(SPOT.ph) Between carmageddon and transportation woes, it doesn’t take much to become physically and creatively drained living in Metro Manila. Thankfully, there are still pockets in the city that offer respite from the stress of the daily grind. For those seeking a dose of inspiration and a break from the world, look no further than Maginhawa and nearby streets named after positive traits. These roads that comprise UP Village, Teachers Village, and Sikatuna Village in Quezon City may sound familiar because of their lively dining scene, but there’s more to the neighborhood than that. Whether you’re on the lookout for a unique experience or just a place to wind down, this charming locale has you covered.
Here are 10 of the locals' favorite things to do in and around Maginhawa Street:
Support local cinema at Cinema Centenario
Cinema Centenario has been a haven for film lovers since officially opening in December 2017. The microcinema is dedicated to screening independent and mainstream Filipino films, but they feature independent foreign films in their lineup as well. The place offers more than just film screenings, so make the most out of your visit by looking out for their special events such as Q&A forums with directors or artists, master classes with filmmakers, and “Tambay Thursday,” which gathers movie buffs together to discuss films.
Cinema Centenario is at 95 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and from Saturday to Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Score affordable books at Bookfellas
If you’ve ever had to resist the temptation to blow your entire paycheck at a bookstore, you might want to drop by Bookfellas the next time you’re around Maginhawa. The store is the best place to find your next favorite read without breaking the bank, offering the satisfaction of being surrounded by books without the guilt of spending all your savings in one go. They have a diverse selection of genres ranging from fiction to philosophy and more, while prices can go as low as P10. Opened in July, it’s the second bookstore owned by Dan Gaffud—the same guy behind Bookay-Ukay.
Bookfellas is at 19 Malingap Street, Teachers Village West, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and every Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind ice cream flavor
Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream has several branches across the Metro, but their store in Maginhawa is where it all started for this handcrafted ice-cream brand. What makes Papa Diddi’s special is their assortment of quirky, Filipino-inspired flavors such as White Summer Lei inspired by Sampaguita flowers, Backyard Farm Tarragon made from the aromatic Tarragon herb, and Roasted Forbidden Rice made from black rice. Their products are sustainable and homemade, with ingredients locally sourced from farmers from Mountain Province, Nueva Ecija, and Laguna.
Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream is at 68 Maginhawa, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Train to be a ninja
If you're looking to burn some calories after a food crawl in this foodie haven, you can also drop by at Muscle Up Parkour Gym and Urban Training Ground. This alternative fitness facility specializes in...well, parkour, but you can also take circuit training, boxing, and Muay Thai classes. It has agility ladders, high walls for mounting and dismounting, and ropes where you can test your core.
Muscle Up Parkour Gym and Urban Training Ground is at 143 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. It is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Get inked at 55 Tinta
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can check “getting a tattoo” off your bucket list at 55 Tinta. Among the people who own and operate the store are Jay Contreras, Led Zeppelin Tuyay, Puto Astete, and Paolo Bernaldo, who are all recognizable names in the Pinoy music scene. Bernardo plays bass for Moonstar 88, while Contreras, Tuyay, and Astete belong to the rock band Kamikazee. Aside from their impressive roster of skilled and qualified tattoo artists, 55 Tinta’s comfortable and clean spaces will put you at ease.
55 Tinta is at 2/F Luisa 2 Building, 107 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Quezon City.. It is open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Get your fill in a quaint restaurant
Van Gogh is Bipolar is a special restaurant that offers more than just a simple dining experience. It makes a conscious effort to spread awareness about mental illnesses and encourages guests to leave their worries at the door. The menu, designed by chef Jetro Rafael, is arranged according to the emotions that guests want to feel.
Van Gogh is Bipolar is at 154 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. It is open from Wednesday to Monday, from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Reservation is required.
Immerse yourself in art
Project 20 Gallery, which is an artist-run art gallery and creative space, features thought-provoking and engaging art exhibits, concerts, talks, and workshops. It also houses an organic restaurant and organic food shop that features local produce grown by gallery founder Daisy Langenegger. Her small farm also serves as an out-of-town residence for artists workshops.
Project 20 Gallery is at 20 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Work up a sweat in a boxing ring
If you’re looking to get fit while you’re in the area, drop by Elorde Fight Factory Manila. The place offers a rewarding and enjoyable workout that is more than just running on the treadmill for an hour. They offer programs and classes for boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and MMA.
Elorde Fight Factory Manila is at LA Residencia Building, 114 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and every Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Get some work done
The Other Room is a coworking space which offers affordable monthly, daily, and hourly rates that give you access to a quiet space conducive to working, high-speed Internet, unlimited coffee and juice, and access to power outlets. They even have a large collection of vinyl records and board games available for guests to use, and a simple menu with snacks, drinks, and meals. It’s the perfect place for everyone from students to freelancers to get work done or to wind down after a long day.
The Other Room is at 17 Malingap Street, Teachers Village West, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Learn how to make your own bag
Aside from selling customized leather bags, Soul Flower also offers classes on leather crafting (P3,000), metal etching (P3,500), and making all sorts of bags (from P4,500 to P9,000). You can even sign up for basic metalsmithing and create your own jewelry. Materials are included in the workshop fees—all you have to do is drop by, unleash your creativity, and enjoy the session.
Soul Flower Co. is at Unit 2C, 22 Malingap Street, Teachers Village West, Quezon City. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and from Saturday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.