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Manila Liquor Ban: Shantay You Stay or Sashay Away?

After reading your replies on our recent #TalkOnTW segment, we’ve conducted a little “research” about a list of spots around the campus and we’ve indicated which among these are within Isko’s “danger zone”.



Artwork by Aldrich Aquino
EDITOR’S NOTE: The measurements used in this article are based on the data taken from Google Maps. Although the authors provided radial (pinned at Plaza Mayor) and peripheral distances so as to avoid the confusion legislative loopholes may cause, they used the distance measured from the University perimeter wall to the establishment temporarily as the basis of judgment. Further, this article should not be regarded as a legitimate reference nor should it be considered as a guide to the recently implemented regulation. Moreover, this article does not, in any way, invite students to vice.

Recently, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno signed an executive order enforcing the cancellation of all business permits of stores that sell alcoholic beverages within the 200-meter range of schools and universities in Manila. With that being said, the mayor’s strict implementation on liquor ban received different reactions.

Aside from popular and affordable eateries, the University is also known for being surrounded by a number of inuman spots. From the bustling streets of Espana up to the food crawl and street food lined along the streets of Dapitan, there are a lot of (hidden) gems situated along these streets that surely became an instant hit for students.

After reading your replies on our recent #TalkOnTW segment, we’ve conducted a little “research” about a list of spots around the campus and we’ve indicated which among these are within Isko’s “danger zone”.


Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen (63 meters from UST perimeter wall*) 

Known for its student-friendly prices and Instagram-worthy vibes, Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen (also known as 4M), is a popular bar and restaurant in Santander Street that is not only jam-packed with Thomasians but also students from neighboring universities!



Tapsi (119 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Found in Asturias Street, Tapsi gives off an old Manila vibe because of its vintage facade. Tapsi is popular especially to the alumni of the University as it has been one of the oldest inuman houses in Dapitan. They are best known for affordable rice meals and buckets of beer.



The Pit (130 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Like Tapsi, The Pit is also a known landmark for drinking! Often visited by students and fellow alumni, The Pit serves affordable rice meals on their first floor. However, the real fun begins as you climb up the stairs where they serve you affordable cocktails as well!



Viewpoint (43 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Viewpoint is a drinking establishment located at Antonio Street. Despite the area being cramped and hidden in view, it is known for its very affordable alcoholic drinks.



Fusebox Lifestyle Complex (119 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Fusebox is a popular food establishment located along Laong-Laan Street. Serving a wide variety of dishes – from affordable rice bowls to Korean barbeque, Fusebox is known to be the drinking capital due to the number of restaurants serving alcohol at the top floor. There is also a pool table, perfect for unwinding after a tiring day.




Quesarito Mexican Cocina (10 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Quesarito Mexican Cocina is a new gem situated right above Angkong, Tap N’ Chop, and Legit Restaurant. Aside from serving a wide variety of Mexican dishes and rice meals like liquored wings, they serve delicious flavored beers and margaritas that won’t make you break the bank!




Troika Resto & Art Gallery (140 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

If you’re searching for an artsy inuman spot that also showcases live music, then Troika is the place you’re looking for! Aside from being a drinking hub, Troika is also an art gallery that makes you appreciate the arts as you stay.



Breeze Resto Bar (155 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Tucked in Moret, Breeze is a drinking spot that serves affordable pulutan and alcoholic beverages. Although the place is dark, the ambiance of the place is cozy enough that it will make you come back again.



Acustica Bistro & Lounge (34 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Acustica Bistro & Lounge serves you with the usual drinks and meals that are not on the expensive price range. Unlike other inuman spots that are usually cramped, Acustica gives off a cozy ambiance that makes you feel at home. Moreover, this place is also a good drinking spot for those who enjoy live performances.




Spotlight Restobar (321 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Want to sing your heart out to Whitney Houston’s Where do Broken Hearts Go or Salbakuta’s Stupid Love? Spotlight is a known inuman spot in Maria Clara street where you can go belt out your notes with their karaoke while being served your favorite cocktails!



