Pedro Tap House

Pedro Tap House

The not-so-new spot in Poblacion that still counts as a must visit for one thing: serious craft beer with selections no lower than 12

Craft beers are rising in popularity, especially among the younger crowd, but bars in Poblacion hardly carry more than one or two. Pedro Tap House, which officially opened in February 2019, solves that with their 12 taps offering nearly every single variant of craft beer you can find.

Pedro Tap House is, for lack of a better term, the tap house of local craft beer brewer Pedro Brewcrafters, known for brews such as the Procrastination Pale Ale and the Beach Blonde Ale. It’s in quite a discreet location being on the edge of Poblacion and Rockwell, but don’t let that fool you. It’s as much a Poblacion bar as any.

There’s a lounge of sorts up on the second floor.

You’ll be met with music from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s once you go through their door. The couch right at the entrance reminds you of your friend’s basement sans the smell of dirty laundry. The interiors, overall, is clearly industrial. A quick pivot to your left leads you to more traditional seating, though still retaining the motif.

Go up these stairs if the first floor is a bit cramped (which it’s bound to be).

A trip upstairs leads to more seats, though you won’t feel separated from the rest of the tap house. Apart from the mural telling you where you are, they’ve intentionally left the space above the couch open so you can still enjoy the vibe of the tap house.


Food at Pedro Tap House looks at the same eras and design cues for inspiration. Their Bar Junk, in particular, is quite popular as it has almost every conceivable bar chow imaginable in one bowl: pop corn, candied bacon, almonds, cashews, chili (you’ll feel it but it won’t burn), and orange zest.

Quite the spread you have there, miss: a (from left to right, top to bottom) Space Out Coffee Stout, hot wings, the Bar Junk, a Procrastination Pale Ale, the Sacriligeous Sisig, and a couple of Korean mini corn dogs.

They also serve a mean version of the classic Filipino bar chow: sisig. Aptly named the Sacrilegious Sisig, it’s a serving of the Kapampangan classic that anyone would eat but Kapampangans will disown: chopped pork face and cheeks, chilies, bacon, chicharon, mayo, egg yolk—all served on a sizzling plate.


As with any self-respecting bar, Pedro Tap House has options for spirits, whether it’s a cocktail or a shot. Let’s be real, though: you don’t go to a tap house and not drink beer.

That board on top of the bar you’re seeing? Yeah, you’ll hardly see the same thing twice apart from the Procrastination Pale Ale.

Since it’s Pedro, you’ll see their previously mentioned brews alongside the more experimental stuff like the Space Out Coffee Stout (a dark ale with coffee from collab with Yardstick) and the Lemon Pie Ale (collab with Nipa Brew). These change every so often, but one thing is for sure: they’ll always have at least 12 craft beer available on tap.

Verdict: 8/10

Parking will always be a problem in Poblacion, and no bar will ever solve that. That said, if you’re in the hunt for a tap house with some of the best brews around, Pedro Tap House is a solid option.

The basics
Starts at Php165 for a 10-oz glass of craft beer, bar chow starts at Php120
5910 Matilde Street, Poblacion, Makati City
@pedrotaphouse on Facebook and Instagram

Words and photos: Andrew Del Rosario

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, @buccaneers_ph on IG

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

The revelation of coco brewed coffee

The revelation of coco brewed coffee

Yes, Latitude Bean+Bar in Malate, Manila cold brews coffee with coconut water… and then some.

The brew in question.

As weird as it sounds, yes, the idea does work. Let coarse-ground coffee brew in coconut water at least overnight and you’ll get a naturally sweet, little-to-no-acid coffee that even someone who isn’t a fan of coffee will like.

And it’s something you can enjoy in the middle of Malate at Latitude Bean+Bar. Why Latitude? “It’s a term used in navigation, and can mean to be in the middle of something,” says Natalie Ong, one of the owners of the specialty coffee shop.

Sit here with a glass of coco brew and a grilled cheese sandwich and you’re good.

The quaint coffee shop is located one lot away from the corner of Remedios and Pilar Hidalgo Lim in the City of Manila, and is oddly (yet satisfyingly) quiet despite being a city block away from Taft Avenue, one of the busiest streets in the metro.

You’ll find it hard to miss this blue wall… or that shelf.

