Aerial view of the Greenhills West subdivision in 2013
Aerial view of the Greenhills West subdivision in 2013
Official seal of Greenhills
Greenhills is located in Metro Manila
Coordinates: 14°36′06″N 121°02′48″E / 14.60167°N 121.04667°E / 14.60167; 121.04667Coordinates: 14°36′06″N 121°02′48″E / 14.60167°N 121.04667°E / 14.60167; 121.04667
RegionNational Capital Region
CitySan Juan
District2nd District of San Juan[1]
EstablishedAfter 1970[2]
 • TypeBarangay
 • Barangay captainAlan T. Yam
 • Total2.08 km2 (0.80 sq mi)
 • Total15,212
 • Density7,313/km2 (18,940/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
Postal Code
1502 (Greenhills North)
1503 (Greenhills PO)[5]
Area code(s)2

Greenhills is an administrative division in eastern Metro Manila, the Philippines. It is an urban barangay in San Juan and is the largest barangay in the city, covering a total area of 2.09 square kilometers (209 ha) that spans over a third of San Juan City's total land area.[3]

Centered on the Greenhills Shopping Center and its adjacent commercial establishments and gated communities, the barangay of Greenhills is considered as a major commercial center of the city and of Metro Manila at large.[3]

The area was initially part of the Hacienda de Mandaluyon, the estate holdings of the Augustinian Order. The land was later on sold to businessmen Don Francisco Ortigas and Phil Whitaker, who founded Ortigas & Company, which developed the area into multiple residential subdivisions and its centerpiece shopping center, to which it is known for today.[6]


Colonial era

During the Spanish colonial era, the area that would become known as Greenhills was part of the Hacienda de Mandaloyon,[7] the estate holdings (haciendas) of the Augustinian Order, consisting of 4,033 hectares (40.33 km2) of sparsely inhabited rice fields and wild grasslands[8] that now span the cities of San Juan, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Pasig.[6] Spanish friar lands often posed a problem for the Spanish colonial government, as the government often received reports of religious orders that abused the local population, with many of these friar lands having been seized from local owners who had undisputed titles and rights of occupation at the time.[9]

When the Philippines was seceded to the United States, the friar lands became one of the early problems of the American colonial government, as these religious orders did not pay taxes to the government and refused to sell their lands of their own accord. As a result, the Taft Commission made arrangements with the Holy See to force the religious orders to sell their lands to the American colonial government in the interests of allowing Filipinos to use these lands.[9]

As such, the Hacienda de Mandaluyon estate was sold to businessmen Dr. Frank W. Dudley and Don Francisco Ortigas, where the former sold his interest to Phil C. Whitaker, who with Ortigas founded the company Whitaker and Ortigas. The company would rename itself to Ortigas & Company, as it is known today. The company divided the land into residential subdivision developments now known as Capitol (Kapitolyo), Wack-Wack, Greenhills, Valle Verde and Greenmeadows.[6][10]

Establishment of the Greenhills subdivisions

The growth of suburban residential developments in the 1960s is attributed to middle-class and upper-class populations seeking refuge from the busy, urban climate of Manila. With the success of emerging middle-class residential enclaves such as the PhilAm Life Homes (now PhilAm) in Quezon City and several villages in Makati, which were located along Highway 54 (now EDSA), new residential subdivisions would be developed in the areas between PhilAm and the Makati villages along the highway, such as White Plains, Blue Ridge, and Wack-Wack. The developments were named after famous Greenbelt planned communities in the United States that were developed to allow for the dispersal of the American population in an effort to minimize losses from possible attacks with weapons of mass destruction during the Cold War.[11]

During this time, Ortigas & Company drafted plans to develop a planned community on the west side of Highway 54, centered around plans for schools, churches, and a centerpiece suburban shopping complex following years of studying planned communities in other countries.[12] The new residential subdivision was named Greenhills, after the suburban Greenbelt community of Greenhills in the US state of Ohio.[11]

The newly-opened Greenhills subdivision covered 197 hectares (1.97 km2) of land, which would become divided further into distinct residential subdivisions known as North Greenhills, Greenhills West, and Greenhills East.[12] In 1959, the De La Salle Brothers (now De La Salle Philippines) purchased a 6 hectares (0.060 km2) property along Ortigas Avenue, establishing La Salle Green Hills.[13] A year later, the Jesuits purchased a few hectares of land in Little Baguio adjacent to Greenhills as a new location for its Xavier School in 1960, which was then situated along Echague Street in Manila.[8] Of this, 500 hectares (5.0 km2) was allocated for the Mary the Queen Parish Church, which moved from its original chapel at Zamora Street in Pasay City in 1963,[14] as well as Immaculate Concepcion Academy-Greenhills, run by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, which moved into the area after transferring from its previous campus in Intramuros, Manila.[15] This was followed by plans in 1966 to construct a shopping center in what would become the Greenhills Shopping Center.[12]

