Partying in the same place with the same people can get boring. In fact, for a jaded partyphile, it may suck the life out of the whole party-experience. The one thing partyphiles hate is leading a routinary life. In fact, for some partyphiles, the whole purpose of partying is escaping your boring 9 to 5. However, when one finds that even the thing that used to serve as a safe haven for the bored man (the party scene) has gotten a bit predictable, he seeks change. This is exactly why most partyphiles move from one bar to another and always patronize the newer establishment. But trouble ensues when the actual changes in partylandia do not keep up with one’s lust for change; or at least the rate that these changes happen. So then, what is a partyphile to do? Go on a vacation to another city.
Going on a vacay for the sole purpose of partying is one of the most blissful things in life. Plus, with the cheap air fare that budget-airlines offer, more and more yuppie-partyphiles are joining the bandwagon of city-hopping (instead of bar-hopping). Obviously, this is always a great experience as new party places ensure new experiences and new friends. However, if you are on the receiving end of the vacay, meaning, you are the one who is tasked to tour non-Davaoeno partyphiles around the city, you find yourself in quite a rut. Why? Because surprisingly, the Davao nightlife is not too familiar to the common Davaoeno. The good news is, I know the city’s nightscape like the back of my hand. And here is one of my recommended night-time itineraries for the non-Davaoeno partyphile.
5:00 PM – Drive up to Jack’s Ridge and have some snacks there. The place offers a wonderful view of the city and some really good food. They have a Filipino resto, a coffee shop, and a swimming pool. Visiting the place at late afternoon will allow you to catch the gorgeous sunset and then, look in awe as the sky turns to black and the city lights start glistening below. Needless to say, the experience is close to magical. Heads Up: If you do not know how to get there, take the hi-way and then look for the cock pit in Matina. When you get there, ask locals how to reach Jack’s Ridge. If you aren’t feeling hungry, simply pay ten bucks at the entrance and enjoy the view.
7:00 PM – Have dinner at Gardena Fresca. This unique restaurant is set in the middle of a garden that features a little lake on one side. They offer grilled Filipino faves, Marlin Fish Steaks, Pinoy Soups, and appetizers. Their food is really good and their prices range from 85 to about 250 pesos. However, the thing that makes this place truly magical is its location. Since it is located inside Coca-Cola Village, it is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, the exteriors( since the places only offers al fresco dining and lots of foliage) are quirky and soo photo-worthy (especially the banka that was ingeniously fashioned to serve as a chandelier).
Heads Up: From Jack’s Ridge, drive down to the hi-way turn left until you find the Davao City Water District Matina Branch or Flyover Ihaw-ihaw. Across the street, you will find a Jetti Gasoline Station and a sign that directs you to Gardena Fresca. Simply follow the sign. If you are on a tight budget, try their specialty, Adobong Tahong. One order costs 85 pesos and is good enough for two people.
9:00 PM- For the cheapest hard drinks in town, drop by the Brewery. Order your favorite alcoholic beverages and enjoy the uber laid-back atmosphere while exchanging chit-chats. Their products go for 300-500 pesos cheaper than those they sell in malls and convenience stores. Take advantage of this and go crazy with all the hard drinks you can consume.
Heads Up: Don’t worry about not consuming your drink, you may have them keep the unconsumed bottle for you to enjoy the next time you drop by.
11:00 PM- Walk a few steps from the Brewery and party at Hybrid. They charge an entrance fee of a hundred bucks, but they give you two stubs for complimentary drinks. The crowd in Hybrid is a mix of yuppies, ex-pats, college students, and partyphiles. Beer goes for 50 a pop, ad their cocktails are fairly priced (from a hundred to a hundred and fifty pesos), plus their food is really good.
2:00 AM- Since bars are required to close at two in the morning, proceed to McDonalds in Bajada (near Victoria Plaza). This is quite close to Hybrid so it would be easy to walk to this fastfood. It seems like this is where all the partyphiles flock after a long night of boozing. I know this is nothing spectacular, but seeing all the people you’ve previously seen in the club enjoying their fave sundaes and fries is just entertaining.
5:00 PM- Head on over to Ponciano Street ad look for Casa de Amigos. It is a few steps across PLDT. Casa de Amigos offers a Happy Hour promo from 5PM to 8PM for only Php 150. Choose from Manila Beer, Colt 45, Tanduay Ice, San Mig Light, and San Miguel Pale Pilsen, and drink all you can before the clock strikes eight. Plus, if you want some pulutan, their Chimichangas and Nachos are to-die-for.
Heads Up: For the tight-budgeted partyphile; side from the Php150 you pay to enjoy drink-all-you-can booze, they charge a ten percent service charge.
