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What to Do in Manila When It Pours

by Chandra Pepino

With an average of twenty tropical cyclones hitting the country every year, the Philippines is no stranger to rainy weather.

Metro Manila, as most of us know all too well, can be extra difficult to navigate when a new typhoon hits. Ride-sharing options are in high demand, public transportation is a nightmare, and flights get cancelled left and right, so often, the time-tested solution is to stay in. But how about instead of spending another rainy afternoon at home, you brave the traffic for juuust a bit (hear us out!) and make the most out of an otherwise inconvenient experience? A few suggestions spanning every corner of the metro await you below.

Spend the night (or weekend) somewhere else.

Our weather forecast services have become advanced enough that we’re able to precisely predict storms down to the hour, so take advantage of this information by pre-booking a staycation at a hotel. The sound of rain makes for A-plus ambient noise, encouraging good sleep and calm—and a change of scenery just might make you more appreciative of the water drops racing down your window. Privato Hotel is within walking distance to Estancia Mall and all the mom-and-pop shops in foodie neighborhood Kapitolyo, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll run out of things to do. If you’re looking to get cozy with a significant other and get a good discount on Korean barbecue, then Cocoon Boutique Hotel is your best bet (they have their very own Samgyupsalamat outlet!). Don’t want to stray too far from your Makati office? The One Pacific Place Serviced Residences is right at the heart of Salcedo Village...and you’ll get to enjoy a buffet breakfast before racing off to work on Monday.

Privato Hotel
706 Shaw Boulevard, Pasig
(02) 318 5888

Cocoon Boutique Hotel
61 Scout Tobias St. cor. Scout Rallos St.
Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City
(02) 921 2706 to 08

One Pacific Place Serviced Residences
161 H.V. Dela Costa St.
Salcedo Village, Makati
(02) 304 7777

Learn how to make a real cup of coffee.

INSTAGRAM: yardstickcoffee

Two things we know for sure: 1) sometimes that 3-in-1 packet just doesn’t hit the spot; and 2) there’s no better pairing than a cup of coffee and a rainy day. If you’ve been hankering to figure out the difference between a cappuccino and a macchiato, Yardstick Coffee offers year-round coffee workshops for all experience levels, whether you’ve just purchased your first espresso machine or know a La Marzocco like the back of your hand. Brewing Coffee at Home and Espresso Fundamentals are hits with beginners, while more seasoned folk might enjoy Latte Art & Milk Chemistry or Recipe Design. Workshop schedules change regularly, so check their Instagram for updates.

Yardstick Coffee
Universal LMS Building
106 Esteban, Legazpi Village, Makati
(02) 845 0073

Get creative again.

INSTAGRAM: sipandgogh

Slow, rainy days are a chance to get in touch with art and literature. Visit one of Metro Manila’s big bookstores and get lost amongst the shelves. You don’t even have to buy anything—just let yourself be swept away by whatever gets your attention first. Fully Booked’s High Street and Alabang branches are multi-floored havens that guarantee a paperback soulmate for every lit lover. Prefer to be more hands-on? Visit paint studio Sip & Gogh, where you get to paint your own work of art (they’ll provide all the supplies you need) while sipping on some wine. Van Gogh would be proud.

Fully Booked BGC
B6, Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
(02) 858 7000

Fully Booked Alabang
Alabang Town Center
Commerce Ave., Muntinlupa
(02) 552 9410

Sip and Gogh
With branches in Cainta, Ayala Heights, Eastwood, Kapitolyo, Alabang, Century Mall, and The Podium.

Retreat to the comfort of a spa.

Most of us get weekends off, making midweek rest days a rarity—so the next time you chance upon a suspension of work and can safely leave your home, an afternoon at the spa is a bright idea. The Makeover Lounge’s special treat lets you enjoy a one-two-three punch of a mani-pedi, foot spa, and back massage. If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, head over to Sophie’s Salon and Spa for a reinvigorating 60-minute Balinese massage. You’ll be ready to face a new workweek in no time.

The Makeover Lounge
G/F 81 Xavier Residences, 81 Xavier St.
Greenhills, San Juan
(02) 577 2994
(0977) 832 5866

Sophie’s Salon and Spa
G/F Asian Mansion II
109 Dela Rosa St., Makati
(02) 844 4111
(0922) 883 3363

Head to the city’s coziest cinemas.

INSTAGRAM: grumpydude_gd7

Stranded at the mall and can’t book a ride home? Luckily, the VIP cinema experience is best enjoyed when the weather is unforgiving. The Venice Cineplex at the Venice Grand Canal Mall offers reclining seats and push-button butler service. Newport Mall offers private viewing pods for two so you can kick back and feel like you booked the theater for yourselves (plus, they have screening times during the wee hours). And of course, catching a flick at any Director’s Club cinema, found in major SM malls, is an experience best shared with equally-stranded but equally-game friends.

Venice Grand Canal Mall
McKinley Hill Garden Villas, Cluster B
Upper McKinley Rd, Taguig

Newport Mall
1309 Newport Blvd., Pasay
(02) 908 8888

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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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