Spanish Baroque architecture, vantage view of the city, and perhaps some ghost sightings.
Come away with us during our #Day Out as we show you Where to Eat, Where to Go, and What to DO if you have only 48 hours to spend in the city of Pines.
If you’re anyone like us who loves all-day breakfast food available on hand Kanto Freestyle has been a real treat. A 24/7 restaurant having unbelievable price points for its Filipino and Western fare plates. According to Chef Archie Juanita, their dishes will not go over 200php! Staying true to their ethos from the first restaurant that they’ve opened back in 2007- Lime 88 in Mandaluyong (now called Chef Arch’s Lime) they were the disruptors of “Kanto” Pinoy comfort food eats, by crafting familiar local food into something so pleasing to the eye and the palette. Together with his brother, Vince Juanta who conceptualize Kanto Freestyle they opened their first branch in Mandaluyong City.
You can mix and match any of your morning meal staples. Bacon, tapa, tocino, eggs cooked just the way you like them and what you can actually see whenever you’re in some fancy hotel or restaurant- like it scrambled? how bout’ poached? yes, they can do perfect poached eggs!
Let us tell you about Kanto Freestyle 65° in Annapolis, Greenhills is the evolution of the other 7 branches. Why add in the 65°? they leverage on using their sous vide machine setting it to 65° as the temperature to create the perfect poached egg.
FGDO Top Picks
This new Kanto in Greenhills is also a full set up coffee shop!
- Ground Floor, Continental Court Condominium, 47 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
- Operating Hours: Open 24 Hours 7 days a week
- Budget: 400/2 pax
- Book An Appointment
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
Let us re-introduce Poblacion Makati with this food, art, and culture-centric neighborhood guide. A Fat Girls Day Out Curated Guide.
I don’t know if it is just us, or the saturation of a city that draws us out from it. Almost everyone talks about “10 Things To Do in BGC” or “5 Instagrammable Coffee Shops in Makati!”— there are heaps of content and blogs talking about the same predictable places all the time. Then again, perhaps it’s just us. We love finding a diamond within piles of rubbles.
With this content piece, we want to talk about Cubao City. Yes, you read it right— good old sketchy Cubao City. Like most old towns in Metro Manila people have forgotten that the city did matter in her glory days in the 60’s.
It is where the greatest sporting event “Thrilla in Manila” took place, where Muhammad Ali fought William Frazier for the WBC/WBA title. To commemorate that victory, they build the first official mall in the country which we still now call the Ali Mall.
Come away with us as we show you Where to EAT, Where to GO, and What to DO when in CUBAO City. Featuring the obscure, the cool, and its hidden subculture.
THE IGNITER OF IT ALL, CUBAO EXPO.
Cubao X housed street and art culture driven establishments prior before all the millennials flock annual Manila Art installs and jump into the bandwagon of dosing into contemporary art for GRAM purposes. The whole complex used to be the Marikina Shoe Expo, developed in 1972 where the best shoemakers of Marikina showcase their products then it closed in 1997 as the industry was dying out and left it with ruins of quirky spaces. The place made a comeback in the 2000’s housing everything artfully dodged, eclectic and underground hip.
The common formula would be cheap cold beers, tattoo shops, 80’s built parlors (which recently closed already), tailor leather shop, Ukay Ukay for clothing, 2nd hand vinyl shops and a number of antique shops who have been there since they re-opened.
It is really hard to pin down what Cubao Expo really represents or what generation it caters. For me, it’s a neutral ground where we all could drink cold beers and discuss how awful and preppy the outside world is.
It is still Cubao’s best-kept secret and a treat for the discriminating few in search of the rarity.
Address of Cubao Expo: General Romulo Street, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.
Eat the Best sous vide lechon in Habanero Kitchen and Bar
Some of the solid innovative food finds that would normally blow our minds would come from hole-in-the-wall nooks that we wish no one would ever find out- as much as we love sharing the best places to eat, we oftentimes keep certain locations for ourselves. It is like finding that one great indie artist for quite some time hoping that the artist will never sell out to mainstream channels. Since we’re doing this neighborhood guide, might as well divulge our secret just so we have a good selling proposition to all of you. Habanero Kitchen & Bar is that hole in the wall restaurant for us.
