Monday, December 26, 2011

The Manila Gay Bar Guide: Part 1

This week, to commemorate this blog's 1st year anniversary and to give a little holiday treat, I will finally feature my version of the Manila Gay Bar Guide. I've been planning to do this since September, after some conversations with a few foreigner visitors. But when I started creating this post, I realized that this task will require much effort. 

I am writing this with foreigner visitors in mind, as they are the most clueless about the gay bars in Manila. Local gay bar goers can also use this, but you guys would just have to adapt the information that's in this series of posts. Part 1 will mostly be about Introduction to Metro Manila, while Parts 2 and 3 will each focus on the two areas where most gay bars are located and how to get there. Insider information about those bars will be out of scope for this guide. 

Hope you find this guide useful in getting around Metro Manila to reach your target gay bar. 

Introduction to Metro Manila and its cities

You know your plane landed in Manila, but the airport is located in Paranaque City. Your hotel's address is in Makati City, which may be the same city where your company's local office is located. If not, it may be in Mandaluyong City or Quezon City. Your colleagues invite you for dinner at the Fort area, which is in Taguig City. With all these cities mentioned, you wonder if are you still in Manila. Confusing?

Don't be. You are actually in Metro Manila, which is the capital region composed of various cities that include the historic City of Manila and its surrounding areas. (You may want to read up on Metro Manila at Wiki for more information about this metropolitan city).

If you are a foreigner sent to Manila by your company for a business trip, you will most likely be staying at Makati City (see map below, in black rectangle). The Central Business District is located here, and many 5-star hotels, such as Shangri-La, Manila Peninsula, Intercon, etc. are also in this city. Yet, outside of Makati, there are other 3 to 4 star hotels located in Manila and Pasay City. For the purpose of these articles though, I will use Makati City as the central starting point.

Now, for gay entertainment. 

If you are the type who wants to go gay clubbing, then the gay center of Metro Manila is an area/district in Manila City called Malate (pronounced Ma-LAH-teh). The gay clubs are located at the intersection of Nakpil Street and Orosa Street. It takes around 20-30 minutes taxi ride from Makati at night. But I won't focus on those clubs in this blog post.

If you are the type who prefers to see some skin, then the macho dancing bars may be your thing. These bars are the closest that we have to the strip bars of the West and to the go-go boy bars of Bangkok; however, our macho dancing bars are vastly different from these bars for a lot of reasons. I have a few blog posts that explain the uniqueness of Manila's bars (Read one here that compares vs Thai go-go boys and here that compares vs male strip bars). Douglas Sanders of also gives a good introduction on what to expect in what we call macho dancing bars or gay bars (Read here).

Other useful information from my blog are as follows:

There are two general areas in Metro Manila for macho dancing gay bars. The most popular ones are located in these areas (see map, encircled in red). These are: 
  1. The cities of Paranaque and Pasay: south of Makati
  2. Quezon City: north of Makati
Black box: Makati or Manila (where you may be staying)
Encircled red: the two areas where macho dancer bars are located.

When going to these two areas, I suggest to pass through EDSA (Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue), which is the main thoroughfare that connects the main cities of Metro Manila. Despite its daily horrible traffic, it will be your best friend during your stay. This road is the main artery or the lifeline of Metro Manila. It is your lifeline to the gay bars as well

**Hope you find this useful. Even if you may not email me anymore for gay bar recommendations and directions on how to get to your target MD bar, I will appreciate it very much if you email me a simple thank you note or post a comment below if you found use for these information.

(To be continued...)

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
twitter: @gbgoer

Photo credits:


  1. This will definitely be a very useful guide! I hope Sef and I could visit the bars that you're going to feature :)

  2. I am waiting for the following part , and sure will visit those bars when i heading to Manila.

    Thanks for the information

  3. This is really very informative, Good Job!


Feel free to share what you think