Manila: The Only Thing Better Than Singing Is More Singing

The U.S. elections are one day away! Watching the elections coverage abroad has been interesting. I think I’ve seen BBC and CNN explain the electoral college too many times now.

When I think about the Philippines, besides the former first lady (Imelda I’ve learned is her name) with over 3,000 plus pair of shoes, and mangoes and beaches – karaoke comes to mind. I think it’s because I have heard stories about our office in Manila and how they have wild videoke (video karaoke) parties. Also, Journey’s current lead singer, who is Filipino, was found on YouTube singing cover songs!

Ortigas Metrowalk

It seems like singing is a national pastime. Many of the people I have met so far really like singing, and they’re good at it unlike me who just like to sing but can’t carry a tune. There are lots of thriving cover bands here. Good thing I love cover songs! (Hey, stop groaning.)
One night, my SF colleague and I went out with our Manila-based colleague and his wife. They took us to Ortigas Metrowalk in Pasig City to get a taste of Manila night life and check out some live music.

Metrowalk is a large outdoor square surrounded by shops and restaurants with a center stage at one end for performances.It’s a funky atmosphere that reminds me of the outdoor bars of Miami with the palm trees, but definitely with a European vibe. Beers are cheap here at around 198 pesos for a bucket of 5 beers – that translates to less than a dollar per beer. Beers are cheap, I didn’t say they were good! We sat down towards the back and listened to the cover band play John Mayer (music of my soul).

Next we went to Mugen, a popular bar in Metrowalk. At 10:30pm, we arrived on the earlier side as the bar was still half empty. The first cover band we saw was playing 90s rock! Brought back memories of middle school and high school. The next cover band played more of R&B and pop hits from today. They seem to be big fans of Maroon 5 since they played a lot of their songs but they also played Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion, whatever his name is now. They set up their mics somehow where the singers’ voices were auto-tuned. It was funny. People were going ga-ga for them.

You can request songs too! Just write your request on a bar napkin and have one of the waitresses deliver it to the band. Apparently if we stayed long enough, the bands let anyone get up and sing with them. We did not stay long enough sadly. My colleague and I got back to our hotel at 1:30am, which is an early night in Manila.

Well for those who are not having an ‘early’ night, Metrowalk has food tents that stay open until 4am. It’s always nice to be close to food!

You can get some interesting stuff here like intestines.

Check out these chicken intestines:

For non-adventurous eaters, there are stands serving seafood, curry, and rice dishes. I also saw this empanada like place!

Food, drinks, and live music all in one spot makes Metrowalk a good place to check out at night. Just make sure you’re not a wimp like me who goes home ‘early.’ (I blame it on the jet lag.)

4 thoughts on “Manila: The Only Thing Better Than Singing Is More Singing

  1. omg i hope you're karaoke-ing all night every night. it's the perfect situation. you'll never see these people again and you're exotic. you can be the mysterious singing stranger who talked funny, took pictures of intestines, and left early. and maybe a filipino blogger will write about you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s