This paper echoes the question of Horacio de la Costa in the talk that he gave in 1968: “What is the meaning of Makati?” The talk intended to guide the development of the Business District by the principles of Catholic social teaching. This paper tries to provide a path to ascertain the meaning of Makati by contextualizing it within two barangays: Guadalupe Viejo and Guadalupe Nuevo. The paper performs a philosophical understanding of a city by situating it within the history of religions and the philosophy of religion. In the first part, it rehearses the history of devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Spain and Mexico, and how it impacted the production of space in Makati. The second part treats the devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe in relation to Mexican intellectual history. Here, the paper demonstrates that the devotion has spawned at least three intellectual questions: namely, its relationship with Medieval Theology, Mexican national identity, and the objectives of scientific historicity. The meaning of Makati is irreducible to its economic aims, and is inseparable from religious and intellectual inquiry.


Makati, Guadalupe, history of religions, philosophy of religion, urban studies

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