Browse their menu you will notice that their roster of creativity and not to mention the quality is the kind of roster you’d find in the more upscale restaurants in Metro Manila. Snotty food journals might coin “Elevated Filipino Cuisine” or even “Haute”. But the having Cubao as its mother location stripped away all those pretensions. Just damn good food. Dishes are playful and yet distinctively Filipino, losing none of the essential elements in their application of modernism style of cooking.
Do not skip the Lechon Habanero. A kilo of pork is cooked sous vide style for at least 10 hours, perfectly sliced, and the O.C.D way of presenting it was perfect.
Get a piece or two of the spiced lechon, put those pieces on top of the mustard leaves, dabble a spoonful of the buro, and then wrap the whole thing like a spring roll.
Habanero’s Leche Flan looks like an egg on a nest. Of course, everything is edible.
Habanero for quite sometime sits quietly where she is. No one really takes time to notice them, but she sure does deserve our attention. If you want to see the future of Filipino cuisine, go to this restaurant.
- Cubao Expo. Gen. Romulo Ave., Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
- Operating Hours: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. from Mondays to Saturdays
- Ave. Spend: P200 to P800
Go for Cigarettes After Sex over at INT. Bar
Behind the bright red curtain of a photo booth lies a little speakeasy by the name of Int. Bar. A place where the love for film and strong cocktails are in pure synthesis. Why “Int.”? It is the prefix of headers in film screenplays. Imagine entring a cool dark den complimented by mid-60s mid century inspired modern furniture.
Take this drink called– Cigarettes After Sex. The bartender told us that this is the bestseller. If you’re a whiskey drinker, you’d enjoy this drink because of its layers of the flavor profile. Lapsang Infusion, Laphroaig 10 y.o. Islay Scotch Whiskey, Honey, Egg White, and Rosemary Smoke. The theatrical serving of this drink added a bonus touch to the overall experience.
For the ladies, you’ll love the Eternal Sunshine because it is sweet and yet the cacao infused tequila creates this depth of warm flavors which was offset by the brightness of agave.
A drink called Eternal Sunshine [Cacao nibs infused reposado, Aperol, pineapple, lime, and Agave nectar.] piqued our interest, mainly because we personally love the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Offhand, we wanted something sweet, refreshing, and will finish strong towards the end.
Another libation of choice would be a drink inspired by Wes Anderson’s 2002 film, The Royal Tenenbaums. This is for the scotch drinkers, they use Dewar’s scotch, Sandeman Tawny port wine, Angostura bitters, flamed citus oil.
A speakeasy bar and cocktails named after classic films in Cubao? isn’t that interesting enough? Go for these damn good drinks and the conversations you will have.
- Location: Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave. Cubao, Quezon City
- Operating Hours: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Tuesdays to Sundays
- Ave. Spend: P500 to P1,000
Dance like no one is watching in Today X Future
Today X Future reminds me of a blind date. You don’t know how he looks like, what he sounds like, unknowingly curious about his personality. Hearing about him with your chatty friends or through the use if the internet, you still have a vague indication of who he really is leaving you intrigued. So you dress up, put on your makeup, scared yet prepared for what may come. The date opens you to discover someone you couldn’t have fathom or dreamed up, the kind that leaves you smitten and anxious because you do not know what will happen to your encounter.
Smacked in the middle of 2 pawnshops in General Malvar Ave. in Cubao City. It is a hole in the wall concept bar and one of the unique bars you’d see in Metro Manila. It’s small, dark, cramped up, lit by cheap led Christmas lights and its iconic 70’s disco ball.
This place takes your expectations and throws it in the trashcan and gives you something better and weirdly satisfying at the same time.
On a night you’d want to dance or even attempt to 80’s-early 90’s old school hip-hop and another night, the DJ might bring out a QUEEN classic like “We Will Rock You” You” and deftly mix that with an old OPM disco song. The crowd is slightly skewed differently each night, rowdy, tame or even nonchalant patrons on Tuesday Jazz Nights. One thing that doesn’t seem to change is how Future is always open until 4 am, the waiter says proudly and even on Holy Week at times.
- Location: 2 General Malvar Ave, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila
Lounge and listen to Jazz in Tago Bar
A quaint quarter from a converted residential house in Cubao City. A lone venue that only features live jazz music. The acoustics are good, the patrons are friendly, the beer is cold, and the musicianship is soulful. They play standards mostly, with innovative beats and improv solos.
