In today’s fast paced, hectic, hyper-connected lifestyle, learning to meditate is a great way to find balance. For those of you without any idea what meditation is, simply put, it is finding a way to pause, reflect, and find quiet.
It can be quite challenging to start meditating especially within the bustling city of Manila and so we came up with this list of places that can help you find your calm.
1. THE ALLEY AT KARRIVIN at Chino Roces Ave., MakatiPhotos from TheArtling.com
This secret space is home to a carefully curated set of establishments set against a refreshing vertical garden view. Enjoy a visual feast when you walk the short strip of creatively designed galleries, shops, and cafes. Everything in this area feels so well pieced together that the space is a calming art in itself.
Pros: There are a lot of places to sit and admire the view. You can enjoy a little quiet time here with a cuppa joe in hand from Writer’s Block or a specially designed cocktail from Toyo Eatery.
Cons:There is definitely a lot in here to catch the eye and so that might leave you stimulated (in a good way). Be prepared to bring a bit of cash as the establishments in the area tend to be a bit pricey.
2. MOZAIC LIVING at Kapitolyo, PasigPhotos from TheStart.com.ph
This hidden café / furniture shop is a great place to sit down and disconnect when you need a pick-me-upper. You can choose any nook (or any of the furniture on display for that matter) within the whole establishment as the entire area is meant to be a “living space”.
Pros: The shop also functions as an amazing work space for young entrepreneurs and so after having a few minutes of quiet to yourself, you might just be able to strike up a new collaboration with the many creatives that frequent this place.
Cons: There is limited on-street parking available, so make sure to avoid peak hours so you’re sure to get a spot.
3. BALUARTE DE SAN DIEGO at Intramuros, Manila
Photos from TheOpenNotes.com
Everybody knows Intramuros, but not everybody knows this spot. Experience the famed Manila Sunset atop the historical walls and you are sure to find quiet while you marvel at the beauty of the city as you see it from a new angle.
Pros: Since not a lot know about this spot, you have a good chance of having this area all to yourself. Don’t forget to bring a camera so you can take the breathtaking view with you.
Cons: Plan your trip well as the traffic can get pretty bad going to Manila and make sure to check park schedules since the area is not open to the public at all times.
4. THE HENRY HOTEL at F.B. Harrison St., Pasay
Photos from Expedia.com
Nestled discreetly amidst a chaotic street, this ancestral home-turned-boutique hotel offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. Slow down and enjoy being surrounded by a thoughtfully designed, completely unique space.
Pros: Enjoy your favorite cup of coffee and other comfort food favorites from renowned kitchen, Apartment 1B.
Cons: Best to make a reservation so that your trip to the area goes without a hitch.
5. THE AYALA TRIANGLE at Ayala Ave., Makati
Photo from TripAdvisor
Unknown to many of its passers-by and diners, Ayala Triangle was actually an old airport. In fact, you can still see the towers at each corner of the triangle. Today, its become home not only to excellent restaurants, but also to a beautiful patch of green in the heart of the city.
Pros: Ayala Triangle has become home to many outdoor events such as Yoga, Capoeira, light shows and more, many of which are free of charge.
Cons: If you’re coming from outside Makati, be prepared for traffic. While parking is available, it is limited. Good thing there’s Uber and Grab!
6. ONELIFE at Little Baguio, San Juan
Photo from ONELIFE
One of Little Baguio’s best kept secrets, this boutique fitness studio offers a clean, uncluttered space to clear the mind. The studio also boasts of unique mindfulness programs which can be a great start for those who want to truly build a long term meditation practice.
Pros: Onelife’s signature programs MINDFUL START and CALM & RESTORED are amazing classes to try and you can look forward to being guided by the studio’s internationally certified Yoga teachers.
Cons: You’ll need to be ready to commit to coming regularly since the classes are only open to members.
7. CHURCH OF THE GESU at the Ateneo de Manila University, KatipunanPhoto from ateneo.com
Affectionately known as “Camp Big Falcon” to many a Blue Eagle, don’t let the modern exterior fool you. Inside is one of the most beautiful, most serene, most relaxing places to not just pray, but even to meditate.
Pros: The House of God is open to everyone, whether there’s mass or not. And if you don’t want to step inside the Church, Bellarmine Field across the street can also be a great place to sit down and meditate.
Cons: While you don’t need to be Atenean to step inside, you may need to leave your ID at one of the school’s gates to be able to enter. Parking can also be sparse during the school year.
This article was also published on ABS-CBN’s NoInk last April. If you love it guys, hope you can share it! 🙂