  • Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen at S Maison – One of the best restaurants for Cebuano cuisine featuring lechon belly, balut sisig, and bantayan scallops 
  • Gringo at SM Mall of Asia – Homegrown restaurant and bar serving Latin American and Tex-Mex favorites 
  • Basil at SM Mall of Asia – Authentic Thai restaurant with a beautiful garden-like ambience 
  • Rossini Ristorante at S Maison – Fine dining with a Mediterranean twist; home of the best truffle risottos in Manila 
  • Crisostomo at Newport Mall – A Pinoy restaurant named after a character of Jose Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere” 
Arellano University

Why You Should Live or Do Business in Pasay 

Easy access to transportation 

Pasay is well-recognized for being the biggest travel hub in the Philippines. Not only does it hold the biggest airport in the country, but it is also a part of major routes connecting the main parts of Luzon. These include the LRT, MRT, SLEX, and Skyway Stage 3. 

Extensive choices for shopping 

Pasay City is home to some of the largest retail and commercial centers in the Philippines such as the SM Mall of Asia, Newport Mall, shops at NAIA, and many commercial and shopping centers. 

Reputable schools and universities 

You can find a lot of great and reputable schools and institutions in Pasay, such as the following: 

  • Airlink International Aviation School 
  • Strike Wing Aviation 
  • Air Link International Airways and Aviation School 
  • Integrated Montessori Center 
  • Philippine Law School, Inc. (Lacson College) 
  • Ballet Manila 
  • Matute Fashion School 
  • Wesleyan College of Manila 
  • Manila Adventist Medical Center and Colleges 
  • Manila Doctors College 
  • Patts Colleges of Aeronautics 
  • Arellano University 
  • San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation, Inc. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi International School Manila 
  • St. Mary’s Academy of Pasay 

Plenty of business opportunities 

Alongside Taguig and Makati, Pasay has become another thriving city for businesses to grow. The city gives room for diversity and hosts retail, leisure, entertainment, and other industries. It has earned its prominent identity not only for entertainment  but also for great business opportunities.  

Cost of Living in Pasay 

The average cost of living for a single person with rent should be at P37,775, and without rent, at Php14,380. For a family of four, it should cost around P70,496 with rent or P45,745 without rent. 

Neighboring Cities 

Convenient enough, Pasay is located next to the commercial powerhouses Makati, Taguig, and Manila. To the south are Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa. 

Top Pasay Feature: NAIA 

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport is currently the largest airport in the Philippines. International and domestic flights come and go here, giving Pasay the moniker, “The Gateway to the Philippines.” 

Top Pasay Feature: Skyway Stage 3 

Pasay is located along the route of the newly opened Skyway Stage 3. This highway connects North and South Luzon, giving travelers an easier time to make their trips out of town. 

Pasay City: How To Get Around

Moving into the big city can be quite intimidating for first-time commuters. Here is a short guide on how you can travel around Pasay City. 

Taxi Cabs 

Metered taxis flock to the city. Fares should cost anywhere between P100 to P500 depending on distance and traffic density at a given time. Be wary of taxi driver scams though! 

Grab Taxi 

Simply “hail” a cab from your phone to get to anywhere in Pasay. Fares are at a fair, standard price and you won’t have to be worried about your safety and being scammed. 

Light Rail Transit (LRT) 

The LRT-1 operates a train every 10 minutes starting from the Roosevelt station in Quezon City all the way to Baclaran. At the EDSA Taft Avenue Station, you finally disembark and ride a bus or a jeepney to Pasay. 

Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) 

The MRT-3 operates a train every 10 minutes starting from the North Avenue station in Quezon City to the EDSA Taft Ave Station, where you can ride a jeepney or bus to go to Pasay. 


The jeepney remains to be the cheapest mode of transportation available. If you are coming from the outside of Pasay, ride a jeepney going to ‘Nichols/NAIA Terminal 3’  


If you are traveling from the other parts of Luzon, various bus liners are readily available. Just to give you a rough idea of how much fares are, a one-way trip from Zambales up north should cost you P450 going to Pasay. 


This is the poor man’s version of a taxi cab, charging much cheaper fares. It is available in most parts of Pasay and will take you anywhere they are allowed to ply their trade. 

our Neighborhood Guide to Pasay City

Pasay City Listings To Check Out

Interested in moving to Pasay? Here’s a list of perfect homes you may want to consider: 

2 BR Unit for sale – La Vida by Golden Topper 

1 BR Unit for sale – La Vida Soho by Golden Topper 

2 BR Unit for sale – La Vida Soho by Golden Topper 

1 BR Unit for sale – La Vida by Golden Topper 

1 BR Unit for sale – Sail Residences by SMDC 

1 BR Unit for sale – Coast Residences by SMDC 

2 BR Unit for sale – Sail Residences by SMDC 

1 BR Unit for sale – Sail Residences by SMDC  

1 BR Unit for sale – Shore 2 Residences by SMDC 

Final Thoughts 

Pasay is indeed living up to its name as the Gateway to the Philippines, hosting foreigners and locals alike. Offering international cuisine, cultural artifacts, and great business opportunities, Pasay City continues to maintain its dynamism and diversity. 

To read more neighborhood guides and to check out real estate opportunities in the Philippines, always log on to enta.ph

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