Hidden stash of rum, found

Hidden stash of rum, found

Go to the Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails in Poblacion on a weeknight and enjoy a full range of the best tasting rums

That’s Cap’n Jouanneaud (@ulysse_sober) behind the bar. He moves kind of fast, hence the blur.

There’s an odd tale going around Poblacion that goes something like this: a ship with barrels of rum crashed in Poblacion centuries ago that no one ever bothered looking for… until a team of buccaneers found the loot and decided to open the country’s first rum bar.

Okay, the tale’s not true, but Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails is basically that. They are the district’s (if not the country’s) first rum bar that specializes in rum and its many applications to cocktails. It’s right along trendy Don Pedro Street in Poblacion, Makati.

It’s like your below the deck of a pirate ship.

Walk through its doors and you’ll feel like you’ve been taken aboard a pirate ship: anchors, wooden barrels, ropes, and all. There’s even a parrot that’ll greet you if she’s out and about! It’s a ship helmed by Ulysse Jouanneaud (Shang at the Fort’s High Street Lounge), which means everything on the menu will be in tip-top shape.


Rum bars (and bars in general) aren’t too focused on food because you’re not supposed to have dinner there. However, if you are looking for some satisfying galley grub, Buccaneers has some.

Pulled Pork Quesadilla

Start with their pulled pork quesadilla. Small bites of pulled pork, kesong puti, and barbecue sauce with a guacamole salsa dip on the side. Nice and appetizing for what should be in the running for the best hot dog in Metro Manila: their sisig hot dog. This little tasty treat looks deceptively simple—and that’s because it is. It’s a delicious sausage trapped in between a bun that’s topped with chili con carne and a crispy, savory helping of pork sisig.

The sisig hot dog. That’s our EIC, Monica De Leon, feasting on one.


The Captain Old Fashioned. Spirit forward, will wake you up.

Go for The Captain Old Fashioned when you swing by. It’s a twist on the classic Old Fashioned using a Venezuelan (Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva) rum, coffee extract, banana, and chocolate. Pro tip: let the smoke sit in the small bottle for a while before you pour it out for a second swig.

That is legitimately the name of this drink: Let’s party in your mouth.

Looking for a party in your mouth? Just tell the bartender those exact words and he’ll give you a drink that both your eyes and mouth will enjoy. It’s a sweet mix of Ocho Blanco tequila, Plantation dark rum, spicy mango, mint, passion fruit, and citrus that’s as refreshing as it sounds.

The Sexy Colada

Coming with a lady friend? She’ll like the look of the sexy colada, a twist on the classic piña colada that uses two Plantation rums: 3 Stars and OFTD Overproof. Coconut and pineapple juice rounds out the drink, but not without a drop of sexiness. What that is is something only the crew at Buccaneers know.

Verdict: 9/10

If you’re into rum (or want to learn more about it), this is the best place in Poblacion to do it. I mean, it’s a pirate’s ship that serves good food, a mean old fashioned, and a hot dog that might just put your favorite hot dog stand to shame.

The basics
Php1,000 (about USD19) for two cocktails and food
5668 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Fb.com/buccaneersph, @buccaneers_ph on IG

Events to see in February 2020

Events to see in February 2020

We’ve got a long-running travel expo, a school fair-turned-music fest, and the country’s premier art fair all in one month.

PTAA Travel Tour Expo

February 7 to 9

The biggest annual travel showcase in the country is back with deals that are bigger and better than before. From airfare to hotels and tours, you are bound to be lured with deals so prepare your vacation leaves and long weekend calendars!

SMX Convention Center, Pasay City | Traveltourexpo.ptaa.org.ph

UP Fair 2020

February 10 to 15

School fairs are fun and all, but we are willing to bet you’ve never seen anything quite as massive as the school fair held at the University of the Philippines Diliman. We are talking about quite possibly the largest (and most affordable) music festival in the country outside of Feté dela Musiqué: the week-long UP Fair. It’s music, events, and a whole lot of support for local artists on a scale and theme unlike any you’ve seen.

UP Sunken Garden, UP Diliman, Quezon City | fb.com/upfair

Art Fair Philippines 2020

Scenes form Art Fair Philippines 2019. Video from Art Fair Philippines

February 21 to 23

Gear up for the country’s largest celebration of art as Art Fair Philippines returns for its eighth year! Hit The Link Carpark and see the best of the country’s modern and contemporary art. It’s a combination of exhibits both at The Link Carpark and the 48 participating galleries along with its primer, 10 Days of Art, that makes this the art fair to clear out your schedule for.

The Link Carpark, Ayala Center, Makati City | artfairphilippines.com

Japan Film Week

February 26 to 29

Photo from FDCP. (c) 2019 “Weathering With You” Film Partners.

