Manila Nightlife

Hedonism and Manila’s nightlife go hand in glove long into the night. Many first-time foreigners are dazzled by Malate and Ermita’s nocturnal street scene, buzzing with lively clubs and gritty music alongside sleazy girlie bars. Meanwhile, dedicated clubbers and ice-cool cats are likely to be slinking off to Makati City or Quezon City to seek out drum and bass DJ sets or sip the latest imported vodkas. ClickTheCity (www.clickthecity.com) and The Manila Guide (www.manilaguide.com) are the best sources for nightlife listings in Manila.

In a city bursting with contemporary Pinoy cultural events, there scarcely appears room for typically classical performances - obvious highbrow arts are flourishing throughout Manila – but check the cultural listings in the free and widely distributed bi-monthly publication, Citiguide. Tickets for cultural events in Manila are available from Ticket World (tel: (02) 891 9999; www.ticketworld.com.ph) and Ticket Net (tel: (02) 911 5555; www.ticketnet.com.ph).

Bars in Manila

Café Havana

Viva la Cuba at this smart Latino-themed bar in Manila with salsa music every night, piquant snacks and abundant mojitos. Another branch is near Malate.

Level 1, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Centre, Makati City, Manila
Tel: (02) 757 4370.
Website: www.ljcrestaurants.com.ph

Hobbit House

If Tolkien murals don’t hint at this bar’s theme, the ‘little people’ staffing this long-standing favourite certainly do. It’s a lively place in Manila with a dark interior popular with foreigners, and serving over 150 different beers. Listen to nightly music with a bluesy country and western twang.

1212, MH del Pilar corner of Arquiza Street, Ermita, Manila
Tel: (02) 484 0982.
Website: www.hobbithousemanila.com

Ice Vodka Bar

Younger party crowd, both locals and foreigners, frequent this petit Manila bar with a minimalist interior. Inexhaustible range of Russia’s favourite tipple alongside nightly DJ sets after 2100 (except Sunday and Monday nights). Flavoured vodka shots dispensed from its crushed ice bar.

3rd Floor Greenbelt 3, Makati City, Manila
Tel: (02) 757 4472.
Website: www.icevodkabar.ph

Clubs in Manila

Bed Manila

This gay yet straight-friendly pink club in Manila is one of the hottest tickets in town for its wild hedonistic buzz. The spangled interior hosts long-standing favourite evenings such as a catwalk male talent search plus drag queen performances. Resident DJs mix pumping club music, trance, house, et al.

Unit 6, Maria Orosa St, Malate, Manila
Tel: (02) 536 3045.
Website: www.bed.com.ph

Encore

The place to be seen in Manila, this club is sprinkled with celebrities, rich kids and narcissists. Encore comes with a haughty reputation and is numero uno for people-watching. Contemporary glass-tabled dining area with several dancefloors, featuring nightly themes such as retro groove and house remix with visiting international DJ sets. Book a table in advance.

The Fort Strip, Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Manila

Telephone: (02) 819 5481.
LAX

The latest über-hip venue on Manila’s dance scene is located at the Mall of Asia. Striking scarlet-red interior and silhouetted dancers within a cavernous dancefloor capable of hosting 700 revellers. Noted for visiting American DJs (Samantha Ronson among others) with a typically hip-hop and R&B vibe.

Structure C, San Miguel By the Bay, Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Manila
Tel: (02) 556 8573.
Website: www.laxmanila.ph

Live Music in Manila

70s Bistro

There’s a pub-like feel to this honest music venue where different bands headline every night (closed Sundays). Serves hearty Filipino food with clientele that varies from student to die-hard blues and rock aficionados.

46 Anonas Street, Project 2, Quezon City, Manila
Tel: (02) 434 3597.
Website: www.70sbistro.com

Conspiracy Garden Café

This chilled music venue in Manila, with a pleasant atrium and art gallery, exudes Bohemian appeal. The garden café is idyllic for mixed-age audiences on warm evenings listening to a little folk guitar. Nightly events (1700-0200) feature renowned Filipino artists such as Joey Ayala and Noel Cabangon.

59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, Manila
Tel: (02) 453 2170.
Website: http://conspi.net

saGuijo

Cramped interior and pure grunge. But this old converted house in Manila is a spiritual home for live music of the experimental, indie and avant-garde kind. Serves an alternative crowd and is somewhat hard to find so ask.

7612 Guijo St, San Antonio Village, Makati City, Manila
Tel: (02) 897 8629.
Website: www.saguijo.com

Music and Dance in Manila

Araneta Coliseum

‘The Big Dome’ is a contemporary-looking arena in Manila that stages international and Philippine artists of the popular culture variety. Even Julio Iglesias and Pope John Paul II have topped its bill.

General Roxas Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City, Manila
Tel: (02) 911 5555 (Ticket Net).
Website: www.aranetacoliseum.com

Cultural Centre of the Philippines

Landmark venue by the Bay of Manila inspired by Imelda Marcos. This vast complex features art galleries, performance spaces and several theatres. It is also home to resident companies including the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet Philippines, theatre company Tanghalang Pilipino and Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.

Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila
Tel: (02) 832 1125.
Website: www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

Culture in Manila

Zirkoh

This dedicated comedy club in Manila features stand-ups and performance artists in a large venue with waited tables. Non-Tagalong speakers should check beforehand to see what language routines are performed in.

88 Tomas Morato corner Scourt Lozano, Quezon City, Manila
Tel: (02) 376 7287.

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