US travel guide cites reasons why Manila is one of 'Asia’s coolest cities'

October 29, 2014 9:25 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 28 (PNA) — Draft beer, street food, and speakeasy bars are only some of the reasons why Manila is emerging as one of Asia's most happening capitals, according to popular US travel guide, Lonely Planet.

On its official website, Lonely Planet cited six reasons why the country’s capital was worthy of being dubbed as one of Asia’s coolest cities.

Among the reasons include: Cubao X and the Collective; Cocktails, draft beer and third-wave coffee; flourishing food scene; live music; edgy art; and culture non-government organizations (NGOs).

According to the site, Cubao X in Quezon City and the Collective in Makati were both places “where Manila’s arty, hip, student crowd congregate.”

The site took note of Cubao X’s little village comprising dive bars; stores which sold vinyl records, vintage clothing and collectibles; and a bunch of vibrant cheap eateries; while the Collective being the perfect venue for hosting live-music venues, art spaces, boutique shopping, street-style food and an energetic crowd of locals and expats.

It also gave credit to Metro Manila for being an excellent city for a drink since cheap beers were readily available at street side stalls or artisan drinks concocted by local brewers, mixologists and baristas.

Aside from drinks, the site spoke highly of Manileños’ innovative food culture, especially on street food and the rise of food trucks which can be tracked on Facebook, such as Food Truck Park.

It also mentioned the accessibility of artisan food shopping at the Salcedo and Legazpi farmers markets, where locals head on the weekends for local and international treats.

Live music, according to site, has always been known as the best part of being in the country. It noted that Filipino (Pinoy) rock is a “well-respected genre” and that the clubbing scene is also strong.

The site also gave credit to Manila for having long produced talented artists and their galleries to showcase the work of its contemporary and experimental art scene.

Finally, Lonely Planet cited how the country’s local entrepreneur artists and culturephiles have set up grass-roots NGOs to “promote everything cool going on in Manila (and not in the mall).”

The site specifically mentioned VivaManila, an NGO which started by a proud group of Manileños on a mission to “revive what had become downtrodden downtown Manila.”

With these reasons, it’s no surprise how the Philippines clinched the eighth spot in the site’s Best in Travel 2015 list the same day one of its islands, Palawan was named top island in the world by another US travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveler.

Earlier this month, the country also bagged the "Destination of the Year" title at the 25th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2014 last. Oct 3.

Lonely Planet has been regarded as the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 120 million books in eleven different languages. It also produces a range of gift and reference titles, an award-winning website and magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps.

Currently, the travel guide company has offices in the Australia, UK, USA, India and china with over 400 employees and 200 authors. (PNA)

LGI/ANP

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