Speakeasy Spotlight: Finders Keepers, Makati

With the rise of speakeasies in Manila, I've come to love a finely crafted cocktail. I don't know why, but there's something very rewarding about sitting by the bar on a Friday night after a long work week and watching a bartender work his magic on your drink.

Finders Keepers is one of my favorite places for a cocktail and a night of unwinding. The Love Juice is a simple but stellar concoction (gotta love Tanqueray!) and I honestly cannot have just one glass of it. Definitely one of my favorite cocktails in Manila!

There's plenty of other things to love about Finders Keepers - the place is unpretentious, the atmosphere laidback, the music a good mix of indie and mainstream, and you're bound to bump into someone you know.

Right next to it is Black Market which has a bit more of a club vibe, and right outside is Joe's Meatshack which sells some pretty good burgers, perfect to cap off a night of drinking and dancing (and for helping with that hangover).

Finders Keepers
La Fuerza Plaza, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati

48 Hours in Hong Kong: A Photo Journal

My first trip of the year was to Hong Kong for a weekend to catch Phoenix in concert (which I flailed about here. Best concert everrrr!). It was a short trip but a memorable one. There's something to be said about chill weekend solo trips - there's very little preparation to be made (for this one, it consisted of me cramming my booking for accommodations) and very little luggage to be packed (especially as I didn't pay for check-in luggage).

There's also something very liberating about a no-itinerary trip. There were only three things on my to-do list for this Hong Kong weekender: (1) find the mythical Prada outlet of urban legend; (2) attend the concert; and (3) eat, eat, eat.

Pictures from the trip under the cut. I actually went to Hong Kong again two weeks ago, for another weekender, and maybe I'll post about it soon.

Where is your favorite weekend getaway?

Seoul Searching: A Photo Journal

Last December I traveled to Seoul, South Korea on my first international solo trip. I spent nearly a week traveling on my own, solely on my own terms, and found myself falling into a routine - every morning I would head to this awesome cafe near my guesthouse to enjoy an unhurried breakfast and ask myself, "hmmm, what do I want to do today?", and start my Seoul searching.

I'll write a proper post about my trip to Seoul one of these days (or weeks, or months), but for now, here's a bunch of photos from the trip which I took on my phone.

Saying Goodbye to EXO's Boy Who Cried Wolf Concept Shop, Part 2

Check out Part 1 here, or check out the Principal's Office, the Classroom, and the Dorm Room below!

Saying Goodbye to EXO's Boy Who Cried Wolf Concept Shop, Part 1

After six months, SM Entertainment has finally announced that EXO's Boy Who Cried Wolf concept shop in Gangnam will officially close its doors in February. I got to visit the store on my recent trip to Seoul, right before they changed the decorations for the holidays, and I thought I'd share the boatload of photos I took of the place.

Kpop boyband of the moment EXO (or more like SM Entertainment's Creative Directors and Marketing Managers, I suppose - what I wouldn't give to get their jobs!) collaborated with popular Korean street brands like Liful and Peace, Love and Understanding to create Boy Who Cried Wolf, a concept store that sells clothing and merchandise in line with EXO's album, XOXO. In keeping with the album's "school" concept, the shop is setup as such, with a gym, a cafeteria, a library, a classroom, a principal's office, and a dormitory area. The clothes and accessories sold in the store reflect EXO's street style (and expensive taste - the stuff at Boy Who Cried Wolf do not come cheap).

I loved the whole idea of Boy Who Cried Wolf and how well it tied together with the concept behind EXO's promotions last year. SM Entertainment seems to have some pretty brilliant individuals working with them to have come up with such solid concepts for their groups in 2013. You can check out an interesting interview with Min Heejin, SM Entertainment's Visual and Art Director here, but I'm quoting what she said about EXO's winning concept last year below because I think it explains the context around Boy Who Cried Wolf better:

How is EXO’s recent comeback’s ‘Growl’ concept? 
Street is the primary part of the concept. The moment I heard the song, I was sure it had to unwind with a school uniform. School uniforms and street looks probably don’t match, but the way they fit sentimentally made me pay attention to it. First of all, the first official album concept was unraveled largely at a school. And so, the hakwon (private educational institute) reference was drawn out with notebooks and graduation photos for the first album, and extended it to the streets for the next song. Like linking young boys’ daily lives going from school to after school in one album. I wanted to show this group EXO’s image in a friendly, yet individualistic, way through this threaded drawing. 

Anyway, enough about the marketing geekery. The other main reason why I was dying to go to Boy Who Cried Wolf was obviously because of the fangirling! Take a virtual tour of Boy Who Cried Wolf with the photos below!

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