02/5/17

Jollibee Gets A Jolly New Look

What is there to say about Jollibee? It is pretty much a very well-known, beloved, and an omnipresent institution in the country that many people have talked about over the years. Jollibee has grown into a formidable force that even a global behemoth like McDonald’s could not conquer (And I just happened to have watched The Founder recently). Having occupied the topmost position in the country’s fastfood restaurant business for many years now, it would have been easy for Jollibee to be content in its position and become dull and stagnant, which would have jeopardized its long-held position.

Thus, it is a pleasant surprise to see Jollibee make some bold steps forward and reinvent itself is some way. This is apparent when the Urban Roamer checked out the newly renovated Jollibee branch in Glorietta 4, which is considered to be a flagship branch of this fastfood chain. Continue reading

08/1/16

Makati’s Cultural Soul: A Visit To The Ayala Museum

Whenever we hear about Makati and the Makati Central Business District (CBD), we usually associate it with the tall buildings, the swanky hotels, and the classy shopping malls. But in the midst of this modern center of commerce lies a cultural soul of the business district that has managed to thrive to be a landmark in its own right and helped make this part of the metropolis more than just a business hub but a cultural hub as well. Of course, we are talking about the Ayala Museum, one the most well-known museums in the metropolis and the country as a whole.

And as Ayala Museum marks its 50th birthday in 2017, the Urban Roamer invites you to roam this museum as we learn the history and the heritage preserved in this storied structure. Continue reading

01/25/16

Starbucks at 6750 Ayala Avenue: Where the Modern Filipino Coffee Shop Experience Began

Filipinos love coffee, there is no doubt about that. Traditionally though, Filipinos are not really that fancy coffee drinkers. Just a simple cup of coffee bought at the sari-sari store, with perhaps some creamer and sugar would do. There are also the beloved regional blends like the kapeng barako of Batangas or the Philippine Civet Coffee or kapeng alamid which is sourced from the droppings (AKA, uhm…poop) of wild Philippine civets which also happens to be the most rare and expensive variety.

In recent years however, Filipinos have come to appreciate the more “sophisticated” varieties of coffee like the cafe lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, etc. And we can all thank/blame (depending  on your perspective) one establishment for this change: Starbucks. Today on the Urban Roamer, we shall be checking out where it all began as we visit the first Starbucks branch in the Philippines.

Continue reading

12/26/15

A Farewell to Hotel InterContinental

As we in the metropolis are still having a Christmas hangover while looking forward to the New Year, unfortunately one beloved landmark in the city will bade farewell along with 2015 with the Hotel InterContinental Manila having its final day of operations on New Year’s Eve and its New Year’s Eve countdown to be held there being the last event to be held in this storied hotel.

The Hotel InterContinental Manila has been pretty much a part of the cityscape of the Makati Central Business District (CBD) and the greater metropolis of Manila for over 46 years. While the hotel may not be as iconic as the Manila Hotel or The Peninsula Manila, it has a unique charm of its own that has been remembered fondly by guests and visitors who have stayed and/or visited over those years. Continue reading

04/27/15

Mercato @ Glorietta: Mercato Centrale’s New Makati Venture

As someone who has been somewhat abreast with the developments in the metropolis, the Urban Roamer knows all too well the travails of Mercato Centrale with its several attempts to establish itself in the Makati CBD area. There was the food truck concept at Glorietta 1 Park to the one at the carpark rooftop to the one inside Glorietta mall itself, all of them eventually fizzled out.

Now Mercato Centrale is making another attempt to establish themselves in Makati, this time at the Glorietta 4 Park. There are no fancy concepts, just the straight-old Mercato experience folks have come to love known as the Mercato @ Glorietta. Continue reading