08/10/17

Makati’s Little Tokyo

If there is one facet of Makati that not many people are aware about, it is that it has a vibrant Japanese neighborhood located at the fringe of the main business district.

In particular, this Japanese neighborhood can be found along the stretch of Chino Roces Avenue and neighboring streets in the area approximately between Rufino Street and Arnaiz Avenue. Then again, one cannot miss it with the presence of establishments catering to Japanese clientele, as well as to Nipponophiles.

Herald Suites in Chino Roces Avenue may not sound like a Japanese hotel, but it is located in Makati’s Japanese neighborhood and it has a Japanese bar and restaurant as well.

But if you want to have a taste, literally and figuratively, of Japan but cannot yet afford the airfare, Little Tokyo is the place to go.

The moment you pass through the arch, makes you feel you are no longer in the urban jungle of Metro Manila. Indeed, it feels as if you are being transported into the heart of Japan. But don’t expect that Little Tokyo will virtually take you to the modern, bustling Tokyo of today. Instead, it invites you to appreciate the old, laidback vibe of Japanese capital.

Surrounded by bonsais and colorful paper lanterns, Little Tokyo provides visitors the experience of what traditional Japan is like while enjoying some sumptuous Japanese cuisine and drinks, courtesy of the restaurants located there. It also helps that the area is laid out in such a way that you are being insulated from the noise and chaos of the outside, making it an ideal place to relax and enjoy what traditional Japan has to offer.

So if you’re craving Japanese, why not go all out and experience not only the taste but the feel of Japan as well. It’s a must visit not only for any Nipponophile but for anyone for seeks a place for respite in a frenetic city.

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10/10/16

Coworking In The City: Acceler8

It’s been while since the last edition of the Urban Roamer’s little miniseries, so it’s time once again to visit another coworking spaces in the metropolis. Today, this roamer checks out another rising star in the coworking circuit a coworking space known as Acceler8 located within the busy Makati Central Business District.

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02/22/16

Coworking In The City: A Space Greenbelt

Sometime last year, I have made the transition from being an office employee to a freelancer. It was a crazy ride, to say the least. And I actually wrote about it, so check it out here to find out how it was for me. The timing of this transition is an interesting one I should say. As more and more people are embracing becoming freelancers, there has been a growth in demand in recent years for what are called coworking spaces, where freelancers like myself and startups can have a place where they can work while not having to worry about the huge rental rates, among others, that regular office spaces demand. At the same time, these spaces have become hubs for collaboration, growth, and even networking among startups and freelancers who form communities in these spaces.

As a salute of sorts to the freelancers and startups who are the driving force of this new economy and the places where they thrive, the Urban Roamer is proud to present this series “Coworking in the City.” This will be a feature you will see here on the site from time to time about the various coworking spaces around Metro Manila and what they offer, plus my admittedly impressions which you don’t have to take my word for. So if you are a budding freelancer, just set up a startup company, or maybe even considering doing either, may this series serve as an inspiration of sorts as you begin your journey.

Okay, I’ve said too much so we shall begin the first edition of this series with a visit to one of the more popular coworking spaces in the city: A Space Greenbelt. Continue reading

03/18/15

Saint Patrick’s Day in the City: A Bit of Ireland at Murphy’s

For Irish blokes around the world, there’s no better occasion to celebrate their Irish heritage than Saint Patrick’s Day. Essentially a Catholic feast day (given the majority of the Irish belong to this particular faith) honoring the missionary who helped bring Christianity to Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day evolved into becoming an Irish celebration that we know today, one filled with grand parades, themes of greens and clovers all over, and of course, lots of alcohol consumption, despite the fact that this holiday falls within the Lenten Season. (the Catholic Church actually has made an exception such that abstinence from alcohol is lifted for that day)

Even non-Irish fellas can’t help but be enamored with St. Patrick’s Day too with its vibrant and jovial atmosphere and the alcohol along with it. That, coupled with Irish migration over the years, has contributed to the spread of Irish culture to other parts of the world. Even in the Philippines, one can experience a bit of the good ol’ Irish atmosphere thanks to one spot in the city that is proud to banner its Irishness, Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Makati.

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09/1/13

Protestantism in the metropolis: The Union Church of Manila

Brought by the Americans when they set foot to colonize the Philippines, Protestantism has grown to make a significant presence in the country’s religious environment that was long dominated by the Roman Catholic Church and, in Mindanao especially, Islam.

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Interestingly, Protestantism was not introduced to the Filipinos in the same manner the Spaniards introduced Catholicism here. In fact, there were no widespread conversion activities. One can point out the democratic ideals introduced by the Americans, emphasizing on religious freedom and all that. But the more understated reason as to wh Protestantism developed differently in the country is because it was geared more at first to the Americans themselves who came here, who needed a venue to practice their faith at a time when there was a Catholic church in almost every corner but not a single Protestant church in sight. Continue reading