Manila Pub Crawl is Back!

The First and Biggest Pub Crawl in the Philippines is back in Manila!

Manila Pub Crawl

More than two years ago, I’ve got the chance to join this group in some of their crawls. Back then, they were known for their “Party Jeepneys” roaming around the streets of Makati, The Fort, and Quezon City. It was kind of sad when they stopped their crawls as many of my friends and acquaintances were looking for the fun they started.

Before the start of 2016, one plane ticket posted in their Facebook Page changed everything. Without any particular details, aside from they will go to Makati, in less than fifteen days, their launch date was booked out! Talk about fans who missed the fun!

It feels weird to leave the island and go back to the city. But it's already 2016, a new beginning. Are you ready to…

Posted by Manila Pub Crawl on Friday, January 1, 2016

This Saturday, they will have their Valentine Crawl Special “to celebrate the love and friendships we have” based on their page. I’ve got the chance to talk to my dear friend, the former Chief Operations Officer of Boracay PubCrawl and now the head of their Manila Branch Redd Panes.

What’s Manila PubCrawl?

RP: In other words, we are a bar-hopping activity. But we are more than just a party. Yes, we go to bars and clubs, and we drink shots. But as our slogan says “Turn Strangers into Friends,” that’s our focus. We make sure that you’ll make new friends at the end of the night. This is the safest place to hang out in a night and to meet interesting people from all over the world. We play games, we have crazy rules, we’re just having pure fun! And our staff are dedicated to ensure that you are having your #bestnightever.

Manila Pub Crawl Best Night Ever

What’s the difference of the New Manila Pub Crawl?

RP: We have three years of research and actual practice in Boracay PubCrawl! We are bringing the elements that made Boracay PubCrawl successful. Here in Manila, it is quite a challenge because the environment and mindset is different but that’s the best part! The unique thing about the Manila PubCrawl is this is a place to really find new friends that you can hang out with or do activities with in the future.

Manila PubCrawl beer pong

How does it work now? Do you still use the Party Jeepney?

RP: For most of our crawls now, we are doing it Boracay style—walking! Plus, the traffic is horrible. 🙁 So we go to five different places in a night where you get a free shooter in each bar and exclusive drink specials. We still wear the iconic yellow shirt that you can also use in Boracay to get discounted rate in their PubCrawl. But watch out for the return of the Jeepneys in some of our events.

Manila Pub Crawl jeepney

How much is it and what does it cover?

RP: The regular cost is 990 but we have a promo for the launch, which is 50% off or 495, for the first 40 tickets. It covers your shirt, party kits, five free shooters and free entrance in the clubs we will go to. You also get drink specials in every bar.

Pub Crawlers

Why do we have to join PubCrawl?

RP: Because you want to have fun! This is not just for Party People. I was never the party kid before but look at me now! (And you too!) Join PubCrawl to have a safe place to make new friends, to talk to people, to feel that it’s not that hard to talk to strangers. And we have extra perky staff to be your instant wingboy/girl. We even have non-drinkers before but they had fun!

manila pubcrawl turning strangers into friends

Can you describe the group?

RP: It varies but most of the time, we have 70% locals, 30% foreigners. We try to keep it as diverse as possible. Age wise, from early twenties, sometimes we even have early forties to early fifties joining us. As we say, friendship knows no age, no gender, and no nationality. But for the past that we’ve been doing this, one thing is for sure. They’re all fun.

Manila Pub Crawl Makati

So this Valentine, what’s special?

RP: Well, we want to make a play on the Valentine. While this is mostly for couples, and some singles take this as an opportunity mope and unleash their collections of hugot, we want to celebrate all the love and friendships we have. Have a group date and enjoy the night as we welcome the celebration. We will have tons of surprises for everyone.
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There you go! So if you want to join me this Saturday in their special crawl, or in any of their other crawls (they have one every Saturday, and 4x a week in Boracay), just contact Redd at 0917 795 4799 (Globe) 0908 444 9426 (Smart) or email him at manila@pubcrawl.ph

Regular Price is 990, but 50% off to the first 40 tickets.

Don’t forget to use their COUPONCODE: ILOVEMANILAPUBCRAWL
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6 Fun Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2016

Filipinos have a romantic streak and even as early as January, many are already thinking of the next month’s signature holiday – Valentine’s Day. Couples young and old look forward to Valentine’s Day 2016. Why not try something different this year? Here are some fun Valentines date ideas to make this occasion much more memorable than ever.

1. Attend the Valentine’s Day 2016 20th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

This hot air balloon fiesta is an international gathering of hot-air balloon aviators from all over the world and takes place in Clark, Pampanga from Feb. 11-14, 2016. The event is not only aimed at developing discipline and safety principles among hot-air balloon pilots but also a chance for them to mingle with other cultures during the fiesta. And those colorful balloons all flying in the air at the same time do make for a truly awesome photo shoot moment with your loved ones. Even though the event runs through Valentines Day, it is not just for couples but also for the whole family or barkada!

