Manila is largely a Catholic city, but the nights here are hardly devout. Manila’s nightlife is modern and its population is open-minded. There are plenty of nightlife options in the capital after sunset, when the Manila sky becomes an elegant backdrop for bars and pubs, ranging from cheap hangouts to upscale membership clubs.
Filipinos are personified by the concept of ‘the life and soul of the company’ and many of the traits of their Spanish roots, such as the ability to sing and dance, are an integral characteristic belonging to the majority of the population. When staying in Manila, you will be guaranteed some great partying coupled with a great sense of humour. Karaoke, as in most Asian countries, is the national sport and is mercilessly encouraged by the locals, so always have a back-up plan.
Skuzzy jazz clubs, upscale wine bars, buzz clubs and American style pubs can all be found in and around Manila. Malate is one of the most famous nightlife areas, even more lively than Lang Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Makati and Global City also have a number of bars in the Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street malls, respectively.
In Quezon City, Morato Avenue is lined with bars, restaurants and gum clubs. Eastwood City in Quezon City is another locals favorite hangout. As a general rule, keep in mind that at night time in any city, mostly when living conditions are low, you should always exercise caution.
P Burgos Street is Bangkok’s equivalent of Patpong, depraved and chaotic, but nonetheless very entertaining and spectacular if that’s your scene.
For a taste of the real Manila, head to 70’s Bistro, owned by a Filipino artist. The institution represents some of the most talented musicians in the city. A former breeding ground for talent for the local music scene, try visiting 70’s Bistro when the following award-winning artists perform: Joey Ayala, Cynthia Alexander, Noel Cabangon, and The Jerks.
Club The Bureau
A favorite destination for hip-hop fans is Newborn Manila in terms of newly opened and popular nightclubs. The crowd is made up of the wealthy youth of Manila, those who love to live life. You are promised a good night here. Drinks are not cheap, but they are superbly prepared by professional bartenders.
The main entertainment of this bar is a Filipino cover band, which attracts yuppies, expats, tourists and just lovers of good music to the institution. Conway’s always guarantees a pleasant atmosphere with great vibes and well-prepared drinks, although not at the lowest price in town.
This is a place for the moneybags, decorated in a special style to impress on weekends. Forget about your T-shirt and shorts, Dolce is a place to show off and see others. However, the club offers good music and a modern interior. You can also expect to find attractive players from both genders here. Be warned – the place is not cheap and has strict face control.
Night Club Embassy Super Club
A very popular nightclub, packed most nights, and much talked about in the media and Manila’s fickle clubbing scene. Divided into several zones; main hall, champagne room, and VIP lounge, the club sometimes features popular international DJs. On regular nights they play hard house, chill out, or 90s music.
Encore Super Club
This trendy, upscale club in Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is the place to spot local celebrities, high society people, expats, and Manila’s wealthy youth enjoying a good night out. The music is mostly hip hop, house and techno.
Gay Clubs FAB/The Library
Two gay clubs under one roof – heaven for some, hell for others. Regardless of your orientation, this place is incredibly vibrant and highly recommended for those who love a good laugh. FAB is known for foam parties on the weekends, while the club hosts acoustic guitar sessions on weekdays. The Library is a more subdued alternative with a comedy nightclub that attracts both straight and gay crowds.
Heckle and Jackle
Located in the restaurant district of Makati City, the place is best described as a happy escape from the madness of nearby P Burgos Street (the Manila equivalent of Bangkok’s Patpong). The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by live comedy and sports television. Drinks are reasonably priced and the crowd is generally sociable.
Howzat Sports Bar
The perfect place for a pint of cold beer and sports TV. Expect an authentic Filipino character, minus the wait staff. The bar is best described as a hangout for local expats that attracts a warm and friendly crowd, always good for a laugh. Features include poolside billiards and great service with a smile.