As it names precedes it- ‘Tago’ it is quite hidden. Make sure to find it on Waze as you’ll likely get lost on the back street of Cubao to find this signless bar.
The O.G “Art Fair” in Manila Since 1972 – Sining Kamalig.
The Sining Kamalig Art Gallery is the longest-running art gallery in the country spanning back in the 70’s and is conveniently located inside Ali Mall. It gave the visionary artist space where they can feature their materials.
For decades, Sining Kamalig has created a safer common ground where artists can express their political pieces thru their contemporary paintings.
Sining Kamalig displays works by big and small names in the art industry, so there’s always something new to discover contemporary pieces.
- Address: Upper G/F Ali Mall, Araneta Center
- Grounds for: Contemporary art
Same with the city of Manila– its unappealing shell is more than what meets the eye, to those who look beyond the usual perception, these hidden jewels are discovered only by those who are determined enough to pry.
Have a #DayOut in Cubao City and experience something different and worthwhile.
- Book An Appointment
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
Experience chocolate like never before! Find out WHY you need to experience the Auro Chocolate Bar Crawl (Poblacion series)
Manila may be both chaotic and crammed but never dull. New shopping malls are rising next to the slum areas, the poverty and the luxury coexist in some weird alignment just next to each other. This city may not be famous for its beauty, but its magnetic energy gives you a special feel. dissimilar and lively in so many ways, it’s a great city to explore even if you only have one day of time.
Although we’re presented with the BGC’s, Makati CBDs and new uprisen hip spots. We always go back to the core of the city. It is where we find its soul, the old funky vibe of what Manila should be.
This experience guide is a mixture of old and new. Come with us! as we re-introduce Manila to you on a different angle .
Come away with us as we show you Where to EAT, Where to GO, and What to DO in Manila!
This beautiful sanctuary has also served as burial sites of heroes, specifically the three Filipino martyr priests, namely Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora collectively known as GOMBURZA, who were executed by garrote on February 17, 1872. They were interred in unmarked graves near the outer wall of the cemetery.(photo from the right side).
The exact place where Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero was secretly buried after his execution on December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan. When Rizal’s sisters discovered the site, they bribed a guardia civil veteran to mark the spot with the initials “RPJ” and was guarded for 15 days. His remains was exhumed on August 17, 1898, placed in an urn made by Teodoro Romualdo de Jesus, deposited in the house of his mother in Estraude Street, Bonondo. and on December 30, 1912 laid beneath his monument at Luneta.
Old Swiss Inn-Paco: A Culinary Landmark in the Heart of Manila
When asking those in the older generation about the Old Swiss Inn, they instantly say “in Paco?” Most of their seasoned patrons are more familiar with the Paco branch since it opened in the ’70s when it was moved from the Roxas Blvd. branch.
The Paco branch of the Old Swiss Inn is quite different from its younger brother in Makati that’s open 24/7. While similar in theme, the Paco branch still makes use of the old wooden doors, walls and stone interiors from the old Garden plaza hotel building.
EMBEDDED IN MANILA’S DINING SCENE SINCE 1946
Founded by Swiss national Emil Landert and now celebrating its 70th anniversary. This is their first branch was on Dewey Boulevard, now known as Roxas Boulevard. Many people were captivated by its authentic Swiss cuisine, quaint wood interiors, and service.
In the 1970s the restaurant was transferred to a larger location in Paco to accommodate more patrons. In the 1980s the Paco branch was destroyed in a fire but was eventually rebuilt and re-opened by Mr.Felix Limcaoco in 1990.
Through its history and consistency, the Old Swiss Inn Restaurant is able to continue being relevant from 1946 up to this very day while you are reading this content. Why? because it doesn’t follow and jump quickly to the latest fad. They stick to their vision and values: unapologetically serving comfort food that is neither haute or fusion. A culinary landmark in the heart of Manila.
The National Museum has a three-dimensional goal covering diverse fields of knowledge through various educational, scientific and cultural activities. The personal favorite will always be the preserved cultural significance art in history.
Aside from collections from different known National Artist like Juan Luna, they also showcase contemporary art and installs per time seasons. Making Art today as an open forum for visual statements available for aesthetic consumption.
