Guide to Manila – Quezon City Edition
For a place dubbed as the City of Stars, this one surely has a great deal of constellations for everybody to enjoy—and I’m not just talking about sight-seeing!
Writing about this city makes me all thrilled and giddy because, really, there’s just so much about Quezon City that could fit in one scripting. This could be primarily because it is the largest and most populated of all the seventeen cities comprising Metro Manila and different parts of it already have their own uniqueness to showcase or have been known for the kind of distinct things they do or offer. In fact, it is twenty seven times bigger than its neighbour city, San Juan.
And for a little bit of history, the city is named after Manuel Luis Quezon who was the president during the time it was inaugurated. It served as the country’s capital for twenty eight years until 24 June 1975 when Manila was declared the official capital of the land under the Presidential Decree 940.
Let’s enjoy a day in southern Quezon City for now and we’ll do the rest of it next time.
The most useful and obvious tip I could give is always plan your trip at least an hour ahead if you’re not familiar with the place you’re planning to visit. The traffic in Quezon City might get really ugly in unpredictable periods of the day and mind your belongings all the time.
Photo by Mac Dy
Relish home-cooked breakfast buffet meals in the scout area. This could be the busiest zone of southern QC during weekend nights since it is packed with all types of restaurants, nightclubs and coffee shops but strolling along Tomas Morato Avenue on a sunny Sunday morning would not give you any hint of what transpired on the same place the night before. People usually line up at Finio Café and Restaurant for affordable breakfast buffet. They often serve Pinoy breakfast constants like Champorado, Pandesal, and Congee which you can pair with either brewed coffee or fresh milk. If you think you can take much more than the usual, you can also opt to have a heavier meal with their breakfast dishes and savoury garlic rice. Did I mention that it will only cost you 135 pesos? You can stay up to 10:30 just munching on the buffet table.
Take a quick cardio workout and run around the Scout Area to keep fit. It’s also surrounded by villages and huge ancestral houses with wide roads that are perfect for your morning jog or even just a stroll. Breathe in some morning fresh air and get some rest before you head to the nearby busy area, Cubao.
Culture up and visit an interactive museum in Socorro Cubao. Art in Island Museum, unlike most if not all museums in the city, lets you take photos with their contemporary art pieces which could make you look like you’re actually part of them, in 3D! Your trip to the museum will cost you 500 pesos per head and make sure to wear good socks because you will be asked to leave your footwear at the counter. And, of course, invite your friends! This could be the perfect time and place for you to enjoy an unconventional museum with your clique. Now, a couple of hours would be enough for you to get your money’s worth and you should be starving heavily by the time you reach the exit.
Photo by Jinky Umali
Stop by Cubao Expo along General Romulo Avenue for some lunch treat after the two hour museum walk. There is a lot of restaurants to choose from when you enter the compound. If you’re feeling fancy and wanting to try some Italian food, try dining at Bellini’s. It seldom gets full during lunch until early afternoon so you’re assured to have a relaxing time. Or you can try Habanero Kitchen Bar which is also inside Cubao Expo. The menu is mainly Italian as well but they have this three-cheese pizza that tastes so good, you wouldn’t even have space for merienda. There are also boutiques and specialty shops inside the compound that sell interesting pieces like art galleries, clothing lines, records, and turntables. After about a couple of hours stay in Cubao Expo you might want to play some board games with your friends.
Drive to Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village Diliman and explore the world of jenga, monopoly, taboo, etc. in Laruan Atbp Café. The board games add novelty to the dining experience of every gamer heart who dares enter the place. Plus this place also serves Buffalo Wings and Cajun Chicken! What else could go wrong? The stretch of Maginhawa Street is a gastronomic delight for everyone seeking for a one of a kind food adventure. It is also now a home for artisanal food hubs/ compounds starting to introduce their products to the market. If you’re lucky enough, you can also spot art presentations in some shops along Maginhawa like poetry readings, spoken word performances, and many more.
Photo by DZUP
You can also try the spas in the area like Bahay Haraya along Maginhawa which is known for its great ambience and Ace Water Spa in UP Ayala Technohub for a wide range of services if you’re feeling a bit tired from a day of roaming around.
Photo by Heart
Want some Chinese for dinner? Head over to Wee Nam Kee in Trinoma. They serve the most amazing selections of traditional Chinese and Chinese – Filipino fusion. Their best sellers include Steamed Hainanese Chicken, Wee Nam Kee Fried Rice, Deep Fried Spare Ribs with Salt and Pepper and Steamed Yellow Chicken.
If you think the night is still young at 10:00, enjoy a good bottle of wine at La Vie Parisienne in Tomas Morato Avenue with your close buddies. I would recommend the Peach Shanpelino for an easy, sweet aftertaste. This would certainly put you to sleep after a long day.
Pop culture connoisseur, minimalist and a picky eater. He brainstorms with himself on Sunday nights obsessing about his existential dilemmas then regrets all of it the following day. He is finally done ghost writing for other people and now decided to have a byline of his own.