These Hangouts are Perfect For Discovering Your Creativity
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, March 05, 2019 11:16am
Art by Dani Elevazo
Metro Manila is more than just its towering buildings and busy roads. In between skyscrapers and street corners, you can find places where you can feel a spark of creativity within the busy, sometimes gray and draining, city life.
There are hidden gems in the city where you can recharge your social batteries or at least awaken the artist inside you. These creative hangouts, unlike bars or crowded restaurants, are purposely designed to spark conversation and ideas. Who knows? You might just need a nice environment with good food and drinks to show your hidden imaginative side.
Kwago Book Bar
Warehouse 8a, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
Kwago is an independent book bar committed to supporting the local and independent press and local art publishers. One can expect local titles, art books, and zines on their shelves—preloved books are in the mix, too. Its mission is to nurture creativity, empathy, and innovation through reading. They house the initiative “A Curated Shelf”, a two-month exhibit where they will invite an individual to curate 15 publications under a theme. Plus, they have fiction-inspired cocktails!
The Four Strings
59A Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao, Quezon City
The indie arts and music scene is very much alive in Cubao Expo. So, if you’re looking to spark your musical prowess, you can spot great instrument finds and music workshops within the area. One of them is The Four Strings, a shop where you can buy locally handcrafted ukuleles. If you want to play, they have in-house instruments you can borrow within the store premises for your personal jam session. The Four Strings also offers ukulele workshops from time to time; check out their Facebook page for schedules.
IChill Theater Cafe
Dos Castillas St 1125, Manila
If you’re a lover of literature in the form of mini stage plays and intimate talks, IChill Theater Cafe is the place for you. They offer good food along with pocket events such as live debate sessions, stand-up comedy, and mini-concerts. This cafe also boasts a karaoke big screen, which you can rent for 900php per hour. They even have a massage chair, so might as well unleash our inner tita or tito while at it!
4F SM Megamall Fashion Hall, EDSA Cor Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
We are the generation that loves looking back to the “simpler times.” Satchmi takes us back to several decades ago with their store-slash-cafe. This shop sells vinyl records and record players, making it accessible to mall-goers. Satchmi not only gives its customers a nostalgic vibe; it is also space for the local artist to perform in.
4992 P. Guanzon St., Barangay Poblacion, Makati City
Dulo MNL is not only a bar-slash-cafe, but it is also a platform for indie music artists and local spoken word poets to share their craft on stage. The cafe aims to create a haven for the local art community, so its space is also open for performances, exhibits, film viewings, and even product launches.
View this post on Instagram
123 Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City
If you are looking for rare books on Philippine arts and culture, Artbooks.ph is just the place for you. This quiet haven along Pioneer Street feels more of a library than a bookshop. The founders, Katya Guerrero and Ringo Bunoan, know that Filipinos knows little about Filipino culture and arts. This pushed them to put up Artbooks.ph where everyone is welcome to just skim through the pages or to simply spend a day surrounded with local literature.
36 Polaris corner Durban Streets, Poblacion, Makati City
From the name itself, Commune is a place for conversations to happen. Its founder, Rosario Juan, saw the need to get people offline and bring them together. So she organized meet-ups for different interest groups, thus Commune was born. It has an event space perfect for parties, workshops, and poetry and musical events. If event spaces are not what you are looking for, you can just hang out at Commune and enjoy a good cup of local coffee.
These hangouts might be your next go-to places. You can go solo or with your barkada. You’ll never know when ideas will spark and these might even inspire you to put up a space that will also cultivate creativity.