Manila Madness – Day Seven – Food, Malls, Bars

Day 7 – Food, Malls, bars

We start the day with breakfast at 9 Spoons, the restaurant at the top floor of the Bayleaf Hotel. It’s about 06:30 so the place has just opened (The next day we went for breakfast at 09:00 and it was packed).





Great views from the Sky Deck


I’m hoping that this school wasn’t in use…


A very skinny horse.  We were planning on going for a carriage ride, but we saw the horses getting whipped very abusively.

Dude is chilling on a moving truck!



14 Canons – View from the hotel room












Taxi driver, take us to 168 Mall!

168 Mall is known for the value.  Meaning, everything is made of poor quality or an imitation of a respectable product.
TIP: Beware of guys in disguise!  There were a lot of very strange looking women there…something seemed off.  After hearing them speak and taking another look at them, many of the women working at 168 Mall were men.  Many.


168 Mall is actually composed of several other malls.  The mall connects to the neighboring buildings which also happen to be malls.  The amount of floors isn’t the same though.  The 1st and 2nd floor of the mall seemed to go on and on.  We tried to walk around the entire 2nd floor, but gave up after 30 minutes.  The further we went to explore the mall, the more complicated it became to get back to the original starting point. 

I better go get an autograph!



Best spaghetti in the Philippines is at Jollibee!


This is exactly how I want my kids to dress everyday!


Mall food courts always remind me of America

After shopping at 168 Mall, we headed back to the hotel. We picked up a taxi on the street during heavy traffic.  When I took a look at the driver’s dashboard the car was completely out of gas and had to be started every minute.  This caused me much anxiety, but it worked out since we made it back to the hotel okay.  I guess the gas gauge was just broken, but the car dying every minute was still nerve-wracking.

Then after taking a power nap, we headed to SM City Manila (another mall) in search of Shakey’s Pizza!

We had to try Shakey’s Pizza!  The entire week, every time we passed a Shakey’s there was a line out the door.  Which made me think Shakey’s was really good.  After dining there, it seemed about the same as what I could get in the States.


Hot sauce and ketchup.  I did not request this, but tried it because I thought it was a custom.


I politely declined membership after the waitress’s convincing sales pitch to join.

SPAM! For when you’re in a jam…I guess.

None of these items you can get in the States!  None!

Later that night, we go out for drinks to calm the nerves…also cause drinking is fun.

Skydeck – Rooftop bar at the Bayleaf Hotel


After leaving the hotel, it was time for a change of scenery so we headed to “The Harbour” for drinks.  As soon as all four of us got out of the car into the parking lot, we were greeted by 8 servers from different bars/clubs.  They were all strongly pushing for our business and there were many establishments to choose from.

Somehow, the group redirected all the servers to me as I looked liked the biggest tourist.
Friends: Which one should we pick?
Me: That one (I pointed to the bar far away from the ones the servers were pushing for – without any remorse)

There was an awkward silence between all of us and the servers.  As I begin walking, they continue pushing to get us into their establishments.  One guy just kept yelling at me “We have a couch!  We have a couch!”  That’s not really a deciding factor for me when selecting a place to go.

It’s the Philippines, so of course it’s hot.  I want a cold beer.  I ask the group of servers which place serves “San Miguel Sub-Zero.”  That is an ice cold beer which requires a special freezer.  It turns out the guy who said they had a couch also have San Miguel Sub-Zero.  So we go there which turns out to be a place called “Jazz Simple Ambiance,” or JSA.

This is not San Miguel Sub-Zero.  It is beer with ice around it.  The beer was still warm and was unacceptable to my Western demands.  We ended up ordering a 6 pack for the 4 of us.  I drank 2.5 of them so we could just get out of the place.  The music they were playing was obnoxiously loud, American rap music.  The DJ just kept repeating obscene lyrics that didn’t make any sense to the few people inside.  

Nothing about this place was “Jazz, Simple, Ambiance.”

FYI, I’m 28.  I’m not an elderly person who complains about the crazy music the you people are listening to these days…at least not yet.



As we left the bar, I tried to walk out with half a beer.  They tried to charge me PHP100 for leaving the bar with the beer.  I just gave it to them since that’s the cost of a cold beer anywhere else.

We successfully left Jazz Simple Ambiance and made it to this bar.
This bar was great!  Good music, but quiet enough so you can still have a conversation with your friends.

Leaving the bar, I took a picture of this sign.  I wanted to try eating at this place, but forgot the next day.



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