It’s not one of those hidden coffee shops where it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of situation since it pops out from the greys of the city: the blue walls and the kaleidoscope logo are hard to miss. Even the simple, octagonal shelf stands out as you drive by, calling on to you for a stare or order a cup of coffee.


A “simple” grilled cheese sandwich, with fries and a tomato sauce dip on the side.

They’re not big on food like most cafes, but their mushroom grilled cheese sandwich is quite a treat. The toasted slices of sourdough bread hold itself together as you bite into the savory mix of melted cheese (mozzarella and cheddar) and dried shiitake mushrooms. Take the flavors to the next level by dipping it in the complimentary tomato sauce (Natalie’s recipe) and you get a zing that cuts some of the savoriness, balancing out the flavors.

Munch on these as much as you like.

If you’re there for a quick pitstop, study session, or to simply relax for the afternoon, a bowl of their crispy nori chips will hit the spot. It’s a bowl of crispy potato chips generously dusted with their in-house nori powder blend that has just the right amount of umami to keep you digging for more.


Yes, that’s Natalie enjoying Latitude’s coco brew.

This is where Latitude shines. A sip of their coco brew is a welcome departure for people who have trouble finding that right balance between the bitterness of coffee and turning the drink into blackened sugar water. Cold brew coffee is already sweeter than black, but the coconut water adds a level of sweetness and you will never get that familiar finish with any sugar substitute.

Dusk at the top, dawn at the bottom; hence the name.

If you’re not feeling up for a cup/glass of coffee, their Dusk Till Dawn will surely perk you up. It’s a mix of strawberry lemonade (with the syrup done in-house) and blue tea (tea made with blue butterfly pea) that’s sweet, sour, and refreshing in all the right ways. Give it a stir and it changes color, or let it sit as it is and get a different flavor as you go deeper into the glass with your reusable straw.

The basics
Php350 (about USD7) per person for one drink and a snack
1851 Pilar Hidalgo Lim cor. Remedios Sts., Malate, Manila
11am to 8pm daily
@latitudebeanbar on Facebook and Instagram

Camiguin’s best kept secret: Peninsular Kape Art

Camiguin’s best kept secret: Peninsular Kape Art

Camiguin has a gem of a restaurant at its helm serving delicious Spanish cuisine.

Good food at island destinations usually means a visit to someone’s home or a quick trip to the public market, where small eateries usually reside. Visiting Camiguin will almost tempt you to do this—until you actually explore the area around where most of their resorts reside.

Tucked away among the homestays, apartelles, and resorts of the closest beach to White Island is Peninsular Kape Art, a quaint restaurant that not only serves great coffee but also acts as a place where most foreigners, especially Spaniards, flock in.

It feels like home. It’s all wood, and has that vibe of a Spanish villa.

The all-wood interiors give off a vibe unlike any you’ve seen in Camiguin, apart from the ultra-high-end Bahay Bakasyunan. You’ve got a near-perfect view of White Island with tables set-up so you can enjoy your meal alongside the sounds and smells of the sea.


Their Seafood Paella is to die for, and is as close to authentic as you can get in Camiguin.
The Gambas ajillo is simple enough: shrimp, garlic, and olive oil. Do it right and it will be a good start to your night.
This is Laura, the woman behind all that is good at Peninsular Kape Art.

The lady in the kitchen, Laura, is a Spaniard, and she whips up some of the best grub on the island. Make sure you get the Arroz Negra or the Seafood Paella. It’ll blow your socks off. Can’t decide on your tapas? Go for their sampler plate!


These imported cold cuts go well with beer… or a red sangria. Or both.
Make sure you ask for at least ONE of these after your meal (from left to right): brownie with ice cream, frozen cheese cake, mango float. They’re all so good!

Another thing that sets this place apart from other restaurants in the area is their extensive drinks menu. They serve a mean pitcher of sangria made with fruits that are in season. Don’t forget to ask for craft beers from Cebruery if you’re in the more for more booze.

The basics
Php800 (USD16) per person
Rocky Village, Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin
Tel: +63977 855 2050

SkyJet Airlines offers direct flights to Camiguin 5 times weekly.

Experience all-in hassle-free tours of Camiguin by booking #DashHolidays
Tel: +63917 840 6853, +639917 627 6179
Solar Century Tower, 100 Tordesillas cor. HV Dela Costa Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Words: Andrew De Rosario Photos: Daniel Soriano

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