We know how much you love Japanese films, especially some of the more recent hits like Weathering With You. Well, you’re in luck! The Film Development Council of the Philippines has partnered with the Japan Foundation to bring you Japan Film Week, a showcase of critically-acclaimed and award-winning Japanese animated and feature films like the aforementioned hit and the Panay-set feature film Tears of Malumpati.

Cinematheque Manila, Ermita, Manila | bit.ly/JapanFilmWeek

Panagbenga Flower Festival

February 29 to March 1

Panagbenga 2012. Photo by Christian Sangoyo

February may be known as the month of love, but the people of Baguio see it as their way of celebrating the many blooms their city has in the form of the annual Panagbenga Festival. See the streets of Baguio filled with street dancers on the 29th and watch colorful floats filled with beautiful flower arrangements pass by on March 1. Be sure you don’t bring your car during the parades, lest you’ll be stuck in traffick for the rest of the festival.

Baguio City

Any other events we missed (apart from every single Valentines Day-related event)? Leave us a comment and we might just do a part 2!

Featured photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

SkyJet Airlines is back in Siargao

SkyJet Airlines is back in Siargao

The fastest direct flights to the country’s surf capital are back!

The summer of 2020 has a promise of sun shinier skies as boutique carrier SkyJet Airlines brings back its direct flights from Manila to Siargao on March 29, 2020.

The selling of seats on SkyJetAirlines.com kicks off today, January 11, 2020, with one-way base fares starting at Php3,500.

Did you miss Cloud 9’s boardwalk? Photo by Daniel Soriano

“SkyJet’s Siargao flights resumption will enable us at SkyJet to help sustain the momentum of the island’s market growth and demand,” says SkyJet commercial head Joseph Alvarico. “SkyJet’s the first airline to fly directly to Siargao, and we are looking at fulfilling our aim at allowing everyone, including millennials, to experience the culture of the island by providing competitive fares.”

Stand-up paddling around Guyam Island. Photo by Daniel Soriano

“We are also working with the local tourism department in Siargao to bring Siargao’s culture across through the Dash Store, a boutique travel lifestyle shop in Salcedo Village, Makati, as well as give travelers a faster and more reliable experience of flying from Manila to Siargao,” he added.

Ride waves like this once more in Siargao. Stock photo from SkyJet Airlines

SkyJet has been known in the industry to offer the fastest flights to Siargao at about 70 minutes per way. This means the flights are among the most convenient for Manilans off to Siargao for a break, or for foreigners traveling to the country’s surf capital with Manila as jump off point.

Jumping off a rock in Magpupungko. Photo by Daniel Soriano

Siargao has long attracted travelers with its relaxed atmosphere and unique natural wonders such as the rock pools in Magpupungko, the stingless jellyfish in nearby Sohoton, and the world class surf breaks of Cloud 9. It’s been dubbed the Best Island in Asia in 2018 by popular online travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler and, more recently, one of its best holiday destinations for 2020. It’s also a growing favorite among celebrities as a quick island getaway.

Words by Andrew del Rosario
Featured photo by Gaps Sabuero

A library you’d love to hole up in: The Spirits Library

A library you’d love to hole up in: The Spirits Library

This intriguing bar with an aura of prohibition-era speakeasy is where you can learn about AND enjoy classic cocktails.

If you try and Google this place now, you’ll see that they open at 7pm. Do the same search a few months ago (October 2019, to be specific), however, and you’ll see Google saying The Spirits Library is “permanently closed”.

It’s no ploy, but it does give this spirits/cocktail bar an aura of mystery. It’s a place where you can enjoy either a classic or have one made for you with the hundreds of spirits they have.

It has an aura of a prohibition-era speakeasy without it having to be hidden, since it’s located along Guerrero Street in Poblacion, just a few buildings away from the often-packed Makati Avenue.

It’s like a cross between a library and a gentleman’s lounge.

The name is no misnomer, with shelf upon shelf of spirits that would make your uncle’s collection feel tiny. It has a feel that’s synonymous with a full-scale library, as the winding staircase and the rolling library ladder give you a most pleasing “hello”. Follow said staircase upstairs and you’ll be treated to a patio of sorts, complete with couches and high tables that make you feel like you’re in a Great Gatsby-themed room.

If you want to splurge a bit more, ask how you can get into the “Detention Room”, where owner Dr. Lee Watson and his crew of mixologists whip up cocktails from forgotten times.


No food here at The Spirits Library, but they do have some of the best mixologists around. Give them a flavor profile and they’ll whip up something that matches what you like, or ask them for a list of classic cocktails.

The surprisingly refreshing, yet still risque, Adios Amigos.

If you’re looking for something more spirit-forward, ask to be placed in the “Detention Room,” where you can enjoy a cocktail made from Dr. Watson’s personal collection of spirits.

That burnt cinnamon stick makes it all the more interesting, despite being made up of (usually) only three ingredients: rum, spice syrup, and chocolate bitters.