In the 1990s, parts of Greenhills were rezoned as commercial zones, which brought upon commercial development around the Greenhills Shopping Center. A Chili's branch, the second in the country, was opened in 1998 along Missouri Street.[16]

Arrest of Maximo Soliven

Main articles: Martial law under Ferdinand Marcos and Max Soliven § Martial Law Era

On the evening of September 8, 1972, during the second term of President Ferdinand Marcos, opposition senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. came live on Impact, a television show that was hosted by journalist Max Soliven. During the show, Aquino revealed President Marcos' plan, code-named Oplan Sagittarius, to declare martial law in the Philippines.[17] Because of the interview, Soliven was arrested at his home in North Greenhills on the early morning of September 21, 1972, with Aquino's arrest taking place a few hours after.[17] This was followed by President Marcos announcing on live television at 7:15 pm on September 23, 1972 that he had placed the entire country under martial law, by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081,[18] a month earlier than what was planned in Oplan Sagittarius.[17]

Both Soliven and Aquino were placed under special detention at Fort Bonifacio along with other individuals critical of the Marcos regime. By November, Soliven had already been released from custody, but Aquino and human rights lawyer Jose W. Diokno still remained at Fort Bonifacio.[17]

Establishment of the North Greenhills Association

Following Soliven's release, Ortigas & Company was setting up the North Greenhills Association (NGA) in December 1972 as part of its plans to manage the namesake subdivision. In a meeting with the subdivision's residents, Max Soliven was elected as the NGA's first president, with businessman Ray Lorenzana and ears, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Tony Perez serving as its vice presidents.[17] Throughout 1973, the association established a modus vivendi with Ortigas and Company, setting up perimeter walls, guard posts, and gates, transforming North Greenhills into a gated community. Maintenance costs were later turned over to the association in 1975.[17]

Greenhills Grand Prix

Main article: Philippines Grand Prix

From 1971[19] to 1976, Greenhills was home to the Greenhills Grand Prix,[20] an international motor race. The then-empty streets of the North Greenhills subdivision and a part of Ortigas Avenue served as its 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) circuit track, with the eastbound service road along Ortigas Avenue serving as its pit stop.[21][22][19]

Arrest of Joseph Estrada

Main articles: Trial of Joseph Estrada and EDSA III

In 2001, following the failed impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada and the Second EDSA Revolution that followed, President Estrada resigned from office on the afternoon of January 20, 2001. This was followed with charges of plunder and perjury being filed against him at the Sandiganbayan, which were initially brought up at the failed impeachment trial.[23] On April 24, 2001, the Sandiganbayan had ordered the arrest of Estrada, his son San Juan mayor Jinggoy Estrada, and other individuals involved in charges of plunder and graft.[24][23] Police and military forces were stationed at Camp Crame in Quezon City the next morning, waiting for the order to arrest the Estradas.[25]

As a result, thousands of loyalists of Estrada had mobilized to Greenhills to block the police and military from arresting the former president, who lived inside the North Greenhills subdivision.[25] Loyalists blocked the combined police and military forces from accessing the subdivision's Buchanan gate along Club Filipino Avenue with a blockade made out of jeepneys and human barricades.[25] However, at around 3 pm, the police and military forces aborted the operation for the day as the Sandiganbayan had not yet issued the warrant for Estrada's arrest,[25] coming back the next day after the arrest order was issued at noon. At 3:00 pm on April 25, 2001, the arrest warrant was served at the Estrada compound.[24] Estrada and his son Jinggoy were escorted out of North Greenhills in a privately-owned van flanked with armed police forces as the van and its escorts moved towards Camp Crame for detention and processing.[24]

In jail, Estrada released a statement maintaining his innocence and denounced the Arroyo government's efforts to persecute him as a "violation of his human rights". The statement instigated loyalists to converge upon Camp Crame and EDSA, sparking the EDSA III riots from April 25 to 30, 2001.[24]

Proposed opening of Greenhills subdivisions

On July 23, 2019, following President Rodrigo Duterte's plea to government officials to reclaim public roads being used for "private ends", Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Eduardo Año floated the idea of opening up the roads of gated communities to improve traffic flow during rush hours.[26] Following this, San Juan mayor Francis Zamora stated that even though he himself lives in one of Greenhills' gated communities, he would be willing to fight for the proposal to open up these communities if it will help alleviate traffic flow in the city.[27] However, no updates on this proposal have been reported since then.

