Undergound Ayala Avenue

Wandering soul @macooletteJune 2019 Β· 6 min read

Today, 12 June 2019, is the 121st independence day of our country. That is over a century of "celebrating independence" though I wonder if we ever became independent. But that is not my topic today. Instead, I want to go back to Ayala Avenue and take a walk underground to escape the heat above. Thanks to independence day holiday that gave me chance to travel back to Makati for a walk and to write.

As I mentioned on my previous post, Ayala Avenue is the busiest street in the central business district of Makati City, Philippines. Beneath the stretch of the avenue are pedestrian tunnels with beautiful arts. These tunnels used to be with plain paints but were eventually beautified with murals mostly overhead and on the sides.

There are six underpasses across Ayala Avenue which were named after the streets either right above or nearest them crossing Ayala. Those are the following starting from the northern part, near the Ayala North Exchange:

  • Salcedo
  • V.A. Rufino
  • Paseo de Roxas
  • Legazpi
  • Makati Avenue
  • Apartment Ridge


It was under repair during my walk. However, that did not ruin the beauty of the murals overhead. The paintings depict what seem to be the daily walks of life of people of Makati City.


Salcedo 1.jpg

Senior citizens and graduates enjoying their own time.

Salcedo 2.jpg

Professionals minding their businesses.

There are many Business Process Outsourcing or Call Center BPO companies in the Philippines. Makati City is just one of the locations where these companies put their operations up. Though in the last several years, some of these companies have been going out of the main business districts and spread through the country. We now have call centers in northern part of Metro Manila like Clark, Pampanga and Baguio City. Going south, there are call centers in Laguna and Cavite. The are also call centers in Cebu City and Davao City. There could be more somewhere else that I do not know. The spread of these companies is because of low cost - lower provincial rate for employees, lower cost of facilities, lower cost of living. I am not an economist but from economy perspective, I think that is good because it is the jobs that go near the people. Talk about inclusive progress across the country and not just in major cities.

Salcedo 4.jpg

Call center agents probably fighting for sleep.

Salcedo 3.jpg

An ideal sight for traffic flow.

V.A. Rufino

I remembered our Manila Ocean Park when I got down to this underpass. The theme of the overhead mural is underwater which is like the oceanarium at the Ocean Park. The only difference is that that underwater wonders are not moving in the underpass. Even so, passersby specially someone new to Makati City, can not help looking up.

VA Rufino.jpg

A father-daughter tandem can not just pass by without appreciating the beautiful art.

VA Rufino 1.jpg

Take a closer look at the underwater above.

Paseo de Roxas

The theme is outer space this time. You can go exploring the world above while crossing Paseo de Roxas underpass.

During my previous visit, the following photos were what I got. For some reasons they changed the mural when I went back. New photo is at the end of this underpass presentation.


Paseo 1.jpg

I can't confirm but the spaceship seem to contain a forest. Is it?

Paseo 2.jpg

An inviting group of teens dancing in space. It won't be a surprise to see someone dancing while passing by this underpass.

Paseo 3.jpg

And it won't also be a surprise if a passersby beauty contestant tries walking in space like she's walking in the catwalk.

Paseo 4.jpg

Or, a hopeful beau feeling floating on space. 😊

Here is how Paseo de Roxas underpass looks now. I don't understand why they changed the mural but I prefer the old one. It looked more colorful, brighter and livelier.

2 Paseo.jpg


This underpass does not have murals but with HD digital displays from which I took photos of the rotating still images. If anyone was observing me while I was waiting for the display to change, I guess it was obvious that I got nothing to do at that time. 😊

Except for the peacock, I can't exactly figure the others. Maybe someone can help me out. Or, if you go for a walk through this underpass, maybe you can watch for the digital display and identify them one by one. 😊


Legazpi 1.jpg

I did not realize that a peacock can look scary when you are not seeing its eyes. It looks like it is gawking at me.

Legazpi 2.jpg

Can someone tell me what bird this is?

Legazpi 3.jpg

And this flower? I thought it is a close-up shot of a red star gazer but I am not sure.

Legazpi 4.jpg

How about this? It is a photo of a painted man but I mean, what race could he be? Does the body paint mean anything?

Makati Avenue

The murals in this underpass is a bit short because of the positioning of the stairway. However, its mural is what I actually think is the coolest among all of them. It has a toon theme. I thought it also depicts normal daily life but in a funnier way.

Makati Ave.jpg

Makati Ave 1.jpg

The guy looks like our national hero but I am not sure if that was the artist's intention. Either way, I guess the painting is telling us to still reign no matter how daunting our challenges could be. Though I have to admit, the chaos still look very good with the colors.

Makati Ave 2.jpg

"Ingat po!" That means "take care." It is a common expression spoken to someone who is going somewhere or about to do something that may be challenging safety. For people going somewhere, it is to tell them to take care long the way or along their trip. For people who are about to do something else, it is telling them to take care not to hurt themselves or something like that.

Makati Ave 3.jpg

Okay, I won't tell my interpretation to this one. Just tell me yours. 😊 What I can say for now is that I love the many and bright colors.

Apartment Ridge

Like Makati Avenue underpass, Apartment Ridge underpass also has short mural space overhead because of the positioning of the stairway. And, it does not have something decipherable when I passed by. It looks like the painting was still in progress. Maybe it will already be finished next time that I do my walk along Ayala Avenue.

Apartment ridge.jpg

That's about it for now. Until my next travel and walk... 😊

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Keep smiling. Keep kicking.

I enjoyed looking at all of the murals. Happy Independence day! My favorite mural was the underwater one but I also really like the Makati one.

Happy Independence Day
And wow those underpasses are amazing with such beautiful art, without doubt some of the most beautiful underpasses I have ever seen with all that cool art

Thanks for joining Wednesday Walk :)

You give me a whole new insight of the Philippine. Thank you for that. Very encouraging

Such wonderful themes and artwork in each of these underpasses. Your photos are lovely!

Thanks for the compliment @melinda010100! 😊

This is wonderful-ly beautiful❗

The motto could be:

Walk β†˜ Down, LπŸ‘€k ↑ Up and Hang πŸ• Out for a while❗

Hang out for a while. Yeah, that's it. Otherwise no one would notice the beautiful arts overhead.

Howdy macoolette! That is such an unusual feature to have in a city. Is it to relieve pedestrian traffic on the streets? I think it's really cool and you did a tremendous job of showing it and explaining the ceilings.

Yes, those underpasses are to relieve pedestrian traffic because traffic is a killer in Makati when you get caught during rush hours. You can get trapped for hours in just about 500 meters travel.

Underpasses are not common in the Philippines. I saw them only there in Makati City and in the City of Manila. What we have are mostly overpasses

howdy again macoolette! I feel so honored that you are taking so much time to reply to me. So when you say you have overpasses are you talking about for pedestrians to walk on? Those places sound a little too crowded for me, I like the country with no one around. lol.

Yes, the overpasses are for people. Like this one...


I took the photo just this morning.

Just try to imagine if there is no overpass and pedestrians will walk across the traffic jam below.

Cool, i like the underwater and astronaut girl :) I love art and paintings :)

I'm glad you liked them. 😊