Getting to Know the People 1.1- Margaux Sue Cortez, The Philippines


Margaux is a Filipino that grew up in America, a good friend of my friend Cynthia, an artist, and one of the fabulous diva’s of The Powder Room. She helped me out by sending me an amazing list of to sees and dos while in Manila.

Balut- YUMMY (I didn't try this) via
Balut- YUMMY (I didn’t try this) via

Where is your hometown, what is it like? I grew up in California but I’m proud to say I have found home here. I stay in south Metro-Manila. A city called Paranaque. The same city the airport is in. Just like almost every other city, it has its dodgy areas as well as some real nice spots as well. The area where I live has a lot of restaurants and shops near by so it’s real convenient. Plus, you can hear a guy yelling “Taho!” every morning, and guys selling balut (fertilized duck embryo– YUMM) every once in a while in the afternoon – no mistaking I’m in the motherland.


Where is your favorite place in the Philippines?I actually haven’t been to too many places, but I do have quite a beautiful romance with Boracay. Somehow every time I go, I manage to sit on the shore, look up and stare at the stars and realize what paradise feels like.

What is your favorite traditional Filipino food? I have so many! I’ll say Kare Kare because I just ate it last night and it’s not as well-known as some others (Adobo or Sinigang and of course, Lumpia). But it’s a peanut based stew sort of dish. Original recipe calls for tripe but I don’t eat that. Haha.

If someone were visiting the Philippines what are a few of the places they must go to? A walking tour of Intramurous is good – so they can learn the history! Perhaps a comedy bar where gay men harass the crowd and sing – it’s funny sometimes Lol

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go? Jamaica! I want to go, learn Patois, listen to reggae and feel “irie”

DJ Jazzy Jeff in Manila via
DJ Jazzy Jeff in Manila via

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen in the Philippines? It’s not Filipino but seeing DJ Jazzy Jeff spin at a club here was amazing. Just because I never thought someone I had been listening to and watching on TV since I was a kid would be out here.
What should people know about Filipinos? We’re a very hospitable and friendly group of people for the most part And just because there were tough times in a country’s history (we aren’t the only ones) where they had to resort to a certain way of living, doesn’t mean we eat dog.

Haha, that’s all!


Margaux’s Manila To Do List

Resorts World
– You can gamble
– Eat at some nice restos
– Go to Republiq (bigger club) or Opus (smaller club/lounge
– Watch a move
– Check a show – I believe The King & I is running.. and there is a live magician show as well?
– Shop? Lol


If you want to do something more “tourist-y”:
– Walking tour of Intramuros with Carlos Celdran I believe right now, he’s doing it accompanied with Gabe Mercado who is an improv comedian – should be good!
Ayala Museum – they usually have good talks there, especially their design talks but I don’t think one would be scheduled. Their exhibits have been nice as well.

If you are into more urban apparel/life:
– Ronac Art Center –
Lots of local shops and boutiques, as well as an art gallery at Secret Fresh (not sure if there is anything up there at the moment though). There little restos there too.
– The Collective:
Off the top of my head they have…
– B-Side, where there is Boom Bap Fridays for the hip-hop heads and Irie Sundays for the reggae folks.
– Comic book shop
– Organic/Natural material place called Ritual – they sell bath salts, natural cotton robes, organic shampoo, etc.
– Vinyl on Vinyl – art, toys and music – they are a gallery as well.
– Wingman – if they like buffalo/hot wings

Salcedo MarketMarkets:
Saturday morning – Salcedo Market
Sunday morning – Legazpi Market
Saturday and Sunday morning – Mercato Centrale

Bonifacio Global City:
There are new restos/lounges there.. as well as shops
– Aracama is a nice spot where Embassy used to be and Prive is right next to it.

And of course, malls which are sprinkled everywhere.