Entrance tickets cost only PhP350 per head for a good view of the participating balloons. Gates open at 5AM so be there early as seating is on first-come-first-served basis.

If you have money to burn, why not try a real hot-air balloon ride with your loved one for $350? Most balloons have only a 4-person seating capacity (2 pilots plus 2 passengers), so it’s perfect for couples. That will surely sweep you and your loved one off your feet literally! You can reserve and pay for your ride online. Before you go on board, you and your partner will be given a briefing on safety measures. Two pilots will be with you during the 20-45 minute ride. Availability of balloon rides is subject to prevailing weather conditions. Any cancelled balloon rides will be refunded. Buy your tickets here.

2. Watch a Valentine’s Day Concert with Your Loved One

If you love pop music, there are two upcoming concerts around Valentines Day this year. Veteran performing artists including Martin Nievera, Erik Santos, Regine Velasquez, and Angeline Quinto will be at the Mall of Asia Arena on Feb.13 at 8:00 in the evening to render OPM songs for you and your special date.

royals valentines day 2016

Get your tickets here

Internationally-acclaimed Boyce Avenue with special guest Savannah Outen will sing to your heart’s content this Feb.16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Watch them perform their heart-throbbing hits “Every Breath”. “On My Way” and “Broken Angel”, as well as acoustic covers of romantic songs of other artists. With your Valentine date, of course!

boyce avanue valetines date ideas

Get your tickets here

And fortunately, these two concerts don’t exactly fall on Feb. 14, so you can still have that special dinner and intimate moment with your significant other, and have the best of both worlds!

3. Participate in the Panagbenga Festival

panagbenga festival street dancers
Panagbenga street dancers. Photo by Ohsie

Flowers are an integral part of Valentine’s Day. What better way to see flowers than in Baguio City, where their beauty is highlighted at the annual Panagbenga Festival held every February. This festival features floats of all sizes and shapes, decorated lavishly with flowers pretty much like those you see in the Pasadena New Year’s Day Rose Parade. There is also a lot of street-dancing which is performed by dancers dressed in flowery costumes inspired by an Ibaloi celebration dance. You practically have an entire month to see those lovely floral exhibitions. Baguio is also a great place to take your R & R, away from the heat and pollution of Manila. This year, make a point to drop by with your loved one and smell the flowers!

4. Go Trekking at Mt. Kiltepan

Here’s one of the most unique Valentines date ideas. If you and your loved are adventurous types, why not go up to Mt. Kiltepan in Sagada? This is only about a 40-minute hike from town. The best time to start is at 4:30 AM. Get there before sunrise so you can find a good vantage point to witness the glorious rays of the sun on the horizon over picturesque and almost-unreal views of rice terraces below it. It’s truly heaven on earth!

This trip is best before or after going to Baguio’s Panagbenga Festival.

5. Staycation in Manila at a Luxury Hotel

Who says staycationing can’t be fun? As with Christmas and New Year, many luxury hotels offer oodles of valentines promos for Manileno lovebirds. The special offer of Makati Shangrila‘s Circles at 1,280 nett has been extended! You can enjoy the best lunch and dinner buffet in the heart of Makati at its best price until February 29 only. Dusit Thani Hotel has special room packages complete with buffet breakfast, complimentary champagne and chocolates. Sofitel sets the Valentine mood with a spectacular sunset dinner by the open sea, a private serenade, and firework displays. Vivere Hotel in Alabang offers serenades and dinner under the stars.

For something more unique, try a palm-reading session at Midas Hotel and get free candy giveaways at the bar area, or stay the night and enjoy a free breakfast buffet as well as watch Rex Smith perform love songs for you.

Want something less draining on your pocket? Try Bayleaf Intramuros’s own Valentine package. For only Php1,200 per person, enjoy two buffets, two dinners, and two shows.

Check out other fantastic hotel dinner / room packages for Valentine’s Day.


6. Watch the Manila Bay Sunset

Sunsets on the bay are breathtaking moments that a couple in Manila should not miss. You can arrange with Sun Cruises to take a dinner cruise along the bay. Enjoy a sumptuous Filipino dinner menu which changes nightly, plus a serenade by a local band. After the sunset, watch the sparkling lights along Roxas Blvd. and Mall of Asia.

On a tight budget? Then just enjoy strolling along the newly renovated baywalk and still be able to capture that Manila sunset. You can also savor local delicacies from baywalk vendors or walk to two iconic restaurants, like Aristocrat and Emerald Garden for dinner.

Shopping Destinations in Manila

The Philippines is a shopper’s paradise.  Metro Manila alone already teems with numerous shopping places where you can find the best bargains in clothing, accessories, food, housewares, and electronics.  Here are the most noted shopping destinations:

Divisoria – With its proximity to the port area, Divisoria is the convenient dumping ground of all kinds of merchandise from all parts of the world, but mainly from Asian countries. And with lower freight costs, the merchandise can easily be sold at dirt-cheap prices in Divisoria outlets. This cheap items can be found on the stalls and alleys. It can be quite confusing if you’re a noob so it’s best to have a local to guide you through the shopping maze.

