Before you put on your sunscreen and your beach vibes to hit the beautiful Philippine islands, you have to land in Manila first. Tourists often spend a night in Manila given the impression that it’s just like every other city in the world. Well, as a local, I am telling you to think again!
Here’s a rundown of places to see around the Metro:
Photo by paulaqueano via Instagram
For locals, this is the perfect place to “pre-game”. The atmosphere pumps you up for a long night and gives you the perfect Mexican street vibe where you can also buy Filipino street food from vendors passing by.
Local Tip: If you dare yourself for a fear factor challenge, wait for the vendor that sells “Balut” (Duck Embryo) and take it as a shot with vinegar and salt!
Address: 5782 Felipe Street, Makati, Metro Manila
Photo by Paula Queano
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a hostel, but it is! A few floors up is a New-York rooftop set up where you can freely mingle with locals and hostel guests. You get a good view of the Central Business district too!
Local tip: Don’t forget to try their crispy sisig (a filipino delicacy composed of chopped pig’s face)
Address: 5660 Don Pedro street, Makati, Metro Manila
Photo by Zoe Sandejas
Down right Filipino hospitality with great drinks and music from Monday to Saturday. Indulge with TUNNL’s signature drinks. Every time you hear the bell ring, you gotta have that liver ready for some free shots.
Local tip: Ladies, don’t forget to say hello to Mr. Raphael Cruz!
Address: Ground Floor, UPRC 1 Building, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila
Photo via Fred’s Revolucion Official Facebook Page
Tucked away from the usual Makati and The Fort scene, Fred’s is a tavern, a bar, and a place where you can enjoy a glass of beer (or two, or 5?), classic cocktails (Daquiri, Margarita, Manhattan, Dry martini), and brewed coffee from local provinces in the Philippines.
Address: Shop 66, Cubao Expo, General Romulo Ave., Quezon City, Stanford, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Kite Kebab Bar
Photo via Kite’s Official Facebook Page
The newest spot along the newest “Williamsburg” area of Makati City. Kite, a mix of middle Eastern and Filipino “pulutan” (knick knacks paired with beers) fits perfectly with local beers such as San Miguel Beer or Red Horse. If you’re keen for some Mediterranean street food with flavours that will energize your palate, then come to Kite!
Local tip: Don’t forget to say hello to Mr. Kian Kazemi!
Address: 5772 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City, Metro Manila
7840 Time in Manila
Photo via Time in Manila’s Official Facebook Page
Just the right place to go when you still don’t want to go home. Did you say after-party? Its time to hit TIME.
Address: 7840 Makati Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila
Photo by paulaqueano via Instagram
Indie music, smoke-free, great cocktails and the perfect ambiance.
Address: Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue corner Sabio street, Makati City, Metro Manila
The Palace (Valkyrie, Revel and The Pool Club)
Photo by Raffy Dela Peña Photography via The Palace Manila Official Facebook Page
If you don’t have an early flight and you’re willing to just simply laze around the next day then party hard in Valkyrie. You can also cross-party to The Pool Club (don’t be surprised though that no one swims here) and Revel for more hard core partying and drinking.
Address: 9th Ave cor 36th Street, Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
Photo via ABV’s Official Facebook Page
Recently made it to Asia’s Best Bar, ranked 14th in the top 50 best bars from a shortlist of 215 best bars in the Asian region produced by Drinks International. This Prohibition style bar has the largest absinthe collection in town… it will take you back to the 1920’s!
Address: 22 Jupiter St. Corner Galaxy, Makati City, Metro Manila
Commune Bar and Cafe
Photo via Commune’s Official Facebook Page
If you’ve spent the night bar-hopping around the metro and would like to de-stress and get caffeinated, then this is the best place to chill. The ambiance gives you the perfect homey-vibe with its glorious food, great coffee, impeccable service and of course, good wifi connection!
Address: 36 Polaris, Makati City, Metro Manila
So don’t hesitate to stay in Manila for a day or two before visiting the country’s majestic islands!