If you’re a lesbian or has a sister or friend you’d love to bring to an all-girls event/bar, When In Manila, you would often find the frustration of actually finding one.
Decades ago when Malate was (still is i hope) the gay capital of the Philippines, it was a different story. Rows and rows of entertainment bars sprawled across numerous streets in Manila with comedy shows where gay men dance and sing, even some bars that were just to sit down, mingle and talk amongst the crowd or simply crowd-watch. I believe there is a very big market for Gays (gay men) in Manila. Advertisers today have been reaching out to the gay community in various billboards and marketing efforts. Even politicians have made such efforts as well.
I was talking entirely about the gay men population. However, the gay women? Not so much. In our culture, we assume that a woman, to be a lesbian must hate men, experimenting, influenced or any other “how-lesbians-came-to-be” theories. They believe it can be reversed. Unlike how they see gay men: Once you are gay, you are gay. No turning back. With a market that temporary, in my opinion, lesbians don’t have that big of a market in our country in comparison with the gay men.
As a lesbian woman in Manila, surrounded by guys and straight women friends, it has been such a challenge to meet people specifically who you can relate to, understand some situations to seek advice or share perspectives of. People often result to dating websites (not against it, I think it’s a really good way to emotionally meet people though please take EXTRA caution!) but the main question is..
Where can lesbians hang out and party?
5. Maria Orosa Street, Ermita, Manila
This street was named after Maria Orosa e Ylagan who was a humanitarian and war heroine and she invented the Filipino clay pot! This street in Ermita, Manila (Near Luneta) has been a go-to place for lesbians in Manila. You can go to Komiks Cafe and New York Cafe are a lesbian-friendly cafes. You will see the crowd is a mix of straight and LGBT.
If you have some time you can head on to the corner of Maria Orosa and Nakpil St. and have a look at
Pride Exchange which is an LGBT sex shop. (Mobile No. 0929-396-6707)
We all know the Pride Parade in San Francisco which is a very big deal for the LGBT community all around. We also have our own version: Metro Manila Pride it is taking to the streets for the recognition and respect of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights as human rights. I am very glad we already have this kind of celebration in our country. Next is June 27,2015 check out their website for details (www.metromanilapride.org)
established in February 2014, is a group of women that aims to provide a safe space where women who love women
can come together, build a community, and have fun through organizing events for women.
Although only a new group to the scene, Spectrum Manila has some very successful parties. The first one was PROM night. A big issue in mainstream schools in our country (and in many others) is that they don’t acknowledge the presence and preference of the LGBT. In fact, most actually discourage it. Some of the teens who would go to prom would be very uncomfortable bringing their gay significant other because they are usually discouraged to do so.
They also feel very uncomfortable wearing a dress or tux but they do so because it’s the cultural norm and they are actually required to. Some even threaten to withhold you the right of Prom if you cross-dress. I think its an amazing concept of an event because not only can you bring your significant other and show affection same with heterosexual partners but also you can wear whatever you feel comfortable of wearing.
Amazing music line up: Rizza Cabrera of The Chimichangas; Flying Ipis; Rita Martinez (The Voice) and Deuce Manila!
I think prom is a very big event for our adolescent years and everyone has the right and freemdom same as heterosexual adolescents to a perfect prom that we dreamed of when we were in elementary. I highly recommend this event and I hope they will have another one for everyone to attend. This event has garnered a lot of attention and was even featured in various tv shows and was a subject of “Out and Proud” (LGBT documentary GMA)
Another event of theirs which was a few weeks before this was published was Prison Break April 30 at BED Manila. Drinks were overflowing, everyone was dancing to hip-hop, EDM, pop, indie, and 90’s music, and we received record-breaking bids! You can follow them on their social media for updates to their next event!
Owned by a mixture of lesbians and straight men, Boho at Ermin Garcia in Cubao is a good lesbian-friendly bar.
It was established in September 2012 with the concept of a “bahay” or a house. I once heard about this place from my straight friends. How they’d rather leave Cubao Expo and head on over to Boho cause of the cheap beer and good vibes. They also play live music here and there.
I hope there will be more places and events, When In Manila, that cater to our lesbian friends and family.
Sing, dance, play and have a great time at these places and hope you spread the good vibrations everywhere!
Happy Pride Month!