Step onto the streets of Manila after dark and experience nightlife in one of the largest cities of the entire planet. This area is a melting pot for locals and visitors alike who want to have a good time until the sun comes up.
The central district of Manila is crowded with all manner of clubs and bars. Since this is one of the richest parts of town, you may meet some interesting people, but you’ll also have to pay for the privilege with cover charges or expensive drinks. However, if you’re willing to pay the cost for a fun evening, it can be a great spot. Bars like Havana, Embassy, and Prince of Jaipur offer visitors a range of drinks and services, including hookah lounges. A hookah will usually cost about 500 pesos (about $10), while a drink will cost about ten to twenty pesos. Makati is famous for sprawling nightclubs like The Fort, which can reputedly hold up to 2500 dancers and is frequently jam-packed from Wednesday to Saturday. A word of warning about Makati: prostitutes frequent bar patios after dark, approaching men and asking for them to buy drinks. While you can usually tell what’s for sale by their outfits, be wary about any strange women who seem very friendly.
Not to be confused with the larger downtown district of Makati, Malati is located nearer to the seaside than it is to the business district. It’s also very well known for its gay and lesbian bars that have a far more relaxed attitude than other parts of the country. Bed Bar is a three-story club that doesn’t have beds, but has cheap drinks and live music. Che’lu Bar opens early, at 5:30, and the dance floor quickly fills up. O Bar is famous for its drag shows and is a great night spot for those who don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of scandal. If you’re straight, clubs like Rendezvous will cater to your tastes with lots of liquor and members of the opposite sex.
As the name suggests, Eastwood is on the eastern side of town, near the Marikina River. It’s trying to reinvent itself as the “Paris of the Philippines”, with open-air bars and cafes along the river. While it’s a bit more polluted than the Seine. it’s got a lot of hidden gems as well. Coffee Beans is an example of one such “osyalistas tambayan“, or elite hangout, where the nights rarely end before the break of dawn. Since Eastwood is further out from the city, drinks tend to be cheaper and company tends to be more natives than foreigners, making it a great way to experience the Philippines after dark.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about nightlife in Manila.