These days, Manila has enough commercial, culinary, and creative energy to rival many other Asian megacities. But if you really want to see what makes the capital so dynamic, you’ve got to hit the town after dark—ideally over a long evening of club- and bar-hopping in Bonifacio Global City. This gleaming new hub of development occupies only a single square mile, but it jams a whole lot into that minimal space, not least with its nightlife options. Get warmed up at LIT, a refined lounge with the largest collection of Japanese whisky in the country and a focus on creative cocktails using Japanese spirits (think shochu and sake). The attentive and knowledgeable bartenders will prescribe the right pour for your mood. Next make a stop at the Rocket Room, a bright bar with a wall of skyline-facing windows. Pair a zippy Rocket Fuel cocktail (silver tequila, house-infused jalapeño vodka, Cointreau, and fresh lime) with the crispy pork belly “chips” or the wood-fired Merguez meatballs. Now here’s where the night takes an interesting turn: First, locate the 7/11 convenience store at the RCBC Tower. Step inside, walk purposefully past the Slurpee machine, and enter the storeroom. Surprise—you’ve found the secret entrance to the exclusive Bank Bar. Turn on the charm for the doorman (tables fill up after 9 p.m., so have the concierge reserve one in advance), and once you’re inside, order a round of Champagne to go with the truffle-oil-and-parmesan-spiked French fries. When midnight strikes, stroll over to The Palace. Split up into various clubs-within-a-club, the entire complex can accommodate up to 10,000 people. Have bottles ablaze with sparklers paraded to your table at glitzy Valkyrie, or cozy up in an intimate booth at Revel for a more sophisticated last call.
Bonifacio Global City is roughly a 30-minute drive from Conrad Manila, twice that during Friday and Saturday night rush hour. All the bars mentioned are located along the same walkable strip.
LIT: G/F (in between Larry's Cafe and Powerbooks), Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; +63917-510-0014
ROCKET ROOM: G/F Quadrant 4, Bonifacio High Street, 9th avenue, Bonifacio Global City;+ 632-621-3222;facebook.com/RocketRoom
BANK BAR: Inside the 7/11, G/F RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, 25th and 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City; +632-801-4862; momentgroup.ph/bank-bar
THE PALACE: 9th Avenue at 36th Street, Uptown Bonifacio Global City; Valkyrie Club +63917-680-8888; The Pool Club +63917-689-8888; Revel +63917-550-8888; thepalacemanila.com