9:00 PM- Head on over to Legaspi Street and check out the Legaspi Suites. This is the ideal place for a large group of vacationers since the place is not as packed as most establishments are on a Saturday night. If you want to enjoy more local beer, order their bucket of 8 for only Php 240 at 147 Beer Avenue. However, if you want to enjoy something more exciting, order some imported beer. I suggest you try Desperados which go for Php295 or the good old Stella Artois worth Php 140. Also order some of their Hamonado for pulutan. It is super delish!
If you plan to expand your alcohol vocab, and are tired of beer (because you have just enjoyed drink-all-you-can beer from the previous stop) order some Lychee Margaritas at Kamagoo. A glass of their popular Lychee Margarita goes for 95 bucks, and a pitcher goes for 350. You may want to enjoy one pitcher per person though. Yes, it is THAT good. Kamagoo is in the same compound as 147 Beer Avenue, so if your travel-buddies don’t agree, you may always order from different stores.
Heads Up: The Legaspi Suites closes at midnight. So hurry the boozing up. Oh, and there is also a resto, a patisserie, and a coffeeshop in the compound. Order whatever floats your boat.
12:00 AM- From Legaspi Suites, walk across the road ad head on over to Rizal Promenade, then pick a spot. I suggest you drop by 183. You would be glad to know that thy do not charge a door price and their beers are moderately priced at 50 bucks a pop. A lot of hardcore party-goers still frequent the area but expect a mix of younglings and ex-pats as well. Personally, I love their simple Vodka-Sprite. Give the DJ some beer and ask him to play your fave tracks.
2:00 AM- For a truly Davaoeno experience head over to Bulca Chong. They have severa braches in the city but the one nearest Rizal Promenade may be found along Ilustre Street. Ask around the area to get there. They serve the best hot soup to ward off the buzz you garnered from all your boozing. They sell Nilagang Kalabaw (Carabao. Not Beef) at 80 pesos per bowl. Pair it with a cup of steaming hot rice and some cola then sit back and wait ‘til that buzz has disappeared.
Heads Up: The place is anything but glamorous. It is frequented by tricycle drivers, students, professionals, and most everyone who wants to sip some hot soup at the end of an all-out booze fest. DO NOT expect posh interiors.
3:00 AM- Davaoenos will insist that partying in the city ends at 2:00 AM, and that is true…except for some establishments. Ride a cab from Bulca Chong and head on over to Jade Resot in Matina Aplaya (near SM City Davao). Theya re open 24 hours and you can booze up while singing your heart out in their private videoke rooms or simply enjoy the sunrise by the sea. And yes, they serve alcohol past two; but don’t tell anyone you heard it from me. Ssshhh.
5:00 PM- If you want a cheap and unique dining experience before you go out for an all-nighter, check out Q Bar’s Endless Chicken. For only Php 165, enjoy eat-all-you-can fried chicken, rice, gravy, and drink-all-you-can iced tea. Enjoy as much chicken as you want, but leave some space because they also serve up some really good cocktails. The good news is, Q Bar is located in Damosa Gateway, which houses several drinking spots. So right after your Endless Chicken dinner, you can immediately start boozing.
8:00 PM- We all know that there aren’t many party places that open on a Sunday, the good new is, Prime Square does. More popularly known as “Torres”, Prime Square houses several watering holes, a pizza place, a Chinese resto, a Videoke spot, a coffeeshop, and even a spa. I suggest you visit Eduardo’s pizza and order their combo of a twenty inch pizza and a three liter beer tower for only about 550 pesos.
10:00 PM- Head to Rizal Street and look for Sompleace Else in the Habana Compound. For a group of more than six people, it is pretty hard to get a table here during Fridays and Satudays, so Sundays is the best day to visit. For a unique drinking experience, order some BOLS Peppermint for 80 Pesos a glass, some Sheesha Fries for 180 Pesos (this is a sizzling plate filled with golden French fries and topped with a tomato-based meat sauce and a huge helping of cheese). They also have sheeshas that go for 100 per round.
12:00 AM- By the stroke of midnight you may choose to go to Matina Town Square (MTS) and enjoy the drinks at Taboan. They feature live performers every single day of the week, and Sunday is not an exemption. If you are lucky, you may also catch the bazaars there. And if you are REALLY lucky, Aling Fopings would still be open. If you are (lucky), and if it is (open), order some of the best halo-halo in Davao. Don’t be surprised though, as it is a bit pricey (I think an order of six toppings goes for 90 bucks). I tell you, it is soo worth it. The twice-shaved, purified-ice they use in their hal-halo is soo fine it actually feels like ice cream in your mouth.
Catch Confessions of a Partyphile (the radio show) on 105.9 Mix FM every Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9. for comments, suggestions, and more confessions from this partyphile, log on to http://party.i.ph
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