Who would have thought that along the busy and hustling area of Ortigas Center lurks numerous restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, bake shops, and (yes) even a museum? Situated at the bounds of Pasig, this place is a sure spot of countless working gals and guys who are prowling for a break from their office pains (aww).
Aside from the huge malls surrounding the space (we made sure not to include them ‘cause, duh?!), here are few of the many establishments in Ortigas Center to check out!
This diverse-themed café caters K-Pop and geek culture, which are incorporated through the store interiors and menu. Subspace’s Double Green tea Waffle is heaven. As for the milkshake addicts, let me introduce you THE new drug – Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake – topped with gummy bears and pretzels in a huge mason jar. For the main event, you might want to try their very artistically presented, consistent best-seller, and famous drink – Purple Potato Latte. Their latte art design can either come from the barista or from you. Ours was served with the face of Joker latte art, which was the barista’s idea. (I really don’t know why. Do we have a resemblance with Joker? Uh-oh)
A modern-style and simple yet classy furniture store. Your visit will not only give you design and style ideas but will also feed your brain and eyes with beautiful stuff that are now under the collection of Boring Things – everyday objects that we, busy and restless humans, take for granted. This collection focuses also on Filipino culture that challenges people to look and see what we have around.
If you are a minimalist type of person, you will surely love this collection. The simple, back to basics, and artistic pieces focused on craftsmanship will surely shake the inner artist in you. Space Encounters is a museum-like space that presents every single thing as a beautiful, imaginative art.
All hail artsy-fartsy creatures out there; we have a museum in the area! The oldest privately owned and managed museum and library specializing in Philippine material is an art paradise. We have here the excellent curated works of art and Philippine history through series of paintings, sketches, Chronicle newspaper archive, and others. It is an educational, serene, and archival place worthy of visit for history enthusiasts and artists (But hey, wannabes are also welcome, okay? okay).
Their on-going exhibition: Drawing the Lines rethinks the significance and role of political cartoons in tabloids, newspapers, and news weeklies as a powerful medium in approach to various contexts in Philippine history.
In our visit, we met Mr. Jose Tence Ruiz, a known multimedia artist and political cartoonist. He mentioned some thoughts to ponder, “Why do people go to the museum and bring out the camera before they look at the artwork? And then take a picture of it and then move to the next without having the look at it? Because they have the camera.” The opportunity to learn and gain was missed due to this. Heads-up, millennials!
If you want to go foreign, a Japanese Restaurant is just across the hippie Ortigas Park! Established at Japan in 1968, Ajisen Ramen is the first restaurant to bring Japanese Ramen in the Philippines and is famous for its original white broth ramen and artistic garnishing.
Included in the various ramen types up to satisfy your Japanese food craving is their very own Ajisen Ramen, which is the most popular, light, and cheapest ramen in the menu. For those who want to take extra challenge in eating, Spicy Tan Tan Ramen that comprises of noodles, ground pork, and leek in special spicy tan tan mien sauce is up on your choice. This has a peanut butter-ish and creamy taste that is really authentic from the usual ramen types. Itadakimasu!
But wait, there’s more. Looking for a spacious coffee shop in the area? Check out Toby’s Estate – an industrial-themed café that offers a chill and slick ambiance great for a professional kind of break (if there is such thing). Savor their Skillet Traviata – two eggs baked in a skillet topped with tomato compote, grilled cherry tomatoes, arugula, and basil oil; Served with their oh-so-yummy rustic garlic bread.
What grabbed our attention (and itching taste buds) quickly was the pretty Calamansi Pie served to us. Not a fan of sour-tasting pies but this one is an exception (YES!). Their Calamansi Pie will make you go kilig, more than your crush does. Match this with a sip of their best-seller Flat White espresso for a satisfying finale.
Image from panoramio.com by David Montasco
Ortigas Park: grass, benches, tambay area
And of course, after all the exhausting hours you spent sitting in your office desk, you might want to rest your soul for a while. Amidst the superstructures surrounding the area remains a serene and unwinding Ortigas Park where you can sit and mull over your dramatic thoughts.
This has been a place of meet-ups for the humans of Ortigas Center (and a friendly short-cut for some residents), for it connects two streets in the area. Lovely, isn’t it? This park will forever be the heart of this busy district.
Which establishments in the Ortigas Business District do you want us to add here?
Let us know in the comments below!
Words & Images by Patch De Leon
Edited by Tin Advincula
Editing & Art by Dani Llanes