The Roof (33 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Located on the 34th floor of Pacific Skyloft, The Roof is the perfect place for those who want to escape reality for a bit. Though the price range will give you the “Haggardo Versoza” vibe, The Roof will never fail to give you a one-of-a-kind experience as you gaze at the buildings seen from the roof.



Chill Top (840 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

With their branches spotted in Cubao down to Buendia, Chill Top found its home in Lacson, too! Like other roof deck bars, Chill Top allows you to enjoy a variety of cocktails and hard liquor as you watch over Manila’s skyline, too. It is definitely a place where you can chill, drink, and forget life’s burdens for a little while!



With the strict implementation of Liquor Ban by the Mayor, will this drastically affect drinking establishments that are still operating at this moment? Whatever the result may be, the best thing that we should always keep in mind is to be more mindful and responsible for our actions! 

Jia Pizarro Bote; Brin Raizulli Isaac and John Aaron Pangilinan contributed to this article.


*Radial Distances


Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen: 337 meters from Plaza Mayor

Tapsi: 365 meters from Plaza Mayor

The Pit: 276 meters from Plaza Mayor

Viewpoint: 250 meters from Plaza Mayor

Fusebox Lifestyle Complex: 356 meters from Plaza Mayor



Quesarito Mexican Cocina: 267 meters from Plaza Mayor



Troika Resto & Art Gallery: 405.85 meters from Plaza Mayor

Breeze Resto Bar: 398 meters from Plaza Mayor

Acustica Bistro: 325 meters from Plaza Mayor



Spotlight Restobar: 586 meters from Plaza Mayor

The Roof: 325 meters from Plaza Mayor

Chill Top: 1.10 kilometers from Plaza Mayor



Taking the Journey 200 Years Back: Clara Schumann @ 200

Clara Wieck-Schumann, whose name might be familiar to some, was a known German musician and composer. As a virtuoso in her field, she was acclaimed to be one of the most notable composers and pianists of her time. She has offered 61 years of her life in contributing and composing various works like piano concertos, chamber works, and choral pieces.



Photo by Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

It is truly that great music never dies no matter how fast time passes by. Great music always finds its way to get into our time no matter how it ages.

Last October 16, 2019, in commemoration of Clara Schumann’s 200th birth anniversary as well as to celebrate her great pieces and works, the Goethe-Institut Philippinen, a German Cultural Center, has partnered with University of Santo Tomas’ Conservatory of Music to bring and stage all the way to UST Schumann’s primo works through a theatrical multi-faceted performance held at the UST Museum.

Mary Patrice Pagis, a soprano singer, played the role of little Clara. (Photo by Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb)

Clara Wieck-Schumann, whose name might be familiar to some, was a known German musician and composer. As a virtuoso in her field, she was acclaimed to be one of the most notable composers and pianists of her time. She has offered 61 years of her life in contributing and composing various works like piano concertos, chamber works, and choral pieces. She also became a piano instructor at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. She was the wife of Robert Schumann, who was also a renowned musician during their era.

As the night began, people arrived and gradually filling up the museum as they were in excitement to witness the concert happening in just a few minutes. Setting up the mood, the entire area was turned into a dark and slight histrionic ambiance when the lights turned off. This, together with the archival vibe in the museum, have made the participants and guests experience the feeling of travelling back to the romantic era.

The audience fell into silence as the first melody of Impromptu in D Major was fired up on the piano by Boris Schonleber, a freelance pianist from Berlin. It was accompanied by the wondrous voice of mezzo-soprano singer Katharina Padrok as she serenaded the audience with Schumann’s Mein Stern (My Star). 

Photo by Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb

The audience was fully taken back to the romantic era as Mary Patrice Pagis, a soprano singer, played the role of little Clara. Pagis portrayed the young Clara who was confident and passionate for her first piano debut. The audience were in awe as Pagis transitioned her role from childish Clara to Clara’s mother. Meanwhile, Peter Portigos took the roles for playing both Clara’s father and husband. Really, it is as if the people were stock-still that no one bothered to unleash any noise but amusement drawn on each of their faces after every enlivening performance.

