Article by Marie Modesto
Photos by Jan Capili
Graphics by Kathleen Yap
Every generation had their “go-to” place for hangouts. Most of our parents grew up with their gimmick places around Araneta or Greenhills, while our ates and kuyas would probably tell you they used to hang out in Tomas Morato. But if you ask the twentysomethings of today, their best recommendation is probably one of the bars and restos situated in Poblacion, Makati.
If you didn’t know the best restos in Poblacion, you can check out this article: 6 Places You Should Visit When You’re in Poblacion, Makati. But, when did Poblacion get put on the map? How does a quaint residential area become the next “go-to” place for this generation?
Co-working space, Acceler8, launched their Eureka series last April 19, 2018. They kicked off the series with a mini get together of some of the well-loved bars and restos of Poblacion. There were also representatives from these brands that told stories behind their companies. The event also included a pop-up booth from Señor Pollo, free beer from Engkanto Brewery, live art from Meatfist, and to cap off the night, music from St. Vincent and The Grenadines. It felt like Acceler8 packed a whole street into their office.
The brand representatives that were there to speak were Cara Paguio of Señor Pollo, Cao Ocampo of Z Hostel, Martin Chua Ledesma of Oto, Franco Ocampo of Tambai, and Ian Paredies of Polilya. Among the companies, Z Hostel was the oldest of the bunch. Chief of Good Vibes, Cao, talked about how they saw the potential in the space. They were just kicking around ideas when they thought of what to do with the old building. And so they built a hostel, there, amongst the residential houses of Poblacion, a few minutes away from Rockwell.
Ian Paredies, Co-owner of Polilya explained why they loved the community of Poblacion. He said “There is a certain charm to it. In one table you’ll see students drinking, men in corporate attires at the next, and in another table some guys in their 60s having a good time.” A big part of it, he explains, is that everyone is welcome in Poblacion. The streets are full of people from all walks of life. You can find foreigners, locals, and businessmen all enjoying the vibe and casualty of the community.
Even though these brands, in a sense, have the same kind of atmosphere—the chill, gritty, hip, and casual vibe that we all love, these brands are not all exactly similar. The brands were a result of their own passion projects. Franco of Tambai talks about how this popular bar came to be from just a bunch friends hanging out in front of a sari-sari store. And Oto was the brainchild of Martin where he envisioned a bar that had great whiskey and great music.
But, a common denominator between these brands is their love for Poblacion. Their love for the vibe, the grit, and the charm of the community. It’s evident that they’re not competitors in this location but rather comrades that emerged from the goal of preserving the gem that Poblacion is.
What is your favorite establishment in Poblacion and why? Tell us in the comments!