There, you can get concoctions like The Baguio Skin, a simple yet unusual concoction that comes from the summer escape that is Baguio City; and an old Army-Navy Club Manila special, Adios Amigos, made with rum, lemon juice, sugar, and Blanco vermouth, garnished with a lemon peel.

The basics

4963 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City
IG: @thespiritslibrary

Photos: Andrew Del Rosario

7 glamping spots for the IG travel couple in 2020

7 glamping spots for the IG travel couple in 2020

For something new, here are places to take your significant other to and spend the night in sans the walls but with the comforts of a hotel room.


A dome away from home. Photo from Domescape

It’s hidden from the main road. It’s halfway between the beaches of Nasugbu and the chilly breeze of Tagaytay. It also happens to have a deceptively spacious geodesic dome tent with a natural pool and a large patio. All of this is packaged in an area that makes you feel like you are nowhere near Tagaytay or Nasugbu. Truly an excellent camping experience.

Oh, and did we mention it’s an IG magnet?

Brgy. Tumalim, Nasugbu, Batangas
Starts at Php6,000 for Dome 2 (good for four people), food and drinks at Php250 per meal per person
Airbnb.com/rooms/33087863 (Dome 1) or airbnb.com/rooms/33087699 (Dome 2)
Facebook: @domescape.ph
Instagram: @domescape

Nacpan Beach Glamping

Isn’t it grand? Photo from Nacpan Beach Glamping

Beachside camping has always been a good idea for anyone looking to break away from the daily grind. Nacpan Beach, once hailed by The Daily Telegraph as one of the dreamiest beaches in the world in 2017, is as quiet as they come, and there’s no better way of enjoying it than sleeping in a luxurious tent at Nacpan Beach Glamping. It’s got stylish blue tents, beachfront access, and a kitchen that can whip you up a good meal.

There’s also a garden around the tents that you can walk around in for more peace and quiet.

Php7,500 per night for two; however, a tent can fit up to four
FB: @NacpanBeachGlamping
IG: @nacpanbeachglamping
Tel: +63956 234 0162

Aetas Glamping El Nido

Photo from Aetas Glamping El Nido

Keeping things in El Nido, here’s a spot that takes you away from the crowds and towards the quieter parts of El Nido. Aetas Glamping El Nido (Nature Served on a Silver Platter on Airbnb) has four glamping tents fashioned from a mix of classic tent and indigenous materials. Situated in what can only be described as halfway between a mountain and rice fields, it’s a unique stay that might be hard to match elsewhere in El Nido.

Php8,500 per night for two
FB: @AetasGlampingElNido
IG: @aetasglampingelnido
Email: [email protected]

Glamping Etc. Philippines

Next to camping in the woods or by the beach, a tent pitched by the shores of a lake, is something we’ve all aspired to do. Glamping Etc. Philippines, located on the shores of quiet Lumot Lake in Cavinti, Laguna, gives us just that—albeit in one of four roomier, more luxurious geodesic tents.

Enjoy free kayak rentals, body boards, vests, and breakfast during your stay, all while you wait for the night sky in Cavinti to open up.

Php2,900 per night for at least two with breakfast
FB: @GeodesicGlampingEtcPH
IG: @glamping_etc_philippines

North Beach Camp

Glamping is always a good idea with friends, especially when it leads you to discover places you’ve never been to… like Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. Yes, it is ridiculously far from Metro Manila, but this makes staying at North Beach Camp even better. No stress from work, no need to worry about traffic—it’s the ideal destination, right?

Combine that with how your glamping tents look (they’re more beach huts than actual tents) and the food they serve (pizza from Kingfisher and a Japanese spread, anyone?) and you might just get us to sign up for a night or two.

As low as Php1,500 per night for two
FB: @northbeachcamp.ph
IG: @nbc.ph

Glamping Siquijor

Siquijor has long been shrouded in mystery, what with how people have always connected it to the occult. What people are missing out on, though, are the amazing panoramas you get and the people you meet (they are genuinely some of the nicest). The best way to experience all of this should be from the comfort of a tent, which Glamping Siquijor gives you in spades. Beachfront huts are the way to go here.

Starts at Php1,500 per night for two
FB: @Philippines.Glamping
IG: @glamping_siquijor

The Glamp Zambales

Zambales is one of those lesser-known spots for a relaxing time because of its history (Mt. Pinatubo eruption, 1991). It feels more like a pitstop on your way up North, but take a few minutes to dig through the web and you’ll see it has more to offer: stunning beaches, activities for adventure travelers, and The Glamp Zambales.

It’s a beautiful spot in the little-known town of Liwliwa with access to the beach, picturesque tents, and an equally picturesque sunset.

Starts at Php5,200++ for two with breakfast
IG: @theglampzambales

Did we miss any spots you were looking into? Hit us up in the comments and we might just do a part 2!

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