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Katrina Razon is a free-spirited traveller, DJ and entrepreneur. Her talents cover a wide range of fields; she blogs about her travels and has organised a festival in Manila. One of her most recent triumphs was bringing Pulse Radio – an online space for electronic music – to Asia with her partner and fellow DJ Mikhail Schemm. Katrina gives SUITCASE her guide to navigating Manila’s nightlife.
Hidden in Black Market’s warehouse on Don Chino Roces Avenue lies Finders Keepers, a speakeasy that features an intimate long bar, music and crafted cocktails. With a wave of speakeasies opening all over Manila, Finders Keepers have managed to distinguish themselves with a stellar team of mixologists, and a design that incorporates old-world touches alongside industrial elements. You are bound to meet fun groups of people in this red-lit bar. We recommend ordering the beergarita.
- +63 2 403 3959
Cubao X offers a great escape from the chaotic Makati city. You will find the faces of Vladimir Lenin, Che Guevara and Karl Marx on the wall as you approach the wooden bar. Memorabilia including faded photos, currencies collected from around the world, posters, flags, hats and quirky beer signs give the place its unique character. You can order daiquiri pitchers here for only P185 (less than £3).
- +63 916 434 6092
A neighbourhood coffee shop at the beginning of the day which transforms into a craft cocktail bar after sunset. Hidden at the back of the Cyrano wine shop, The Curator also offers specialty coffee. This is the place where good friends hold conversations over cocktails, personally made by the owners’ skillful hands.
- +63 917 585 9005
Hooch is another name for moonshine, slang for the liquor popular during the Prohibition era. The bar adapts some Prohibition elements into its look and feel. It is dimly lit and hidden in the corner of the street. Video clips of Popeye and The Three Stooges are displayed on the television screens by the bar, along with other vintage black and white film footage. A mash-up of steampunk and old-school style, Hooch is your watering hole of choice if you want to unwind.
- +63 927 375 9467
Today X Future
A local hangout spot for music-lovers, the young arty kids of Cubao X and anyone wanting some variety from the usual Makati nightlife. This small bar is a much-loved destination. Its cosy living room-style setup is evocative of Berlin haunts – unpretentious and DIY. You are most likely to stumble upon a SubMNL event (the Philippines’ answer to Boiler Room) or listen to house, disco or techno at Today x Future. The bar always has the work of an artist displayed on its walls. Pre-owned books and records from Odile and Company also add character to this on-trend spot.
- +63 928 520 9102
Situated on the 71st floor of the Gramercy Residences, this New York-style lounge prides itself on being the highest rooftop bar in Manila, offering panoramic views of the city. For every night of the week, 71 Gramercy’s nightlife kingpins ensure there is never a dull moment in sight. You are most likely to run into models, local celebrities and the crowd that are here only to be seen. The menu’s creative direction is led by award-winning chef Carlo Miguel, so guests can enjoy dinner and then step outside onto the terrace for drinks.
- +63 917 847 7535
The industrial warehouse club Black Market is a breath of fresh air from the dress-to-the-nines nightspots in Metro Manila. Catering to the hipster crowds, Black Market has hosted artists from Mos Def and Jacques Greene to How to Dress Well. Aside from the impressive roster of international talent, Black Market is a great venue to discover exciting local electronic music producers. If the crowd becomes too overbearing, duck into Mao’s Den on the second floor.
If there is one place where people come solely for the quality of music, it’s Time. The nightclub features a dance floor, rooftop terrace and strictly enforces a no EDM music policy. Time showcases talented local DJs with parties like Deep, Dark and Dirty and KICK. The nightclub has hosted international acts including Jamie xx, DJ Hype, Trus’me, Guti, Dubfire and KiNK to name but a few. What begins as a late-night Saturday party in Manila can go on until the early hours. Be prepared to dance all night long and make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
- +63 2 519 8903
- Go to Website
The phrase ‘go big or go home’ really resonates at Valkyrie. This mega-club is part of the ambitious nightlife complex known as The Palace, located in the bustling Fort Bonifacio. Nightlife juggernauts flock to Valkyrie to dance to their favourite EDM DJs. Valkyrie is the biggest nightclub in the country, headed up by a team of industry leaders like Tim Yap who have been in the business for over 20 years. The complex has also just opened their Pool Club for day parties.
- +63 917 680 8888
- Go to Website
Today X Future
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