When you hear the words “Manila nightlife,” the first thing that comes to mind, unfortunately, are the clubs and bars of Manila. If you don’t enjoy gulping down one glass of alcohol after another only to get wasted and wake up with a terrible hangover, then this “nightlife” isn’t the one you want to go for. Good news is that there are many other things you can do in Manila at night aside from drink until you’re piss drunk. Here are 8 activities you should consider when going out at night in the city:
1. Hang out at coffee shops. This is easily a popular choice because of the number of coffee shops in every block in most central business districts, and at least one close to every residential blocks in Metro Manila. Some coffee shops are open only until 12 AM, while some close at 3 AM. Most of these coffee shops though are frequented by students who need their caffeine boost and a healthy distance from the nearest bed in order to study for their exams. Bring a book and enjoy some quiet or alone time in the company of good coffee. ;)
2. Play board games. Round up your friends and have fun over board games! The popularity of board games have caught on here in Manila, and we have enough board game cafe places here in Manila to cater to your interest or curiosity. The Appraisery in Cubao Expo and Ludo: Boardgame Bar and Cafe are typically open until 12 AM (Ludo is open until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.) People in boargame cafes are usually friendly to newbies, too! They’re very willing to introduce you to the game and walk you through the rules, so don’t be afraid to approach others and make new friends!
3. Go to night markets. If the shopaholic in you is looking for a place to shop when all malls have already closed, then try your luck in night markets! The Tutuban night market and Harrison Road night market are the more well-known ones in Manila. If you’re in Pasig on a Wednesday or Friday, check out the night market in the Pasig City Market to score some affordable finds!
4. Sit outside and stare at the night sky. I recently discovered that you can sit out on the grassy areas of Greenfields at night and stare at the sky. You can also check out Nuvali, a short drive from Manila, and enjoy the serene ambience. The Sky Deck View Bar on The Bayleaf Intramuros’ rooftop provides a clear and unobstructed view of the walled city and beyond, so you get to enjoy the view of the stars, as well as the city lights, too!
5. Exercise. 24/7 gyms like Anytime Fitness in Bonifacio Global City and Eclipse 24/7 Fitness Center promise to be always open when the mood to exercise hits you. Better yet, go out and discover smaller and more affordable gyms (aka “bakal gyms”) in your vicinity so that you’ll never have any excuse to not hit the gym! You can also jog around Bonifacio Global City, Frontera Verde, and UP Diliman — because getting fit and staying in shape need not be expensive.
6. Pamper yourself. Wensha’s 24-hour spa will get you relaxed and pampered any time of the day. Wensha has two branches: one in Pasay, and another in Timog, Quezon City. For a little over Php 800, you get a full body massage, access to the jacuzzi, pools, and saunas, and unli trips to the buffet area!
7. Catch the last full show. One of my favorite things to do at night is catching the last full show of movies that particularly interest me. I like that there are less people and that it’s easier to get home because there’s little chance of heavy traffic at 12:30 AM.
8. Eat. When all else fails, there’s always this! Mercato Centrale‘s Midnight Mercato at BGC is worth checking out, but is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, from 6 PM until 3 AM. If you’re craving for something more Mediterranean, the Shawarma Snack Center in Ermita is open from 11 AM until 5 AM, and offers close to the real thing shawarmas and kebabs!
I’m sure there are so many other activities you can do in Manila, and I will be updating this list every now and then with new fun activities to try! Feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions! ;) -HANA