Barangay Bangkal is far from an upscale and modern area, so don’t be fooled by it’s Makati address. In fact, its one of those slightly poorer, small-town-feel areas where some people still keep chickens in their yard, most of the buildings go no higher than four floors and tricycles rule the streets. However, the quaint but still chaotic streets hold some treasures that no “high-class” street can give.
Landmarks and Popular Events
- Evangelista Street (second hand thrift shops and motor vehicle spares)
- Hizon Street (second hand thrift shops)
- Streetfest Car-Bike-Motor Show (January)
- Feast of San Ildefonso (January)
The shops in Bangkal mostly sell secondhand furniture and antique, from beds, cabinets, and dining tables, to vinyl record players, typewriters, instamatic cameras, and rotary phones. Most commercial establishments are lined up along South Superhighway, EDSA, Evangelista Street and Hizon Street.
Residential apartments in Bangkal are turned into makeshift thrift stores, where big items are displayed outside, and small items inside. Each store offers a variety of interesting junk from the past. Some smell like a mouldy library, while some smell of old, used shoes. Aside from furniture and older technological items, other stores specialize in selling secondhand clothing, costumes, bags, accessories, books, comics, toys, paintings, old music and movie records, and a host of other interesting things you will never find in an ordinary store or shopping mall.
Some of the items in Bangkal come in bulk from foreign countries, including the US, UK, Germany, and Thailand. On the contrary, other stores sell items from wealthy Filipinos who have left the country for greener pastures, and so, left their properties for sale as well. here you can find some fantastic bargains if you are looking for top named second hand bags, shoes etc.
Evangelista Street stretches from Recto Avenue to Plaza Miranda. Depending on which part of the street you are at, one may find some interesting line of stores in that particular area. The stretch of Evangelista from Recto Avenue to the Raon area is known for heavy equipment supplies like generators, motors, and water pumps. On the part of the street near Plaza Miranda, one can find some stores selling fashion apparel. Of course this particular part of Evangelista St. near Plaza Miranda, given its proximity to the Quiapo Church, one should not be surprised to see stalls selling Catholic items like icons, (especially the Black Nazarene) rosaries, even colored candles.
Hizon Street in Bangkal is a popular destination for residents and tourists. You can find a parade of thrift shops there like antique shops, second hand furniture, sculptures, paintings and other antique items.
Barangay Bangkal is named after a tree of the same name. It is because in the olden times, the area was covered with Bangkal (trees) that its early residents decided to name the barangay after it. In fact, there is a Bangkal tree planted in the boundary site to remind the people of its history.
Location of the Barangay
Barangay Bangkal occupies the west side of the first district of Makati and is closest to Magallanes (south), San Lorenzo (east), Pio Del Pilar (north), and Pasay (west). It is still close to notable office buildings in the Central Business District, as well as the shopping area. So renting an apartment there is not a bad idea after all. You might find staying in a Bangkal apartment convenient as you are a couple of minutes away from the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) on EDSA.
Bangkal’s Feast of San Ildefonso
Other Fun Activities
Bangkal residents also know how to have fun. They celebrate the Feast of San Ildefonso every 23rd of January. Some people call it the administrative fiesta, where the local government unit arranges a program for a whole day of festivity. Marching bands, dance contests, street games and live music performances make up the celebration.
There is also the Streetfest Car-Bike-Motor Show on Evangelista Street where car enthusiasts can view the amazing shapes, sizes and colors of all kinds of motor vehicles.
If you are coming from Quezon City, take a train ride going to Guadalupe station. Find a jeepney near Loyola Memorial Building to get to Makati Avenue and ask the driver to drop you off at Bangkal.On the other hand, if you’re coming from Pasay City (south side), take a bus that says Ortigas Ilalim/Monumento and then ask the conductor to stop at Evangelista Street. Find a pedicab or a tricycle to bring you anywhere in Bangkal.