Archive for the ‘Living in Manila’ Category

Rustan’s Annual Summer Sale


Carlos Celdran Recommends Groovy Maps Manila

Good news to all Manila travelers: there is now the perfect map to help you get around. And I do mean get around. As per the recommendation of city cicerone Carlos Celdran, I am buying a Groovy Map ‘N’ Guide of Manila, as should all other tourists and accidental travelers. What is it exactly? Let’s see what the official website has to say:

Designed as an ‘executive brief’, the Groovy Map N Guide has everything you need to get the most of a city in a short time. With clear maps and independent reviews, we’ll lead you to the best in the city. Guaranteed.

We list and locate places on the map in five categories: Groovy Dining, Groovy Bars & Pubs, Groovy Shopping, Groovy Culture, Groovy Clubbing. Leave the guidebook at home — and go out and enjoy a “city made simple”.

Chris Mitchell summarized in his Travelhappy blog: With a map, you don’t want a lot of information – you want the best information, efficiently organised to let you look at it and understand it rapidly – and that’s precisely what the Groovy Map does.

Mr. Celdran himself offers a quick review:

I assure you that it has NONE of the useless crap, advertising and flagrant product placements that the other city maps have. Filled to the brim with useful information about dining, sightseeing, gay and straight bar hopping, and shopping, the map gives you the insider’s view of what to expect as seen through the eyes of someone who you assume is as groovy as you might be. The choices are also rather progressive, the map features underground insider secrets like Fat Michaels, Filling Station, the Evangelista flea markets, and the fantastic Cubao X art scene among many others (like yours truly). Best of all, the map is printed on super thick lamination paper so that it wouldn’t rip or get soggy on the streets steamy ol’ Manila. Be sure to pick one up before you arrive in the city. Or if you are a resident Manileno, just buy a whole bunch to give to visiting friends who wish to independently explore Manila in a fast and funky way. No surprise, that the Groovy Guide was the 2006 Winner ‘Best Tourist/Free Map’ Award from the International Map Trade Association (IMTA) and a recipient of a 5 star rating from

Groovy. Get one so you can get around.

Checkpoint here, checkpoint there

Due to work, I stay at home every week night. Even when I don’t have work, I rarely venture far from home. So it is with some surprise that within one week, we had to pass through a police check point twice.

The first one was on Thursday, around 2 o’clock in the morning. My friends and I were driving from Antipolo, on the way home to Quezon City. As we turned right to Katipunan Avenue, we were stopped by a couple of policemen. They flashed their lights inside the vehicle, and proceeded to check who and what was inside the car.

The second one was last Friday night, around 8 o’clock in the evening. I was riding a cab along Visayas avenue, when we passed through a check point, made by two police cars parked on the outer lanes, and policemen checking out passengers. This made me recall the number of times I saw a police car parked on the corner of Mindanao and Congressional avenues.

Why are they doing this? Since when did this start? What are they looking for? Is this only happening in Quezon City?

Home Sweet Legend


Just as 2007 turned 2008, we’re now tearing off the first month in our calendars and looking at February: to the romantic, the month of love.

Pardon me if this sounds like an advertisement, which it isn’t, but do look into the treats and packages of The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong as you consider your options for going out with family, friends, or special someone. How ironic to be escaping from the city by going to the heart of it, you say. I say ironic and worth your while. I’ve been to that hotel only once, briefly last year, but I single it out now if only because their extraordinary service is quite unlike the kind most people have gotten used to in this age of rude attendants and careless discourtesy. It’s my way of being patriotic, I guess.

The Outback at Swagman; Carmelino’s


I don’t know how I ended up eating in two unassuming restaurants last week, but I’m very glad anyway that I did.

The Outback Café in DOT-accredited Swagman RPL Hotel Manila should be one of the best and most authentic Australian cuisine specialty restaurants in town. It’s not first-class at all. Located on A. Flores Street at Ermita, the place feels rather like a pub in a foreign country. Very cozy. Subtle lighting. Great location. When I went there, I saw a nice little poster of Steve Irwin (who must be a hero in his country), a huge crocodile replica beside the versatile bar, two big-screen TVs playing The Australian Open, and a two-member band playing the requests of a thick, expat-filled crowd. There’s also free Wi-Fi Internet access for those who have to send E-mails while knifing away at the fabulous steaks.

Manila, in Theroux’s Kowloon Tong

theroux%24paul.gif Image from High Browse Online.

Have you read any Paul Theroux? One of the American writer’s more recent novels is Kowloon Tong, a story about a forty-something Brit who has lived all his life in Hong Kong, and whose escapades include being “entertained” in dark clubs by a Filipina from Manila named Baby.

Following is a passage from the novel, chosen for its description of Manila:

Boxing Day, the Rustan’s way


grab the opportunity, it will only run until January 7, 2008

Lights On


Bright lights, big city, that is Manila. Happy holidays everyone! This huge tree is at Rockwell, Makati City. No one can miss this humungous tree. I guess this will be up until the Feast of the Three Kings which is on the first Sunday of January 2008. Somebody correct me if I am mistaken with the date. Enjoy the season Metrobloggers! :)

The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the metro
Not a car was stirring, not one could find a parking spot

A day to go before Christmas eve and we here at Manila Metblogs wish last minute shoppers the best of luck as malls from MOA to North Edsa are packed. Forgiving of course the difficulty of finding parking in Ayala Malls – Park Square 2 in Glorietta has just closed while Trinoma’s Mindanao parking is the new “worst parking structure” in the world replacing Shang’s Edsa parking structure, here’s a top 5 list of worst mall parking structures throughout the metro.

Top 5 Worst Mall Parking Structures

5. Mall of Asia (Parking 1 and 2)
Take Bonamin before you go through this merry go round, it takes a couple of spins before you reach the first parking level.

Pilipinas Street Plan

Have you seen this?

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