FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Manila Night Moods

by Chadner Navarro

Jul 1, 2018
July 2018

WHEN IT COMES TO NIGHTTIME indulgences, the Philippine capital has it all. Whether you’re looking for an intimate speakeasy serving locally inspired libations, a massive all-night rager or a rousing evening belting karaoke classics, there’s something to suit every taste in this thriving megalopolis.

Just as in every major city, a big cocktail moment is blossoming in Manila. Most of the best bars cluster in Makati, the country’s main finance hub and where most business visitors typically stay. The Curator (in Makati’s hip enclave, Legazpi Village) stays open all day, first as a cool café serving expertly prepared cups of Joe in a chic, minimally designed hangout. A nondescript door toward the back leads to a low-lit drinking den at night. The clever menu features illustrations measuring every beverage’s flavor profile: The Beyond the Sea’s combination of different types of rum plus tropical fruits is marked as sweet and boozy, while the Common Sense’s mix of oleo saccharum, beer and lemon makes a great refreshing, tart choice.

In Bonifacio Global City, Bank Bar proves an elegant destination (dress up a bit) for a potent post-work Negroni. Later in the evening, prepare for a livelier atmosphere when a DJ sets the mood with a bit of ambient tunes, though never so loud you can’t hear yourself speak. But if deafening bass hits are what you’re after, head to Cove, inside Okada Manila located right in front of Manila Bay. This brand-new mega club features an indoor beach bar that attracts the world’s biggest names in music. Since opening in December 2017, the likes of Steve Aoki and Zedd performed at Cove.

The city of Malate used to be the center of gay nightlife in Metro Manila. Thankfully, the scene spread, and LGBTQ travelers can now find fun bars, clubs and lounges with gay-friendly clientele and programming all over. Nectar in Bonifacio Global City and O Bar in Ortigas (a veteran venue that’s been around for more than a decade), for instance, are two of the most popular clubs in the region.

Filipinos love to sing, so naturally you’ll find countless karaoke joints in every part of Metro Manila, from modest bars to more tricked-out clubs with private rooms and venues with a live band providing the music you’ll sing along to. The following day, join locals recovering and refueling from a demanding night out at equally buzzy brunch hot spot Wildflour, with several locations in the capital district. They’ll most likely be chowing down traditional rice dishes or decadent baked goods by California-based chef Walter Manzke.

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