Life in the BGC Area of Manila, aka ‘The Fort’ | Trion Tower Condo

‘The Fort’ aka the BGC (Bonifacio Global City) is one of the most baller areas to live in Manila, super safe, clean, and developed. My buddy recently got a 6 month lease at Trion Tower there, 30k pesos / month ($600) for a one bedroom unit. I went over to take some pics of his condo and the Fort area.

Balcony view from Trion Tower

The gap between the haves and the have nots in PI is wide, you can take a cab through the ghetto and see abject poverty, beggars, children sleeping on cardboard boxes, then five minutes later you’re at some luxurious area with upscale mall with high rise condos around, and feel like you’ve arrived in Singapore.

Venice Plaza mall, BGC

The Fort is one of those islands of civilisation.

Living in the Fort – Good for Dating

You can safely walk everywhere in the BGC, and it’s nice if you like walking as it has big sidewalks. No pickpockets or transsexual prostitutes freelancing on the streets, just normal people hanging out, dancing or exercising in the park. Upper class Filipina chicks shopping or sipping Starbucks.

Green areas

It feels even safer than the Greenbelt area of Makati. If you were raising a family and wanted to live in a safe area your kids could walk around, the BGC is probably it.

The most popular nightclub in Manila is Valkyrie and it is located in the Fort. Definitely the main spot to find the hottest Filipinas in the city. If you check out any ‘best clubs in Manila’ list many of them are in the Fort.

Bonifacio High Street

Plus there are many cool bars and restaurants on Bonifacio High Street that would be perfect for dates. That area feels like IT Park in Cebu City. Hop on Filipino Cupid and open with ‘you so cute! I just move the fort na! I like treating you dinner at high street!!!’ and you will surely get many replies.

Good area to live with a girlfriend

The Fort is one of the most expensive areas of Manila for food and accommodation though. 30k pesos is about the lowest you’ll find a condo, and you’ll have to sign a 6 month contract plus 2 months deposit unless you use AirBnb.

Saw these street dancers in costume

Boring Area for Sexpats?

If you’re a young guy into naughty nightlife you might get a bit bored living in the squeaky clean BGC. As Harley commented on our post about Gramercy:

“I really don’t recommend BGC. I stayed there for a few weeks and got quite bored. Yeah I agree it’s a nice area and you have SM Aura and cheap 20 pesos transportation with the clean aircon BGC buses, but the area feels dull after a while. Your options for cheap and reasonably priced food are Jollibee and 7 Eleven hot dogs that’s it.”

That was in response to PhilExpat’s comment:

Its quite obvious from all the locals I’ve talked to Gramercy is the spot for sexpats. Many upper middle class girls will straight up avoid going there for fear of being labelled. Just a heads up. Stay in BGC. Cleaner, safer, better food options.

Harley also commented:

“I don’t really think Gramercy is famous for sexpats only. Most middle class Filipinas would agree that there’s many more fun places to hang out around Gramercy and Century Mall then there is around the Greenbelt area. Yes there’s the red light district around the corner, but most people who live in the Century area right next and in Gramercy are actually expats who live and work here or wealthy Filipinos.”

Traffic

The Fort is a few miles East of Makati so if you want to hit up the red light districts of P. Burgos to pick up bargirls, or the EDSA bar complex, or KTVs in the Malate area around rush hour you’re going to end up sitting in slow Manila traffic for ages.

After 10pm it’s not so bad, you can get to P. Burgos or the casinos in Pasay to play live poker in about 10 mins. Coming back home at 5am from discos like ZZYZX is fast too.

Trion Tower

Here’s the rest of the pics I took at the condo.

Living room

TV & Sofa

Bedroom

Bathroom

Kitchenette

Balcony view

Gym

Free weights up to 50lb

There’s no barbells so Gramercy or The Beacon are better for serious gym goers

Separate room with punching bag

Cycling machines

Leg machines

Cardio overlooking the Fort

Smith machine

Zumba balls

Common Areas

Football table

Pool table

Basketball hoop

Common room

Working space

Yoga room

Swimming Pool

Long pool for laps

Another wider pool

Garden Areas

There are two towers you can walk between

Lots of open spaces

Kids Play Area

Remember the morning after pill isn’t sold in PI

Daily Rental

If you Google site:airbnb.com Trion Tower Manila a few units come up for daily rental, not as many as for Gramercy, Knightsbridge or The Beacon though.

Sign up here for $20 off your first booking.

Location

Click here for the Google maps location. Trion Tower is on McKinley Parkway opposite 9th Avenue, a couple mins walk to Bonifacio High Street and SM Aura.

Living in the Fort would be like living in the Thong Lo area of Bangkok, great if you mostly just want to relax with a girlfriend in opulent surroundings and have plenty of money to dine out at fancy restaurants.

If you want hookers on your doorstep, or just more gritty nightlife / fun sports bars then it might not be your cup of tea.

jspill

Jspill is a digital nomad living in SE Asia since 2009, mostly in Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia & Indonesia. View latest posts.

