Six reasons why Manila is one of Asia’s coolest cities

Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide publication has cited Manila as one of the fast becoming coolest cities in Asia.

On its website, Lonely Planet enumerated six reasons why the Philippine’s premier metropolis is emerging as one of “Asia’s most happening capital”, noting its “craft beer, street food and speakeasy bars, to live music and a contemporary art scene.”

The article listed first the Cubao X in Quezon City and The Collective in Makati City as two of the must-visit precincts. The former was noted for its “dive bars; stores selling vinyl records, vintage clothing and collectibles, and a bunch of vibrant cheap eateries”, while the latter for its “large warehouse-like centre hosting live-music venues, art spaces, boutique shopping, street-style food and an energetic crowd of locals and expats out for a good time.”

Second reason is due to “Cocktails, craft beer and third-wave coffee”, describing Metro Manila as an excellent city of drinks.

For quality drinks and refined sounds, it mentioned speakeasy bars like Finders Keepers, The Curator and Blind Pig as the best place to go. For the craft beer enthusiasts, the Big Bad Wolf, Perfect Pint and Global Beer Exchange were highly-recommended.

The coffee addicts, meanwhile, are advised to try Craft Coffee Revolution, Coffee Empire and Edsa beverage Design.

Next reason is the “flourishing food scene” noting several vibrant and innovative restaurants in the capital Manila, Quezon City and Makati which caters to all kinds of visitors, local and foreign, with authentic and cosmopolitan dishes.

It also noted the rise of street food and food trucks which can be tracked through Facebook.

Fourth reason given is because of “Live Music”.

“Manila’s thriving music scene is nothing new. Pinoy rock is a well-respected genre that’s always pulled in the punters with underground bands and bigger acts such as the Eraserheads,” the article read.

Next is the “Edgy Art” noting the throngs of talented artists Manila has produced and the “ultracool” galleries where contemporary and experimental art pieces are showcased.

And last but not the least is the “Culture NGOs” referring to groups formed by local entrepreneur artist and culturephiles to “promote cultural events, art shows and gigs, as well as putting on street markets, music festivals and Sunday brunches.”

The Lonely Planet said while the cultural heydays of the 1920’s and the 1930’s was still far from being recovered, efforts of new-generation, fun-loving Manilenos to put the city back into the map is starting to pay off.