Be careful of pickpockets. Don’t bring your valuables. I usually don’t bring my mobile phone when going here. If you are shopping with a group, designate an area where you would meet after an hour or two so you could do your own shopping and not drag everyone with you.

The area has several large buildings, each with several floors of stores.  The best buildings to visit are Tutuban Mall, 168 and 999.  The stores in these buildings feature the latest fashion and technological trends, but be very wary of imitations.  Warning: You must be willing to do a lot of walking between buildings and floors. But the goodies that you can get is worth it.

Nearby is the Lucky Chinatown Mall which features high-end retail outlets and dining establishments.

If you’ll be bringing a car, you can park it in Tutuban Center Mall’s multilevel parking area where you can safely leave your vehicle.

Greenhills Tiangge (AKA Flea Market) – If you don’t fancy doing a lot of walking under the hot sun in Divisoria, then the Greenhills Shopping Center is a better alternative. Greenhills is chock full of all types of shopping goods, albeit slightly higher in price than those in Divisoria. Popular items that you can buy here are clothes, bags, home accessories, jewelries, cellphones and electronics. There is one full floor of electronics outlets waiting to be snapped up. Prices of gadgets will depend on how well you can haggle with the sellers.

SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-la Plaza and Starmall Edsa-Shaw – The Ortigas area, in the middle of Metro Manila, hosts these malls which caters to different budgets. Starmall for cheap finds, SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria for the midrange budget and Shangrila for upscale shopping.

Shangri-La Mall #Manila #Philippines #shopping

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Baclaran – Situated near the Redemptorist Church in Paranaque, Baclaran is yet another haven of merchandise ranging from garments to traditional medicine. But you must be prepared to brave the thick hordes of people.  Also watch out for your belongings as petty theft is pretty common here.

SM Mall of Asia (MOA) – Just a jeepney ride away from Baclaran is the 10th largest mall in the world, SM Mall of Asia is made up of shopping and dining establishments including a department store, a hypermarket, theaters, retail outlets and restaurants.  Some restaurants have open-air facilities where you can view the magnificent Manila Bay sunset.  The mall has standard anchor stores found in many other malls in the country.  A main attraction is the IMAX theater with 3D and 2D screenings, as well as several state-of-the-art cinemas.  The mall also houses the first Olympic-sized ice skating rink in the country which is used for ice skating and ice hockey training.  An open-air music hall is used for concerts.

SM Makati, Glorietta and Greenbelt Malls – These malls in Makati are a hodge-podge of contrasting retail outlets, from tiny flea market style stalls to department stores and posh designer shops. Ayala Malls have two large malls here to be explored: Greenbelt and Glorietta. Each mall has its own major sections (Greenbelt 1-5 and Glorietta 1-5).

SM Makati has some renowned global and local brands and is connected to the MRT Ayala station.

These 3 malls are all connected to each other by footbridges so you can easily consume a full day shopping on the many shopping options available.

TriNoma Mall (stands for Triangle North of Manila) – Up north in Quezon City is yet another sprawling mall developed by the Ayala Malls. It carries the same anchor shops that are found in the Glorietta and Greenbelt.  There are four shopping levels which are complemented by alfresco areas featuring mini waterfalls and picturesque landscaping.  It is home to both big-name international stores as well as home-grown ones.

Just across the street is SM North Edsa, the 4th largest mall in the world and the 2nd largest mall in the country. It’s the first mall by SM Group and it solidified the “mall culture” in the country where everything you need is in just one place (supermarket, department store, cinema and restaurants). It is also the largest solar-powered shopping mall in Southeast Asia. This is the mall which I grew up going to with my family so I kind of know all the stores here.

Bonifacio High Street – Across the Makati area is a shopping mall surrounded by residential and office condominiums.  The mall follows an old-town concept where buildings are just two stories high and contain small high-end retail shops. In the center is a park where shoppers can walk their dogs.  There are also coffee shops and restaurants featuring indoor and alfresco dining.

Market Market – Though not as huge as the other malls, Market Market is well-liked because of its mixture of contrasting shops which feature either affordable bargain items or high-end products.  There’s something for everyone in this mall.

Eastwood City– Right on the eastern side of Metro Manila is another shopping mall complex surrounded by tall residential and office buildings. There are several malls in this complex, including Eastwood Mall, Cybermall, and Citiwalk.  Each of them have their own parking spaces.  The complex offers shuttle service for the convenience of shoppers. Some clothing shops and retail outlets in Citiwalk and Cybermall are not found in other areas.  The entire area is pet-friendly.  You can easily access each mall through elevated footbridges.

How about you? Where’s your favorite place to shop in Manila?