25 Responses

  1. kick2dantekick2dante says:

    is that an indoor basketball court at this apartment in BGC in Manila>

  2. SouthernAdventurer says:

    How much for short term? I know you guys are not signing leases lol.

  3. harley says:

    Yeah i’m in Manila now and i’m scared to sign a 6 months lease because I think i’ll be bored of the city within a few months… then i’ll be stuck here. You can get monthly rentals for 3 months in BGC on rentpad.com.ph but it’s not cheap.

    I’m still living here next to Century City Mall now… it’s cool here, many sports bars, food market, a few good clubs and an after-club open until 8.00 am just at walking distance.

    I think i’m going to stay here 3 more months and if i’m still not tired of Manila or the Philippines in general (this happens usually after a while of me being here in the country) then I will definitely move to BGC as well and get one of those electric foldable bicycles to drive around in BGC… no need for license or insurance, or else you need to walk too much there

    • jspilljspill says:

      That’s my favorite place to stay in Manila, Rich sports bar has good Indian food, and Royal is the after club right. Some cuties in there. I usually do 1-2 weeks at a time at Gramercy on Airbnb then back to Thailand

  4. harley says:

    If they would clean up the streets here around Century Mall and A.Venue, then this area would be perfect. And by cleaning up, I mean throwing all the ladyboys in a big truck and dumping them somewhere in the sea.

  5. meme says:

    great article!!

  6. harley says:

    Royal is not the after club… “Time” is the after club.. I just went not to have breakfast at 7.00 am and it was still open. It’s in front of A. venue mall

  7. Henry says:

    BGC is nice but the whole area is still unfinished, construction everywhere. What would be a similar area in Bangkok? Thong Lor?

    • jspilljspill says:

      I didn’t see a huge amount of construction, but some yes. I’d say it’s expanding rather than unfinished. There’s some construction in Makati too.

      Yeah it’s similar in ways, it’s a quiet safe suburb a few miles from sexpat nightlife, with rich girl nightclubs (like Demo on Thong Lor Soi 10), fancy wine bars (like Seenspace on Thong Lor Soi 13), and modern condos starting at around $600. There are some cheap older apartments in Thong Lor though, cheap Thai streetfood (Sukhumvit Soi 38).

  8. SouthernAdventurer says:

    I don’t know where to ask this so I’ll just ask it here. Did you guys ever store your excess luggage with someone? I’ve got this huge suitcase I brought thats just clothes really and I want to store it somewhere while I go island hopping.

    • jspilljspill says:

      Yeah I’ve left bags at friend’s places before. Don’t know about Cebu but there are storage companies in BKK to, it’s expensive though.

      • kick2dantekick2dante says:

        i left a fan somewhere but its probably already been thrown out

        if you plan on returning to the same place as you are staying now just tell them that you are going to travel and will come back, surely they will keep it safe if they know you are coming (to give them more money)

  9. harley says:

    Thonglor is not similar to BGC even though the clientele is about the same. I think one of those posh places in Sathorn would be more similar… Big buildings, parks, embassies and executives in suits… Thonglor is more a playground for rich Thai kids in Sukhumvit. Doesnt have that executive feel to it as BGC has…

  10. harley says:

    If it’s just clothes you want to store them just ask the hotel or condo where you always go to in Manila to keep it for you for a few weeks.

  11. RumandCokeMan says:

    Since you guys have actually lived in these major SEA citites and our eyes on the ground-

    what are the percentage ratios of the the number is neighborhoods and by quality in the major cities-
    Manila, Phillipines
    35 main neighborhoods-
    15% high society areas,
    35% industrial working class areas,
    25% ran down very rough places,
    25% absolute squalor horrible slums

    Of all the big SEA metros which ones have the most middle class or are less slum infested? Aka are more balanced cities.

    I doubt I’d want to go to a city where 40-50% of it and its surrounding suburbs/rest of the metro area are just total slums like corrugated shacks and feces and sewer water in the streets.

    • kick2dantekick2dante says:

      lol every city is different

      no way is 15% of manila high society areas, more like 3%, and just outside of high society is rusted over tin roof land

      just rent in a nice area and stick mostly to that area, if you are really worried about feeling like you are in a slum then bangkok probably is best, but it has its own drawbacks

    • jspilljspill says:

      I hear Kuala Lumpur is nice and more developed than BKK, maybe K2D can do a stop off there on his next flight

      • harley says:

        Kuala Lumpur is a bit like a more developed and cleaner version of Jakarta. The only thing I don’t like is the nightlife. Lots of Arabs and Indians.

        It has a similar sky train and subway system as Bangkok which made me feel home immediately.

        You won’t be getting much Malay bangs there… Will 90% be either Indonesian, Filipino, Chinese or some other nationalities who are living and working there as lonely vaginas in the city.

  12. harley says:

    Or just don’t move to south east Asia if you really don’t like bad smells and run down areas

  13. yellowfever says:

    Damn im about to move here just for that basketball court alone!

  14. Leo says:

    Your content is amazing man. Thanks for sharing. One thing, I couldn’t see mail list subscription box. Do you have a list? I tried to register but I could not receive the password mail.

    It would be great to receive new posts.

    Leo

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