10 Spots in Metro Manila That Are Actually Pedestrian-Friendly

Believe it or not.

pedestrian-friendly spots in Metro Manila

(SPOT.ph) If you’ve lived or worked in Metro Manila, you know that it’s far from being pedestrian-friendly. Just look at EDSA where you have to walk sideways just to fit on sidewalks, hold your breath at bus stops because of the smell, and climb a footbridge that’s just too high. Fortunately, there are already small spaces that deserve a round of applause—and more than that, they’re enough of a motivation (or pressure) for local government units to step up and replicate in other parts of the capital.

Also read:
10 Places on EDSA That Need "Build, Build, Build" for Pedestrians
A Reimagined Metro Manila Through the Eyes of Urban Planners

There are pedestrian-friendly spots in Metro Manila—see them for yourself:

GORA Lane (Quezon City)

GORA Lane in Quezon City
PHOTO BY Facebook/Quezon City Government

Quezon City on May 27 officially launched the 5.39-kilometer "pedestrian corridor" that they call Green Open Reclaimed Access or GORA Lane (a play on "tara'' or "let's go"). Beautified sidewalks with landscaping can be found along Mother Ignacia Avenue, Scout Tobias Street, Hemady Street, Scout Lozano Street, Scout Magbanua Street, Dr. Lazcano Street, Scout De Guia Street, Scout Limbaga Street, and other nearby areas. Aside from plant boxes and lamp posts along the said walkways, you can also find small pockets of greenery with benches on street corners and life-sized sculptures depicting taho vendors, a mother and daughter, or an elderly couple.

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Bonifacio Global City (Taguig)

Bonifacio Global City pedestrian-friendly sidewalks
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano/SPOT.ph Archives
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Bonifacio Global City, now one of the Metro's biggest business districts, is also home to towering condos, malls, restaurants, wellness centers, and a few patches of green. It's a city on its own; and with the notorious traffic jams during rush hour, residents and workers in the area would rather walk down the street to get dinner or go home than spend hours in their car. It does help that BGC is pedestrian-friendly with its unobstructed side walks, carefully planned walkways, and murals that make going around a lot interesting.

University of the Philippines - Diliman

University of the Philippines - Diliman Campus
PHOTO BY Shutterstock
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Ask any UP student how far a building is, and you’ll easily get a “walking distance lang” response. That’s because it’s better to walk around the 493-hectare campus than hop on an IKOT-TOKI jeepney and end up being late for class because the route is longer. But seriously, nothing beats walking along the Academic Oval that’s canopied with towering fire trees.

Makati Central Business District

Pedestrian-friendly spot in Makati Central Business District
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

People who’ve worked in the Makati Central Business District are familiar with the ins and outs of the city’s network of underground walkways. It also boasts the De La Rosa Elevated Walkway, which is a network of elevated walkways that connects Legazpi Village, the Makati Central Business District, and the Ayala Center. The combination of underpasses and overpasses can get pretty confusing for a newbie; but all you have to do is follow the arrows and labels, and—voila—you can be at Greenbelt in a flash just by walking. The road-level sidewalks have railings, too; and there are assigned unloading and loading sites for passengers to prevent crowding along the roads.

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Poblacion (Makati)

Poblacion in Makati walkway
PHOTO BY Wikimedia Commons

Unlike the Makati CBD, there's a part of the city that's completely the opposite: Poblacion. People and cars don't rush as much, streets are lined with houses that have been there for a while, and it's got places to eat where you can just lay back. This old downtown area went from being a red-light district to a favorite hangout of college students and young professionals. And while it does not necessarily have fancy walkways or spacious sidewalks, its small-town feel and laid-back vibe can sometimes give you a peace of mind while walking around.

Kapitolyo (Pasig)

Kapitolyo in Pasig City pedestrian-friendly walkway
PHOTO BY Wikimedia Commons
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Kapitolyo in Pasig City is well known as a foodie haven where hole-in-the-wall restaurants and specialty cafes abound. It's not exactly the pedestrian-friendly area we're hoping for with well-planned walkways, but—like Makati’s Poblacion—its distance from major thoroughfares and close proximity of places make it walkable enough to merit a visit. Capitol Commons, another mixed-use development, is also a good place to walk around.

Filinvest City (Muntinlupa)

Filinvest City in Muntinlupa sidewalks
PHOTO BY Wikimedia Commons

Aside from being bike-friendly, Filinvest City is also a walkable space. You can walk to and from shopping malls, hotels, parks, and residential buildings, especially with the wide sidewalks separated from the roads with green shrubs. When it gets too hot, some areas have glass coverings or you can get some shade under the trees.

Katipunan Avenue (Quezon City)

Katipunan Avenue in QC overpass
PHOTO BY Wikimedia Commons
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With three schools nearby, Katipunan Avenue tries to be as safe for students as possible with its many footbridges. The sidewalks can still use some sprucing up, but at least the walkways with lamp posts make crossing the main road easier especially at night.

Eastwood City (Quezon City)

Eastwood City open spaces
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

Local government units may need to step up in terms of urban planning, as most of the walkable places in Metro Manila are privately developed estates with Eastwood City already the fourth on this list. Nonetheless, Eastwood City is a pedestrian-friendly enclave where you have everything you need—whether a shopping mall within your reach, dining options, or your own pad. It has pedestrian lanes, which people actually use to cross the street; open spaces with benches for when you want to rest; and open-air restaurants that may even be pet-friendly.

Ortigas Center (Pasig)

Ortigas Center walkway
PHOTO BY Paulo Alcazaren/SPOT.ph Archives
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Ortigas Center goes above and beyond merely providing sidewalks for commuters walking around the bustling business district on a daily basis. It boasts wide elevated walkways with complete roofing and plants that connect all streets in the area and a central plaza with landscaping. Sidewalks are lined with trees and protected with railings, so you don't have to deal with cars suddenly parking on the walkway or motorcycles owning the sidewalk. They also have pocket parks where you can walk through to go from one street to another.

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