Selected Bench stores, P445. Bench calls for major PDA for everything local, that is. Celebrate the diversity of our country with this collection of insights from all types of Filipinos superstars, creatives, national icons, business tycoons, taxi drivers, and the like. The retail powerhouse chronicles their love for everything Pinoy in this collection of beautiful portraits, artwork, essays, and insights from the country’s top talents.
Whether you’re having a rough week or need to do BFF duty for a heartbroken kabarkada, this bar along a quiet street in Ortigas is your best bet. It’s great for de-stressing (no crowds and congested establishments nearby), and there’s enough space for everyone. Cosmo tip? Get a round of the signature Hand Grenade shots to start the night on a high note trust us, you’ll only need one!
Catch an all-star cast in this hilarious killer-comedy-horror series from the creators of Glee and American Horror Story. Think Clueless and Mean Girls meet Scream: satirical, witty humor mixed with enough scare-tactics and creepy scenarios to keep you screaming in suspense.
This All-American favorite makes its debut in Manila, and we’re loving it. Head to this cozy spot for the ultimate comfort food it’s the perfect place for unwinding with the BF or spending some QT with the family. Our faves? Korean Rub-Ribs and the TDF Sriracha Shrimp. Yum.
Kapampangan cuisine is so renowned, it’s in a league of its own. A malinamnam blend of Filipino, Spanish, Malay, and even Mexican cuisine, it has grown to develop a rep worthy of international foodie Anthony Bourdain’s attention, as featured in his TV show No to reboot. Take an hour’s drive and get lost in the past, eat your heart out, and play all day with the best this nearby province has to offer.
Iguana’s Cantina Mexicana along Don Juico Avenue, Angeles City, is worth the visit if your taste buds are all Pinoy’d out. Get the combination plate (P300): a serving of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and chili con carne good for sharing. You won’t go wrong with their beef and chicken options. Top off the meal with their yummy cocktails their margaritas and sangria are the best way to get tipsy.
But there’s more to the Philippines’ food capital than the places featured in the show (such as sculptor Claude Tayag’s reservations-only Bale Dutung where diners feast on a four-hour, 10-course degustation lunch.) Eat where the locals go for the real deal and check out some of their favorites:
Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy and Sisig near the border of San Fernando in Angeles City offers the best of sinful Pinoy food. Their fried tokwa is mixed with a tangy sweet sauce, and the crispy sisig hits the spot sans the strong taste of onions and the guilt brought on by too much oil. Indulge in chichaiong bulaklak, perfectly cooked with a light, crispy texture you might just end up eating the whole platter. Or go guilt-free and get the light and tasty pako (fern) salad. Don’t miss their famous tocino barbecue, too. The familiar sweetness of tocino comple-mented by the smoky flavor from the grill is TDF.
Razon’s Who doesn’t love a good merienda? Razon’s is everywhere in Metro Manila, but the original branch is in Guagua, Pampanga. Don’t miss their signature sweet and creamy halo-halo, the perfect midday refresher. While you’re there, try their pancit luglug or classic dinuguan and puto, too.
Get some alone time at Prado Farms’ library
Betis Church, t said to be the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines
Play all day
You’ll find adventure everywhere in Pampanga. Head to these spots:
Pampanga Eye in Sky Ranch, San Fernando, for a view of the landscape and Mt. Arayat from 213 feet in the air.
Alviera’s Sandbox in Porac is a must-visit. Indulge your inner child in their giant playgrounds: try the roller coaster zip line, aerial walk, and even the ATV ride that can go as far as the Miyamit Falls. Don’t forget to bring lots of drinking H20 and sunscreen!
The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the most-awaited events in Pampanga. Often falling on Valentine’s weekend, the annual Hot Air Balloon Fest is attended by spectators and exhibitionists from all over the world. The colorful and whimsical hot air balloon show, paragliding, skydiving, and aerobatic exhibitions are just some of the many aerial activities to watch for. Mark your calendars this early: the 20th International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta will be held on February 11 to 14, 2016.
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