Calling all freelancers and start-uppers: 5 co-working spaces in Metro Manila

Here are 5 cool spaces for all ye freelancers, start-uppers, work-from-homers living the dream

While a home office or a coffee shop can often be enough for freelancers, work-from-homers and start-uppers, sometimes you will actually need to print documents, make presentations or seek another person’s opinion. Enter co-working spaces. Think desk rental. Think office atmosphere minus everything else that you hated about an office. Internet: check. Coffee: check. Proper desks: check. Other people: check. 

CO.LAB EXCHANGE
Colab
Unit 301 3 Brixton Street, Bgy Kapitolyo, Pasig City; +63 2 6617616, www.colab.ph

LOWDOWN: Perhaps, the first co-working space to open in Metro Manila, Co.lab moved from Makati to its current Barrio Kapitolyo location. It’s at the very end of the third floor, two levels above hipster haven Heima, so a day working at Co.lab should be able to yield a lot of interesting sightings of well-dressed people.
FEELS LIKE: If you’re familiar with common rooms in hostels, that’s how Co.lab feels like. The open space buzzes with energy because everybody’s working. Seeing and hearing your workmates for the day is actually pretty contagious—you’d soon learn that these are people making things happen. You can either share a desk with them or, if you’re feeling slouchy and/or friendly, there are sofas as well.
POINTS FOR: The Co.lab staff. They’re all so helpful and professional! Hmm, maybe throw in a couple more pogi points for their monthly events—they allow for great networking opportunities.
THE DEAL: Day passes start at PHP500. Monthly rates start at PHP5,000, but if you can’t commit working for 20 consecutive days, there’s a week pass starting at PHP2,000.

HONEYCOMB MANILA COWORKING
Honeycomb
EDSA Beverage Design Studio, 2/F CLMC Bldg, 209 Edsa, Mandaluyong; www.manilacoworking.com

LOWDOWN:: “Where it’s about the people, not the space,” we wrote about Honeycomb when it opened last April. And it’s true. It’s tucked inside EDSA Beverage Design Studio and run by the Cosio kids, who are themselves entrepreneurs and start-uppers and surfers. So nary a day will go by without running across cool coffee kids, Manila’s creatives having a drink or a meeting, or members of La Union’s surfing community.
FEELS LIKE: A brainstorming session. The office itself isn’t that big and the desks were “designed to get co-workers in each others face,” so human interaction with hip and savvy people is inevitable.
POINTS FOR: Even walk-ins can print documents (but if you’re gonna print your thesis, you know?” Kayo Cosio says during their opening party, “basically, the rule is not to be a dick”), but those who signed up for a month, gets a business address, a locker and 50 cups of coffee.
THE DEAL: Daily pass at PHP400, a monthly at PHP7,250. There’s also a weekly membership at PHP1,600. But the best: if you’re not sure whether or not co-working is for you, Honeycomb offers two free trial sessions. Not bad. Update (4pm, Feb 16, 2015): Sorry guys, Honeycomb’s full house lately, they can now only one free trial session. Get it here.

47 EAST
47east
47 Esteban Abada St, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; +63 2 4260189. Facebook)

LOWDOWN: Right behind Katipunan, on Esteban Abada Street, is 47 East. It is located at the ground floor of a dormitory, so all that should clue you in that the crowd here is young, very young. Its furnishing confirms it—colored walls, funky seats, floor options, you name it.
FEELS LIKE: Inside the airconditioned coworking rooms (there are two), it feels like there’s an ongoing group study. Outside, at the al fresco gazebo is where most members hold office (because they only get seven days of free use to the coworking rooms) has that relaxed, lazy summer day hang vibe.
POINTS FOR: The dorm above! If you’re gonna end late, or start early, you can always book yourself a bed up on the third floor.
THE DEAL: A daypass will set you back PHP475, which includes unlimited coffee and Internet access. Membership fees start at PHP2,000 (for students, mind!) which is valid for a year!

O2 SPACE SOLUTIONS
O2
Unit 330 Mile Long Bldg, Amorosolo St, Makati; +63 2 3176677. Website

LOWDOWN: The newest of the lot, O2 Space solutions formally opened on June 18. It’s at Mile Long in Makati, where Louie’s Cinema used to be and judging from the “serviced office” types on offer, O2 looks more geared toward serious start-up companies that mean solid business.
FEELS LIKE: A real, albeit hipster, office. A big desk adorned with a globe and a typewriter, which serves as a divider, sits in the middle of the room with big arch window providing photographic drama. This is where the work stations are located. The meeting, function, and serviced offices are well tucked inside the big space.
POINTS FOR: The in-house accountant and the help they can give you when looking legal service and/or advice! Now that’s some serious biz!
THE DEAL: Put out PHP600 for 8 hours, or PHP2,500++ a month for access to a business address, phone number, and meeting rooms.

 

 

A SPACE MANILA

110 Legaspi St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 8460856. Website

LOWDOWN: The just-concluded Fete dela Musique revealed a gem right in the heart of Makati. Just across Greenbelt 5 is A Space Manila, a co-working corporate office, that we dare say, is the most cosmopolitan of all the spaces we surveyed. It hosted the acoustic stage last Saturday and it was just as it was: cozy and intimate.
FEELS LIKE: You’re in a global first-world village. They’re proud of being “the largest home for the innovation community, both local and international.” At any given time, you’ll hear about five languages spoken, and about a dozen nationalities working together. In A Space’s Team is a dude named Rafael who hails from Washington D.C. and who holds the title “Community Attache.”
POINTS FOR: The merienda they serve at the pantry, the wireless technology, and the importance they’re giving analogue—check out their vinyl records and all the books and magazines you can consume!
THE DEAL: A daily pass will set you back PHP500, but you can can subscribe to a monthly deal of PHP7,500. If you’re looking for your startup’s temporary HQ, you can have one for a monthly fee of PHP45,000.

All photos from respective Facebook pages. A Space Manila, from IG user Ladyinwonderland. Main photo from 47 East Facebook page

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