Spell Saab

Sydney: Newtown

April 27, 2017 10 Comments

A few years ago, one of my best friends moved to Australia to further her studies. Nyko had been gone for months and I wanted to surprise her! The perfect opportunity came when Megan and Lauren talked about how they were going to Sydney in January 2016 for their cousin’s wedding. Nyko was based in Brisbane but she was willing to fly to Sydney to meet up with them. The surprise was that she would have no idea that Maxx and I would also be there!

Me and Nyko, 2015

Being the hyper-spontaneous human beings that we are, Maxx and I booked our tickets right away since there was an ongoing airline promo. AND THEN MEGAN AND LAUREN TOTALLY FLAKED. Hahaha! They said they couldn’t go to the wedding after all because of prior commitments.

It was okay, we were still gonna to go but it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore since we’d have to ask Nyko to meet up in Sydney.

Then I got an e-mail from St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. It was an invitation for Cheats to play in Singapore. You guys probably already know this but I thought it was a scam. It turned out to be the real deal so we postponed our Australia trip. We couldn’t pass up the chance to be the first (and so far only) Filipino band to play at the renowned festival. Side note: Megan, Lauren, and Maxx all flew to Singapore to watch Cheats at the festival!! Sweet!

Maxx decided to re-book our flights to Holy Week this year so we wouldn’t have work for sure. Guess what? Nyko moved back to Manila already!! Hahaha! Anyway, Maxx and Rob also had to cancel on us because they went to Hong Kong instead for Rob’s birthday with his family.

Basta long story short: ang daming hanash* ng Sydney trip na `to!! Finally natuloy na siya.

*Hanash – I’m still not 100% sure what this word means but I use it to replace “issue” or “chenes” or “ganap” haha it’s just one of those placeholder terms.


We left Manila at 12:05AM and obviously I under-researched cos I expected it to be a 13-hour flight. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that it was just close to 8 hours away. We were pretty much knocked out the whole way.

We arrived in our Airbnb flat and it was much better than I expected! Airbnb has this feature where you can explore a city’s neighborhood so it’s easier to choose where you wanna stay. I chose one located in Newtown because it was the only neighborhood that had “live music” as a highlight.

So nice, right?? Newtown is an amazing place, like, I would want to move there. Right on the street next to ours is a little deli where we had lunch.

Lunch and wine, of course

After lunch, we walked around our new `hood and just explored all the quirks of a place that’s “so hip, it hurts” according to Airbnb.

I played with that friendly dog for a bit

Almost everywhere I looked, there was a rainbow flag. The neighborhood (and I think Sydney in general) really makes an effort to make the LGBT community feel welcome! How awesome is that?

Newtown is known for its small boutiques and cafés

I bought a few things from The Collective Ensemble a.k.a. ukay heaven

A salon called BOB

Another salon called Scissorhands

SO many restaurants boasted organic ingredients and vegan-friendly dishes

We visited a bunch of record shops, too.

What’d I tell you about rainbow flags? There was an actual rainbow in the sky!!!

The server at Continental Deli (where we had lunch) happened to be in a band. Of course. So we asked him for suggestions on where to go to watch live music. He wrote down a few suggestions but highly recommended Newtown Social Club Hotel.

Imagine a HUGE Saguijo. The first floor was for drinking and socializing, but every Wednesday they have live performers you can catch for free.

Young Henry’s beers. SO GOOD.

The second floor was for concerts.

Unfortunately, the live show upstairs was already sold out when we got there but luckily enough, it was a Wednesday so we got to watch a couple of really talented acts for free.

That’s where we ended our night before walking home and falling fast asleep on the couch. Haha. We woke up at around 4AM and transferred to the bedroom. More of Sydney to come on my next posts!




  1. Reply


    April 27, 2017

    Shocks! Ang ganda! sobrang hipster ng neighborhood. Will you ever make a travel blog-ish post? I mean like with a complete itinerary and breakdown of expenses? haha!

    • Reply


      April 27, 2017

      Ack I don’t know if I can!! I’m a YOLO kind of traveler (did I just say that?!) – I don’t think I’m wise enough to look for the cheapest options!! I’m always thinking “WHY NOT? I CAN’T BRING MY MONEY TO THE GRAVE ANYWAY. SPEND SPEND SPEND.” hahaha hopefully I am living within my means *nervous laughter*

      Still, I’ll try to recall the breakdown for this Sydney trip and blog about it. If not, maybe I’ll take note of our US/Canada trip’s expenses?

  2. Reply


    April 27, 2017

    I’ve never been to Newtown. It looks so hip! Ack, next time, I’ll try exploring this neighbourhood naman.

  3. Reply


    April 27, 2017

    Saab! Anong filter yung ginamit mo dito? Ang ganda! Hipster na hipster.. Planning to visit oz in June! How’s the weather? :)


    • Reply


      April 27, 2017

      Weather was nice and cold but not too cold. Parang aircon weather. Hehe. Make sure to check, baka iba na in June! I used Adobe Lightroom with a VSCO filter :)

  4. Reply

    Ali Guyer

    May 2, 2017

    awesome shops! bet you’ll love Valencia Street and Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. what kind of camera do you use? i usually use my iphone’s. lol.

  5. Reply

    Mrs. L

    May 7, 2017

    I think “hanash” came from the Japanese word “hanashi” meaning speech. Doon talaga ako nag comment hahaha!

    • Reply


      May 9, 2017

      hahaha thank you!!

  6. Reply


    May 13, 2017

    Not sure if you know this already, but Newtown is where Coldplay shot their “A Sky Full of Stars” video :)

    It’s also a well-known hotspot for LGBT culture, which is why you would’ve seen a lot of rainbow flags. You won’t find as many in other Sydney suburbs, with the exception of Darlinghurst maybe.

    • Reply


      May 16, 2017

      Thanks for the tidbit!!