Ask any urbanite and he will have very different impressions on how the way of life in the North and South of Metro Manila. But before we go further, let's first set some boundaries. For the sake of discussion, North will cover the entire 165.33 km2 of Quezon City. And to even the playing field, we'll combine Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa, whose combined area is 120.97 km2. You might ask, what about Makati and Pasig? Some would consider Makati to be the end of South and Pasig for North. These two major areas have a battle of their own in another article. So, watch out for that. For the meantime, we will help you answer the perennial question of which part of Metro Manila should you live in: South or North?
When buying a home, one of the main concern is the cost of living of the area. This will give you the idea if you can sustain your lifestyle of if you have the financial capacity for basic expenses. The northern part of Metro Manila has a relatively lower cost of living in terms of land and rental rates. According to Bureau of Internal Revenue's zonal values it's around Php1,000 – Php 30,000 per square meter.
Quezon City was founded by former president Manuel Quezon who made it the capital of the Philippines from 1948 to 1976. The south area, on the other hand, prospered in the late 1990s as residential hub from being a farming district. If we use hollywood movies as reference, we can consider the south as west coast with its chill vibes, and the north as east coast with its artsy characteristics. It's home to a number of museums and historical landmarks.
Southern cities were planned with residential areas in mind. There are wider sidewalks and more green spaces that encourage a healthier lifestyle. The communities were designed to accommodate modern conveniences and at the same time, enjoy the natural environment. Naturally, more homes have a space for a garden where children can play around.
This is relative to where you want to go, where you work, or where you go to school. It also depends whether you drive or you commute when you go to these places. Of course, it is ideal if you live and work or study in the same area. But if not, then living in the north or south is a big deal. Let's have central Manila as a point of reference. If you're coming from the south, driving would be fast and convenient but you have to spend a lot on toll fees. If you're coming from the north, public transportation like LRT and MRT is your best option to go from point A to point B. It's cheaper and relatively faster but highly inconvenient.
Winner: Tie (subjective)
Both areas could argue that they have the best dining scene (BF versus Maginhawa, anyone?). Some would prefer the laid back atmosphere in the south. But others would like the more bohemian scene in the north. There will always be personal biases. The important thing is you know what you want and you enjoy where you live.
Winner: Tie (subjective)