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Monday, March 22, 2010

The Story of Rizal

The Dabawenyo party landscape is not as simple as it seems. Much like a good piece of literature, it is filled with twists, turns and countless sub-plots of new-found love, drunken good times, fun feasts, music, adventure, and friendship.

One place that seems to be the perfect setting for the modern partyphile’s story is Rizal Street. Situated right in the middle of the city, Rizal has been host to some of the best times in a partyphile’s life. And there are a lot of backdrops to choose from:

Someplace Else is the ideal place for one who prefers a dialogue. The laid-back atmosphere makes it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of ice-cold beer with some great conversation. One of their signature beer buddies, Sheesha Fries (a generous serving of French fries topped with a tomato-based meat sauce and grated cheese, served in a sizzling plate), is like a crescendo of flavors and textures; making even the simplest after-work get-together feel indulgent.

If you prefer more action than talk; Club 183 is the perfect spot for you. Close to a decade old, Club 183 remains to be one of the most happening dance bars in the city. Expect to work the dance floor with a mix of ex-pats, yuppies, and college students as their resident DJs spin out crowd pleasing club ditties until the wee hours of the morning. With occasional events, an expansive menu, and posh interiors, it is no surprise that 183s popularity has made it synonymous with the name ‘Rizal’.

Chico’s in the Habana Compound is the perfect nook for one who thirsts for an exciting musical experience. This quaint bistro features live bands all throughout the week, performing a wide array of music from jazz standards, to samba, bossa and salsa. For one who prefers to stay behind the microphone Voyz Out, Cats&Dogs, and G-Mik are only a few of the videoke spots in the strip.

If you need to fill up before an all-nighter, Rizal offers a unique adventure for your palate. Travel the world as you sample fresh Persian food at Majid’s; savor the sophisticated tastes of authentic French cuisine at Claude’s; try the neo-Italian array at Salutti; munch on Mediterranean fare at De Bonte Koe; or enjoy flavored Margaritas and Mexican fare at Dos Amigos. You could also drop by the homey Talaba Joe and sample their savory baked oysters; have your Orinetal fix at Mandarin; or go all-Pinoy and pig-out on seafood, grilled fare, and home-style meals at the surprisingly affordable Iron Horse.

No matter what you choose to do, it seems that Rizal Street is the perfect place to carefully write your own chapter in the book of the Dabawenyo party scene. Yes, Rizal has held witness to some of the most interesting tales in this city’s vibrant nightscape. It has been the setting of numerous alcohol induced incidents of the almost-forgotten past, and it will continue to be the setting of equally colorful events in the promising future. Rizal seems to cast a spell on all its visitors, making them look back on all the pages they’ve contributed while creating new twists and turns to the seemingly never-ending tale of this familiar street. And like the great literary works of our national hero, its namesake, Rizal continues to conjure up exciting scenes and new feelings with each visit.