Manila, Philippines
Rey, 47
Advertising & Education
see his Manila city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

I work in advertising now, it's my second life after a career in education where I focused on History and Teacher Education. After 13 years, I'm still at it because the urge to figure out challenges hasn't died yet.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Everybody Hurts.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

The X-Files. Star Trek. 24. But mostly, really, The X-Files.

Name some spots in Manila that are good for a Tinder date.

I imagine the same places that you'd go to for a non-Tinder date would do just as well?

Who’s your hero and where in Manila would you take them out for a serious hang?

Barack Obama. I'd definitely give him my version of the Intramuros tour.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I love UNIQLO. Seriously.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I don't think such a place exists, actually. I'm fine being anywhere. Except maybe at night and alone.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I like wandering around and exploring small shops. It's not something I get to do all that often now. The antique shops on the side roads of Makati are interesting for the finds and knick knacks.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Manila and where did you get it?

Steak at Cru Steakhouse, Manila Marriott. Damn melt in your mouth meaty goodness. With oil dribbling down your chin. No shame. And no regrets.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Manila that you particularly like?

I don't have much experience here but I like the bar across the street from my office because it's not too noisy and never crowded.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Manila? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

I don't really eat at the expensive places now that I've got a family. But the buffet at Spiral at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza qualifies. I wouldn't have gone there until a Groupon came up. One of the best buffet spreads I've ever had in Manila or anywhere else for that matter. They almost had to wheel me out of there. Php 6000 for two people.

What restaurant in Manila looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Aysee. This place is a roadside, no airconditioning, greasy table diner. But they serve legendary sisig. Sisig is basically stewed pork ears and cheeks, served on a sizzling plate. This is not something that's instagrammable but everyone who's tried this - presuming they eat pork - has loved this.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Manila? Which one do you like?

I don't actually drink cocktails, so ....

Where would you take your partner in Manila if you wanted to really pamper them?

Any of the Shangri-la Hotels in Manila. Whether Edsa, Makati or Fort.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

For some reason, Boy Bawang is always appreciated. That's fried corn kernels. I'm addicted to their salty and garlicky and crunchy goodness myself.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Manila?

Turks. Why are there so many branches and outlets? I don't get how this place can grow so big while selling sweet shawarma.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Manila?

Shakey's. We take it for granted because we eat it every time we have overtime. But guys, it takes real skill to get pizzas that thin and that good everytime. And the mojos!

What are the Manila spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Intramuros. So you get a sense of where we came from and I guess also what we're trying to escape.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Manila. How do you spend it?

Shopping in Greenhills - looking for stocking stuffers and little things to give to friends.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Tokyo. It's a completely different world over there.

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photos by

Gerald Munsayac