The Philippines is a country is known for its sun that gives it a tropical weather ideal for going to the beach and walking around tourist destinations. However, when this sun sets, and the night takes over, there are also a lot of other interesting things to do in this Southeast Asian nation. The Philippines nightlife is vibrant, and is out there, waiting to be discovered.
The Philippines nightlife has something to offer to everyone. Whether you are a tourist looking to have some fun times and loud music or someone who wants to shop ‘till you drop, you will have something to do in this beautiful country when the night falls.
There are many activities to enjoy in the Philippines at night, and almost all of them will not burn a hole in your pocket. Below is a list of the most popular activities that can be enjoyed as part of Philippine nightlife.
1. Go Party
The most obvious thing to do to experience Philippine night life is to go out and party. There are a lot of lively party spots spread all over this country. For the more upscale bars, head to the central business district in Makati or Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. The vibe in these areas is youthful and filled with electronic dance music and alcohol. The red-light district, meanwhile, can be found in Malate in Manila. There are “adult-themed” night clubs here, but most of the locals and tourists just enjoy sitting in local drinking dens and pubs, enjoying cheap bottles of locally-produced beer.
The party scene is also very much alive in tourist destinations, particularly beaches such as Boracay Island and Puerto Galera in Mindoro. These beaches transform at night, with different kinds of entertainment such as fire dancers. There is even a pub crawl in Boracay you can join if you want to hop from one bar to another and dance the night away.
Related Article: Best time to visit Boracay Island
2. Watch a Concert
Music lovers may also opt to spend their nightlife in the Philippine watching concerts. People in the Philippines like music no matter what the genre is; it is no surprise, therefore, that the country is always chosen as a destination for different artists during their concert tours. From ballad singers who grew popularity in the 1980’s to current DJs who do electronic dance music, they all go to the Philippines for a night of music to treat their fans. These concerts usually take place at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City or at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Concert schedules and ticket prices are available online.
3. Sing Karaoke
Locals in the Philippines love to sing, so singing karaoke has become part of Philippines nightlife. Singing karaoke has already become so popular that urban legends have already developed around this pastime. For instance, it is believed in the Philippines that singing the Frank Sinatra song “My Way” usually leads to death.
It is not difficult to find karaoke pubs in the Philippines, where you can reserve a karaoke room with your friends, buy some food and drinks, and sing the night away. A lot of these karaoke pubs can be found in malls, or around Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City, and around Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
4. Visit an Amusement Park
Looking for a night of thrills and adventures? Make sure a visit to an amusement park is part of your itinerary to get a taste of nightlife in the Philippines. The most popular amusement park in Metro Manila is Star City, located in Pasay City. For less than P500, you can buy a pass that will allow you to ride all attractions in the amusement park. There are bump cars, roller coasters, and other thrilling rides you can enjoy in this park, and the level of thrill you can handle is the only limit. There is also an attraction here called Snow World, which you can enjoy if you want to chill, literally.
There is also a small amusement park near Mall of Asia, which has a ferris wheel and other rides. If you are up for a short drive south of Manila, you can also visit Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna, which is two to three hours away.
5. Watch a Movie
Cinephiles will also have something to enjoy with nightlife in the Philippines. Major Hollywood films are always shown in cinemas all over the country, and almost all malls have movie theaters. If you want a taste of Philippine cinema, you can go to more specialized movie houses like Cinematheque Centre located in Manila, which shows Filipino films both old and new. Since the Philippines is largely an English-speaking country, most local films also have English subtitles.
6. Take a Cruise in Manila Bay
The Manila Bay is known for its picturesque sunset, but did you know that it also offers something to do if you want a glimpse of nightlife in the Philippines? The Manila skyline is best appreciated by taking a cruise in this bay. You may opt to have a romantic dinner, or an eat-all-you-can buffet while on the cruise ship and enjoying the lights from nearby Mall of Asia and Roxas Boulevard. There is also live music on board, and fireworks during special times of the year that will make your cruise experience even more special.
7. Visit Ancient Churches
The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, so churches are integral parts of the lives of the locals and serve as showcases to local culture. Get a glimpse of Filipinos’ deep faith by visiting Roman Catholic churches at night. Some of these date back to the Spanish era, and are great examples of ancient architecture and art forms. Among the most popular churches in Metro Manila are the Quiapo and Binondo Churches in Manila, and the Baclaran Church in Pasay City, which is open round-the-clock.
8. Shop Shop & Shop
Shopping is very much part of nightlife in the Philippines, and here, you will surely get your money’s worth. Major malls are open until 10 p.m. on weekdays, so you may do your night shopping in these establishments where international brands are also available. However, if you are looking for cheaper, local goods, head to the Tutuban night market in Manila, where you can get all types of items—clothes, footwear, bags, pants—at bargain prices.
Related Article: Top 10 Souvenirs & Gifts to Buy in Philippines
9. Go on a Food Trip
Exploring the food scene is a must if you want to get a full taste of Philippines nightlife. Most restaurants close late at night, so a dinner-to-midnight-snack food trip is very possible. Go to Aristocrat Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City to taste their sweet grilled chicken famous among locals. There are also a lot of other restaurants which offer delicious Filipino food like Café Juanita in Pasig City, Kabila and Romulo Café in Makati City, and Crisostomo in Pasay City. Also make sure to taste the famous balut, or boiled duck eggs, sold on the streets of the Philippines at night.
10. Drink Coffee
For a night cap, grab a cup of coffee. Drinking coffee and chilling in Philippine coffee shops are very much part of nightlife in the Philippines especially among the younger generation. International coffee chains like Starbucks, Seattle’s Best and Coffee Bean are present and widely patronized in the Philippines, but there are also local shops that offer domestically-grown coffee.
Even after the sun goes down, it is still more fun in the Philippines. You will never run out of things to do to experience the Philippines nightlife. You just have to choose your own adventure.
Feature image credit: Ray in Manila