As the night went deeper, more of Clara’s pieces and songs were played such as Am Strance (On the shore), Loreley WoO 19, Notturno op. 6, Nr. 2 and others. 

The concert also exhibited Robert Schumann’s music including Widmung op. 25, Nr. 1(Dedication), Marienwiirmchen op. 70, Nr. 14 (Ladybird), and a lot more. 

Clara Schumann was a master of the game. She was a woman way ahead of the times – a composer, pianist, and a singer all rolled into one person. If there is anything else, she will be remembered not only because of her uniqueness and outstanding character but also because of her works that truly upped the standards for musicians in her time until now. It has been 200 years! Imagine the lengths her works could go. Indeed, music, as long as people appreciate it, will always be remembered even after centuries.



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Art in Focus: Remembering Rembrandt

October is Museum and Galleries Month! And as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila celebrates its 43rd anniversary, it featured a guided viewing of a couple of the famous works the great Baroque artist, Rembrandt van Rijin which also coincides with his 350th death anniversary.



Photo from

In a museum visit on a Saturday afternoon – an unusual break from the hourly streaks of readings and reviewers, I immersed and got lost in Rembrandt’s flair to depict the pinnacle of any presented moment, all works artistically suspended on a larger-than-life canvas. As a new admirer, seeing his works and understanding its narratives may be happily overwhelming. But later, with eyes fully satisfied from the beauty of his collections, I left the  museum’s premises seeking for more. 

October 5, 2019 celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which then gave the opportunity to commemorate the 350th death anniversary of the great Baroque artist, Rembrandt van Rijin. The museum featured a guided viewing of a couple of his famous works as presented by Ms. Alec Madelene Abarro, through a projected presentation. Although the actual works were not on display, the discussion transcended the technological constraints by carefully dissecting each piece, reveling in the masterpieces of Rembrandt, all the while paying attention to his palpable play of lights and its significance not only in his works, but on the phases of his remarkable life. 

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp anatomy lesson - rembrandt

Photo from Wikipedia

Prior to showing this piece, thirty or so individuals were seated on the carpeted floor of the museum. We were invited to a game of guessing if the artwork shown is a Rembrandt or not. Several group portraitures were presented, some were recognizable as other artists’ works and some were convincing enough to believe it was part of Rembrandt’s collection. What was common among the  group portraitures were the cramped lines and rows, seemingly placing the subjects in a structured frame. Then Rembrandt’s recognizable formulas of dark backgrounds and dramatic flares popped up on the screen that had the audience muttering silent yeses. 

What Ms. Abarro pointed out about this piece is its boldness to highlight what a spectator must engage with: the corpse and tendrils of its arms, Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, and the masterful hand of Rembrandt in finding the peak of the narrative – all given importance by his famous light and shadow techniques. Moreover, its diversion from the usual formality of group portraiture make it a plausible odd thumb of sorts. 

The Jewish Bride

Photo from Google Arts and Culture

Perhaps Rembrandt’s artistic branding is his ability to frame the dramatic instances of his works and to carefully put the pristine details on canvas, from the mere muskets to the anatomical details of his craft which all serve as an amalgamation of his theatrics. However, “The Jewish Bride”, a picture which exuded an enthusiastic admiration out of Van Gogh, were stripped off his usual branding. It is still bathed in the Rembrandt light, but the schema of the narrative revolves around the tranquility of the moment, a picture which diverts from the loudness of “The Night Watch” and other works from his collection that seem to overhaul chaos. 

The Marriage of Jason and Creusa 

Photo from Google Arts and Culture

Metropolitan Museum of Manila has acquired a copy of the famous Rembrandt etching that depicts two subjects: the marriage of Jason and Creusa and Medea’s picture of revenge, all inspired by the Greek mythology. 

