Last Sunday, a Filipino artist unveiled a Philippine exclusive cover of the classic Archie comics. In the illustration by Miguel Mercado, Archie and the gang are posing in front of the Rizal monument in Luneta Park.
In true tourist fashion, Archie is seen wearing a teal-colored Manila shirt, Reggie and Jughead are taking a selfie while eating isaw and barbecue, meanwhile, the girls, Betty and Veronica are holding cups of halo-halo.
The five teenagers are revealed to travel across the globe for their band’s world tour, which first appeared in Archie’s Funhouse Spring Annual two years ago. But this time, it’s an exclusive Philippine cover and naturally, our minds were swirling with possibilities on what they could do while they travel in Manila. So, we made an itinerary for Archie’s band so they can fully maximize their stay here.
5:00 AM: Wake up & have breakfast
Archie’s gang should wake up early if they want to avoid the early morning rush hour. In Manila, it takes about two hours just to get to a destination. The gang can either take the jeepney or maneuver through the three train stations (if they’re lucky enough for it to be working, especially the LRT 2 Line from Katipunan to Santolan) to get to Intramuros.
7:00 AM: Visit Rizal Park
The Rizal monument in Luneta Park is probably the most visited tourist spot in Manila. This important landmark was built to commemorate the executed Filipino hero, Jose Rizal. Set on a granite stone base, some of his remains are interred inside which is why people pay respect to it. Archie and his friends should come early so that there won’t be any tourists photobombing the statue, well, except for the Torre De Manila. We’re pretty sure Betty and Veronica could snap up a double-tap worthy OOTD, should they manage to angle that pesky eyesore from plain sight.
8:30 AM: Visit Intramuros
Arguably the most historic area in Manila, Intramuros is the go-to destination to learn about the country’s Spanish colonial period. The four main spots to visit are:
- Fort Santiago – the defense fortress in Intramuros where Jose Rizal was imprisoned
- Manila Cathedral – the first cathedral of the Philippines
- San Agustin Church and Museum – for those who love art, history, and culture!
- Casa Manila – First Lady of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos had this constructed during the 1980s to depict the opulent lifestyle during the Spanish colonial architecture. Presumably meant to extend their highly questionable legacy, this delusion of grandeur could be just an ironic stop in their tour. Perhaps even boldly tagging their snaps with #NeverAgain and #MarcosNotAHero.
12:00 PM: Chinatown Binondo
They say that a way to truly immerse yourself in another country’s culture is having a taste of their local cuisine. Across Intramuros is Binondo; the world’s oldest Chinatown. Archie and his gang, especially the food-obsessed Jughead would definitely enjoy a Binondo Food Trip for lunch. Here are our top and must-not-be-missed restaurants to visit in Binondo:
- Wai Ying Fastfood – 810 Benavidez Street, Binondo
- Eng Bee Tin – 628 Ongpin Street, Binondo
- Ma Mon Luk – 545-549 Quezon Blvd, 307 Quiapo
3:00 PM: Shopping in Divisoria
It’s a good time to visit Divisoria for the privileged as Mayor Isko Moreno had a major clean up upon taking office. As many street vendors lost their livelihoods and got displaced, the jampacked Divisoria we know and love has transformed into a cleaner, wider area. Perfect for B and V’s shopping experience!
6:00 PM: Manila Bay
No promises that the band won’t get stranded in the Manila traffic, but if they manage to brave through it, they should visit the newly rehabilitated Manila Bay to catch the breathtaking sunset. Trust us, there is nothing quite like the swirling of marigold, orange, pastel pink, and even a hint of lavender as if it were streaks of paint coloring the skyline. Then we would have to recommend going to Star City, but you know, the cultural standout caught fire recently, and barely anyone seems to be concerned.
8:00 PM: Escolta
Head back to Escolta for a few drinks and maybe catch a new synergy of art and culture rise from the famed former financial stronghold. Swing by Hub: Make Lab, a brilliant effort to resuscitate Old Manila with an irreverent, often defiant energy, where you can do everything from getting a cut at Folk 1006, talk things over at a coffee shop aptly named The Den, and even exhibits they can visit at night. There are usually small-scale merchants and local independent brands on site where you can cop the best of what the bold and brightest have to offer. To complete things off, they can also enjoy the Leeroy New installation that anchors the whole place when they look up.
If they’re lucky, they can catch the electric Escolta Block Party, which usually happens around November. With lots of street dancing, communal coming together, and lots of street food (Hello, Jughead), Archie and the gang, will definitely have a night for the (comic) books.
This Filipino issue of Archie and Friends Travel is set to hit Filbar’s and Comic Odyssey this November.