Cape Town, a gem undiscovered by Filipinos, a coastal city of South Africa, is a vibrant cultural capital as well as a center for art, fashion and music.
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, this region is also gifted with natural wonders and breathtaking rock formations, such as the 250-million-year-old flat-top Table Mountain, a stunning landmark that one can reach by hiking or through cableway.
People are probably more familiar with the Cape of Good Hope, a peninsula rich in plants and wildlife, particularly birds. A colony of some 3,000 jackass penguins can be spotted in Boulders Beach.
A 25-minute ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront in downtown Cape Town is Robben Island, where they kept political prisoners during the country’s dark apartheid regime.
In his 18 years in Robben Island, Nelson Mandela was said to have gazed often at Table Mountain, admiring its natural beauty and looking at it as a symbol of hope and freedom.
With an exchange rate of P3 to one South African rand, Cape Town is definitely the place to be for a shopaholic Pinoy.
Shopping for traditional African arts and crafts is a given, but Cape Town also boasts modern and sophisticated products with African and Western influences.
Have a field day exploring the newly renovated Watershed. Located at the V&A Waterfront, this shopping hall has 150 stalls offering everything from ceramics and furniture to textiles, fashion and jewelery—all proudly South African. Some of these products (especially pieces for the home) can be seen in upscale design-savvy shops in London, New York and Paris.
The sales staff is friendly, some of them working students stylishly clad in colorful African garb. “You are my first sale,” one told me excitedly and did an elated little African dance after I bought a set of prints.
For more shopping, drop by the Sunday market in Hout Bay, a short drive from the city. An old fish factory turned into a series of eclectic stalls, the market allows you to interact with the locals selling art, crafts, fashion and food. There’s a stall which sells different kinds of jerky—even antelope jerky.
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Fashion and product photography Maika Anthoni Styling Luis Carlo San Juan Makeup and hairstyle Syd Helmsley Model Alaiza Malinao and John Erickson