It is quite known that Rembrandt’s works are inspired from mythologies and the Bible. This was most evident in “The Three Crosses” and “The Return of the Prodigal Son”. This etching, however, is the figurative cherry-on-top of the afternoon as it showcases the skillful and prolific lighting of Rembrandt, even with a metal etching. If one would scrutinize on the artwork, it elaborates how Rembrandt gives such importance and attention to intricacies. The tangible copy, however, is caged on a frame, just a mote piece on the wall beside the guided viewing, waiting to be appreciated by spectators. 

If there’s one thing that Rembrandt is known and celebrated for, it’s his ability to bathe his works with lights, casting a shadow here and there to indicate the picture’s prominent subject and to engage the spectator to take two glimpses: firstly, with expectant eyes ready to digest the work and secondly, with an unsizeable heart that glorifies the existence of the dark, an element necessary to let the light string in. 

“The best way to honor [an artist’s] legacy is to take a look at the artwork,” Ms. Abarro concludes with a call to the audience of different ages – sitting presently in front of the projected wall, mostly cramped beside the sculpture of the body sitting in the middle of the floor – to bask in the details and let it arrest you enough to inspire and expand your horizons. 

For upcoming events and exhibits of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, visit their webpage at You may also visit National Commission for Culture and the Arts‘ Facebook page for other events and exhibits in other museums and galleries around Metro Manila. 

Photo from Metropolitan Museum of Manila facebook Page


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Get up and Be Productive: Co-working Spaces Around UST

Prelims season is just around the corner, and every student is searching for ways to study for their exams effectively. Co-working spaces offer just that atmosphere for you. With that, we listed down the places around the University to aid you on your review sessions. 



Artwork by Aldrich Aquino

Prelims season is just around the corner, and every student is searching for ways to study for their exams effectively. Everyone has their own style to study, but one strategy in reviewing that applies to most students is to study in a peaceful, comfortable environment. Co-working spaces offer just that atmosphere for you. With that, we listed down the places around the University to aid you on your review sessions. 


Plug It Coworking Space & Study Hub

Photo from Plug It Coworking Space & Study Hub

Where: Second Floor, Saint Clare Homes, 902 Eloisa St. corner España Blvd., Sampaloc, Manila,

Hours: 12 PM to 6 AM

Rates:  P45 per hour; P100 for three hours; P300 daily; P2,000 weekly; 6,000 monthly

Plug It Coworking Space & Study Hub offers a neat and classy ambience to soothe you as you study for hell week. They also offer free beverages, as well as complimentary chips for you to have something to munch on. Plug It also has unlimited internet, sockets for charging, as well as free use of lockers. Their rates are also is student-friendly so you don’t need to empty your wallets for this coworking space. They even offer a membership card for added perks and rewards!

Stream Concept Study Hub

Where: 1563 España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila

Hours: 10 AM to 6 AM (Sunday to Friday); 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Saturday)

Rates: P50 hourly; P150 for 4 hours; P300 for 7+ hours

Stream Concept Study Hub provides its customers with a wide range of services for an affordable price. This study hub offers free use of available school supplies, as well as printing services if you need reviewers. They also have pillows and blankets for a more comfortable review session. Aside from their services, they also give out freebies at times ranging from discounts to free ice cream, and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of dogs that occasionally visit their hub.


OrangeDesk Coworking Space and Study Lounge

Where: Fourth Floor, DB Building, 1250 P. Noval St. corner España Blvd., Sampaloc, 


Hours: 11 AM to 6 AM

Rates:  P50 per hour; P120 for four hours; P300 daily, P1,800 weekly; P4,500 monthly

Color can affect the mood of an individual, and surrounding oneself with bright colors help could definitely help. OrangeDesk Coworking Space and Study Lounge provides you with a zesty ambience to brighten your mood. They pretty much cover the basics such as beverages, internet and sockets. It also has student-friendly rates so you will not run out of funds for this coworking space.

