Do yourself a favor and go to the Best in Philippine Contemporary Art Art Fair Philippines. It is in The Link building between Landmark and Shangri-La Hotel in Makati. Locals would know it as the new Ansons building. The fair will be running from Feb. 7 to Feb. 10. It really has the latest in Filipino art including the latest from the million dollar man himself, Ronald Ventura, and he does not disappoint. So if you have any more doubts about the Philippines being the next big thing, this might solidify and surprise you. Sugud Pilipinas!
Fresh out of the box, MNL Boutique Hostel is part of the new wave of hostels hitting Metro Manila. It just opened last January 15, but it is already getting rave reviews over tripadvisor. Founded by two Filipina backpackers and their friends, the place has everything you will need for budget traveling. The shared bathrooms and showers are clean and there are a lot of them. They have a nice kitchenette. Socializing is the norm, in fact they even have a BYOB night where you can enjoy evening drinking Pinoy kanto style (Filipino street style). This is the second hostel that I’ve been to that is right beside the A. Venue on Makati Ave., which simply proves that this area is by default becoming the second Malate type backpacker area. And now I’m on the hunt for the third hostel in the same area.
Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
MNL Boutique Hostel
Valdez corner Santiago St.
(behind A. Venue Mall)
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals
300p will be in the side bleachers behind the goals.
500p will be in bleachers at the center of the field.
1000p will be in the covered center stands at the back.
2000p will be in the covered center stands at the side.
3000p will be in the covered center stands at the center.
To be honest, Rizal Colisseum isn’t that big so it really doesn’t matter where you stand. We once watched from the bleachers on the side behind the goal in the pouring rain, and it was a riot. Don’t even think of opening an umbrella .
And, oh yeah, I bought my tickets at Ticketworld on the third floor of National Bookstore in the newly-refurbished Glorietta, but you can get them at any major National Bookstore branch.
The tickets were moving.
Kickoff is at 8pm, Dec. 8, Saturday at Rizal Colliseum.
Around two years ago I bought Theroux’s Tao of Travel. Ever since then that book has opened me to a whole new world of travel writers. Like a curator at a bookshop, Theroux has introduced me to Cahill, O’Hanlon, and Chatwin, who’s journeys I’m about to embark upon. There are many more to read, and since I am a completionist, I’m probably going to try to read them all. I’ve also come across the books of Rory Stewart and Brian Thacker (not recommended by Theroux).
Because of the TED talks, I’ve also been introduced to a diverse bunch of intellectuals like Clay Shirky. By my bed are the books Nonzero by Robert Wright and Shadow Cities by Robert Neuwirth. The latter featured in TED but was actually introduced to me by the Global Business Network (GBN) by Stewart Brand, both of them also TEDsters.
I also just finished the Coursera course on Fantasy and Science Fiction which introduced me to the books of Cory Doctorow. I also have the book Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson recommended by Time magazine.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are so many books out there and a lot of them were recommended to me by the Internet. And with the amount of books out there, we need others to “curate” the book for us ahead of time. Amazon recommendations help a great deal. I have never actually ordered a book by myself over Amazon, but I do keep an Amazon wishlist which leads me to other books by using Amazon recommends. I use this wishlist wherever I go in the world, so I know what to buy.
Travel for me nowadays isn’t just about going to exotic places, part of it is really just going to other first world cities, and see what their bookstores have to offer. I know I could cave and just get books over my iPad, but it just isn’t the same. Kinokuniya is my favorite haunt. And in Korea I found the great What the Book? in Itaewon. Locally I go to Fully Booked, and if I can’t find it, I order over the National Bookstore networks, they may take a long time, but it’s better than nought.
My dad advised me to always read the good books first, because there simply isn’t enough time for them all. He was right, and I haven’t read a bad book in a long time. Recently, on TED, I was looking for a book called The Language Instinct. My dad passed away seven years ago, and I found the book right on his shelf. Thanks, Dad, I love you and miss you.
Formerly known as Fort Bonifacio, this area is Taguig City has been christened the Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
Let’s start off at Market, Market, where you can find pearls, knock-offs and other cheap stuff. It also has an extensive food court that has sweets and delicacies from every part of the Philippines. Try Reyes Barbecue, to try the ubiquitous Filipino pork barbecue on a stick.
Cross the street and you are at the much tonier Serendra. Here you can eat yogurt from Lulu Belle, Oreo cheesecake at Chelsea, and massive sandwiches at (the name escapes me at the moment).
Cross the street once more and you are at High Street. Here you will find the five-story shrine to books that is Fully Booked. Across it is Muji. To its left, on the roof of the building with the Lamborghini cars, is the bar du jour Skye Lounge.
Cross another street and you’ll find 2nd’s restaurant. It is on the second floor of the building to your right, right behind Nike.
At the end of High Street you’ll get to Kabisera, to the try the classic sisig and other bar grub. Across it, is R.O.X., the ultimate outdoor store in the country.
Cross another street one last time and you are at High Street Central. I’ve only tried Nolita here, which has authentic New York Pizza.
To the left of High Street Central is the Fort. Here you’ll find authentic Mexican food at Orale, and foreign beer on tap at the Draft gastropub.
If you were to head straight down High Street Central, and jumped a few streets, you would end up at the Mind Museum which is good for kids. Right across it, is the Distillery, Draft’s forefather. To the right is Burgos Circle, a melting pot of bars. And further to the right is my favorite, Toast Box from Singapore.
Other notable spots in the BGC area is Ristra’s for jumbo-sized Mexican food and Malcolm’s which I go for the Eggs Benedict. They are located in the Fairways building, right at the entrance of the BGC, on Mckinley Road.
There is also the new bar, Relic, which is found in what I think is the Deutsche Bank building roughly near the Mind Museum area.
Outside of BGC, in the McKinley Hills area (not really walkable), is JT’s Manukan. It is chicken cooked inasal style from Bacolod city from the Visayas region.
And if you crave history, there is the American Cemetery. Here you will find mosaic maps that will educate you about the Pacific War of World War 2 and some of the graves of those who had fallen.
As you can see, the BGC area is a sprawling place. One day they even plan to build a monorail from the airport to this area, giving the backpacker a just as expensive alternative to the yellow taxis, to get out of the worst airport in world, hehehe.
For long an affront to our sovereignty, the American Cemetery was verboten to Filipinos when I was growing up. But my girlfriend wanted to test the rules, and so we tried going in on my birthday. And what do you know, they just let us right in. I haven’t been to this place in years and it is still very beautiful. I came for the maps. Gorgeously rendered in mosaic tile, it gives you the story of the Pacific War geographically. It makes you realize how petty war is in the grand scheme of things yet so many have to die for it. 17,097 people are buried here, a fraction of those actually lost in the war on both sides. This really is a memorial of never again, and more people should try to see it.
The American Cemetery is open everyday until 5pm.