Thursday, August 30, 2007

Living It Up at Bonifacio High Street

(reproduced from my article in Airmart Newsline Magazine, August 2007 edition)

Who would have thought that in the ever-bustling and congested metropolis that is Metro Manila, an oasis of sprawling gardens, cutting-edge marvels and posh sophisticated shops could exist?

Bonifacio High Street, the commercial and leisure centerpiece of the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig has brought a new dimension to world-class, quality commercial and property development in the Philippines.

Patterned after England’s high street, the kilometer-long commercial and retail stretch features block after block of exquisitely landscaped gardens, state-of-the-art fountains and contemporary art pieces. Straddling the green expanse are stylish high-end shops offering specialized products, anything from flip-flops to organic body creams.

Catering to the A, B and C economic classes, Bonifacio High Street is a fusion of architecture and ecology. It successfully translates the concept of leisure dining and shopping to one awesome experience.

To date, the largest names in the food, beauty and novelty business have already opened their latest branches in the High Street. Here’s a sneak peak at the “highs” that Bonifacio High Street offers.

At the threshold of this shopper’s paradise (coming from Market! Market! mall) is Piazza Serendra, where most of the restos are located. Among these are Conti’s, a chic, elegant resto, which is one of the early favorites due to its “to die for” meals and cakes. Also within the piazza is an interesting range of dessert nooks—Sonja’s Cupcakes, Miss Desserts and Xocolat. So far, notable food enthusiasts exclaim that all three possess flying colors in creating the most palate-pleasing indulgences and treats.

For Asian cuisine lovers and enthusiasts, two restos are on top of the list — the Zao Bistro offers Vietnamese cuisine and the Silk with its hearty sampling of Thai food.

For the gregarious eater, TGI Fridays recently opened its seventh restaurant here with a big bang. One is not only treated to a hearty dining experience but to an instant immersion in American pop culture with its spanking Yankee-themed interior.

For the work-swamped executive or office worker, Figaro, with its enticing Mediterranean ambience offers a selection of delectable Italian-inspired coffee and chocolate concoctions.

Avid readers can also find their favorite nooks inside A Different Bookstore, gives you the opportunity to read while sipping hot cocoa. It is the perfect place to unwind on a rainy day. Another popular bookshop, Fully-booked, recently opened its one and only five-storey branch in the country with an in-house Starbucks branch located at the 3rd floor.

Two art studios have also been steadily drawing a number of art lovers and enthusiasts lately—Color Me Mine, located at the ground level and Mag:net Gallery, located at Quadrant 3.

The favorite hang-outs are the Crocs store where every now and then people line up through the entrance waiting for their turn to shop. Also popular especially among foreign visitors are the shops All Flip Flops and Crumpler. Of course, fashionistas and trendsetters wouldn’t miss the spot of designer brands like Calvin Kline, Nike and the top-selling The Face Shop and Shisheido.

If there was one shop that stirred the greatest hype, it was the flagship store of Krispy Kreme Donuts that opened in the High Street. Customers, often whole families-- queued up in seemingly endless lines just to get a bite of its mouth-watering donuts.

With so much time spent in our metro’s hustle and more-often-than-not, tedious bustle, it’s a relief to find a place like Bonifacio High Street. Not only is it a unique leisure hub merged with natural wonders that will cater to your needs. It is your very own sanctuary where you can slow down, take a deep breath and replenish your mind and spirit.