Panicroom Cowork

Where: Ground Floor, Galleria Suites P. Noval Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Hours: 11:00 AM to 6:00 AM

Rates: P40 hourly; P100 for three hours; P280 for eight hours; P300 daily (all inclusive of high-speed internet, power and USB sockets, coffee, juice, and water)

Found in between Starbucks and Joli’s, Panicroom Cowork provides a great experience for students. The ambiance of this space gives a cozy vibe as it offers an environment ideal for those who prefer working with music or with silence. They cover the basics pretty well and even throws in a variety of coffee, juice, and water for their customers. Adding to the competitive pricing, this co-working space becomes a very attractive option to students who are looking for a nice and ideal place to study.


Where: 1231 J Barlin St., Sampaloc, Manila

Hours: 11 AM to 2 AM

Rates: P50 hourly; P100 for four hours; P300 daily; P1,499 weekly; P3,999 monthly

Situated in the place of the well-loved food establishments in P. Noval, SkyLabs is a great choice for students looking for a place to study right after a meal. They are welcoming with their rates and even offers the occasional promo found in their social media page. The space is quite minimalist in style, giving students the immediate vibe of getting work done as soon as they walk in. Work is not all SkyLabs is for though, as they offer board games that can be requested through their staff. Inclusive also are free snacks which makes SkyLabs a very appealing choice for those who enjoy munching on something while studying.


107 Co-Working by Macao Imperial Tea

Where: Pacific Suites, 1218 Santander St., Sampaloc, Manila.

Hours: 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Rates: P350 daily; P3,500 monthly; P35,000 yearly

Perfect for milk tea lovers, 107 Co-working by Macao Imperial Tea combines great drinks and a productive space for any student. This co-working space provides the essentials of internet connection, power outlets, and an assortment of tables for the collaborative or the independent customer. They also offer a 10% discount on Macao Imperial Tea drinks to everyone who uses the co-working space while those who pay monthly and yearly can bring a friend in for 3 hours completely free.

The Capital CoWorking Space

Where: 1241 J Barlin St., Sampaloc, Manila

Hours: 10 AM to  5 AM

Rates: P50/60/220 (Normal/Focus Desk/Focus Group Area) hourly; P140/180/700  (Normal/Focus Desk/Focus Group Area) for four hours; P220/250/950 (Normal/Focus Desk/Focus Group Area) for eight hours; P300/350/1200 (Normal/Focus Desk/Focus Group Area) daily; P2000/2250 (Normal/Focus Desk) weekly; P3000/3500 (Normal/Focus Desk) for two weeks; P5000/6000 (Normal/Focus Desk) monthly

 A focused aesthetic seems to be what The Capital is going for with their co-working space. Found in Navarra Street, this space is very straightforward with its offerings without being too basic. Their rates comprise of three tiers: Normal, Focus Desk, and Focus Group Area. These tiers are based on the tables that students may use and the time they’re going to use them. The rates may be a bit steep however, its notable inclusions are unlimited snacks, coffee, refreshments, and use their shower room ideal for an intensive workday. While it is not as cheap as the other co-working places in this list, its proximity and aesthetics may be enticing for busy students.

HomeRoom Co-Working & Study Lounge

Where: 3/F Dioresa Plaza, 1521 Dapitan St. Sampaloc, Manila

Hours: 10:00 AM to 7 AM (Sunday to Friday); 10:00 AM to 12 AM (Saturday)

Rates: P88 hourly; P488 daily (10AM until closing); P4888 monthly

HomeRoom is indeed a hidden gem along the busy road of Dapitan. Their co-working space offers a busy and productive environment which will surely motivate you to start your work. HomeRoom is one of the few co-working spaces around the University that offers a napping room and a shower room, perfect for students who will be staying with them for the long wee hours. 

Buzzy Bee Co-Working Space

Where: 1253 Gelinos St., Sampaloc, Manila.

Hours: 11 AM to 2 AM

Rates: P45 hourly; P300 daily; P3885 monthly

If you’re as busy as a bee, this coworking space offers the right buzzy environment just for you. Buzzy Bee Co-Working Space provides its customers with affordable rates, with a discounted rate starting at 10 p.m. They also offer free snacks and refreshments. If you need to take a nap, Buzzy Bee houses a break room for you to play board games with your review buddies or to catch those z’s. 


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