10 fun things to do in Manila


UP FILM Institute

Make the  most of your precious weekends and free weekdays to try out new activities with family and friends. Inquirer 2bU rounds up 10 new things to try and places to visit to turn your free time from blah to blast.

So why don’t you:

Catch theater-in-a-backpack in action?

Can you fit a farmhouse, stage lighting, and a sound system in a backpack? The Sipat Lawin Ensemble (SLE) does just that, stretching their thespic wings as they promote community theater with public performances around the country.

SLE is composed of graduates of the theater program at the Philippine High School for the Arts. Watch them bring drama and social relevance to the grassroots at an open space nearest you.

(Call 0921-2859099, or like Sipat Lawin Ensemble on Facebook.)

Gather your friends for maximum laser-tag excitement?

When Neil Patrick Harris auditioned for the role of Barney Stinson in “How I Met Your Mother,” his screen test involved a laser-tag scene where he executed a dive roll, toppled a chair and slammed into a wall. CBS executives loved it. For the ultimate laser tag experience, gather your friends and light up your game face at the three-level Laser Maxx Arena in Centris Walk, Quezon Avenue  Laser tag suit up!

(Centris Walk is at Edsa corner Quezon Avenue;

Make your own stuffed toy?

The hunt for a new breed of personalized gifts ends here. What’s not to love about stuffed animals? They’re cuddly, endearing, and 100-percent huggable. At Animaland, you get to choose from their zoo of furry buddies, and customize the amount of cotton stuffing (with a lifetime guarantee of free replenishment), scent, clothes and accessories. It even comes in a box with its own birth certificate.

(Animaland is at Bonifacio High Street, Shangri-La Mall, Trinoma, Festival Mall, Robinsons Manila and SM Mall of Asia.)

Go on a nighttime organic food trip?

Got nowhere to go on a Friday or Saturday night? Head over to the Food Bowl Night Market at Centris Walk, Quezon Avenue from 4 p.m.-12 midnight. Feast your senses on the country’s best organic products. Do the local agriculture industry and your health a favor, and take home a Sunshine Chicken while you’re at it.

Watch an indie film at the UP Film Institute?

Besides the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the UP Film Institute (UPFI) is the only establishment that enjoys autonomy from movie censors. This allows them to screen a wide range of movies, ranging from local independent films to foreign cinematic oeuvres. Join the mailing list of the UPFI at to keep tabs on screenings and other film-related activities.

Learn more about your currency?

What do cowrie shells, gold necklaces and paper bills have in common? They were all used as currency in the Philippines, and are all on exhibit at the Money Museum of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Relive your history classes from an economic viewpoint and learn how to tell an authentic bill from a counterfeit. Admission is free. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas is along Roxas Boulevard, near Pablo Ocampo Street (formerly Vito Cruz). Across Manila Yacht Club.

Channel your inner daredevil at Kampo Uno in the Quezon City Memorial Circle?

Make like Peter Parker abseiling or watch the metro pass by in a blur as you whiz your way down the zipline. For more of an adrenaline rush, scoot over to Circle of Fun and have a go at the Sea Dragon and Wild Wind attractions.

Heat up your buffet experience?

Tired of the usual fastfood fare? Get your office barkada together for an eat-all-you-can lunch or dinner at Yakimix. The restaurant boasts of Japanese, Cantonese, Korean, and Filipino cuisine and an array of desserts. Each table is equipped with its own smokeless grill, so you can cook your grub just the way you want it. Prices are at P499 on weekdays, P580 on weekends, P380 for children, P65 for bottomless drinks. Picky eaters, be warned—a leftover price of P699 awaits the weak of stomach.

Yakimix branches are located at Greenbelt 3, Hobbies of Asia, SM Mall of Asia, Tomas Morato and Trinoma.

Learn history on foot?

They say you can tell a lot about people by walking a mile in their shoes. You can tell as much by checking out shoes on display at the Marikina Shoe Museum. Take a stroll down history lane and see up close the footwear of important people, including presidents, first ladies (you will find 749 pairs from Imelda Marcos here), diplomats and national heroes. Entrance fee is P20 for Marikina residents and P40 for non-residents.

Channel your inner model?

Relive the glory of NeoPrint and take it to the next level with Adlib of Wind at Timezone Trinoma. Step into the photobooth and pose for as many as six shots, with the option of using a high-angle lens and having a mechanical gust of wind blow your way. Decorate your shots with a touch pen and adjust the photo layout to your liking. One turn at Adlib of Wind costs P160 on a Timezone Power card.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Bahaykubo-girl Kulasa

    why not mentioned yong ibang branches ng yakimix? hehehe. i luv the branch at SM North Edsa, aside from Trinoma branch. Then if you eat at Trinoma branch, you can visit the new chapel inside or the park at the top level. Good to know may night market na sa Centris. Ang init kasi yong morning to midnoon-time market pag weekend. Maganda rin mag walking sa Ninoy Aquino Park/Zoo. Mura lang yong entrance fee :)

  • Barak_O

    air force one should top the list

    • kismaytami

      Right… I think the list given here are boring places… LOL.

      • alfred sanchez

        correct!!! that mentioned places are just for gay group of friends, cmon buffet, indi films, yakimis, manilenos dont do that boring stuff

      • susan

         to each his/her own. eh di gumawa kayo ng listahan nyo, problema ba yon? hahah. alfred, i bet di ka pa nakakain sa yakimix ano? hahahah! di mo mga ma-spell ng tama eh! ;P kumain ka dun ng ma-enjoy moh!

      • alfred sanchez

         ano gagawin ko yakimix magpapicture at ipost sa facebook o itwitter,sorry girl nde ako sellout, and besides nde na uso ang yakimix ngayon

  • ace

    Why do people keep on referring to Metro Manila as Manila only? Then the author lists the places around Metro Manila which will confuse people who are not from the Philippines.

    Same case with concerts, they say live in Manila but the venue is in Araneta or Mall of Asia grounds. I think some cities don’t want to be compared to/called Manila, which still is one of the worst places here in the Philippines.

    • susan

      Uggh, kasi Manila is the capital city, thus the main reference point. Hope you know that, ace.

    • Danyale

      Tama ang sabi ni Ms. Susan, ace, people abroad refer any cities (within greater metro manila and surrounding areas) as Manila. Here in ME they refer it such

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94