Getting you through your first month in Alabang – Tips for Newcomers

This article was first published in January 2011 and written by the ALIG Education Committee. Links updated on 8 April 2013 by ALIG Member C. Bertazzo Currat.

ATMs (where are the closest?)

  • ATM near AAVA Office off Ma. Cristina
  • ATM in the covered court of Cuenca Park
  • ATMs on Madrigal Avenue (directly out of the main gate to AAVA)
  • BPI on the ATC side, several others on the left side
  • BPI at the Madrigal entrance to ATC
  • BPI under the escalators to TGIFriday’s at ATC

Tip from Travel Websites
When using ATM’s try to find one that is situated inside a purpose made lockable room with access from the exterior of the bank (These tend to be open 24hrs). Failing that try to find one inside a mall or with a security guard standing by the ATM. Always be aware of people around you as you withdraw and as you walk away. ATM scams are prevalent in the Philippines as in other countries (false keypads, cameras to see your pins etc.) so be alert.

How to hire household help (all around helper, nanny/yaya, driver, gardener, pool man)

  • Follow the seminars “How to manage your household staff” & “Introduction to living in the Philippines” class by Julia Holz. In Touch can be contacted via

Making phone calls in the Philippines

Calling a landline:
From your home phone: Dial 7 digit number directly
From your cell phone: “+63 2” followed by the number

Calling a cellphone
From your home phone (landline):
(Local calls from your landline phone (which is most commonly only available to dial other landlines, unless your landlord has made special accommodations on your behalf through the phone company)

From your cellphone: “0” followed by the 10 digit number

Personal tips from members

  • Carry a map of Ayala Alabang Village with you and in your car all times.This will be emailed to you upon completion of the processing of your membership application once you have accepted our Yahoo groups invitation.
  • Carry a map of frequently visited malls as some don’t have store directories such as ATC.
  • Review the weekly AAVA newsletter. Note the important numbers on the back and post by each phone.
  • Public restroom etiquette: People line up outside each individual stall instead of one common line. Also always carry small tissue packs with you. Rarely will you find toilet paper inside the stalls. Sometimes you may find toilet paper outside of the stalls that you take before you enter.
  • Buying groceries: Carry reusable bags with you as plastic bags have been banned in Muntinlupa. If you don’ have any bags with you and you don’t want to buy any more, they gladly bag your groceries in cardboard boxes.
  • Write down your memories of the crazy times, take lots of pictures and share them with friends and family from back home. Sometimes we lose the perspective and talking often with friends and family makes us realize how fortunate we and our children are to be able to experience the different cultures from different countries.
  • Don’t over do yourself. Know when you’re coming to your limit. Take one day at a time. Know you will have good and bad days. Don’t be ashamed about being frustrating. Just know to start fresh the next day and keep trying until good days out number bad days.

Pet services

Makati Dog & Cat Hospital 5426 Gen. Luna cor. Algier St., Poblacion, Makati
Tel 896-6386 / 896-2860 Mobile: 0908-8967113

Phone / Cable TV / internet

PLDT (telephone company for landline, and internet):
Sky Cable (TV cable and internet)
Globe (broadband, mobile services, landlines)

Phone Numbers for commonly ordered services:

Drinking Water
Agua Vida drinking water delivery:
Have you helper text 0917-816-2093; each 5 gallon container of water is 50 pesos; one- time deposit for containers in the beginning, which will be rotated.

Propane Gas

  • Gasul (cooking gas cylinder delivery service): 850-3377; 842-9601; 399-5552; one time deposit for empty cylinder first; you must buy a regulator from them or elsewhere
  • Shellane (cooking Gas cylinder delivery): 887-5555

Popular Dining Destinations

  • ATC has restaurants opening all the time
  • The Fort (Fort Bonafacio), across from Market! Market!
  • High Street (across the street from the Fort)
  • Greenbelts in Makati (variety of cuisines)


  • Makati Super-market at ATC
  • Pure Gold in Molito complex across from ATC
  • South Super-market
  • Shopwise at Festival Mall
  • Savemore at Festival Mall
  • S&R membership warehouse