Known in the past mostly for the penitentiary (New Bilibid Prison) housing the most dangerous criminals in the country, Muntinlupa has come a long way from its ill reputation. What people used to call “Munti” – also synonymous with the penitentiary – has long risen from its negative image and is now one of the most progressive cities in the country. In fact, it was given the nickname “Emerald City of the Philippines.”
Although the prison still exists to this day, Muntinlupa now boats of being home to some of the best commercial establishments in Metro Manila. For instance, it is the home of the Ayala Alabang Village, one of the most expensive and biggest residential communities where the wealthy and famous live.
Muntinlupa is also proud of being the first city in the Philippines no not allow the use of plastic bags or Styrofoam for packaging.
The shopping centers found in Muntinlupa play a huge role in its economy. Plus, it’s an outlet where Filipinos and visitors can find fun and entertainment or a place to go to beat the heat.
That said, here are the list of shopping centers found in the city:
- Alabang Town Center – owned by Ayala Malls and is frequented by those from the southern part of Manila such as those from Las Piñas and Parañaque. The mall features several high-end international boutique chains such as Gap and Marks & Spencer. There’s a Rustan’s Department Store in the mall as well.
- Festival Supermall – also known as Festival Mall that is owned and operated by Filinvest Development Corporation. The mall is situated in in the very large Filinvest Corporate City (now called Filinvest City), a major business district.
- Starmall Alabang – used to be known as Metropolis Star Alabang and is the first community shopping mall in the city. The mall features anchors such as Robinsons Supermarket and Robinsons Department Store.
- SM Center Muntinlupa – the second community shopping mall located in the city and owned by SM Prime Holdings.
There are several landmarks in the Muntinlupa area, namely:
- The Bureau of Corrections Administration Building – a maximum security compound that is comprised of 12 buildings. The structures in the compound were built in 1941.
- Jamboree Lake – the smallest natural lake found in the Philippines. Lovers of nature like coming to these place to hang out.
- Memorial Hill – a small hill found in the NBP reservation compound that features a World War II Vintage Japanese canon. The hill is where Erisberto Misa, the Prison Director from 1937 to 1949, is buried.
- Director’s Quarter’s – the official residence of the Director of the Bureau of Corrections.
- The Japanese Garden Cemetery – the burial place of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese general who became famous during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.
- Insular Life Corporate Center – serves as the headquarters of the Insular Life Assurance Company, the first life insurance company in the Philippines. A National Historical Commission marker was installed in the building in 2010 to mark the centenary of their establishment. A prominent feature of the building is the bas relief sculpture of Filipino life created by Napoleon Abueva, a National Artists.
- Muntinlupa Sports Complex – features a basketball court and has a capacity of 3,500. Public activities such as concerts and graduations are also held here.