A Weekend in the City: Makati & BGC

Ever find yourself "stuck" in BGC or Makati during the weekend and in need of some R&R from the hustle and bustle of the work week? Read on for a list of places to eat, drink, see, and relax in BGC and Makati. by Marga Andrews

For those living in Metro Manila, you don’t have to travel so far to enjoy a weekend off from work. Save the road trip for another day, it’s time to see what a weekend well spent in the city can do to refresh you from the daily grind. With Makati and BGC bustling with life and activity, planning an itinerary has never been easier. Read on for a list of things to see and do in each area.


1. EAT: Single Origin Osteria

Photo from Single Origin Osteria on Facebook

Treat yourself to the newest brunch spot, Single Origin Osteria, along Bautista Street in Salcedo Village. If you’re familiar with their original Single Origin Cafe menu, you can still grab a cup of your go-to coffee at this location, but come to sample the specialty Italian dishes unique to this newly opened Osteria concept.

2. DRINK: Cartel Coffee Deli

Photo from Cartel Coffee Deli on Facebook

Tucked away in the middle of Leviste Street is Cartel Coffee Deli. Although not new, this small coffee shop is often overlooked, making it ideal for those times you crave some low-key “me-time.” Their coffee selection is curated by Yardstick Coffee, with their specialty drink, the Salcedo Swing, proclaimed a must-try by patrons. For those coming in a hungry mood, the place also serves a medley of European-inspired food items, from simple omelettes and salads to heftier pizzas and pastas.

3. DISCOVER: La Fuerza Compound

Photo from Vinyl on Vinyl on Instagram

It may be worth it to pay a visit to the La Fuerza Compound if you ever find yourself along Chino Roces. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it compound is right across the nearby Avida Towers Makati Southpoint.

There master the craft of art appreciation and play the role of art critic for the day. The venue is host to several art galleries worth discovering, like the Finale Art File gallery for contemporary art and the Vinyl on Vinyl gallery for pop-culture art.

4. RELAX: I’M Onsen Spa

Photo from I’M Onsen Spa on Facebook

If a moment of zen is more your speed, I’M Onsen Spa may be worth a try. This Japanese-inspired hotel spa certainly pulls out all the stops to give customers an authentic experience. With amenities that rival other popular spa chains, the place boasts Onsen Pools, which were designed to mimic Japanese hot springs, and a special Tea Room, where an assortment of teas is made available for all to enjoy before their massage.

Swing by the I’M Hotel along Makati Avenue and prepare to sit back, relax, and kiss goodbye to the stress of work — your mind and body will thank you later.

Bonifacio Global City

1. EAT: Friends & Family

Photo from Friends & Family on Facebook

If the thought of experimental Filipino food excites you, then Friends & Family at Bonifacio High Street Central should be on your bucket list for food. This restaurant offers not only Filipino staples, like the Pinoy-style sweet spaghetti, but also other seemingly traditional dishes with a twist, like their Ube Champorado. With large servings, there’s plenty to go around and lots to love for all generations of Filipinos who come and dine here.

2. DRINK: The Alley Milk Tea

Photo from The Alley on Facebook

Craving for milk tea without the two-hour wait in line? Make your way to The Alley Milk Tea off 31st and 9th Streets. Thanks to the tea shop’s nondescript location, lines at The Alley aren’t as crazy long (but they’re still long), which often seems to be the case with other tea shops. Originating from Taiwan, the shop and their milk teas are just as crave-inducing and Instagram-ready as all the rest. Give their best-seller, the Royal No. 9, a taste test.


Photo from BGC Art Mart on Facebook

With vibrantly designed murals decorating its many buildings and odd sculptures found here and there, it’s clear that BGC is a city that is no stranger to the arts. It’s also no surprise then to see a pop-up art bazaar such as the BGC Art Mart make its way to the public.

Located at the Alveo Central Plaza along 26th and 9th Streets, the BGC Art Mart is host to several purveyors of handcrafted jewelry, bags, and leather goods, along with a variety of mixed media artists showcasing their one-of-a-kind paintings and drawings for sale. Happening every third weekend of the month (May 17-18 from 4PM to 10PM is the next scheduled event), the fair also boasts live performances, on-the-spot commissions from some crafters, and delicious food to keep you full as you stroll through the venue.

4. RELAX: Young Living Experience Center

Photo from Young Living Experience Center on Facebook

Still undecided whether to jump on the essential oil bandwagon or not? Learn all about it at the Young Living Experience Center at Twenty-five Seven McKinley Building on 25th and 7th Streets.

One of the leading essential oil companies in the world, Young Living recently opened headquarters in Manila after building a steady base of over 60,000 Filipino users. Come to the Experience Center to satisfy your curiosity about essential oils, discover its wellness benefits, and maybe even finally stock up on a few starter vials.

The next time you find yourself “stuck” in the city again, just venture outside your doors and discover all that’s nearby. The best part of it all? Many of these places are walkable and just a stone’s throw away from several Avida condominiums in both BGC and Makati, saving you plenty of commute time and money. To learn more about the nearby Avida properties, visit www.avidaland.com.