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Coffee Shops to Check Out at Bangkal, Makati

 What I love about living in the city is that there is always something new to check out. Some new attraction, mall, restaurant,s and coffee shops. Speaking of coffee shops, I've noticed recently a few cafes that have been popping up in the neighborhood of Bangkal, Makati. 

Bangkal has been known for thrift shopping because of the many thrift stores you'll find there. But now I'm thinking there may be a new thing coming up for this particular neighborhood and that's the coffee shops. As a coffee drinker and someone who likes hanging out at cafes, I thought I scoped out some of these coffee shops. 

Cafe 1911



This is the latest coffee shop I visited located along Captain M. Reyes Street. It's hard not to notice this new cafe whether you're walking by or looking out the window while riding the jeepney. It rocks an all-white interior.  





I think it looks simple and nice especially on a bright and sunny day.  I read it's a Korean-inspired cafe so I invited my cousin who loves Korean stuff to go with me.

According to what's posted on their wall, Cafe 1911 is built as a tribute to the owners' fathers who are now just a memory. They hope that through the cafe, they'll be able to share that same feeling of joy and love that has filled their life's cups.

Aside from coffee, the shop carries non-coffee drinks such as Iced-C Tea and Passion Fruit Juice, pastries and pasta on their menu. We tried their coffee and some pastries. 
 




It's good coffee and delicious pastries indeed. 

Cafe Seventy Six 



Cafe Seventy Six with its white painted wall stands out in a street that's lined up with houses. I discovered this coffee shop while walking around the neighborhood. I've been a regular customer of this cafe since then. 

They have quite a number of selections for drinks, but not a lot for food. They do have my favorite Jammin' Jamaica patties so that's a plus on my book! 




I like the white and brown colors they have here. Looks warm and inviting to stay at. Try their banoffee latte! That's my fave! Also not to be missed is their affogato. The barista told us about it and even encouraged us to take a video of the espresso being poured on the ice cream because you know, it's the day and age of sharing on social media.  



Cafe Seventy Six's beginnings started in 2019 when a group of friends came up with the idea to open a coffee shop. The following year, 2020, that idea came to fruition. They originally were set to open a cafe in Legaspi Village, Makati but then the pandemic and series of lockdowns happened. When they pivoted, they started online, catering to take-outs and deliveries only until a year later, when finally they were able to put up their cafe in Bangkal, Makati. 

Convenience Coffee Shop



I found out about Convenience Coffee Shop via Instagram. I then asked my cousin to check it out with me. Unlike the first two cafes though, it was a bit harder to find this coffee shop. I recall my cousin and I reached the end of Apolinario street, Bangkal, almost at the highway but we didn't see it. Turned out, that we'd already walked past it. It was already early evening and the cafe was closed. It doesn't stand out like Cafe 1911 or Cafe Seventy Six. Convenience Coffee Shop blends in. 

You can buy this shirt at Convenience Coffee Shop 




Though they don't they have a lot of coffee drinks and food selection (I think they're still building up their menu),  I've also been a regular customer. Though quite far from where I live, I love staying here, sitting outside even when the heat of the afternoon sun hits my spot. I brought a friend here once and we spent an afternoon just chatting away for hours until it was time to go because the cafe was closing. 

Sometimes, I bring a book to read or I borrow one of their magazines. They have quite a magazine selection! And I'm not just talking about back issues of the Good Housekeeping. Sometimes, I just sit there, quietly drinking my coffee. 

When I'm in need of a breather from the craziness of work and life, I go here. They even have a sign that encourages it. Sit down, slow down, drink coffee. 

Bonus

There's another coffee shop in Bangkal, Makati that's sure to be a hit among fans of BTS. Read about my visit to Rkive Cafe


My Top 5 Fave Budget Places to Eat At

One of the perks of living in the Metro is that there are plenty of options when it comes to food places. Om a budget? Fast food. Want to have snacks while chilling with friends? Go to a cafe. Feel like splurging? Dine at a restaurant. 

But presented with so many choices can also be a challenge. How do you decide where to eat? As a person who doesn't have an adventurous palate, I often have my go-to places where to order food from especially when I'm on a budget! 

Here are my top 5 faves: 

1. Jollibee

But of course right? Jollibee is very panlasang Pinoy. I've been eating at Jollibee since I was a kid. I even remember my parents buying me all the merchandise sold by Jollibee from the toys to the lunch box. It's a budget meal that always satisfies. To this day, my ultimate favorite meal from Jollibee is Champ. I will always eat this burger. Diet be damned!  

