Gif by Yayay De Castro
Oftentimes we tend to overlook the neighborhoods that we live in. Probably because we’ve been living there since forever and we feel like ours isn’t as cool compared to the ones located on the polar ends of the metro, or even other cities like New York. But sometimes they surprise us when we find something new, reminding us that we don’t need to go too far to keep ourselves amused. Here we list down six trendy neighborhoods for you to visit whether you’re from the north, south, or middle of Manila. We even included a color-coded Google map for your convenience! Now that's service with a smize.
THE GENERALS, CUBAO
(Color Code: Lime)
The Beadlady in Cubao X
A girl like me normally has no business on this side of the Metro. But in the few times that I found myself walking through U-shaped Gen. Romulo St., I learned that there is something in Cubao X for everybody and every hobby, from the charms and beats of The Beadlady to the cheap thrills of Rusty Lopez and Janylin. But what's trending even more are the parties at Today X Future that cause human traffic on Gen. Malvar St., whenever the people responsible for HOTDOG! are out and about.
(Color Code: Yellow)
Heima's Brixton Branch
Since the time of Three Sisters restaurant, Kapitolyo has been known for its great eating spots. But somewhere near the edges is Brixton St., home to surf/skate apparel and coffee shop EASY, furniture store for the cutesy quirky girl Heima, yoga studio Urban Ashram, and just down the street, Locavore Kitchen and Drinks, which gives new flavor to your favorite Filipino dishes.
(Color Code: Blue)
El Chupacabra on Felipe St.
(Photo via WhereJuanEats.com)
Okay, so you might find more AFAMs in Williamsburgos than designer boutiques but the place is just as trendy especially when the sun goes down and the street party starts to happen. From CBD yuppies to backpackers rooming in the nearby hotels, people from all walks of life come to break bread (and beer bottles) in this modest district. Here you'll discover ihaw ihaw place Tambai Yakitori Snackhouse, tequila bar A'Toda Madre, '70s inspired diner Filling Station, and midget and lady boxing bar Ringside (which even the likes of Dita Von Teese has visited.) A little further down Makati Ave. you'll find A Venue, which frequently holds bazaars on weeknights in its parking lot. And right behind that is the relatively new Century City Mall and of course, 71 Gramercy.
LEGAZPI VILLAGE, MAKATI
(Color Code: Cyan)
Archives d'homme et femme on Gamboa St.
Round Greenbelt is Legazpi Village where worker bees come to relax and unwind. But aside from the string of restaurants where people come to hang out, Legazpi also has its share of boutiques where you can spend afternoons browsing through racks. Sitting across Washington Sycip Park is outlet store Archives d’homme et femme where brands like Fred Perry, Jill Sanders, Comme des Garcon and those carried by Homme et Femme and Univers are sold at bargain-basement prices. If it’s cheap thrills that you seek, head further out to Makati Cinema Square and lose yourself in three floors worth of thrift shops. Now if you just want to sit and chill (without having to buy a Venti iced caramel macchiato), swing by cowork lounge A Space Manila just opposite of Greenbelt 5 and see what the creatives there are up to. They've even coined a term for their side of the village: Upper Legazpi.
WESTGATE and MOLITO, ALABANG
(Color Code: Red)
Titan's Alabang branch in Molito
Southerners, me included, have this reputation for being too chill. This is probably why we have more nail spas and salons standing next to cafes and restaurants in places like Westgate and Molito, the go-to hangout spots of the sneakerhead conyos that flock to Titan and the posh titas of Alabang that get afternoon massages in Mandarin Spa. The two complexes are conveniently located just a few meters outside the Mindanao and Madrigal gates of Ayala Alabang, offering you pampering services to keep your lazy afternoons a tad bit eventful.
AGUIRRE AVE., BF HOMES, PARANAQUE
(Color Code: Purple)
The Girl and The Bull on Aguirre Ave.
Moving over to the other side of the south, Aguirre Ave. is home to a number of BF’s prized establishments like Irish gastro pub Mulligans, sushi bar Sensei, and hip neighborhood restaurant The Girl and The Bull, run by former UP Fine Arts student Gab Bustos and his green haired bae Thea de Rivera. But just like Alabang’s Molito and Westgate, it also has its share of salons and spas generously distributed throughout the stretch with two or more conveniently located at every sub-village’s main gate. If you’re from here, there’s no reason to have a bad manicure.