Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Every city is its own character, alive and ever-changing — witnessing shifting lifestyles and becoming a breeding ground for culture- and era-defining establishments and places that prove to stand the test of time.
In fast-paced Makati, there’s always something new for everyone, whether it’s a one-of-a-kind shop with a different approach to retail, a must-try restaurant or bakery, a bar that could be the next best-kept secret between you and your closest friends, or even a neighborhood park. These places become the city’s way of adapting to modern ways of life.
Opened in Makati’s Central Business District in 2015, the upscale Makati Diamond Residences is another relatively new place in the city that captures what living there is all about — comfort, convenience, and in-the-moment. With top-of-the-line amenities and unprecedented features in each room, guests of the luxury hotel will feel as though they’re fully living in the present (and maybe even the future). With its premier address, it’s also at the center of all of Makati’s latest spots.
Below are some exciting new places easily accessible from Makati Diamond Residences that you shouldn’t wait to visit and experience for yourself.
Once a Singapore-based online shop with the occasional pop-up here or there, Guava Sketches finally snagged a permanent address when it opened its doors in Greenbelt this year. The lifestyle store carries functional and stylish items curated by sisters Jennifer and Joan Cantemprante, including furniture, kitchenware and tableware, ceramics, storage, magazines, apparel, art, and all kinds of knick-knacks. The shop itself, like its products, is eclectic and full of character, a mix and match of textures and pops of color.
Show off your personality and what you’re all about when you pick up objects that showcase the best of craftsmanship and design from around the world, sourced from brands both storied and emerging. They are also making efforts to include more designers and makers from the Philippines. You might find your next coffee table here (and a coffee table book to go with it), or you can delight in plates and bowls with adorable animal motifs: frogs, ducks, sloths, and even tiny ants “crawling” all over.
Shop dainty bone china from Swedish porcelain brand Gustavsberg, established in 1826, or clean and earthy ceramics from Japan-based IFJ. They also stock kooky shape-defying paper vases Mediterranean-inspired Barcelona brand Octaevo and charming musical boxes (that may actually be spheres) from Germany’s Siebensachen. Sport a “WINONA” shirt and carry your stuff around in a tongue-in-cheek statement tote from IDEA of London’s Dover Street Market. Or just keep tidy with Denmark-based House Doctor’s off-kilter stacked drawers and vintage books that are actually secret containers for your favorite things.
Guava Sketches is located at G/F Greenbelt 3, Makati.
Run Rabbit Run
Established this year in collaboration with the Singaporean bar Bitters & Love, Run Rabbit Run takes after its predecessor in many ways. From friendly and capable bartenders (trained by their SG counterparts), to warm and welcoming bar stools and plush seats, to an outdoor area on the roof deck with patio chairs and mood lighting. Both bars are also located in what used to be residential houses — the bars-next-door, if you will.
What sets Run Rabbit Run apart is its theme. Outside, it may look unassuming, but when you enter through the bright red door, you’re transported into an entirely new world. The homages to “Alice in Wonderland” are also seen in the table settings, where you can have your own Mad Hatter tea party, and even in the hearts in the security bars on the windows. (And in a stroke of pure fate and luck, it looks like they actually came with the territory.)
The bar’s signature cocktails are sure to make a new regular out of you: the Jessica Rabbit is infused with a blend of spices; Chillin’ Like a Villain contains sampaguita mist and an egg white; and Mr. Truffles’ secret weapon is, as its name suggests, truffle essence. Bitters & Love’s signature drink, the Kaya Toast, which pays tribute to its home country’s favorite breakfast, is also available — but if you’d rather have a dessert-inspired cocktail that’s close to home, try the Halo-Halo: a combination of rum, bourbon, gula melaka, cream, vanilla liqueur, coconut nectar, homemade sago, beans, and lemon bitters.
Run Rabbit Run is located at 4991 P. Guanzon St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati.
