We know how the MRT/LRT system works. It’s just like any other train, stopping at designated hotspots around the Metro helping people get to their chosen destinations. But imagine if the stops weren’t just random locations scattered all across the cities?
Young STAR will take you on a different route around the best places in Metro that are far from your usual travel. You might not know that there are hidden gems around your neighborhood. We’ve got you covered all the way from art galleries, cool shops, restaurants, and fun activities. Put that beep card into good use and hop on to this journey.
A quaint gem hidden in Antipolo, Pinto Art Museum has become a favorite for both the frustrated artist looking for inspiration and the excited Instagrammer on the craving for new spots to snap. It hosts a wide range of art pieces from paintings to sculptures, making sure to highlight the talents of Filipino artists. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy both the art and the nature surrounding it.
Originally built in the 70s to host international art exhibitions, it has now become a haven for Filipino heritage. They constantly expand their already diverse collections, which ranges from colonial Hispanic art to exhibits centered on global contexts and experiences, in a plight to promote contemporary Filipino artists to both the Filpino and international audience. It is definitely a must-see for aesthetes and art lovers.
Macuha’s main goal is to give emerging Filipino talents that extra push – they support them by hosting their work in its spaces, exhibitions, and galleries. What sets Macuha apart from the other, larger museums (aside from the fact that it is much smaller in size) is that all the pieces showcased are part of a personal collection. It’s a little bit of a trip to get there, unless you’re already in the area, but it’s worth the journey.
For all the geeks out there itching to learn something new, The Mind Museum is definitely for you. Manila’s first Science Museum, it hosts over 250 hands-on, interactive exhibits. There are five main galleries, including a hall commemorating world-renowned Filipino scientists. The standouts are the Atom Gallery, which introduces visitors to the big world of the tiny atom-sphere, and the Life Gallery that focuses on – well – life, with exhibits ranging from DNA helixes to a life-size model of a butanding.
Who needs a time machine when you have the National Museum? Built at the heart of Manila, the National Museum is a sight to behold. Already a piece of art with its architecture, it hosts a massive collection of artifacts that date back to the BC era. Walking through its exhibits is surreal – like walking back in time – with statues from the oldest Churches in Bohol to the merchandise from ancient Japanese vendors.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines itself already holds a lot of history. It represents a sense of beauty present despite a dark time. Throw in, the Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino, a museum within the complex built in the 80s, and CCP becomes the Philippines’ number 1 go-to stop for everything culture. Instead of going the same contemporary route most museums have, the CCP museum features works of Filipino traditional artists both to help the average Filipino achieve a deeper understanding how artistic expression has played a vital role in our history and to preserve Filipino artistic traditions.
This newly opened ice cream shop is quickly becoming a frontrunner in the ice cream scene. Their main attraction is their compost desserts, which expertly balance unique ice cream flavors like ketchup and mayo and cookies and junk food with delicious hot desserts like peppered French fries and nutella donuts. It’s definitely a must try for any urban dweller craving for their sweet fix around the Metro.
Fat Butchik, an unassuming paradise for hipsters on the hunt for the next big hole in the wall, is a must-try stop for anyone in the BF Homes area. It sits on a roof deck, the cold night breeze sending the smells smoking meat wafting into the air. With its delicious selection of comfort food (think: burger sliders, inasal skewers, and cheesy sausages) and a simple yet delicious selection of cocktails, it’s definitely a great place for a “chillnuman” amongst friends.
Milk Box is a sugar lover’s paradise. They offer a wide selection of desserts in flavors both unique and familiar to the Filipino taste bud, like dulce de leche waffles, pumpkin spice milkshakes, and so many variations of cookies and cookie dough that it’s impossible to try them all in one visit. Many of their desserts are accompanied by a glass of their signature cereal milk ice cream.
The Yard is heaven in the form of a food park for those who frequent the Xavierville area. It has 30 unique stalls that each caters to a different food craving. From chocolate drizzled French fries to sushirritos, The Yard has it all. It’s a great place to go with friends to pig out on all the most delicious dishes and desserts. Make sure to come with an empty stomach – you’ll need the extra space.
Filipino food just got even better at Toyo Eatery. The brainchild of chef Jordy Navarra, this modern Filipino restaurant features all your favorite Filipino classics bedazzled with contemporary twists. We recommend the Grilled Belly and Loin of Bangus, which is Chef Jordy’s own version of the Bangus-Silog, and the Toyo Eatery Silog. There’s also a bar available for the foodies who like to pair their greasy meals with a beer or two.
Specially designed for students as the perfect place to “hohol” or “hang-out hang-out lang,” Amo Yamie Crib is both whimsical and delicious. They go above and beyond with their desserts and milkshakes, which is definitely what makes this place so addicting. Our favorites are the Wizard of Oreo milkshake, which is a cookies and cream lovers’ dream come true, their mango eton mess, and their s’mores dip.
“Adult-ing” can be pretty much exhausting and we all deserve to de-stress every once in a while. #so what’s more fun than being a kid and taking a break from all your responsibilities even just for an hour? Swimming in a pit of balls might be the best idea. Ball Pit Manila is a playground with 80,000 balls, it’s exclusive for adults (16-year-olds and above) who wants to get away of being an adult. Lounges are also available for their selection of cards and board games.
Remember the time you were playing Mario Kart on your Nintendo? Here’s your chance to actually relive it through City Kart Racing (CKR). One thing’s for sure, you won’t worry about Makati traffic. CKR is a 700-meter go-cart racetrack with straight and technical turns that cater to both beginners and pros. No need to worry about your license or your driving skills, ‘cause neither are necessary. Helmets, race suits, and gloves are provided and everyone will also be given a safety briefing.