2. KFC 

Finger lickin' good KFC! When it comes to juicy chicken on a budget, I always go for KFC. This fast food joint has also been a go-to place since childhood when my parents would take me to the mall. There've been quite a few changes to their menu over the years like no more bread rolls! Still, I think their chicken remains the same in terms of taste and so it's often something I order for the family. 

3. Chowking

When it comes to budget Chinese food, my go-to is Chowking. Unlike KFC and Jollibee, I only got around to liking this place back in College. My introduction to this fast food joint was not a choice of mine. It just so happens that it was the only nearby fast food place in the area that was still open late that time when my Collegemates and I needed to eat. 

My first ever favorite thing on Chowking’s menu offering was Braised Beef. But that was phased out. Then came Yangchow Rice which I’ve loved pairing with their Stir Fry Kangkong. Unfortunately, Chowking has also phased out both. Why, Chowking? Why? I deserve a reasonable explanation. LOL! 

For those who've been missing Chowking's Braised Beef, check this video out on how to recreate this fave dish. 

4.  McDonald’s 

I didn’t like McDonald’s for the longest time. Mainly because I once ordered a Big Mac from them, my first time to try it, and I didn’t like it. I thought it was bland. It was nothing like the ad I saw which looked, well, delicious. But at a kiddie birthday party once, I was able to try their spaghetti and fries and the rest was history. 

To this day, those two are still my fave dishes to offer from McDonald’s. Though they’ve expanded their menu offerings and I’ve discovered a couple more dishes I like. Hello, McChicken Sandwich – one of my favorite comfort foods and chicken ala king. 

5. Burger King

Last, but not the least, on my list of fave budget places to eat at, Burger King. This quickly became a favorite of mine in high school. I had a friend who would always order a meal from Burger King to take to the movies with him and he was the one who introduced this fast food joint to me. During those days, I, too, would order from Burger King, a meal I can take to the movies with me. 

For the longest time, the only thing I eat at Burger King is their Mushroom Swiss Burger. Oh how I love its juicy patty, the melted cheese and the mushrooms! Their fries are a must order to go along with burger meals. I love the thick cut potatoes. 

What’s on the Menu?

While I’m always comforted by my favorite meals, there are times that even I feel like switching things up. Sometimes, that means exploring a new restaurant or simply a new dish from one of my go-to food joints. Of course, in order to decide, the question is always “What’s on the menu?”

Pre-days of Google, I recall we collected menu leaflets that are stacked on our fridge door with the delivery number of the restaurant. These days of course, everything’s a search away on the World Wide Web. Thinking of ordering from a new and unfamiliar restaurant? Google it for reviews! And then search again for the full menu since reviews only highlight the best sellers or specialty usually.

Speaking of finding a menu list online, check this source out. It has a list of fast food brands and smaller food companies that are available in the Philippines with their menu and price information. 

Whether you’re ordering for yourself or for a group of people, you can easily see what might appeal to your taste buds and your budget. 


Korean Cultural Center and Burgers Day

Just before the rainy season was officially declared, I was able to squeeze in a little adventure in the city. Since I recently learned about Korean Cultural Center, I invited my cousin to visit the place. She's got Korea on her travel bucket list so I knew she'd appreciate the place. 


Entrance to Korean Cultural Center 's new home is free (for now). We went on a weekday, just as it opened since we wanted to avoid the crowd. 


KCC is located at Bayani Road, Taguig. For those who have a car, yes, there's parking in the place but only a handful of vehicles can be accommodated and there is no other nearby parking.  We took a Grab to get there. Convenient. 


 
The wall art outside KCC is definitely an eye catcher. Definitely worth taking a photo of.  


About Korean Cultural Center

KCC is the official cultural arm of the Korean Embassy. If you're a fan of K-Pop or you binge watch K-drama series, you'll definitely appreciate the rich culture of Korea more by visiting KCC. It has a mini museum, a dance studio, classrooms to learn short courses at and a library.  

Activities to Do at KCC

Since it's still on its soft opening, there were only two floors open. The ground floor is the mini museum. This is really where you'll learn more about Korea's culture from food, language, clothes and so much more. 

Virtual Tryout of Hanbok 

The hanbok is the traditional Korean clothing. At KCC, you can try out various hanbok virtually. 




I actually had a hanbok made a few years ago when I attended our company Christmas party which had a United Nations theme. It was a beautiful costume but sadly, I didn't win best in costume then. Anyway... so these are our virtual looks. We look cute I may so! 

And you can save your virtual looks on your phone simply by scanning the QR code. 


Wrote Our Names in Hangul

Hangul or the Korean alphabet is the modern official writing system for the Korean language. 



