A Brief History of Manila’s Party Scene and the One Thing that Remained
If there’s anything we know for sure, it’s that Filipinos love a good party! Maybe it’s because of our generally happy disposition, innate appreciation for all things festive or perhaps the fact that Filipinos are generally very friendly and sociable. While there’s not much mention of how our ancestors’ version of “walwal” and how they partied the night away, Manila has always been famous for what its nightlife scene has to offer.
Where Manila Boogied the Night Away
Let’s start from the not so distant past of Manila’s party scene. Coco Banana, as many would put it, was where fashion, society and entertainment would meet back in the 80’s. Inspired by mid-century night clubs in the US namely the Copacabana in New York and Coconut Grove in Los Angeles — even the altas de sociedad were not spared, it was bare minimum to bring in your own brand of madness as soon as you enter. It was an openly gay bar too. The most interesting part? The place never had to give away its exact address. Someway, somehow the party animals knew where they had to go. Apart from playing the Top 40 most famous hits at the time, there were also live theatrical performances from then-renowned personalities.
He Who runs the Clubs, Runs the City
Based on several accounts, there was never a formal announcement as to when the Coco Banana club was shut down, somehow, the parties just stopped. A little over a decade later, a new breed of party-going and party-loving individuals rose and completely redefined Manila’s party scene. It was the rise of the nightlife destinations of the early 2000s in Taguig and Makati : Temple, Buddha Bar, V-Bar and Embassy – a club that later on shaped partying, influencing it the way we know now. As John Herrera, one of its founders, mentioned in an interview : “ He who runs the clubs, runs the city”.
Towards the end of the first decade of the new millennium, a new wave of clubs amplified the scene in Manila that catered to the millennials as they came of age to party. Namely, Fiamma, Il Ponticello, and the iconic Republiq. Here Manila was able to watch some of the world’s most renowned DJ’s.
Manila’s Nightlife Capital
Taking cues from Coco Banana’s avant garde, decadent era to the nightlife’s reshaping that followed thereafter, Manila’s parties have become diverse and multifaceted. The Palace right at the heart of ‘The Fort’- dare we say, where the parties we know now all began, serves as home to several nightlife destinations all in one complex namely Xylo, B.A.D Late Night Breakfast Bar, Revel, and The Island.
Parties in Manila have evolved over time but the one thing that’s remained the same is our love for good drinks. Jagermeister, the forever crowd favorite, has always been a party staple through and through. The well loved Jager shot has fueled Manila’s party scene since its entry to the market. The iconic “Jager Bomb”has been the go-to shot for Manila’s party people for a guaranteed crazy night out.
Where are you headed tonight?