Whenever I think of Valentine’s date, a picture of crowded malls and restaurants is the first that comes to mind. I can’t even remember the last time I was out for Valentine’s day.
Now, I’m back in Manila. Lala and I have been trying to make up for our two years of long distance relationship. We decided to go out and have an unusual Valentines date.
We went to Quiapo, Manila, not to tour around one of the most notorious market in the world for counterfeit and pirated goods but to shop for mountain bike accessories.
Quezon boulevard in Quiapo is one of the well-known places for buying bicycles and accessories. And if you’re up for buying cheap China-made accessories, there are a lot of sidewalk vendors offering a range of products.
Lala bought the following: Bottle cage mount – P80 Bike seat cover – P100 Bike front light – P120 Bicycle bell – P180
For serious cyclists, there are quality products in some of the shops. However I don’t suggest buying bicycles here as it is much cheaper in Cartimar in Libertad, Pasay.
When in Quiapo, don’t eat fastfood at the Filipino restaurants because the place is known for old Chinese eateries. One of the famous restaurants here is Ma Mon Luk.
Ma Mon Luk is named after a Chinese-Filipino chef/entrepreneur who is the innovator of siopao and mami here in Philippines. The eatery is an indoor open space ventilated with huge ceiling fans. The menu, plus framed write-ups and newspaper clips about the eatery hang on their wooden wall.
The place is an image of restaurant settings in Filipino movies during the 80s. They offer a limited selection of food, from mami, siopao, siomai, softdrinks, and bottled water.
We tried the special mami, special siopao, and siomai. The noodles was ok but the mami soup was too gamey for me to eat. Their siopao is good but it has a lot of salted egg inside, making it salty. Their siomai is big and meaty.
The noodles and siopao are handmade and the serving is quite big for me. That’s the reason why the price is not that cheap. It was a good experience eating out in a tradionally old eatery but overall the food there is not something I would crave for.
It was definitely a unique way to spend Valentines Day. It was like a tour in a some ways as I was also introduced to other known eateries in the area.