Part of the delight that comes with traveling is recording all the wonderful sights you come across. And some places have the edge when we’re in need of a backdrop for photos worthy of the main feed. The Smile team, along with travelers adept at the ways of the #travelgram, recommend 6 nooks and neighborhoods in the Cebu Pacific network:
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Traveler Ching Lopez [IG: @chingxyl] recommends: “Haji Lane is lined with small bars, cafés and hole-in-thewall eateries. You may want to take pictures of the colorful murals that stand out along the walkway, and if you’re into arts and handicrafts, shopping here will be a joy, too.”
When Singapore-born MMA fighter Kirstie Gannaway gave us a tour of her favorite neighborhood, she highlighted Haji Lane as essential to a Singaporean itinerary. Note that the narrow road — along with neighboring Bali Lane, Baghdad Street and Bussorah Street — goes car-free every Friday (from 6pm to midnight), Saturday and Sunday (from noon to midnight). Pop into independent boutiques and cafés — and don’t forget to pop back out to admire the colorful murals scattered across the outer walls. “The artwork here is awesome — so many photo ops and backdrops to choose from!” says Kirstie. “Go as early as you can to avoid the crowds.”
Traveler Joel V. Reyes; [IG: @joelvreyes] shares: “Hidden among the industrial warehouses in the suburbs is a little gem called The Grounds of Alexandria. It’s located in a former industrial complex from the 1920s that’s been repurposed as an event space with a mix of souvenir stalls, alfresco dining places, a café and even a mini zoo. It’s really eye-catching and a great place for snapping that quick but arty IG share.”
Amble through the laneway and pedestrian precinct of Centre Place — north from Flinders Lane to Collins Street, between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets — to feel the cultural capital of Australia up close. When it’s time for a break, duck into any of the many bars, cafés and restaurants scattered around. The vibe is always lively, with buskers, unique boutiques and street art just begging to be Instagrammed.
Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is a haven for art — find everything from larger-than-life building murals to inconspicuous graffiti by local and international artists. Rent a bike or take a self-guided walking tour that starts from Bonifacio High Street. Check online (bgc.com.ph) for the complete list of artworks.
Hollywood Road may be known for its drinking establishments, but it’s also where you’ll find collections of street art. In particular, head to 45-53 Graham Street to see the Instagram-famous mural of old townhouses. Created by Alex Croft, a Hong Kong-based graffiti artist and decorative painter, it was commissioned by the nearby G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) store. Keep walking from there to enjoy antique shops and art galleries.
A version of this article was first published in the November 2019 issue of Smile magazine.