Despite the devastating effects of a global pandemic, some city spots have managed to stay afloat. One such place is Poblacion, an unassuming neighborhood in the downtown district of Makati City which, through a patronizing community, has coped with lingering lockdowns.
That your circle of college friends or work colleagues probably call it “pobs” or “pobla,” or that your Friday nights are filled with sprees to its street-level speakeasy bars and hole-in-the-wall diners, are just glaring proofs that Poblacion deserves its recent recognition as one of the “World’s Coolest Neighborhoods in 2021.”
According to a “huge, anonymous survey of urbanites all over the planet” conducted by lifestyle site Time Out, Makati’s center of culture and entertainment clinched the 46th spot out of 49 spots surveyed.
“Once best known for its red light district, the area today brims with old apartments-turned-businesses and hostels that draw an eclectic mix of locals and visitors from the 15 other districts that make up Manila,” wrote contributing journalist Shirin Bhandari about Poblacion. She then proceeded to praise the neighborhood’s resilience, which, despite restrictions, still made it “pretty easy to have fun” inside its “array of outdoor galleries, rooftop bars and open-air art spaces.”
Bhandari also cited some of the favored sites to visit on a perfect day in Poblacion: the Makati Poblacion Park, the Makati Museum, and the 17th-century St. Peter’s Church. For a midday meal, a filling bowl of “porridge with tripe in a ginger-garlic broth” from Goto Monster ought to perk you up. And once you’re done, hunker down inside Agimat Foraging Bar, before going to Z Hostel to call it a day.
The coolest neighborhood in the world, at least according to its respondents, is Nørrebro in Copenhagen, Denmark. It notched the top spot for its “dazzling blend of historic landmarks, ultramodern architecture and food and drink joints.”
But what exactly did they look at to determine a place’s “coolness”?
As Time Out says, they have been doing this survey for three years. This year, however, apart from considering the “cool stuff,” they also counted the “kind” and “forward-looking stuff” – “community spirit, resilience, sustainability” – among the answers of over 27,000 city dwellers.
Check out the full list of the coolest neighborhoods here.
Art Daniella Sison