Jake Macapagal, 40, theater and independent-film actor
Escape the stress of rush hour and relax on the terrace of Restaurante Pia y Damaso, tel: (632) 729 5511, in the Greenbelt 5 mall. You can take in the view and sip a cocktail or a refreshing calamansi ginger smoothie. Traffic slows down after 8 p.m., when people eat dinner. Chef Colin Mackay does an excellent modern European menu at Sala, tel: (632) 750 1555, on Makati Avenue. His prawn soufflé is heavenly. If you would prefer something cheap and cheerful, JT's Manukan, tel: (632) 721 9025, between Makati and Quezon City, serves excellent Bacolod-style barbecue chicken for $1.50, a real steal. Nightlife begins after midnight, so I usually take a nap at a friend's place before heading out again. Then I'll end the night dancing at the Embassy Club, tel: (632) 816 4346, in Fort Bonifacio.
JLizette Claudio, 26, head of artist and media relations, MTV Philippines
I love live music and laid-back nights. My perfect night out would start off with a fresh mango shake in hand, watching the sunset over Manila Bay, which I like to catch from the poolside of the Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza, tel: (632) 551 5555. For dinner I'd go to Sentro, tel: (632) 757 3940 they put a delicious twist on classic Filipino dishes. Afterward I'd head to the grand lobby of the Peninsula Manila, tel: (632) 887 2888. They do amazing homemade ice creams and sorbets, and always have a jazz quartet or big band. I like to write down my requests and the band is always happy to oblige.
If I'm in the mood to party, I go to Café Saguijo, tel: (632) 897 8629 on Guijo Street to watch original live rock, reggae and electronica acts. Space is tight, so if you want to listen to the music without feeling like you're in the middle of a mosh pit, you can see a lot of the same acts at Mag:Net Café, tel: (632) 929 3191. Try to go on one of their fun and rowdy Rockeoke Nights, when everyone belts out rock classics with a live band. Then, if I need a late-night snack, Mister Kabab on the corner of West and Quezon Avenues is my favorite place for all-night Persian food.
JJose Antonio Diaz, 33, IT manager and food blogger
IF YOU ARE LOOKING for a culinary adventure, I would recommend Lolo Dad's Café, tel: (632) 522 2941, in Malate. The building is converted from a traditional Filipino home and hosts the best romantic meals in Manila. Or, to get a taste of modern Filipino cuisine, try Chef Rolando Laudico's Bistro Filipino, tel: (632) 856 0634, in Fort Bonifacio. You should try the chef's famous Adobo Overload. After dinner, take a stroll and shop along Bonifacio High Street and Serendra Piazza. Start your walk from the Recreational Outdoor Exchange (ROX) shop, and go all the way to the Powerbooks flagship store, tel: (632) 490 1158. You also have to taste some of Manila's best desserts. My favorites are the Toblerone torte sans rival at Chelsea Market, tel: (632) 909 7011, the cupcakes at Cupcakes by Sonja, tel: (632) 856 0308, the mango bravo at Conti's, tel: (632) 856 2352, and the ensaymada rolls at Mary Grace, tel: (632) 856 0858.
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