Manila by Night: 6 Unusual Hang-out Activities that are Best Enjoyed at Sundown

Words by Cathlyn Mae Botor

When we say Manila nightlife, the first thing that comes to mind involves partying and alcohol. But when you’re too caught up at work, you barely have time to go out with your friends. And sometimes, even if it’s only the start of the work week, you’re already looking forward to a good night’s sleep on a Friday night instead. The daily grind leaves us exhausted.

It’s close to impossible to plan anything outside of work activities due to our busy lifestyle. Second, the scorching heat of the sun easily drains our energy and pisses us off. However, Manila never sleeps–that’s why the fun starts at night! Have you ever actually imagined doing nighttime activities to unwind and de-stress?

So, if you’re a night owl who loves to appreciate and explore the stillness of the night, you might want to check out these 6 unusual hang-out activities that are best enjoyed at sundown!

6. Catch live acoustic gig sessions of OPM and local indie bands

Have a chill acoustic night with your friends and sing your hearts out as you watch your fave OPM and local indie bands perform in an intimate space! The local music industry continues to thrive because there are more and more people who get to appreciate OPM.

You can go and check out these acoustic bars and cafes where you can catch popular and upcoming Pinoy bands!

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub (5/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca Street, Poblacion, Makati City)

Photo Credit: Mike Rivera of

Mow’s Bar (Kowloon House Basement, 20 Matalino Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City)

Photo Credit: Mow’s Bar

saGuijo Café + Bar (7612 Guijo Street, San Antonio, Makati City)

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

19 East Bar and Grill (Kilometer 19, East Service Road, San Dionisio, Parañaque City)

Photo Credit: Filscap

Photo Credit: Filscap

Route 196 Bar (19, East Service Road, San Dionisio, Parañaque City)

Photo Credit:

5. Watch your fave movies at midnight cinemas

Night owls who prefer to watch films past midnight will definitely love this! Midnight cinemas are a big trend nowadays. Aside from watching exclusive movies late at night, some of these cinemas have come up with twists to draw in moviegoers. In fact, the Boozy Cinema Bar in Uptown BGC Mall also offers beers, wines, and cocktails that you can bring inside the movie theater! Meanwhile, if you’re an indie film enthusiast, you can catch local and award-winning movies at Cinema ’76 in San Juan and Anonas or at Cinema Centenario at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.

Boozy Cinema Bar

Photo Credit: Philippine Tatler

Photo Credit: Abante Tonite

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Cinema ‘76

Photo Credit: TBA Studios

Cinema Centenario

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Cinema Centenario

4. Take a night stroll in the walled city of Intramuros

The tranquil silence of the night allures you to take a night stroll and revisit the past. If you love exploring and learning more about our culture and history, you might want to try this unique night tour in Intramuros! The walled city has lots of stories to tell and it gets more interesting at night! You can also opt to ride a bamboo bicycle so you can easily go around the old city’s empty streets. If you’re lucky enough, you can spot ghosts here in the wee hours of the night!

Photo Credit: Klook

Photo Credit:

Also Read: LOOK: The Timeless Beauty of Intramuros in Photos

3. Go for a dinner cruise at Manila Bay

Ever thought of sailing across the coastal waters located in the heart of the metro? You might be one bus ride away from fulfilling your dream of a prestige dinner cruise! Aside from the dinner-by-the-sea vibes, you can definitely enjoy the night filled with live music! Be mesmerized and end the magical night with a fireworks display!

Here’s what to expect at Manila Bay’s Dinner Cruise:

  • Boarding time at 5:30 pm
  • Cruise time for 1 hr and 30 mins
  • A buffet dinner
  • Intimate dinner table for two (flowers and sparkling wine upon request)
  • Topdeck dining

If you’re with a group of 15 or more, you can always visit their website and check their group rates.

2. Have a late night kwentuhan session amidst Antipolo’s breathtaking view of Manila city lights

Another interesting thing to do at night is to look for a perfect spot overlooking Manila. Wouldn’t it be nice to unwind while looking at the panoramic and breathtaking view of the Manila city lights? If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air without having to go too far from Manila, worry not because you can experience the cold breeze in just a short drive to Antipolo! There are cool spots where you can dine and drink while feeling like you are in the high heavens!

Leonardo’s Antipolo

You can rent in one of their kubos and have some ice cold beer!

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After the show kainan na 😜😜 sarap naman kumaen pag ganto ang view Thank you po Lord sa masayang show kanina 🙏

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City lights 🌃

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Cafe Lupe

Drinking coffee or beer has never been this relaxing while looking at Manila’s skyline!

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Beautiful shot of our drinks + overlooking scenery @liceljs! #CafeLupeAntipolo #photography #chillnight🍺🌃📸☕

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1. Try stargazing at Manila’s top viewpoints

Are you dreaming of having an up-close-and-personal encounter with the universe? Or do you want to make a wish upon a shooting star? You can now transform your dreams into reality by going to these astronomical places within the Metro! Aside from standing on Manila’s top viewpoints, telescopes are provided just so you can get the best out of this galactic experience!

UP Nismed Observatory

Located inside the wide campus of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the UP Nismed Observatory is considered as one of its hidden and majestic gems. It caters to the students and astronomy enthusiasts who would like to participate in their overnight stargazing sessions. The observatory houses the country’s most modern and largest telescopes that would enable anyone to view the craters of the moon, the planets and their rings, the constellations and the Comets. When you go for a visit, you’d also get a chance to participate in engaging discussions between astronomers, astrophysics professors, and students from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

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Manila Observatory

First established in 1865, the Manila Observatory is a private research institution that was built by Jesuits in the Ateneo de Manila University. It is one of the first institutions affiliated with PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration). It was first used for weather forecasting and later on, it became an institution for astronomical studies. With the help of astronomers and their telescopes, you can closely view the shimmering night sky.

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Rufino Pacific Tower (6784 Ayala Avenue corner V.A. Rufino Street, Makati City)

If you want to be mesmerized with the amazing night view of the Makati skyline, you can go up to the Rufino Pacific Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the Philippines with 41 floors and a roof deck. You can go there alone to experience solitude or you can opt to bring your significant other with you for romantic feels!

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Everything’s clearer up here… #daredevil

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Have you tried wandering the streets of Manila at night? What activity on the list are you excited to try? Share it in the comments section below!

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