Going to the mall has become a staple for anyone living in Metro Manila looking to pass the time, which is kind of a shame in some aspects. There are so many other ways you could be spending your free time if you dared to venture out of the multiple walls of your favorite monolithic shopping center. If you want to change up your usual routine, check out MyProperty.ph’s list of things you can do in various cities of Metro Manila.
See Manila in a different light
“Walk This Way,” a Manila walking tour founded in 2002 by performance artist/political activist/tour guide Carlos Celdran, is a history lesson taught by someone who’s far from the one you probably had in school. The tour is basically a one-man show; a period-costumed Celdran narrates significant points of Philippine history through acting, music, and a lot of comedy.
Work out at SM MOA’s seaside grounds
The long boardwalk on SM Mall of Asia’s seaside is a favorite go-to for people trying to be more physically active. Visit on a weekend morning and you’ll find the place teeming with people doing all sorts of outdoor activities, from jogging to walking their dogs to even Zumba.
Play restaurant bingo in Sikatuna, Quezon City
Okay, so there isn’t really an activity like that (although wouldn’t that be fun?), but there’s no denying that over the years, we’ve seen the rise of various types of restaurants in the area, particularly in Maginhawa Street. Cuisines range from European to Asian to American, and styles from holes-in-the-wall to big brand franchises, so if you want to eat something different every day for at least a month here, you won’t be disappointed.
Push your biking limits in Alabang, Muntinlupa
For sporting enthusiasts with a need for speed, take your bikes to the Filinvest MTB Trail, where challenging trails can put your riding skills to the test. Not into biking? No worries; this lush trail also serves as a relaxing urban getaway for joggers.
Watch buskers in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Are you the type who listens to underground musicians before they become mainstream? You’d feel right at home in BGC, where buskers or street artists perform their craft free of charge (though they won’t say “no” to donations). And think twice before ignoring these outdoor artists; world-renowned performers B.B. King, Tracy Chapman, and Robin Williams started out as buskers, too.
Shop and dine alfresco in Makati
This city really is one that doesn’t sleep; aside from being a busy financial district from Monday to Friday, enterprising individuals do business on the weekends too. Salcedo Park, for one, transforms into one hectic but fun market every Saturday. Offerings come in the form of arts and crafts as well as good eats, so there’s something for everyone.
Go bird-watching in Las Piñas and Parañaque
No, we don’t mean stand outside your house and stare at the birds perched on a nearby electrical wire. The Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is a 175-hectare nature reserve that’s home for over 80 species of birds and 70 kinds of trees. All you need to bring is a camera, as entrance to LPPCHEA is free.
Take a photowalk in Santa Elena, Marikina
As one of the first towns established by the Augustinians in the 1700s, Santa Elena has quite a collection of historical structures. Some of its most famous heritage sites are the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, which was consecrated in 1690; the Vivencio “Captain Venciong” Cruz house, built in 1851 and is one of the oldest homes in the city; and Kapitan Moy Building, the 200-year-old home of Don Laureano Guevarra, who founded the Marikina shoe industry.
Awaken your love for art in Mandaluyong
Whether you’re a budding Andy Warhol or someone who just appreciates good art, you’ll find it hard not to marvel at the works displayed at Art Underground in Mandaluyong. Primarily a gallery for contemporary visual art, Art Underground also features creations in other artistic disciplines, such as literature, performance, film, design, and architecture.
Haggle for goods in Pasig Public Market
Whatever you’re planning to cook for Sunday lunch with the family, you’re bound to find the ingredients here. Formally known as the Mutya ng Pasig Public Market, it’s widely recognized as the largest of its kind in the country, spanning 19,457 square meters and rising three stories. It’s said to have over 2,400 fixed stalls, but when flea market kiosks are open on the weekend, you have a total of more than 5,000 stalls to shop from.