Filipino artists are famous around the world, whether in music, visual arts, theater or other art forms. Usually perceived as non-conformists, a ‘rule-breaker’ of the traditional, someone devoted to creative expression in the most unique way there is—a perfectionist, even—artists in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world work hard to hone their craft. And like any other professional activity, sometimes ideas and energies run out.
Naturally, they turn to places where they can loosen up and get creative inspiration at the same time. Skyscanner gives you the top five places where artists, by heart and by profession, love to hang out, have a drink and lounge for a while:
1. Conspiracy Bar
Located along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City, Conspiracy Bar is a local night pub mecca for ‘the creative bunch.’ A place where students, scholars, the indie filmmaker-types, the writers, the poets, and painters mingle, relaxing underneath the cool sway of bamboo trees and lanterns and enjoy good music.
Photo credit: Packofpaparazzi
Inside the Conspiracy Bar are walls filled with modern, avant-garde paintings and portraits of homegrown singers like Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios and Noel Cabangon, and even international stars like Sting and Bob Dylan. It also offers a music room for live performances, a gallery for art exhibits and a garden cafe where ‘conspirators’ can dine and plot the next chapters history.
2. Museum Cafe
This cafe opposite Ayala Museum in Makati City has artwork and furniture for sale in the back. Come sundown, rays of light permeate the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, making it the perfect backdrop for an after-hours cocktail.
Photo credit: Panoramio
Museum Cafe, more popularly known as M, recently took over the Museum Shop and built Kabila a restaurant with an all-Filipino menu. Thursday and Friday nights are most popular with expats and visitors, turning the plaza and garden into an outdoor party with local and international DJs spinning house, funk and Afro beats.
3. SaGuijo Bar
As one of the initiators of San Antonio Village’s budding bohemian scene in Makati, SaGuijo is all about the music, and as authentic a place as you’ll find this close to the busiest district in the city.
SaGuijo takes an old house with wooden floorboards, goes crazy with music stickers and random memorabilia, like the British football team Arsenal, ignores the need for a formal stage, throws in the gorgeous Snow Tattoo parlor upstairs and finishes off with a staff that you’ll come to know and love. Rickety tables are planked inside and outside on which to soak and grind up a cross-section of people most dedicated to the Filipino alternative-rock-blues music scene alongside Manila’s best indie artists. Upstairs is the must-see “Pocket Art Universe Collective,” with a gallery space and quirky shop.
4. Cubao X
Situated at Gen. Romulo Street, Cubao, this gimmick spot-slash-bar and shop strip has been a haven of antique seekers in Quezon City. Amidst the technological revolution, many can still reminisce the ‘olden days’ through this alley.
Cubao X styles itself as a communist pub, milk-and-cookie bar and mall for stores selling retro art, vintage furniture, vinyl records and custom-leather shoes in a neighborhood that feels like “places within a place within a place.” Remodeled vintage bikes, toys, paintings, prints and avant-garde clothing are some of the things one might dig.
5. Opus Lounge
It’s an upscale club and restaurant at the Resorts World Manila located in the airport vicinity of Pasay City. It is currently the place to see and be seen in Manila. During weekends, it is always packed with shiny, happy people in an amazing atmosphere and they have great DJs playing mainly house mixes of hip-hop, mash-ups and party music.
The Opus lounge is renaissance-inspired with high ceilings and tall mirror windows on bright white walls. It has an Art Bar, distinct for it’s massive chrome sculpture that serves as the lounge’s centerpiece. Modern European cuisine lunch and dinners at Opus are served in style, in an elegant 60-seat glass-encased dining area. The dining area is embellished with platinum-hued banquets and marble tables. The walls are flanked by deconstructed fine art murals.
Try visiting these places for a new crowd experience. You’ll never know if you may end up having a little conversation with a future renowned international artist!