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Good Morning, Manila: The Early Bird’s Guide to the Metro

by Chandra Pepino

Manila has a pretty great night life—in fact, it’s so great that foreigners fly in specifically to party on our shores. But what about those of us who want to experience Manila before the traffic and the hustle begin?

INSTAGRAM: myspacetom

Waking up at five in the morning has its benefits, because you’ll get to enjoy the following activities and hang out at the following spots while the hardcore partygoers are still busy catching their Zzzs. Without further ado, the morning person’s Metro Manila itinerary:


Apartment 1B

INSTAGRAM: tableforanne

Apartment 1B is a go-to for Makati folk who want to treat themselves without having to frequent a crowded mall. Then again, the place is such a hit that we recommend you book a table beforehand. Everybody’s a fan of their baked samosas (a triangular baked or fried dish with a savoury filling), poached salmon, and frozen pie (read: vanilla ice cream and Oreo crust). And if you wake up late, no worries—they serve breakfast food until 3 PM.

Apartment 1B
G/F Lafayette Square, LP Leviste cor. Sedeno Street
Salcedo Village, Makati
(02) 843 4075
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 7 AM - 11 PM

B.A.D. Late Night Breakfast Bar


All right, so maybe you’re a morning person and a partygoer. Get ahead of that impending hangover by walking over to B.A.D., where they serve tapa steak, bacon and cheddar waffles (ask for the bourbon pancake syrup), and pork belly. You might find yourself coming over for dinner, too.

B.A.D. Late Night Breakfast Bar
11th Ave., The Palace Complex
Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig
(0917) 550 9999
Open from Tuesdays to Thursdays, 6 PM - 3 AM;
Fridays and Saturdays at 6 PM - 6 AM

Early Bird Breakfast Club

INSTAGRAM: earlybirdbreakfastclub

It’s all in the name: this breakfast nook is for the early birds. But if you’re expecting food that’s only good for the AM, know that their menu is flexible enough for lunch and dinner as well (they’re open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays). First-timers should try anything under the Breakfast of Champions menu, which has fun options like oatmeal jambalaya and lemon butter bangus.

Early Bird Breakfast Club
G/F Fort Pointe 2, The Fort Complex
28th Street, Taguig City
(02) 808 9269
Open from Mondays to Thursdays, 7 AM - 10 PM;
24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays
They also have branches in Makati and Eastwood City.


Find your balance at Yoga Tree Manila

INSTAGRAM: yogatreemanila

Eastwood City’s original hot yoga studio specializes in Bikram yoga, which loosens up muscles and cleanses the body. They also have hot core Pilates, as well as hatha, ashtanga, and vinyasa yoga. It’s the perfect way to get active early in the day when you’re not feeling up for a morning sprint.

Yoga Tree Manila
17 Orchard Road, Eastwood City
Quezon City
(02) 372 9969
Open daily; Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays at 10 AM - 10 PM;
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 AM - 10 PM;
Fridays at 10 AM - 11 PM; and Saturdays at 8 AM - 11 PM

Get swole at The Movement Hub

Ready for something more challenging? The Movement Hub is a CrossFit studio for those who are game enough to do bodyweight circuit training as early as 6:30 AM, when everyone else is probably still snoozin' their alarms. Their MVMNT classes require no machines or weights—just the power of your own body—to fire up your fat burners and get your heart pumping.

The Movement Hub
Unit LG1, Lower G/F ADL Building
Holy Drive cor. Faustino Street, Quezon City
(0917) 554 5291
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 6:30 AM to 9 PM;
Sundays at 9 AM - 5 PM

Move with purpose at Mindful Movement Pilates Asia Studio

INSTAGRAM: mindfulmovtasiapilates

The best thing about Pilates is that anyone, regardless of age or fitness level, can grab a mat and join in—and see and feel the benefits. Mindful Movement Pilates focuses on STOTT Pilates. This kind of Pilates favors a neutral spine position, which is great for strength and posture improvement.

The Mindful Movement Asia Pilates Studio
15/F Ecotower Building, 32nd Street cor. 9th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City
(02) 815 0045 / (0917) 867 6787
Open from Mondays to Fridays, 7 AM - 8PM;
Saturdays at 8 AM - 5 PM

Makati Branch
1402 14/F Pacific Star Building
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Makati Avenue
(02) 886 7744 / (0917) 844 0945
Open from Mondays to Fridays, 6 AM - 9 AM;
Saturdays at 8 AM - 2 PM


Luna Specialty Coffee

INSTAGRAM: lunacoffeeph

Luna puts a spin on classic Filipino breakfast fare. Exhibit A: pan de sal loaded with meat so they look like open-faced tacos and kakanin faves like leche flan in shot glasses (!). Innovative food aside, you’ll love Luna for their no-nonsense coffee—try their Barako or NAC blend to see what we mean.

Luna Specialty Coffee
G/F NAC Tower, 32nd Street
Bonifacio Global City
(02) 403 3449
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 7 AM - 12 MN

Magnum Opus Fine Coffees

INSTAGRAM: magnumopuscoffee

The creators of Magnum Opus wanted to debunk the notion that specialty and third-wave coffee shops can’t open early—so they decided to open their doors as early as 7 AM. The place is a South kid's go-to, especially because they serve the Belgian Heartbreak, which is possibly the best mocha drink in Metro Manila.

Magnum Opus Fine Coffees
Prime Building, 115 Aguirre Avenue
BF Homes, Parañaque City
(0917) 817 3697
Open daily, 7 AM - 11 PM


Quezon City Public Library

INSTAGRAM: sarleenc

When you think ‘public library,’ you might assume that it's poorly-maintained, badly stocked, and overall not a fun place to venture to at the start of the day. But the newly-renovated QCPL is a game-changer, arguably the country’s nicest public library. Not only is its modern architecture inviting to students and non-students, it’s also got light, airy spaces for reading and computer hubs for research. Best of all, access is free for QC residents.

Quezon City Public Library
Gate 7 City Hall Compound
Quezon City
(02) 922 4060
Open from Mondays to Fridays, 8 AM - 5PM;
Saturdays at 8 AM - 4 PM

The Intramuros Performance Tour

INSTAGRAM: annecurtissmith

Famed artist and activist Carlos Celdran wants both locals and foreigners to see Manila’s history in a whole new light. So instead of listening to a boring tour guide drone on about the Spanish colonial period, why not learn and be entertained by one of the country’s best performance artists? Book a 9 AM tour and enjoy a ‘theatrical ride’ from 1571 to 1945 (and then maybe ride a kalesa, dirty ice cream in hand, afterwards).

Carlos Celdran’s Intramuros Performance Tour
Fort Santiago, Manila
(0920) 9092 021 / (0947) 891 3174
Begins at 9 AM

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About Chandra
Chandra Pepino has written for Cosmopolitan, Candy, FHM, and Esquire, among other magazines. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2016. Follow her on Twitter @chandrapepino

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