(2723 posts) (621 voices)
  1. Castle_Rock

    I will be in Makati in the near future. I have tried the Bar scene which I always enjoy but I want to try something different in the afternoon, a kind of warm up session before I hit the Bars at night. I am thinking of trying one of the follow massage places:

    Airforce one or the Imperial Bath House

    Can someone tell what is the current going rate for these places and what is the drill i.e. is it a fishbowl scene, pay for the hire of the room and then agree a price with girl. Also, where about are on Makati Ave are the placed. I will staying in the Oxford Suites, Durban Street in the heart of gogo bar land.

    Castle Rock
    Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
  2. J_Boy

    Why do I see so many guys suggesting a short time hotel instead of taking the girl to your hotel? Maybe I'm a little slow but I just don't get it.
    Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
  3. Frequent_Flier

    J Boy,

    I can think of a few reasons.

    1. You don't want the girl to know where you stay.

    2. If you take her back to your room then you have to have your room made up again for the later events of the evening.

    3. The hotel is far away and your looking to get the quick hit and move on.

    4. This way the girl definitely understands that it is just for the money.

    5. Some people are there on business trips with coworkers who stay in the same hotel.

    Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
  4. Steve_Naive

    A Naive Guide to Punting in Makati City, version 0.5

    Disclaimers: I am a newbie in Makati, having visited twice for 7 days total. This posting is my notes from my own experiences and from reading the board (some quoted), and is intended to be a quick start for you. The postings on this board are the definitive source of information, use Forum Search to read more reports.

    Many report lower prices than I paid; YMMV. I don't have a lot of time to shop, I shop early, and I don't care if I get rock-bottom (price, I mean ;-)), I mainly care about a satisfying experience. PM corrections or comments to me and I may update this posting.

    Thanks to all that who posted useful reports and sent PMs to me.

    • If the girl looks young ask to see an ID to avoid an underage legal problem. (I don't know the minimum legal age.)
    • If you plan to take her back to your hotel, put your valuables (laptop, passport, tickets, money, keys) in safe or out of sight before you go out. Tip: short Filipinas can’t see into high places, high closet shelves are good if the safe is too small for laptop.
    • Close minibars (expensive), consider buying alternatives in case she’s peckish.
    • Be safe: use a condom (duh?), examine and smell before DATY/DFK.
    • You can’t cross at the intersection of Ayala Ave and Makati Ave (fences). Use crossover bridges and ped crossings with buttons for walk light, or go when locals go.
    • Online Map: http://www.onthemap.com.ph
    • Quick orientation: see attached map of Makati mall area. Get a better map free at your hotel.
    • ATMs can be found in Glorietta Mall (and probably Greenbelt Mall). Tip: it costs me $5 to my bank for international ATM, so I get more than I think I need to save fees, and use excess to pay hotel bill, balance on credit card, to avoid converting back.
    • Quick conversion (U$A, Oct 2004): double the peso price, subtract 10%, divide by 100, so pp2000 is about US$36. PP1 is about US$0.18 (http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic for current rates).
    • If you’re going to be there more than a few days, it’s worth getting a local SIM for your mobile, about pp199 for the SIM and pp500 for reloads. SMS is a cheap way to communicate with girls once you have their number, they prefer it. “Smart” and “Globe” are two SIM providers; “Smart” is said to be easier to find. Prices/info for SMART here: http://www.smart.com.ph/SMART/Catalog/Sim+Pack/
    • pok pok girls” – local term for prostitutes
    Conventions used in this report
    • “untried” means by me.
    • Floor numbers are USA style (ground floor = first floor, second floor is one flight up).
    • Prices listed are Philippine Pesos.
    Arrival and Departure: Philippines

    You may require a visa to enter Philippines. I was told that I needed one as an American doing business, but also that business less than 21 days does not require one, so check for yourself. Taxi from airport to hotels around Glorietta Mall and Greenbelt Mall takes about 20-30 minutes in my experience. I called my hotel in advance and had them send a driver to meet me. Otherwise be sure they use the meter, not flat rate, unless you know prices.

