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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!   

BTS Themed Neighborhood Coffee Shop: Rkive Cafe

Boybands... A singing and dancing group act that makes all the girls swoon and scream in delight as they also willingly hand in their money to watch concerts and buy various merchandise in support and love for their favorite boys. I'm only too familiar with this as I was once a fan girl when American boyband, Backstreet Boys, were all the craze. Fast forward to today and the boyband is still taking the world by storm with BTS on the helm. Unless you're living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard of them and their songs. 

BTS is a K-Pop group from South Korea and the name is an acronym for the Korean phrase Bangtan Sonyeodan (Bullet Proof Boyscouts). They're a global phenomenon with fans from all over the globe referred to as Army or Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. According to what I read, the fandom name basically means they'll always be together with BTS. 

Meet my cousin, Mae. She's an ARMY. 

 

BTS Themed Coffee Shop 

The BTS fandom is so great that not only has so much merchandise been created on these cute Korean guys, it's even inspired coffee shops. One such coffee shop is Rkive Cafe, located in Bangkal, Makati. 


I first spotted this place because of its balcony and instantly got an inkling that it was either a restaurant or a coffee shop. Later on, when I shared this discovery with my cousin, Mae, she told me it was a coffee shop called Rkive. And not just another coffee shop! But a BTS themed one! 

I love checking out coffee shops. And because she's an Army, I knew my cousin was the right person to take with me to check out the place. 

It's a small place but it's popular among BTS Army. A reservation is required for those who want to dine in. If you want to visit this place, keep an eye out when they post about their reservation registration announcement on Rkive's Facebook page.    

A Look Inside Rkive Cafe 

As soon as you go inside the cafe, you'll be greeted by life size standees of BTS. 



For fans of these boys, it's a must to take a photo beside their favorite K-Pop group. I know my cousin couldn't get enough of having her photo taken beside them. 

Every corner you turn at Rkive is filled with BTS decor from artworks to photos of the boys to Tiny Tans. It's like looking at a fan girl's room actually! Reminds me of the days I used to have a room full of magazines, posters and photos of Backstreet Boys. 








 
You can even buy small BTS merch at Rkive. 


BTS Recommended Reads  

You know what's interesting about this BTS phenomenon? They've even made it to the booklovers community! Their leader, Namjoon, likes to read. So at Rkive, there are also a bunch of books on display available for your reading pleasure. 



Mae told me The Midnight Library in particular is a BTS recommended read. That book's in my to-be-read list too.


Don't feel like reading? And honestly why would you read when you'd most likely be busy fangirling over the decor? You can also skim through the BTS coffee table books available in the cafe. 

The Food at Rkive 

We visited in the afternoon so snacks were in order aside from drinks. 



We ordered cheese mandu (Php165) and potato pizza waffle (Php125). For drinks I had the white chocolate latte (Php110) while Mae had the Borahae (Php95).  


While both snacks taste good, we couldn't finish the cheese (pork) mandu. Umay after a while.  The potato pizza waffle, on the other hand, oh yummy! It's definitely my favorite of the two snacks we ordered. 


 
The Borahae drink is a butterfly pea tea based with passionfruit juice and jam. Mae enjoyed this sweet drink. 



Overall, it was a nice experience at Rkive Cafe. My cousin, an ARMY, definitely enjoyed it more with all the photos she took of her "bebes" as she lovingly calls these boys. Drop by Rkive Cafe and indulge your Army self. 



Rkive Cafe
Lucban Street
Bangkal, Makati City 
Open 12NN - 9PM (except Tuesday and Wednesday) 

 





  

The Coffee Shop in Makati that Serves Interesting Coffees

 


In San Antonio, Makati is a coffee shop called The Black Bean hidden in Eton West End Square. My friend, Mai and I decided to visit, after seeing the photos of the nice interiors from Preview. Yes, we're the kind of folks who like IG-worthy interiors. Reservations are required for this coffee shop. 

The Black Bean PH has two branches, the other located in BF Homes Paranaque, and turns out, the photos of that branch were the ones showcased in the article. We realized that when we got there because the Makati branch is smaller. 

Inside The Black Bean 


Black Bean sports off white and brown colors with touches of green courtesy of the plants displayed inside. It's rocking an industrial look for its space. It's definitely far from the photos we saw but it's got a charm of its own.  

We went here for brunch and there were only two other customers in the cafe when we got there. I think the fact that it's in a mall that's hardly got other retail businesses helps with that cozy ambiance. So if you want to relax or work in peace, you can do that here. You won't be disturbed. 

What We Ordered

Mai ordered the Longganizsa Duo from the Breakfast Bowls while I tried one of their mains, Chicken Parmigiana with a side order of rice. Its two kinds of longganisa are sweet and garlicky Filipino style from Imus, Cavite. Mai liked the big serving and found it delicious.  

Longganisa Duo, Php270.00



Chicken Parmigiana, Php350 


My chicken parmigiana didn't come with rice so I ordered one. Just like Mai's, my orders had a big serving - yes including the rice which I wasn't able to take a photo of anymore. Too excited to eat! I also liked my chicken parmigiana. Even though it had a hint of spice, which I'm usually not crazy about, I was able to finish this off. 

The One of a Kind Coffees

Mai also wanted to try The Black Bean because of their unique coffees. 


Mai ordered the meringue cappuccino. When she showed a photo of this to me, I initially thought it was dessert. But yeah, it's coffee! Looks good, doesn't it?  
 
Meringue Cappuccino, Php220 

She certainly thought it was good. No need for sugar in the cappuccino. The meringue already brings on the sweetness. 

Hey Love! XX, Php220


As for me, well, I was initially going to try their Spanish Latte but I certainly thought their Coffee Temptations selection was worth a try. So I ordered Hey Love! XX, which is cream cheese foam and iced black coffee. I love cream cheese - that's what sold this coffee to me. Didn't disappoint! 

Verdict

Overall we enjoyed our stay at The Black Bean. If I lived nearby this area, I'd certainly be back because of the ambiance and good food. If you want to read up about The Black Bean Cafe, check out this article from Spot.ph