When In Venice at Manila

One Sunday morning, I woke up with the thought that I would only spend the whole day in my bedroom and do the usual stuff- sleeping, surfing the net and watching movies. But then, I just found myself chatting my friend, asking her to come with me and go somewhere else. 

After she said yes, I hurriedly fixed myself and went to her. And after 2 hours of hitting the road, we found ourselves in Venice!

Yes! There’s this newly constructed mall by Megaworld Corp. at McKinley Hill Taguig City called “Venice Grand Canal Mall”.

How to go?

Here’s a tip on how you can easily go there if you’re going to commute. If you’re coming from North (Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, etc.) all you have to ride is MRT 3 going to Ayala Station (assuming that you’re in the Metro already). Once you take off the train, take the right side route (facing North). Once you’re downstairs, you will easily see the bus stations of Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Get your ticket and choose West route. Drop off on the first bus station then cross the street. Take a jeepney with a “Gate 3” sign. Then, take a few walks straight and you will see McKinley already.

Me while waiting for a jeepney at BGC.

As you enter the mall you will feel the Venetian vibes already.

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Inside the Venice Piazza.

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As of the moment, construction is still on going but you can notice that a lot of restaurants are already open.

Most of the restaurants lining up the Tuscany at McKinley Hill were all hole-in-the-wall—new players and start-ups while others are fledging businesses that are not commercialized and are not usually found in malls.

Before we explore the venue, we decided to have dinner at Kuse by Uncle Cheffy. We tried their famous “Pork Sisig Kapampangan” and “BBQ Beef back Ribs Adobado”. They truly gave justice to Filipino cuisines, not to mention, the affordable prices in the menu.

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Captured beside the grand canal.

After dinner, we went straight at the main attraction of the mall which is the Grand Canal.

And we also tried riding a gondola.

The fee for this is only Php 500.00 per head. You will enjoy a  200m long  ride in a gondola with 2 gondoliers in a 4 ft. deep man-made canal.

Trivia: According to our gondolier, the management decided to put an algae on the water so the water would look greener and deeper.

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Photo courtesy of Venice Grand Canal staff.

 The gondola boat is good for 4-6 pax however, if you wish to have a solo ride, you just have to pay for the extra two heads to compensate.

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Our gondoliers with my friend, Mitch Garcia.

As you can see on the photo above, we have 2 gondoliers along the ride. The first one was the rower and the second one was the tourist guide and a singer as well. Yes, you read it right. Just like in an original gondola ride, your gondoliers will serenade you. (Of course, we can’t understand the song since its in a Venician language, too.) But, all in all, they sung really good.

According to our gondolier, Sir Paul, one of the requirements to be a gondolier must be a graduate of the Conservatory of Music.

So while having the gondola ride, we were told that there were four bridges along the canal.

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At my back is the floating restaurant of the Grand Canal Mall which is still under construction.

The first bridge you will see is the Bridge of Sigh. They say when lovers pass under this bridge, they must kiss in order for them to be together for a life time. Right after it, there is the Ponte degli Scalzi (“Barefoot Bridge”) just in front of the “Train Station”. Proceeding towards Saint Mark’s Square, we found the Rialto Bridge, certainly the most important and famous one.

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Behind us is the “Barefoot” bridge.

The last bridge we came across was the Accademia Bridge, where lovers can put a padlock as a sign of their love and promises for each other.

If you’re wondering where to get a padlock, the management of the gondola ride sells it but they also allow visitors to bring their own.

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The Accademia bridge beside me.

As you reach the end of the canal, you can see that the management is building another tourist attraction which is the Letters to Juliet Wall just like the one in Verona, Italy. According to Sir Paul, our gondolier, the management is already making a group that can answer all the letters that will be put on the wall.

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Behind Mitch Garcia’s is where they are planning to put the Letters to Juliet Wall.

And to complete your “Venice” experience, we took a photo with this man.

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Imagine how cool it was to take a selfie with this man who managed not to speak a single word the whole time he’s standing there.

Indeed, it’s “More Fun In The Philippines” even though you’re in the Metro. The City has more surprises to offer than what we already knew about it. No need for a plane ticket nor a passport and an expensive hotel to enjoy.

So, if you feel like discovering a new place or taste a new cuisine, have the courage to do it. At the end of the day, happiness is still a matter choice and it lies in your hands.

Live. Love. Write.

-Karla-

 

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