    Reserve pp550 or US$10 for the Terminal (departure) fee.

    Major Hotels: Glorietta/Greenbelt Malls

    The hotels that businessmen may find themselves at are Shangri-la or Peninsula Hotels (both near Glorietta Mall), or New World Renaissance (Greenbelt Mall); all are high international quality. I liked Shangri-la much more than Peninsula, location especially. My experience with the first two was that they were both girl-friendly (have not stayed at NWR). There are many affordable alternative hotels but I have not used them; look for reports in this forum.

    The hotels themselves offer a massage service for a price that seems small if you’re used to USA prices for therapeutic massage. Unlike therapeutic masseuses in USA, extra services are almost certainly available. They may offer subtle hints (such as “advertantly” brushing your genitals with their fingers during the massage) or less subtle, such as offering you a happy ending. While this is not a cheap way of having fun, the massage is usually very good, and you can’t beat the convenience if you’re looking for extra services – when they leave, you can cruise off into a nice sleep.

    You’ll find many nearby options to shop for ladies. The hotel may have a club or lobby with girls hanging around (e.g. second floor club @ Shangri-la). The girls around the Glorietta and Greenbelt Malls, in the outdoor cafes and in our around the clubs, are a convenient option. The ladies on some street corners (e.g. near Peninsula Hotel) look older and worn out, but unlike the mall girls they are very straightforward in what they offer and the price. There is also the expensive P. Burgos bar street, and the middle-range EDSA Complex, and many other options in other parts of Manila; take a taxi, not long except during rush hour.

    Glorietta and Greenbelt Girls
    Originally Posted by anonymous
    "The difference between a prostitute and a girlfriend is that the prostitute is less expensive."
    In the evening, or even during the day, there are often girls around the Glorietta and Greenbelt Malls, at tables in outdoor coffee shops (Starbucks and Gloria Jeans) and clubs (Havana Café, or the club in Shangri-la Hotel) who will invite you with a stare and perhaps a smile. Sometimes you will find friendly girls in the mall.

    I would rate the ones I saw from 3-7. They range from professional service providers to girls looking for a boyfriend; in my four experiences they were professionals behaving as girls looking for a boyfriend. They come on with the usual eye contact, but the conversation is indirect in terms of price and services arrangements. The girlfriend may offer better GFE, and may expect BFE (gifts, shopping, loan, money for mother who needs medication etc).

    The subject of money may not come up before you take them unless you ask, in which case they will reply with “up to you,” “from your heart,” “talk about that later,” or “let’s not talk about that here,” and avoid discussing it. Since they are not presenting themselves as professional you may be led to defer the discussion to avoid insulting a potential girlfriend. After the deed has been done, you may hear some sad story about why they need money, and some of it might even be true. You give them what you want to give, and unless you gave them way too much they will ask for more. In my experience they expect 2000-2500 ST to 3000 overnight, when I was shopping around 9pm. ST is often a friendly and leisurely 2+ hours if you want it. Some forum reports say you can bargain for as little as 1000 to 1500 ST, especially later in the evening, but one lady told me 1500 would only get me a BJ (pass).

    I think they use the strategy of discussing money after the deed because it’s a buyers’ market, and negotiating price up front makes them a commodity – if you don’t like the price, you look for another girl. Better for them to hook you first and discuss the price later.

    I don’t like this game; I prefer to have things clear up front. One poster suggests that if they don’t negotiate a price with you before the act, you can pay them whatever you want. “Up to you” on this point.

    There are also some pimps walking around. Why bother? What-you-see is generally better than what-you-got, and the pimp gets a fee from you. They are persistent, just tell them to leave you alone and deal with the ladies directly. If the ladies the pimps have were good, wouldn’t they be out showing themselves to get the best price and to get all the money? Also, note recent posting saying that going with a pimp can lead to a gambling scam.

    Coffee shops / Clubs around Glorietta/Greenbelt Malls
    • Any Starbucks or Gloria Jeans, sitting at tables outside, alone or with another girl (ask the one you want, or take two, they're small!). Watch for eye contact.
    • Shangri-la Hotel, Club on second floor - On a Friday evening I found many girls here looking at me as I entered the bar. Read my report from August 2003 to see just how naive Steve can be.
    • Hard Rock Café - untried. In Glorietta Mall, third floor.
    • Dream Bar - reported on forum, but nobody was there when I looked (9pm weekday). Maybe it's better later or on weekends. Near Starbucks in Glorietta Mall.
    • Café Havana or Havana Café – ground floor, Greenbelt 3, near Starbucks. A club with live music, and ladies waiting to be picked up in the evening. I found some just outside, took one back to my hotel, she fit the usual gray area between professional and girlfriend discussed above. Two reports mention that there are also ladyboys at Havana.
    A Short Taxi Ride from Glorietta / Greenbelt
    • P. Burgos Street A quick taxi ride from Makati CBD. You could walk it, but it’s hot, taxis are cheap, and you should save your energy for your entertainment. There are many clubs on this street, go-go and cabaret-style. I visited Jools (bar fine 2000) and the one I liked (about an 8) could have been had for 1500 ST plus bar fine, though her opening price was 3000. Bar fines in other clubs ran 2000 to 3000 according to my doorman survey.
      Originally Posted by Firedick
      P. Burgos is the top of the line, the kind of places that guys on expense accounts go.
      Originally Posted by Golazo
      Burgos St. is a party haven, but as others have pointed out, the bars are pricey in comparison to EDSA, LA Cafe or Angeles. The girls are a bit more sophisticated in general and, maybe, a tad more quality in looks as a whole.
      There are girls on the street, some of them are young and look very good. The Makati forum has strong warnings against picking up street girls; disease or theft are said to be more likely; I have no experience here.
    • Palacio Don Pedro – untried. Near P. Burgos, Don Pedro St @ Kayalan Ave. Ask for viewing room, 2000 (room) + 2000 (girl).
    Nearby in Manila

    For the price of a longer taxi ride, you might get better prices, more variety, or a very classy experience (at Air Force One). During rush hour it can take an hour or more to get from Glorietta/Greenbelt to places in Manila. In later evening and night it takes 15-30 minutes depending on the place. See also the more extensive reports in the Manila thread. The sampling here is places I learned about in this forum; there’s a lot more in the Manila forum. Ermita is a neighborhood of Manila.
    • LA Café, Bar & Grill, – untried. 1429 M.H.Del Pilar, Ermita, Manila; corner of Salas Street. Search tip: some postings spell it “L.A. Cafe” and most use shortened form “LA Cafe” (without Bar & Grill). To say that opinions vary, or that LA Café is controversial, would put it mildly. Many forum reports think highly of this place for price and quality; others say quality is not as good as others, one feels unsafe by appearance of the neighborhood, another assures us it is ok. In the quotes below, remember opinions vary; I’m trying to present a balanced range of opinion here. I suggest you skim a few pages in the Manila thread, starting with Juniour’s posting on 3-16-04, and make up your own mind.
      Originally Posted by Juniour
      it’s a myth that all taxi drivers know where is the LA Café and how to find it, it is best to have clear directions given [in Juniour’s] post
      Originally Posted by GoodEnough
      …for variety, I haven't found a place that beats LA Cafe.
      Originally Posted by Marc25
      The girls stay overnight and 1500 is really appreciated.
    • Jurassic Park – untried, across the street from LA Café. Search tip: some posters may use “Jurrasic Park” instead of “Jurassic Park”, search for both.
      Originally Posted by GoodEnough
      The next time you're [at LA Café], take 15 minutes and check out the Jurrasic Park bar across the street. I had an excellent time. It's a different scene, but the dancers are cute and available. There's a bar fine, which you can avoid by making a date after the bar closes. There are few customers, some excellent women, and no hassles or pressure. Ladies drinks are PhP350, but the ladies nurse them for a long time. There is no discussion by the way of fees for the ladies. I assume it's up to the client and the girls did not seem uptight about it. Guys, check out this place when you get tired of Burgos, EDSA, and the other expensive joints.
    • Amazonia – untried.
      Originally Posted by GoodEnough
      just up the street from LA Cafe. It's alot nicer, and it's new, so it has not yet had a chance to accumulate the grime and dirt characteristic of LA.
      Originally Posted by Anzac
      …a new club up the road from LA and it gets some high quality freelancers. The music is pretty good and the place is very nice inside. Watch out for the girl in the short skirt who will dance on your dick for 2 minutes and expect a 500 tip. All in all not a bad place to pick up, and all the waitresses wear hot uniforms and most are available for some after work nooky. I found that most girls are expecting 1500 pesos for an overnight stay at the moment, but there were a couple of girls who were happy to leave while I was still sleeping, without a cent (yes, my wallet was still there when I awoke.)
      Originally Posted by Member #2718
      a block north of LA Cafe on the same street. It’s not quite as crowded as LA and seems to have a better quality selection wise for your Filipina companionship. Your efforts will run anywhere from the cost of dinner and a hotel to around P3K depending on your negotiating skills and whither she is "in the business" or a Coligeia on safari.
    • Air Force One – untried. Flight 168 Health Spa, 888 Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Paraòaque City tel: 820 7249 / 820 7250 / 820 7244 / 512 9705 e-mail: airforce1_ktv@hotmail.com. Open 12pm-3am. Located about ½ mile from Casino Philipino, cabs may not know it. For a really complete report, visit Manila forum, article posted by Juniour on 3-20-04. High class massage parlor, soapy girl experience, full service.
      Originally Posted by Juniour
      This is a very upmarket massage parlour and Karaoke lounge that is within a stones throw from the international airport and I would suggest after a long flight or before you depart you build in some time to stop here.
    • EDSA Complex – untried. Along Roxas Blvd at NE corner of EDSA, Pasay City. Long taxi ride during rush hour, 20 minutes in later evening. For a very complete report, see Juniour’s posting in Manila thread, 3-16-04.
      Originally Posted by Firedick
      EDSA Complex is a cluster of gentlemens bars under one roof, on the north/east corner of EDSA and Roxas (runs along Manila Bay). Try [it] for a little more "middle of the road" experience [compared to P. Burgos] without having to go as low as street walkers. Not a bad place for the first timer. [For taxi drivers] it is pronounced "Ed sa".
      Originally Posted by Steven
      Action starts from 7PM until 4AM
      Originally Posted by GoodEnough
      …you can get one of the girls for about PhP2,000 inclusive of her time and the bar fine. There are so few foreigners hanging around the complex now, and so many girls, that you should have a wide selection from which to choose. However, I still don't like the aggression of the mama sans at EDSA, and the price of the ladies drinks is ridiculous.
      Taxi drivers should know where it is, ask before you get in the cab.
    Local Guide – untried. This is presumably a fee-based option.
    Originally Posted by GROpapa
    If you're new to the country and you are uncomfortable or are too busy to venture out alone, give my guide Jay R a call 09174145416 - aside from the usual places we post about on this board Jay R has other options depending on your needs.
    Attached Images
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      Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
    • Zero_Three

      A million thanks to you Steve, that's a very usefull complete reports/tips from you.

      Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
    • Dodgy_Fellow

      Great post, Steve!

      Many thanks for compiling the info on this thread!
      Posted 10 years ago | #Reply
    • Spoon_Kerve

      Finally went to air force 1!

      I went with a couple of my buds last saturday. we went early so we could get first pcik on the ladies. I was very impressed! most were in the 7-8 range. several 9's. Most of the girls we picked looked clean and classy. defintely recommend this place to anyone visiting!
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1005

      Manila Update:

      Unfortunately I am unable to spend a bit of time in Manila as planned earlier, I wanted at least three days here before departing back home but due to the extra time I had taken in Cebu I had only a couple of hours to pass through.

      Originally, I had planned to get a massage at Airforce One before departing on my long flight home arriving in the capital at just after 8.30am and clearing baggage control in the domestic airport, with a couple of hours to kill, I soon arrived to find that Airforce One is not open 24 hours as anticipated and in fact opens at 12pm doh!. I also discover that at NAIA there is no left luggage facility so I now have to carry my baggage around with me.