A couple of years ago, the now-defunct Mozaic Living made quite a name for itself from its neighborhood location near Pioneer Street by seamlessly fusing its furniture showroom with Caffeined, its own specialty coffee shop. Today, it’s been reincarnated in Makati as Artesania, taking its name from the Catalan word for “craftsmanship.”
Artesania retains Mozaic’s mission of cultivating homegrown products to support artists, designers, and builders from the Philippines, while also serving coffee made from locally sourced beans. Despite being a showroom, customers are absolutely free to sit and enjoy their drinks on the furniture on display, all of which are for sale. The store carries bespoke furniture collections created by in-house designers, as well as plants, art pieces, and various other products from Filipino brands and creatives. There is also a private room for meetings and gatherings. It’s a refreshing and modern concept, allowing clients to get work done or get creative, relax, and curate beautiful items for their home.
Caffeined itself has leveled up, with an expanded menu that means customers can now also grab delicious meals at Artesania. Aside from coffee, tea, and juices, they now also serve breakfast — the shop opens quite early — as well as dessert, sandwiches, meat pies, pasta, and rice dishes. Favorites include miso glazed salmon, roasted herb chicken, and roasted beetroot salad, served with goat’s cheese, honey, and balsamic vinegar. The mushroom truffle pasta is also a must-try — done aglio e olio style instead of with cream, it doubles down on the flavor and manages to be a lighter bite.
Artesania is located at 910 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati.
Legazpi Active Park
The recently refurbished Legazpi Active Park lives up to its name by being a go-to place for people of all ages who want to get fit, play sports, and keep moving. The new facilities and features include a new layout, more space to move in, drinking fountains, modern benches, and a better lit jogging path that’s easier to navigate.
It’s the perfect park for getting into or keeping up a habit of running or jogging — there are even particularly enthusiastic folks who use the trees lining the paths to practice parkour. It’s also bike-friendly, and even has parking spots just for your bikes. While there are no specific courts for certain sports, there’s plenty of grassy areas for playing badminton, frisbee, light soccer, and other games (and picnics, because why not?). If you’re more of a fitness nut, it’s also ideal for dancing and yoga.
The park also has an activity center, a plaza, and an amphitheater that sometimes holds music gigs. And if you’d prefer to sit still, relax with family, or read instead, right across is the Washington SyCip Park, with its well-maintained garden of plants, ponds, and gazebos.
Legazpi Active Park is located in Legazpi Village, Makati.
Panaderya Toyo has a similar philosophy to bread that Toyo Eatery has to Filipino food: choosing quality ingredients, paying attention to detail, and elevating the basics to create something familiar and comfortable, yet innovative. With a focus on breadmaking as a process, the bakery teaches customers to appreciate textures and tastes in a whole new way.
With interiors done by One/Zero Design Collective’s Arts Serrano, Panaderya Toyo sets itself apart with a warm and intimate industrial look, with wood and glass displays and cozy tables. If the smell of freshly baked bread isn’t enough, you’re also treated to watching the loaves being pulled out of the oven. And whether the day is pleasant and sunny or slightly gray and rainy, do yourself a favor and take a seat by the large window — an ideal spot for time alone, brunch with family, or coffee with friends.
Panaderya Toyo’s menu is simple and straightforward, but not to be underestimated. The drink, bread, and spread combo is the perfect merienda treat of your choice of coffee or hot chocolate, sweet or savory spread, and bread from the bakery’s selection, including pan casero, knotted pan de sal, buttermilk, pan de lata, and more. The coffee and hot chocolate also go well with the shop’s cakes: Tigre y Oliva dark chocolate cake, or mango with tamarind and spiced tea. There are also tinapay and palaman combos where bread is paired with refined versions of favorite Pinoy breakfasts — a crowd favorite is fluffy scrambled free-range eggs with crispy fish and tomatoes.
Panaderya Toyo is located at The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati.