“from Grass to Class”
Kate S. Magpoc
The purpose of this unit of study is to give students a
basic understanding of the study of hospitality as an
emerging discipline worthy of rigorous study and to orient
the students to the hospitality industry and the issues
which confront it. This will include introducing students
to the depth and scope of hospitality as a social concept,
with an emphasis on developing a sensitivity to and
understanding of the forces that shape the industry, and
with reference to their own skills and characteristics.
In the pre-Spanish era, Makati was ruled by Lakan Tagkan and his wife Bouan. The area
was then predominated by swamps and cogon grass overlooking the banks of the Pasig
River. It was Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the founder of Manila and first governor-
general of the Philippines, who first spotted the area. Legaspi asked the name of the place
and because of the language barrier, this was misinterpreted by the natives. Thus, pointing
to the receding tide of the Pasig River, the natives answered “Makati na, Kumati na,”
referring to the “ebbing tide.”
Between the years 1578 to 1670, Makati was a “vista” or a district of Santa Ana de Sapa
under the jurisdiction of a Franciscan priest named Pedro De Alfaro. Its second name was
San Pedro de Makati, which was derived in honor of its patron saint. At times, the town
was called “Sampiro,” a corruption of its name San Pedro. In 1890, San Pedro de Makati
was decreed a public town of Manila.
The peace treaty of 1900, ending the Filipino American War, saw Makati under a
The Philippine Commonwealth Act No. 137 dated June 11, 1901 incorporated San Pedro
de Makati into the province of Rizal. Two years later, a town administrator was installed
to supervise the affairs of the community.
After the turn of the century, Makati remained a third class agricultural community
wherein the means of livelihood came from cultivated rice and horse fodder.
In 1914, the Philippine Legislature Act No. 2390 changed the name of San Pedro de Makati
to Makati, which has remained its official name. The year 1962 saw the construction of a
new municipal building for the local administration of Makati. It was erected on a two-
hectare lot donated by the Ayala Securities Corporation. Makati had comprised three areas:
the new town of Makati; the old communities not owned previously or at present by the
Ayala Corporation; and the Fort Bonifacio.
The new town of Makati was attributed to the Ayalas who had been closely adhering to
their master plan of developing Makati into the most modern community in the country. It
was forty years ago when the first of its modern communities, Forbes Park, was opened to
attract affluent families, foreign capitalists, business tycoons industrial titans. Now, it boasts
of six (6) affluent villages with defined residential zones, steel and concrete avenues, first
class facilities and services, ultra-modern skyscrapers, and convenient commercial and
recreational facilities. More than one third of the total land area of the city is located in new
Beyond the fences of the affluent villages, however, lay the old town of Makati. It was a
typical urban center composed of 17 crowded barangays where the remnants of history
were still visible in a hodge-podge of factories, establishments, century-old schools, and
These two extreme contrasts of the Makati community compelled a writer to describe it as
an “artificially inseminated society because it was never left alone to conceive itself.”
The area of Fort Bonifacio, on the other hand, was composed of barangays Cembo, South
Cembo, Comembo, East Rembo, Pembo, Pitogo, Post Proper North, Post Proper South, Rizal
and West Rembo. It had a total land area of 5.4436 square kilometers, with 4.4027 square
kilometers used by the military.
During the last years of the Marcos administration, the City of Makati became the familiar
ground for numerous protest rallies and marches of the various opposition groups. It was in
Makati, particularly the stretch of Ayala, where the confetti revolution started. Major rallies
held in Makati were greeted by confetti made of shredded yellow pages of phone directories.
Ugarte Field replaced Plaza Miranda as the frequent venue of many public rallies to express
the people‟s indignation against the late President Marcos and his government.
The City of Makati had been governed by seventeen (17) Administrators from the early 1901
up to the present (Annex 1). During the past two decades, development efforts have been
concertedly undertaken, resulting in the face-lifting of Makati‟s “old town” and the
emergence of its “new town”.
After the February Revolution, President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Atty. Jejomar C.
