Click on thumbnail. A new window opens with a bigger image
Ayala Alabang - South of Makati
There are numerous factors, including which school you choose, the age of your children, cost of housing, the location of employment, proximity to diving sites, cleaner air etc., to consider when deciding whether to move to the Ayala Alabang area. An increasing number of expats are choosing to reside south of Makati in Alabang. This may be, in part, due to two factors, the newly opened (August, 1999) international school, Brent-south campus in Mamplasan, and the opening of the Skyway along the South Luzon Highway. This short, toll road has dramatically cut traffic and thus the length of the commute time into Makati City. It is about a 20-minute drive south (with no traffic) from Ayala Alabang to the new Brent campus on the Southern Luzon tollway. There is also bus service from Alabang to Brent and into the International School of Manila (ISM).
If you and your family dive, Alabang has the added advantage of being on "the road" to dive sites and past the congestion of Makati traffic which can turn even a very early morning drive to dive sites into an endless journey. From Alabang, you can be the first to get to the banca to get to the many dive sites!
Many houses in Ayala Alabang are larger, more recently built, and sit on bigger lot sizes than those in Makati villages. The rental prices are also less. The village is guarded 24 hours and is enclosed within walls. There is a VILLAGE ASSOCIATION, which offers services such as a basic medical clinic, grounds crews, security etc. The village has its own water supply system. There are several playgrounds and parks within the village. The streets are tree-lined and quite wide in some areas. There are several nursery and elementary schools appropriate for expats to choose from within the village including LaSalle, The Learning Child, Montessori and Woodrose.
The ALABANG COUNTRY CLUB is in the middle of the village. A new hospital is available along the South Luzon Tollway (Asian Hospital and Medical Center) just before the Filinvest exit.
In addition to the new school and the hospital under construction, there are many new options for grocery, clothes and general shopping in the Ayala Alabang area. There are several malls including FESTIVAL SUPERMALL Alabang Town Center, Metropolis (locals tend to shop here), and SM South Mall. The new Festival Supermall www.festivalsupermall.com is an enormous complex visible from the South Luzon Tollway. It has many, many retail shops, franchised stores, entertainment centers (Gameworx - neon bowling, indoor rollerblading rink, billiards, an indoor Pixie Forest amusement Park, a mini train etc.), food courts, and movie theaters. Alabang Town Center includes a newly built branch of Rustan's department store, South Supermarket, Makati Supermarket (has imported goods), several toy stores, food court, many restaurants, National Bookstore, movie theaters etc. SM South Mall also has a large selection of retail shops, entertainment (an indoor ice skating rink, Storybook Land indoor amusement park), grocery store, and a food court.
In addition to the malls, there are many small, good eateries around the Alabang and BF Homes area. Shopping in the BF homes area includes Chinese and Balinese antiques, porcelain and art galleries. Also of interest is the Madrigal Art Center, just outside Ayala Alabang gate. This art center includes a gallery, shop, studio (with classes available) for drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, and writing, and language courses.
To get to Alabang, take the South Luzon Tollway (a.k.a. South Super Highway) from either Makati or via C-5 from the Fort Bonifacio area, south to the Alabang or the Filinvest exits. The Skyway project (elevated highway) is now completed and can be used as an alternative route.