BGC clubs open till morning, just like NYC (Part 2)By Angelito Cabigao
Do you miss Chinatown visits on Sunday for noodles and Siomai? This is a common past-time for Filipino families in New York City.
Just one floor down from Ippudo in the new Uptown Place Mall is Tim Ho Wan, an East Village NYC destination for siopao and siomai. Oh yes, did I mention that there are no lines at all for these trending spots that could have hour-long lines in NYC?
Starting to remember those half-price chicken quesadillas after 10 p.m. at Applebee’s? or the “Welcome to Moe’s!” greets! Not an issue. Bonifacio Global City has the American staples like Applebee’s (though no half price wings), California Pizza Kitchen, Moe’s, and Chili’s. As a New Yorker, you ask: how about the pizza?! BGC has that covered as well since it opened up Motorino’s Pizza originally from Brooklyn. There is also an NYC pizza-inspired place called Nolita.
Now that you have your belly filled, a common action to do after in NYC is to work out and burn all that food off. For those who need a gym, there are the familiar Gold’s Gym and Anytime Fitness that one can use if you need to pump some iron. Anytime Fitness is open 24 hours and would benefit you if you continue to have jet lag from your trip. For those who just want a decent run, there are two jogging parks that are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Furthermore, Nike holds night-time runs, which are free to join as long as people sign up online. Nike’s running routine is a great way to get a quick tour of BGC.
Since you have finished your workout and you still feel guilty about eating all that pizza earlier, you probably might rather go for healthier eats for dinner. BGC has several options for that: Genki Sushi and Ooma for great sushi, and Green Pastures and Salad Stop for an assortment of salads and wraps.
Furthermore, if you need a nice healthy snack, you can drop by the outdoor Market Market to grab some fruits. Also, If you need that post-protein meal, there is Naxional for South American dining. Not only do they have a really good Churrasco steak, but the part owner is from Jersey City.
I’m assuming you have taken a nap after a long day, it’s now time to dress up, get some drinks, and go dance the night away. A good place to pre-game would be at Bugsy’s Bar or The Brewery if you miss the beers back in the States. If you are more of a wine drinker, visit Cav for a good selection of wine and cheese pairings. If you want the hard liquor that’s good for the wallet as well, check out Agave, a West Village venue, for endless mojitos/ margaritas for $10.
Continuing on with Manila’s nightlife action, try heading to The Palace. This area is composed of three club/lounges, which are: The Pool Club (outdoor space that literally has a pool in it like the Vegas clubs), Valkyrie (indoor spot with a decent amount of space), and Revel (more of the upscale, but smaller indoor venue). These clubs are like many NYC clubs since they still open till the sun comes back up during the weekends. Furthermore, they house EDM artists such as R3hab and Steve Aioki.
Now for some down time after a long night. BGC has several Starbucks and other local coffee shops with great relaxing music. For book lovers, you can visit Fully Booked bookstore on High Street and bring some titles with you at its coffee shop. If you want to do some indoor shopping, you can stop by SM Aura or the new Uptown Mall to check out a variety of merchandise with local and international brands. If you happen to be traveling with your kids, Mind Museum has a playground offering learning activities.
Recapping, the great part about this is that all of this can be done while being in the Philippines while getting hints of the Philippine culture. The trainers in the Nike run or those jogging by your side on a Sunday morning are mostly friendly Filipinos from whom you can learn more about the local culture.
Here are some options to try because they’re not available in the U.S.: a cup of coffee at Starbucks paired with a Filipino fusion Ube Cheesecake. Or how about grabbing that apple at Market Market and trying the Philippine mango as well. Some McNuggets are a good appetizer as one prepares for a sumptuous meal at a fusion restaurant called Locavore known for its delicious sizzling Sisig. You can stop by the New Orleans Jazz Bar to hear some jazz with some Filipino songs in between.
This is why BGC is a “melting pot” of Filipino and American cultures, a place we can proudly call “home away from home.”
Angelito ‘Gino’Cabigao is Human Resources manager for TaskUs Philippines, an outsourcing tech company with offices in Project 3, Quezon City.