Make your cardio workout less boring with this new alternative called Indoor cycling or “spinning.” Spinning is a high intensity, low impact, and full body workout on a bike. It’s easy on the joints, especially if you want a cardio that doesn’t jar you too much. Ride is an indoor cycling studio that offers a 50-minute classes inside a dark room with black lights, upbeat music, and an instructor who will push you beyond your limits.
If you’re a risk-taker, fond of adventure and ready to conquer your fear of heights à la Cirque du Soleil, Flying Trapeze Philippines (FTP) is here to give you that much needed adrenaline rush. FTP is the first and only full-scale flying trapeze rig in the country where you can experience leaping off from a 25 feet high platform while holding onto a bar. They offer a two-hour one-on-one class with the instructors and an open-swing block for those who just want to try out.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and we don’t want that to happen right? Jump Yard is the first and biggest indoor trampoline park in the country. They have various activities inside the 2000 sqm space such as: the cage ball, dodgeball, slam dunk basketball, wall climbing, swinging in foam bars, and diving in a foam pit. Jump Yard is a place where young adults can freely loosen up and release their stress.
Presence of mind, calmness, and collectedness, these are the things that Archery teaches you. An indoor archery range stands right on the seventh floor of a high-rise building in Ortigas where plenty of offices are situated. Gandiva is for people who want to de-stress or maybe for those who want to unleash their inner Hawkeye. Instructors will brief each archer on shooting basics. After your set, you can also dine in their café which only serves vegetarian menu since they promote optimum fitness.
Wondering how you can watch that indie film you’ve missed? Cinema ’76 would give you that chance to catch it again. Cinema ’76 is a small cinema house where cinephiles can watch Filipino classics or indie films that didn’t get picked up by distributors or screened in cinemas. It’s a distribution platform for filmmakers which is founded by TBA, a group of three film production companies: Tuko Film Productions, Buchi Boy Films, and Artikulo Uno
Just in time for the rainy season, the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) rock comedy-musical, “Rak of Aegis” is back on its fifth rerun. Rak of Aegis shows the Filipino resilience with the dream of making it big despite being devastated by natural calamities. It features 20 songs of the band Aegis, from both of their lesser-known and iconic songs such as “Halik,” “Luha,” and “Basang-basa sa ulan” will be performed (which you’ve probably heard a thousand times sung in a karaoke).
Escolta Street has a way of reminding us of colonial days through its façade of heritage buildings. It was even hailed as the business district because of its modern buildings and stores. What used to be the Saturday X Future Market @ Escolta, has now been developed to a more stable and sustainable space – Hub: Make Lab. The HUB is an incubation space for creative start-ups, may it be on arts & crafts, clothes & accessories, DIY wares, vintage goods, and refurbished antiques.
“Out with the old, in with the new?” that is not the case for Makati Cinema Square. Makati Cinema Square has one of the best thrift shops or ukay-ukay in the Metro. If you got the time and patience, try sifting through racks and boxes of ukays and who knows you might even score a gem. Clothes, shoes, and bags are sold for so much less that you’ll regret spending P1000 just for a shirt. Break away from your usual shopping and visit this cheap fashion haven.
In the middle of the bustling city of Makati lies the mini-art district, “The Collective.” The Collective is a creative compound for people to appreciate arts, visuals, and music. Various independent stores, art galleries, and restaurants are situated here. It’s similar with the vibe of Cubao-X, where clothes, books, rare collectibles, vinyl records, zines, comics, toys, furniture, among others are sold in a much lesser price. There are also bands performing at B-side on weekends which will perfectly sum up your night.
If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your room, Heima has probably something that matches you. Heima is a home and lifestyle store which offers a wide selection of hip and colourful pieces of furniture. They also accept custom-made for any furniture of your choice. Heima is not limited to furniture, among their curated products are: inspirational wall decors, quirky novelty items, portable turntables, stationeries, Fujifilm instax cameras, vinyl records, refurbished typewriters and all other sort of hip items.
The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing will difficult to do once you enter this haven for hoarders, the Cool Japan Shop. Just like its name, Cool Japan Shop offers a wide range of cool items, whether you’re a makeup junkie, anime lover, or just fond of cute items, you won’t leave empty handed. From your favorite Nissin cup noodles, beauty products, kitchen essentials, furniture, and even Hello kitty collectibles, this Japanese shop won’t disappoint you.
Cubao Expo is in Manila’s underground scene for quite a long time. It’s where cool creatives hangout, and where you’ll find anything unique and vintage. Shops and restaurants come and go but Cubao X always stays as a haven for collectors and art buffs. Cubao X is a diverse hub which gives you a nostalgic feeling. Clothing, furniture, vinyl records, novelty shops, vintage or thrift stores, art galleries, restaurants, cafes and all other quirks and eccentricities are here.
Online shopping has made our lives easier but the inability to personally check the product is probably one of the biggest cons. In the popular foodie destination of Maginhawa stands a physical space for online shops to showcase their products, and this lifestyle store is called Zaril. Zaril collaborates with different online shops (clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, makeup, home essentials, among others) to cater to the youth, its goal is to give young entrepreneurs the exposure and opportunity to make it in the industry.
We’re not new to the concept of selling secondhand books, but Bookay-Ukay makes sure that you’ll feel a different experience compared to the bookstores inside the malls. Bookay-Ukay doesn’t only sell secondhand books but also offers new titles, magazines, CDs, local zines, and offbeat books which we don’t often find in other bookstores. The perks after your book-hunting is that you’re already in Maginhawa, which means there a lot of good food establishments to try.