      Then someone from Airforce One suggested that I try Star Trek which is literally a couple of doors down, its not an easy place to find if you are not familiar with the area; take the directions for Airforce One and then head to the McDonald and its only two doors down, in the upstairs car park is where you will find the entrance. (See Steve Naïve’s post for the address of Airforce One.)

      I had gone in there but they open at 11.30am and it was now just 10.40am, having to check in at 12.30pm and with allowing for the mid-week traffic to get back to the airport. I went to McDonalds and grabbed a quick bite to eat but by the time I got back they said they had a girl on the way, but she didn’t materialize until around 12 midday, but my time had expired waiting around therefore I had to pass on this no matter how much I desperately wanted an nice massage before enduring 24 hours of travelling.

      The girl that was on available was a seven, but an opportunity lost here if only these places were open 24 hours.

      The address for Star Trek is:
      3rd Floor Oyster Plaza Bldg. II
      Ninoy Aquino Ave. Corner Kabihasnan Road
      Paraňaque City
      Tel: 829-1998, 829-3861

      If you still have plenty of credit left on your cell and are using Smart you can still get and send text messages from your home countries.

      One hour before your flight you Text the message: ROAM ON to 333 you require an certain amount of credits to do this, I am not sure but I think more than 200 Pesos, you need to check that out, but its an option if you want to keep in touch for a while with your girls whilst at home and its inexpensive way to do it with Smart. This works with most telephones services in Europe, US and Asia but check out with Smart if you come from a small remote country. A link to Smart: www.smart.com.ph

      Many thanks to Steve Naïve’s useful guide to punting in Makati for anyone new to the Philippines its worth have a read through before posting any questions. One of the more useful posts in this thread to read.

      I still have many photos to post which I will do in due course.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#2718

      24 hour massage


      About the only 24/7 operation is Skyline Massage which is on the 8th floor of the Grand Boulevard Hotel on Roxas Blvd. in Malate across from the baywalk. For 06:00 to 17:00 the single girl room rate is P1200; from 17:00 to 06:00 the rate goes up to P1500. It also boasts the largest selection of girls, though the early crew is only 5-6 girls. During the evenings that jumps to about 100 over the course of a night. The proceedure is you go to the aquarium, pick your girl, go to the room, shower, get your massage, then the "extra" which you negotiate with the MPA (usually somewhere between room rate and P2500). plan on about 1hr 15min for visit. They also do double, triple, quad, or quint girls asumming you have the budget and the stamina. You get extra time as your investment climbs.

      As for Star Trek you missed out on there "Wet Thai" massage in their "presidential" aquarium. Your would need about 1 1/2 hours but it is something to be experienced as she lathers you up for a massage using her various body parts. I save it for "special" occassions.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Mookman

      Juniour, stick with www.chikka.com when you need to keep in touch with the girls, it's free for you to send text and it costs the girl 2p per text.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1005


      Thanks for tip, on the cheaper texting with “Chikka”; I have now amended my Cebu post to include some information concerning Shan. But do take my advice for future reference, I am a stickler for punctuality, and time is money, if I make an appointment and they fail to show up within a reasonable time I just cancel. I did make an appointment for someone to come my hotel in Makati and was told that someone would be there in 30 minutes after 50 minutes I called back to cancel, the same way that you wouldn’t wait around in a restaurant for a meal for 45 minutes after you have ordered your meal, unless it is for free - business is business.

      Member #2718

      Thanks for the advice on the Skyline massage, I will certainly make a note of this for the next time I am passing through Manila.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Mookman

      Shan was waiting with me at the coffee shop, I wasn't waiting for him or the girl only, that's why I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I talked to him for a hour about how he runs his business and crap like that.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • AsiaTraveler2

      Makati Hotel

      I may need to be in the PI for business, and may stay the weekend. I am thinking about the Century Citadel on Burgos. Is it girl friendly and do they charge a "joiner" fee like LOS/BKK? Any info would be appreciated.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Flying_Scotsman


      Just wondering if anyone has any up to date info on La cafe and any other clubs/bars in the area. Planning to be there end january. Also anyone know of any apartments to rent in this area?