And on the fifth floor, we checked out the Punghwa (Light of ASEAN) exhibit. 



We were able to get a clean shot because we were the only ones in there.😀



According to the brochure, this exhibit aimed to show the similarities of of Korea and the Philippines, one of which is both our fondness for the light culture, a symbol of hope and a practice of wishing into the shining light in the dark sky.


Speaking of wishing, after checking out Punghwa, don't forget to write your own wish on the postcards provided outside the exhibit area and drop it in the dropbox. Who knows? Your wish might just come true!   

This article is a helpful read on learning more about Korean Cultural Center.

In a Mood for Burgers 

  
After our visit to KCC, we went to BGC because my cousin wanted to try Shake Shack burgers. 




I tried out Shake Shack a few years ago when it had just opened in the same branch, BGC High Street with some friends. The place was packed then! I find Shake Shack expensive in all honesty. It's a good burger but not the kind I'd crave for. 

We also went to Makati after and ended up having dinner at 8Cuts in Greenbelt. Yes, burgers again!😆




Now this burger is my fave! It's juicy and at around Php300 more or less, I've already got a drink and fries. Even when I'm not craving for a burger, the mention of 8cuts is enough to get my mouth watering. 

Anyway, so that was one of my recent adventures in the city. Isn't it wonderful to know that there's always something to do in the Metro? 

Lakbay Museo: The Philippines' Culture Presented in an Instagrammable Way



Lakbay Museo opened at S Maison, Conrad Manila, Pasay a few months before the pandemic hit and we all had to go on lockdown and start quarantining. I've seen it a few times then when I pass by S Maison and have always wanted to visit. Finally, I found a willing companion to come with me, my cousin, Ricca. 

The photo above shows us by the entrance of Lakbay Museo. As explained to us, though not shown in the photo, there are three ways to enter the museum: through the jeepney, the airplane or the boat. Currently, the airplane which is the middle entrance, isn't available. But these three entrances are meant to represent the three ways one can explore the Philippines: by land, by sea and by air. 


We picked the jeepney over the boat. And how fitting of me as a traveler since I prefer land travels over airplane rides and boats. 

Lakbay Museo is an interactive museum where you can learn about the Philippines' culture while letting you touch and play with items in the museum and take your photo with them as well. 


Inside Lakbay Museo

Inihaw street food is popular among us Filipinos 



Baskets of dried fish. Considering the Philippiens is surrounded by bodies of water, it's no surprise fish is a highly consumed meal in the country. 


And of course, we've got the different meats sold in the market from pigs, beef and chicken. I personally love eating beef and dearly miss eating Nilagang Baka. Because of high prices of meat in the market, mom usually cooks Nilagang Baboy instead.  


Carinderia is also part of the Filipino culture. Although the photo is really more like a small grocery. Carinderia after all is defined as a small roadside restaurant that serves Filipino dishes that are lutong-bahay.


Another Filipino culture? The sari-sari store. Like the carinderia, it's also usually found in every street where you can buy various items from candies to chips, to soft drinks, noodles and canned goods. Some even sell stuff like plastic balloons and paper dolls. 

We've got a carinderia and a sari-sari store. Though when I was a kid, I remember going to another sari-sari store just a few houses away from where I live. They sold plastic balloons which I loved blowing up. 






A couple of Filipino indigenous people 

Bahay Kubo 




 And because the Philippines is dubbed as the Pearl of the Orient Sea, we also have canned sardines 


                
                 


                       

Various Filipino Foods

Something I love about the Filipino culture is the many delectable foods we have in the different regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I think if you're a foodie, the experience of tasting the different Filipino dishes is heavenly idea.  


Camote cue and banana cue. Personally, I enjoy eating banana cue as a snack. It's ripe banana cooked with brown sugar. 


Lechon is also a much loved dish in the Philippines. Traditional Filipino celebrations often have lechon served during their gatherings such as weddings, Christmas, New Year and birthdays. I remember my birthday parties always had this. 



                

Various Filipino kakanin and various pansit. Some of my fave kakanin are sumang malagkit, maja and puto bungbong which usually can be bought around Ber months when Christmas is nearing. As for pancit, well, I've always loved pancit bihon and pancit lucban which we usually order from Buddy's.  




Final Thoughts

We definitely had a great time bonding at Lakbay Museo. I think this interactive museum is worth visiting for both kids and adults alike. And whether you're Filipino or you've got a foreign friend you'd like to introduce the Philippines to, this is a great place to start! There's so much you can learn just by exploring the place. 

If you want to visit Lakbay Museo, there's a great deal on Klook that's not to be missed: Lakbuy 1, Get 1 Free Ticket!