- Location: The National Museum of Fine Arts
- Opens: 10:00am-5:00 pm
- Entrance: Free
- Address: P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Along the gritty district of Ermita is a hidden forest park, The Arroceros Forest. A 2.2- hectare of urban forest on the south bank of the Pasig River footing the Quezon Bridge. Having 61 different tree varieties, 8000 ornamental plants, and 10 unique bird species.
This forest park is “Manila’s Last Lung” and it needs our help as private citizens to raise awareness on how important landmarks like this should be preserved.
The park is located in the center of Manila, just north of the Manila City Hall adjacent to the walled district of Intramuros. It is within walking distance from the Central Terminal station and is right across from the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
Located in Intramuros, the museum is housed in a Bahay na Bato that then-CEO Julius Limpe acquired back in 1979. We initially had the impression that it was one of the original official sites where they actually conduct their business, but not to that extent. Former CEO envisioned building a company museum 40 years ago.
Over 166 years company, a good backstory, and having the Bahay the Bato as its showroom. Why not. We absolutely love the Manille Liqueur de Calamansi—a local take on Italian limoncello. Years back you’d see a woman riding gallantly a white horse on her red bikini on primetime local TV commercials and your friendly neighborhood sari-sari store’s calendars. White Castle Whisky stroke every man’s ego desires.
The Bahay the Bato exudes charm and is already inviting. There you will find young Gen Z’s explaining each part of the tour. The museum’s first floor exhibits show the actual process of making rum and whiskey, from fermentation and aging to bottling.
The guide will show you the process of making rum their mini tank of fermenting molasses and a distillation. You will be asked to open a jar and sniff to found out what fermented molasses smells like.
To culminate the tour, a fitting liquor tasting flight experience is a must! We personally would recommend sampling The Philippine Craft Spirit Collection- fine local fruit extracts that are infused with their blended liquors.
The Glory Days
Escolta in her glory years was known to be grand in its architecture and as a centralized location that houses malls, drugstores, stores, and stand-alone theaters. She was roaring lioness that commands respect and adoration in her time.
It was the commercial hub of Manila during the early 1900s and was a witness to many pioneering establishments in the country: first ice cream parlor, first movie house, first electric tram among others.
Commerce in the area was booming, large financial institutions, high-end boutiques, restaurants, and production houses. Neoclassical and Beaux artistry in its buildings built thru various visionaries of the world-renowned local and international architects.
First United Building
For the last three years, 98B COLLABoratory (98B) in partnership with the First United Building (FUB) have been organizing the Saturday X Future Market at Escolta a few years back and now they’re open during weekdays as well. Here you will find HUB: Make Lab is an incubation space for artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs. A project started by a collective community of artists, 98B the market aims to bring back the glory days of the former premier shopping district. Every weekend, most predominantly Saturdays. Where local artist makers of multidisciplinary design disciplines gather and sell their own products. Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell local artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Cap off with a cup of joe or perhaps an ice cold beer
Aside from the maker’s market, here you can find a nifty specialty coffee shop; The Den. A nondescript space at the back of a classic Art Deco building hailing from the Queen- Escolta. The Den is your gracious host inviting you to come ins and enjoy a cup or two of their specialty coffee.
Fred’s Revolucion the Cubao Expo famous has its second branch opened in First United Building having the same operating hours as the Cubao Expo branch—Tuesdays to Sundays, 5 pm – 1 am.
Read more about Escolta Proj. Here: Escolta Resurrection
We Choose Manila, Always.
Most myriad attractions may look obscure and flawed by the people and lack of government support before, but we can now see that we are picking up slowly and both national gov’t and even private groups are making an effort to resurrect the spirit of the past that influences us now. We are a cultural gumbo of Spanish, American, and Chinese influences are heady and rich.
What we inherited from our ancestors is their resiliency, adaptability and the capacity to rebuild ourselves and our nation after centuries of being handed over from one colony to another.
For convenient and worry-free transportation visit Hertz Philippines to book your own car for your next Manila road trip!
Update: Would you like to experience this day with us? We’ve recently partnered up with Klook to provide Out of the Box activity tours like this. You may book your own tour here A Day in Manila with the Fat Girls Day Out.
The very first Art-centric Hotel, U Hotels experience review and so much more. Find out why this should be on your next boutique hotel destination.