      Thanks in advance.

      Flying Scotsman
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1005

      Originally Posted by jakers
      I'm more concerned about the ice in my drinks than I am with drinking the tap water (I'll drink bottled water while I'm there). If I order a scotch on the rocks or gin & tonic at one of the establishments on Burgos St. (Jools, Dimples, etc.), will I end up running to the bathroom in the middle of the night? It would be quite embarrassing to have the squirts with a "guest" in the room with me.

      Please advise.


      You have obviously been reading one of the 1960s travel guides that advises you to stick to drinking cola than trust the ice in your drink in two thirds of the developing world.

      However, Burgos Street is in Makati and Makati is the financial capital of the Philippines – so any place that has banned smoking from all public places (one of the best things in my opinion) is unlikely to cause you any problems in the dodgy tummy department unless you have a very very sensitive stomach, within reason if you are sticking to the main bars and not the street sellers. I would have said you would have had more problems with the ice in your drinks on your flight to the Philippines than what you will find in Makati.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Wastrel

      Whoa there pal, ice that crappy advice

      The municipal water in Makati is exactly the same water as the rest of metro Manila, a system built in 1878 by the Spanish, badly damaged by artillery and bombing in WW2 and never fully repaired, the eastern half of which is now owned and operated by the Ayala Group following a privatization in 1997.

      When the water pressure gets low due to many thousands of illegal connections and leaks throughout the antiquated system, or the groundwater pressure gets high due to saturation and lack of drainage in the monsoon season, it becomes contaminated with raw sewage. You could be drinking human fecal matter whether in Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, or anywhere else in and around the city. People do get away with drinking it for a while, but you're making a roll of the dice with your health anytime you do so anywhere in Metro Manila including Makati. Same pipes, same water. If it isn't boiled, peeled, or sealed in a package it is risky to eat, drink, or brush your teeth with it. Higher prices and the absence of tobacco in bars do not stop dangerous bacteria in water pipes.

      I'm glad the previous poster was able to have a good time during the few weeks he has spent in the country, and he probably meant to be helpful, but that was ill-informed and very bad advice. People get dead from dysentery, occasional cholera outbreaks, and other serious water borne illnesses, and it is a major reason the average lifespan is only 57 years.

      Even in the PI it is hard to get laid while you are hooked up to an IV in a hospital while spasmodically squirting liquefied crap on yourself. It is best to be skeptical of the word of some prolific posters in this particular section of the forum, and if it is something important to you, such as your health, wealth, or safety, then it is wise to get multiple sources and make a cautious judgment on their credibility.

      In the unlikely event someone is so bored they actually want to know more about water distribution in Manila, here are some places to start:

      An academic critique of the situation:


      A public relations piece from the water company to stockholders bragging that OFFICIALLY REPORTED water borne sickness has been reduced from over 100,000 to "only" 71,260 cases per year, among other cheery things:


      Customer information from the water supplier, including service area and carefully worded statements to the effect that "it starts out clean, so it's not our fault what happens down the pipe."

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1005


      I think you’ve taken a few things out of context here, first I thought we were taking about ice here.

      Second, there is a big industry, not just in the Philippines but wider in Asia generally, that actually produces and provides filtering equipment for the production of purified ice/water specifically for bars that caters for foreigners, for all of the reasons you have mentioned. I know this because I once had a conversation with a representative from a company that provides such equipment, who informed me that all the big players are already there.

      I suggest that rather than prolong this particular thread I would suggest you asked the bar man/woman or waiter/tress where the ice is actually coming from. Makati is geared up towards serving foreigners and naturally the bars want to retain their cliental. Japanese and Koreans are particularly fond of spirits on the rocks and its well known how particular they are about what they will eat and they don't seem to have any problems although they still complain about the rice there.

      Third, in the seventeen years I have been visiting the Philippines I have not yet has any stomach problems as such, nor have I heard of anyone suffering from dysentery or any water borne illnesses from ice in their drink (where sensible precautions are taken) - avoid the street sellers ice as I have seen how they are delivered.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1584

      Question on getting around...

