Quezon City is arguably the academic center of Metro Manila, Philippines. Two of the country’s three top universities are located here. Hence, there are a lot of fun and affordable things to do and food to eat here – fitting a student’s budget. The vibe is very down-to-earth. Come as you are and enjoy a slow-paced day, checking out the city’s parks, universities, malls, diners and cafes.
Rodic’s is a breakfast favorite among students of the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UP). The small eatery is located inside the campus and can be accessed via car or the jeeps are allowed to go through the university. Get off at the Shopping Centre. You will find Rodic’s abuzz with happy eaters. Try out their specialty: the Rodic’s tapsilog. In the usual tapsilog, chunks of marinated beef is fried and served with garlic rice and eggs. In the Rodic’s version, the beef is shredded and fried, giving this Filipino breakfast staple a fun twist.
La Mesa Eco Park
The La Mesa Eco Park borders Quezon City and the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal. It is a watershed that suffered from improper protection and neglect. In recent years, it’s been adopted by pro-environment protection NGOs. Its facilities were rehabilitated and these organizations regularly conduct tree-planting programmes.
It is a great place in the city to enjoy outdoor activities, such as swimming, fishing, biking and even horseback riding. For the more adventurous, head to the Adventure Zone, where you can ride the zipline or go for a fun bungee jump.
Van Gogh is Bipolar
Van Gogh is Bipolar is a unique dining experience. Its owner and head chef, Jetro Rafael, is bipolar and has been using food as part of his therapy. He only cooks with food that uplifts or calms moods. You start your meal with their unique teas.
Choose your mood: calm, happy, chill…. If Jetro is around, he might even make you sample some of the edible flowers he’s decorated the café with. The menu changes but you can count on some mainstays: Pres. Clinton’s Meal – Van Gogh Rice (grilled Australian Lamb Chops with black rice) and Pres. Roosevelt’s Meal – Van Gogh Rice (grilled salmon belly with black rice).
Accompany this with the wonderful Courtney Love’s Drink of the Day, which is made of fruits and what-not. The drink changes each time. End your meal with Mel Gibson’s Darkest Sins, a vodka and chocolate concoction served in a shot glass.
You need to call to reserve a slot (0922.824.3051). They can only accommodate 12 diners per day.
154 H Maginhawa St. Sikatuna Village.
You can lose an afternoon just walking (or running) around University of the Philippines’ academic oval. The academic oval is the main thoroughfare of the campus. You pass along most of the colleges when you walk around this oval. You will also pass through Vargas Museum, which displays a curious art collection and occasional exhibits from up and coming artists.
Spend a lazy and cool afternoon hanging out at the sunken garden. On weekends, the oval is car-less and becomes a runner’s haven. The garden is littered with picnickers. It is a great place to play football or catch Frisbees.
Boho is a favorite hangout of creative types who love the bar’s ambience and food. On any given night, you are likely to bump into students, young musicians and filmmakers, call centre agents and production staff from the country’s two biggest television channels, which have their main studios in Quezon City.
The vibe is young. The food is fun – and the drinks, even more! Try out their Wonkar Wings (spicy buffalo wings) and Tokwa’t Baboy (fried tofu and fried pig’s ears).
272 Ermin Garcia Street, Cubao, 1102 Quezon City.
After dinner, hangout some more at Boho. There’s always something going on. Early in the week, you can expect some of the regulars to just whip out a guitar and start singing. One of the guys even takes requests from other guests. There are organized acoustic sets and poetry readings on weekends.