Executive Chronicles | Did you know that the concept of staycations began as early as 1944? That’s right! The assumption is that staycations were a wartime effort during the Second World War to convince American citizens to stay at home and save gasoline. Quite surprising, isn’t it?
Today, many Filipinos choose to have staycations for a variety of reasons. Apart from saving fuel, time is also a huge consideration. It’s faster to drive to Makati than to Subic, after all. Staycations are also much cheaper, especially when compared to vacations out of the country or at the beach in the provinces. Besides, if you’re a creature of comfort, staying in the metro means you have access to all modern conveniences. From dining to shopping options, you’ll have everything within arm’s reach.
For those who are looking to spend their staycation somewhere other than BGC, Makati, or Manila, why don’t you give the Cubao neighborhood a try? Here are a few reasons to convince you.
Plenty of Places to Stay
Staycations used to mean literally staying at home. Nowadays, staycations entail staying over in a hotel so you don’t have to worry about housekeeping. For a 5-star option in Cubao, you can check out Novotel Manila. There are also plenty of 3-star establishments, hostels, serviced apartments, and other accommodation options that won’t break the bank but still offer excellent services.
For those looking for extra-strategic locations for convenience, find a hotel near Araneta Coliseum. Araneta Coliseum is a well-known landmark, so even if you’re not familiar with the area, you always have a point of reference whether you’re driving or commuting.
Nestled within Cubao are various places where you can immerse yourself in the arts and culture. For example, you can find Art in Island 3D Trick Eye Museum in Cubao. Art in Island is currently the largest 3D museum in Asia. Here you can find hundreds of art pieces that you can pose for truly unique and fun selfies. In fact, this is one of the reasons why this museum was established in the Philippines: to acknowledge the Filipinos’ love for selfies and create a space where one can take hundreds of awesome photos to share on social media.
You can also find Cubao Expo or simply Cubao X in the area. Cubao X is a popular haunt for people who love a laid-back vibe, with an atmosphere that combines vintage and modern in a perfect balance. A trip here is like a wonderful, eccentric surprise. You can find antiques and indie shirts, a quiet co-working space to work on your art, even an authentic Italian restaurant. Cubao X (which used to be Marikina Shoe Expo) is also the place to be if you want to catch some art shows and local music.
Museum and art gallery lovers will also be pleased to know that they can go to Gateway Gallery and Sining Kamalig in Araneta Center. If you love great food and excellent jazz music, Tago Jazz Cafe is the destination for you. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to try a new hobby, you can visit Stronghand Shooting Range or Tough Guys Shooting Range and feel like an action star!
Authentic Dining Experiences
One of the most popular Eurpoean restaurants in Cubao, and Quezon City in general, is Bellini’s. It’s been in Cubao X since 1999, and because the owners (who also manage the restaurant) are Italian, you’re sure to get a taste of authentic Italian cuisine. If you also happen to be a fan of the movie One More Chance, you’d be remiss if you don’t dine at Bellini’s.
Another popular dining destination is Tago Jazz Cafe, well-loved by jazz music fans and foodies alike. Those who love a hole-in-the-wall dining experience would appreciate INT., especially for late-night drinks and cravings. Meanwhile, those looking for a top-notch buffet can hit Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot. If you’re still looking for even more foodie adventures, Maginhawa Street in Sikatuna Village is only about a 20-minute drive or commute from Cubao. Here you can find Van Gogh is Bipolar, Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, and many other cult favorites that will delight your taste buds.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
When it comes to shopping, people usually flock to Greenhills in San Juan or perhaps Tiendesitas in Pasig. However, Cubao also has its own shopping havens like Gateway Mall and Ali Mall. Cubao X is also a great shopping destination, especially if you’re looking for unique trinkets and local indie brands.
Home chefs, on the other hand, should definitely visit Farmers Market. It has a level dedicated to fruits and vegetables, as well as ornamental plants and flowers. There’s also a separate section for meat and seafood products. There are plenty of selections that you’d be hard pressed to find in most grocery stores, like uni (sea urchin) and other high-quality seafood. Here, you can also find things like fresh cherry tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs and spices, imported fruits like cherries, and even fresh carabao’s milk.
Gone are the days when the concept of a vacation is having to pack a suitcase and heading to the beach, the countryside, or abroad. After all, a vacation is all about taking a break and spending time for yourself. The next time you find some free time, consider having a staycation in Cubao, and spend a day or two exploring. You might surprise yourself at the many exciting discoveries you’ll find.