Malate, Manila: Reliving the Good Ol’ Days
When in Manila, spend a night or two in Malate. A center of bohemian nightlife decades ago, it still retains the free spirit that makes it home to those wary of the the usual bar/restaurant scene.
Here are a few things to do and places to visit in Malate:
Drink and Eat with Your Buddies at The Oarhouse.
The Oarhouse is a Malate old-timer. Read our feature of The Oarhouse here: Oarhouse Pub: It’s Where We Catch Up
So far, The Oarhouse has moved to three locations (all within Malate); and has been passed on to three owners, all of whom wanted a space where opinions and art are encouraged, food is great and drinks are aplenty. In the recent reincarnation of The Oarhouse, owner and manager Ben Razon has successfully infused superb Kapampangan cuisine into the usual bar chow. Don’t miss their sisig, kaldereta and crispy pata with kare-kare sauce!
Ride a Kalesa at Night.
Imagine this: the cool breeze from Manila Bay, stars lighting up the sky, and your significant someone beside you as you ride through the streets on a kales a (a Filipino horse-drawn carriage). That’s swoon-worthy romance that only Cupid could’ve planned! Plus, it’s a great way to check out the interesting Malate community.
Watch the Sunset.
You can see the sun set anywhere but there’s no place like the Manila Bay. The sea’s breeze and blue make the colors of the setting sun more intense.
For a complete list of great sunsets in Manila, read this: Sunsets in Manila: Best Places to View Manila’s Famous Sunset
Experience Awesome Filipino World Music at 1951.
1951 is to Malate today what Penguin was a decade ago. Penguin was a favorite hangout of Malate’s creative crowd. It featured art and original Filipino music – bar traditions that 1951 still abide by. Former Penguin manager Butch Aldana makes sure 1951 serves up only the best artists – along with good food and drinks, of course! It is home to the likes of Noli Aurillo+ Friends, Reggae Mistress and Talahib. On wall rotation are some of Manila’s up-and-coming visual artists.
Meet New Friends.
Another great thing about Malate is its friendly and open vibe. You can talk to your seatmate at the bar – and they won’t necessarily think you’re hitting on them. You can joke around with the bartender. Heck, if you have a problem, you can even ask for their advice. Street children remain playful and even joke around with barhoppers. Your favorite fishball vendor might even share the best sauce mix with you!
So, when in Manila, don’t forget to visit Malate and relive a simpler life. It is sure to put a smile on your face. I know it always puts one on mine! :)