COVID-19 pandemic

Main articles: COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines and COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Manila

In March 2020, the first two confirmed locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines were reported in Greenhills. The first case was a 62-year-old Filipino man from Cainta that regularly visited the Greenhills Masjid, a mosque within the Greenhills Shopping Center. It was believed that the man had contracted COVID-19 from another individual at the mosque. The disease was passed on to his wife, who became the second local case.[28]

Due to this, the mosque was ordered closed by the San Juan City government and the entire shopping center was ordered to be disinfected and sanitized. The announcement of local transmission of COVID-19 in the area also caused many people to avoid the shopping center and the Greenhills vicinity in fear of catching the disease.[29]


Greenhills and the adjacent West Crame are the only barangays in San Juan that are not entirely situated on tuff and tuffaceous sedimentary rock, with parts of the barangay being situated on top of pyroclastic flow adobe deposits. The highest elevation of San Juan can be found in Greenhills at its border with Barangay Camp Aguinaldo along EDSA, peaking at 34 meters (112 ft) above sea level.[1]


The political borders of Greenhills are defined by the Ermitaño Creek, a tributary of the San Juan River, to which it borders the barangays of Addition Hills, Little Baguio, and Santa Lucia in San Juan to the west and the barangays of East Pasadeña and Corazon De Jesus to the northwest. It has land borders with Quezon City's Barangay Valencia to the northwest and Barangay West Crame to the northeast, San Juan's Barangay Camp Aguinaldo to the east, and Mandaluyong's Barangay Wack Wack-Greenhills East to the southeast.


Xavier School
Xavier School





Ortigas Avenue in Greenhills
Ortigas Avenue in Greenhills


The six-lane Ortigas Avenue serves as a main thoroughfare for Greenhills, spanning the barangay from end to end, while the four-lane Bonny Serrano Avenue (also known as Santolan Road, and further northwest as Pinaglabanan Street) encircles the barangay's perimeter. The four-lane Wilson Street in Greenhills connects Ortigas Avenue to other adjacent barangays in San Juan City, as well as Mandaluyong City. The two-to-four lane Annapolis Street and Connecticut Street are commercialized areas, as well as roads parallel to Ortigas Avenue, connecting the Greenhills Shopping Center to EDSA.

Painted bike lanes with bollards are also present along Ortigas Avenue and Bonny Serrano Avenue, while unprotected painted bike lanes are present at Wilson Street and the Greenhills Active Playground.[32] The section of Ortigas Avenue within Greenhills also has motorcycle lanes next to its protected bike lanes within San Juan city limits.

The area is served by Bus Route 11 (Taytay-Gilmore) spanning Ortigas Avenue. Jeepney routes also provide intra and inter city transport along Annapolis Street, Wilson Street, and Ortigas Avenue, which brings passengers to and from the San Juan city proper and Ortigas Center.


Greenhills is served by the Santolan-Annapolis Station of the MRT Line 3. Bus Route 11 (Taytay-Gilmore) passes through the entirety of Ortigas Avenue and connects commuters to Gilmore Station of the LRT Line 2 and Ortigas Station of the MRT Line 3. Bus Route E (EDSA Carousel) also has stops at both MRT stations.

The future MRT Line 4 has been approved and has plans to build two stations serving Greenhills, such as Greenhills and Bonny Serrano.[33]

Other corridors

A roofed pedestrian alley between The Eisenhower Condominium and One Kennedy Place condominiums along Eisenhower Street also connects the Greenhills area to Road 11 in the adjacent Barangay West Crame.[34][35]


The seat of government of Greenhills is located at Annapolis Wilshire Plaza along Annapolis Street,[36] a 26-storey building constructed in 2013.[37] Other facilities also include a four-storey multi-purpose building and basketball court along Santolan Road, which was inaugurated on April 24, 2022.[38]


