Mall-Free Retail Nirvana
Like many of its Asian sister capitals, Manila is a city of malls – the local go-to for shopping, dining, even just for relaxing hangouts. But frustrated with the lack of other options, university buddies Dustin Reyes and Cheska Yupangco created The Collective, a former abandoned Makati warehouse turned chic neighbourhood retail complex of shops, galleries, and cafés, and which has in the two plus years since it opened transformed into a thriving hub of off-the-beaten-path shopportunity.
Standouts among the offerings include Homeroom, a classroom-inspired fashion store stocked with smart contemporary labels, live music venue B-Side Bar with its signature Sunday Reggae Nights, and Vinyl on Vinyl gallery, showcasing the work of contemporary pop-culture artists.
There are craft brews at The Beer Gallery, screen prints and custom bikes at HOCUS, and a smattering of cuisines ranging from Japanese at Wabi-Sabi Noodle House to traditional American at Wingman café. But our absolute favourite has got to be Ritual, an all-natural grocer and café carrying a range of organic, eco-friendly products from soaps, lotions, and potions to fair-trade goods like local sugar, coffee and chocolate, all sourced directly from farmers and artisans across the Philippine islands. A one stop gift spot!