Metro Manila is a very busy place, with its many winding roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic. If you can get past that, there’s no denying the rich culture that you can experience in the city. There is an air of excitement and unknown that can befelt when exploring the Philippines’ bustling capital. In this city guide, we will be introducing you to the best Manila streetwear stores, as well as some of the city’s hidden grub and bar spots.
Here is our 24-hour Manila City Guide.
1) Commonwealth FTGG
Upper Ground Level SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Philippines
If you’ve looked into the Manila streetwear scene, you’ll probably have heard of Commonwealth FTGG. It may be the most all-rounded store in this guide, carrying everything from Nike creps to premium labels such as Just Don and Wacko Maria.
The brand has three brick-and-mortar locations, all with the same vibe and concept. Cement exteriors, and interiors with simple black racks, and wooden seats and shelves. Entering a Commonwealth FTGG outlet gives a sense of calm amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
Once inside, you’re welcomed by racks and racks of clothing and rows upon rows of sneakers. Commonwealth doesn’t play around. They stock lots of brands from streetwear staples like Stussy and Have A Good Time, to premium labels like Maharishi and Neighborhood, and even underground brands such as Brain Dead and Dime.
If you have very little time to shop or can only go to one place, our pick is definitely Commonwealth FTGG.
Keep up with the Commonwealth family on their Instagram.
52 Upper Ground Floor, Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Philippines
Just a few floors above Commonwealth you’ll find Hoodwink. Hoodwink is a smaller boutique that is less well-known within the scene, but they make up for it by stocking an exquisite selection of labels. Lining their shelves with cult-status brands such as Lazy Oafs, Maison Kitsuné, Human Made and even a few Bearbricks, Hoodwink is not just any store.
With a simple, two-lane store design, Hoodwink has enjoyed some social media virality, with its bright yellow wall and two stylish chairs against a window at the back of the store being the ultimate Instagrammable spot. The vibe of the store matches the brands that they stock – joyful and genuine – and the friendly staff make the shopping experience a pleasurable one.
Keep up with Hoodwink on Instagram.
3) Lobo Filipino Tavern
4898 Durban St, Poblacion, Makati
One cannot go to the Philippines without trying the local cuisine. We recommend having your lunch at Lobo Filipino Tavern, a fusion Filipino grub spot. It’s situated in Poblacion, where speakeasy bars and concept dining spots have been sprouting and drawing new crowds.
Lobo has old tavern concept can be clearly seen with its wood-heavy design. The restaurant has a nice rustic vibe that allows for a welcome escape from the city.
Lobo Filipino Tavern serves up fusion Filipino dishes that don’t run far from home. While many of dishes still maintain their traditional foundations, the flavors have been given a twist for the modern palate. We recommend trying the pork sisig nachos, lamb adobo and sizzling bulalo.
Follow Lobo Filipino Tavern on Instagram.
4) Popcorn General Store
Uptown Mall, 36th St, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
This one is for all the hypebeasts out there. Popcorn General Store originally started in Hong Kong before expanding to the Philippines, amongst other countries. Popcorn is your quintessential consignment and streetwear store. It stocks big name brands such as Supreme, Palace, Bape and even streetwear heavy-hitters 10.Deep and The Hundreds.
Entering the store, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of products available. The Supreme and Palace pieces tend to go for resell prices, but they do have some steals among their more “hyped” pieces. You can get lost just going through what’s available, and the staff is more than happy to help with any inquiries you may have.
Additionally, Popcorn has, by far, one of the most readily-accessible Supreme accessories collection in the country. From baseball masks to the infamous Supreme brick, Popcorn is likely to have it.
Keep up with Popcorn General Store on their Instagram.
5) Dulo MNL
4992 P. Guanzon St. Barangay Poblacion, Makati 1210
What better way to cap off your day of Manila streetwear shopping and exploring than with good music and drinks? We recommend Dulo MNL, a speakeasy bar cum creative space. One of the best things about Dulo (which means ‘end’ in Tagalog) is that they have different themed nights, every night. From plain ol’ bar vibes to stand-up comedy nights to even burlesque nights, Dulo will always have something fun and interesting to experience.
The bar has a somewhat rustic and cozy feel to it with lots of tables, but at the same time, you get this sense of excitement and adrenaline from the bright neon lights that they have scattered around the bar. You really feel like you’re in a music video at times.
Grab a nice local beer, pulutan (finger food you have while drinking) and have a good chat with your friends old and new. Filipinos love to mingle and are very open, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone.
Keep up with Dulo MNL on their Instagram.
Did we miss a Manila streetwear store you frequent? Perhaps you have a restaurant or bar to recommend? Leave a comment below.