Binay to take the reins of the Makati government. Considered as a human rights advocate,
Mayor Binay started the rehabilitation and restructuring of the local government set-up to
promote better delivery of services to the community. The impact of his initial measures
earned him the mandate of the people. Mayor Binay was duly elected as the town‟s 16th
administrator in the local elections of January 1988. In the May 1992 elections, he was re-
elected as the town‟s local chief executive.
The year 1995 was one of the most the significant periods for the administration of Mayor Binay and the
local populace of Makati. It was in this year that the conversion of the Municipality of Makati into a highly
urbanized city took effect with the signing of Republic Act 7854 by President Fidel V. Ramos on January 2,
1995 followed by the overwhelming approval of the residents in a plebiscite held on February 4, 1995. As
provided by the City Charter, Makati is now divided into two congressional districts that correspond to the
two existing districts created by Republic Act No. 7166, as implemented by the Commission on Elections,
except that barangays Magallanes, Forbes Park and Dasmariñas are now in District I in lieu of barangay
Guadalupe Viejo, which became part of District II.
The 1991 Local Government Code limits the term of all elected local government officials to only three
consecutive terms. This provision, however, did not hamper the continuance of Mayor Jojo Binay‟s brand of
In 1998, the mayor passed the torch to his wife, Dr. Elenita S. Binay, a doctor of medicine, who was
overwhelmingly elected by the local populace to become the 17th Mayor and the „First Woman Chief
Executive‟ of Makati City. It was during her administration that the city won the Philippine Quality Award
(PQA) Commitment to Quality for exemplary organizational performance. Makati was the only LGU which
won the award in year 2000.
The mayoral election held on May 2001 gave another opportunity for Mayor Jejomar C. Binay to continue
his leadership as the city‟s top public official. It was during this term that the City of Makati won
international and local acclaim for its noteworthy programs. The Makati Health Program, popularly known as
“Yellow Card,” won the Dubai International “Best Practices” Award for 2002, a joint project of the United
Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and the Municipality of Dubai, for its “outstanding
contributions towards improving the living environment.”
Makati likewise reinforced its claim as the country‟s leader in e-governance thru information technology
when its official website, www.makati.gov.ph, won the much coveted Philippine E-Government Award by the
Philippine Internet Commerce Society in 2002.
Radyo Makati, a regular Sunday radio program on DWIZ hosted by Mayor Binay and Vice
Mayor Ernesto S. Mercado from 7:30am to 9:00am, was awarded the Jaime Cardinal Sin Serviam
Award for “Outstanding Community Service in the Promotion of Christian Values” in the 2004
Catholic Mass Media Awards.
In the area of peace and order, the city gained many milestones thru various recognitions earned
by its peacekeeping bodies. The Makati City Peace and Order Council made it to the “Hall of
Fame” for the second time when the National Police Commission named it the Best City Peace
and Order Council in the Highly Urbanized Category from 2002 to 2004, a title which the
Council held from 1995 to 1997.
Likewise, the Makati Police Station was adjudged the best in the country in 2004, and won the
Patrol 117 Award for Best Crime Responder given by the Philippine National Police. The Makati
Fire Station was also named Best Fire Station in the National Capital Region in 2004.
In the Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Program of the Asian Institute of Management
Policy Center, Makati was cited as the Most Dynamic City in 2004, and one of the Top Five
Performing Cities in 2005.
The year 2006 marked the conferment of more prestigious distinctions on the mayor and his city.
Mayor Binay was named among the Top Ten World Mayors in 2006, ranking fourth out of 677
mayors from Asia, U.S.A., Europe and South America in an internet-based survey aimed to
promote strong cities and good governance.
The Makati City Disaster Coordinating Council (MCDCC) was a recipient of the
2006 Gawad Kalasag award in the Highly Urbanized/Independent City category.
In giving the award, the National Disaster Coordinating Council cited the Makati
Rescue, a widely recognized component of the MDCC that renders both medical
and technical support services, and the Makati C3 EARS (Command, Control &
Communication Emergency Alert and Response System) Center, a mini-911
capable of receiving and responding to emergency calls anywhere in Makati on a
The primordial importance given by the city government to the welfare of its
young constituents, as demonstrated by its outstanding programs promoting their
holistic development, was duly recognized when Makati won the 2006 and 2007
Presidential Award for Most Child-Friendly City in the National Capital Region.