Barangay Greenhills is the second most-populated barangay in San Juan City, with a population of 15,212 people according to the 2020 census,[4] up from a population of 14,114 people in the 2015 census.[39] The earliest record of Barangay Greenhills in the official population census can be found on the 1975 census, the same year that San Juan City was transferred to Metro Manila from the province of Rizal.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the City of San Juan 2013-2023. Vol. III: Sectoral Studies. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b Urban Population of the Philippines By Category, By Region, Province And City/Municipality And By Barangay: 1970, 1975 And 1980. Manila: National Economic and Development Authority National Census and Statistics Office. 1983. p. 327.
  3. ^ a b c Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the City of San Juan 2013-2023. Vol. I: The Comprehensive Land Use Plan. pp. iv, 22.
  4. ^ a b "2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH) Population Counts Declared Official by the President". Philippine Statistics Authority. July 7, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "San Juan City Postal Code Metro Manila". December 5, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "The Developer". Ortigas Properties. Retrieved September 21, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Manila and Suburbs (Map). July 25, 1944. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "About Xavier". Xavier School. Retrieved July 30, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ a b Cunningham, Charles H. (1916). "Origin of the Friar Lands Question in the Philippines". The American Political Science Review. 10 (3): 465–480. doi:10.2307/1945652. ISSN 0003-0554.
  10. ^ Flores, Wilson (December 19, 2005). "The Ortigas clan stages a business comeback". The Philippine Star. Retrieved September 21, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b Alcazaren, Paolo (January 11, 2003). "How Green were those Hills?". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 3, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ a b c "Ortigas & Company". October 28, 2016. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  13. ^ "History of La Salle Green Hills". La Salle Green Hills. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Philippines, Getting Married (June 29, 2012). "Mary the Queen: Simplicity in White and Blue". Weddings in the Philippines. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "HISTORY OF ICA". Immaculate Concepcion Academy Greenhills. Retrieved April 11, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Herrera, Alicia (October 8, 1998). "Chili's opens in Greenhills". BusinessWorld. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Soliven, Preciosa (October 27, 2011). "North Greenhills 39 years ago". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 3, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Declaration of Martial Law". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Archived from the original on May 16, 2022.
  19. ^ a b David, Mikko (September 30, 2018). "The story of the 1971 Greenhills Grand Prix". Top Gear Philippines. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "Racing with Legends" Part 10: Greenhills Grand Prix, archived from the original on December 20, 2021, retrieved October 3, 2021
  21. ^ Altoveros, Jose (May 22, 2019). "These vintage photos show that racing in the Philippines was awesome". Autoindustriya. Retrieved October 3, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Yap, Karl Lester (October 6, 2004). "Restored, souped-up vehicles take spotlight in motor show". BusinessWorld. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  23. ^ a b "G.R. No. 148560". Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  24. ^ a b c d Alquitran, Jose Rodel Clapano,Jaime Laude,Non. "Estrada jailed for plunder". Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  25. ^ a b c d Alquitran, Christina Mendez,Non. "Airborne troops on alert for arrest". Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  26. ^ Ranada, Pia (July 23, 2019). "Año wants to open gated subdivisions during rush hours". Rappler.
  27. ^ Ramirez, Robertzon (July 26, 2019). "Mayors act on DILG call to ease traffic". The Philippine Star.
  28. ^ Crisostomo, Sheila (March 7, 2020). "Philippines has first local case of COVID-19". The Philippine Star.
  29. ^ "LOOK: Greenhills virtually deserted, as coronavirus scare grips mall". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  30. ^ "Hospital In Greenhills, San Juan". Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  31. ^ "Greenhills Mall - The Medical City Clinic is now open at G/F Connecticut Arcade, Greenhills! Clinic Schedule: Monday - Saturday 8am - 5pm HOTLINE: (02) 8396-9899 Facebook". Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  32. ^ "The new 24/7 jogging and bike lanes along Greenhills are now open". TopGear Philippines. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  33. ^ Soho, Jessica (Host) (January 3, 2020). SONA: Pagtatayo ng MRT-4 na tatagos sa kahabaan ng Ortigas Ave., inaprubahan ng NEDA Board [NEDA board approved the construction of MRT-4 that will run through Ortigas Ave.]. YouTube (in Filipino). GMA News.
  34. ^ "Barangay Greenhills". Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  35. ^ "Way: Eisenhower Street-Footpath-Road 11 (43550565)". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  36. ^ "Barangay Greenhills". Facebook. Barangay government of Greenhills. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  37. ^ "Annapolis Wilshire Plaza For Sale". Annapolis Wilshire Plaza. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  38. ^ Samahan po ninyo kami sa... - Mayor Francis Zamora, retrieved May 4, 2022
  39. ^ "Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population". Philippine Statistics Authority. May 19, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)