      Wow... this thread is dead. I have a question about traveling throughout Makati, Pasay, and Manila. Is it advisable to take the Mass Transit System (LRTs) to get from place to place? I was researching and saw that an LRT from Makati can take me close to the EDSA complex and from there can take another LRT to Manila (L.A. Cafe, Skyline health, etc.) ... Or at least close by.

      The search function on this board sucks now since the upgrade so it's harder for me to search for things. If any one has any info on this, that would be greatly appreciated... I'm planning on arriving the Tues after Christmas and staying past New Years... any advice for me? Will it be dead since people will be celebrating the Holidays and not working so much?

      And, for the younger guys out there, where's a good place to go clubbing in Makati? No mongering... just chillin, dancing, and checking out the trendy girls.

      Thanks fellas!
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Harvey_WB


      Avoid the LRT, too much chance of getting ripped off, taxis are cheap enough.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Lucifer69


      [QUOTE=Member #1584]Wow... this thread is dead. I have a question about traveling throughout Makati, Pasay, and Manila. Is it advisable to take the Mass Transit System (LRTs) to get from place to place? I was researching and saw that an LRT from Makati can take me close to the EDSA complex and from there can take another LRT to Manila (L.A. Cafe, Skyline health, etc.) ... Or at least close by.

      I wouldn't recommend the LRT as it is well known for snatching wallets and cellphones. Taxis are plentiful and reasonably cheap. To go from Makati to LA Cafe is probably only going to cost you about 150 pesos(3 USD)and time can vary 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hour, though usually it's not as bad as they will try to make it out provided he keeps off the know high traffic streets. You can add 20-30 peso tip if you like. Usually the cabbie will start whinging about traffic, high cost of fuel, sick kids, long hours, etc, etc. I only tip the ones that don't ***** and moan and are pleasant and don't give me a hassle, and then tell them why I'm tipping. You may have to canvas a few drivers first if your going between cities, but usually you'll find one fairly quick. So for less than 3-4 bucks you can ride in "relative" safety

      Though I've never been robbed in 12 years of visiting Manila and walking around, it's better to avoid the congested bump and run areas like LRT stations.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • HRC


      Personally, I would not recommend takingpublic transportation here. Stay away from jeepneys and buses. LRT1 (Light Rail Transit), which runs along Rizal and Taft avenues, is only partly air-conditioned (selected carts only) and always packed. It will take you close to LA Cafe and Cafe Havana in Malate but the walk from LRT station to the destination (especially LA Cafe) might not be pleasant at all. MRT3 (Mass Rail Transit) runs along EDSA and is much better than LRT. It's relatively new and fully air-conditioned. You could take it if you need to go to Glorietta/Greenbelt or Shangri-la Plaza on Shaw boulevard. However, I would not recommend to take it to EDSA complex the walk is relatively short (about 500 m) but, again, very unpleasant. The connection between MRT3 and LRT1 is confusing. Taxis here are very cheap. So my advice is to always use them. Just make sure that they turn on the meter. If not, ditch the cab and get a new one. There have been stories when cab drives were involved in various scams, but generally, if you follow common sense, you should be safe.

      New Year's Day is the craziest day in Manila. I was here on New Year's Day only once and since then try to leave the country on that occasion. Expect a lot of people outside and don't be surprised to hear gunshots - so watch out for stray bullets. Every year someone gets accidentally killed in Manila on New Year's day. My advice is to stay inside of one of the many bars that will be opened.

      There are two great places to go clubbing in Metro Manila. One is Quezon City. There are plenty of great clubs with absolutely beautiful girls. However, I would not recommend going there alone. You will not find expats there - mainly local youth. If you have a local friend, that's the place to go. Otherwise, follow the rest of the foreigners to Makati. While Manila has some clubs, you'll find older crowd. The young ones stick to Makati. For the beginner, I would recommend starting with Greenbelt. There are two clubs on the third level. Do not expect to hook up with rich and posh there - they stick to private parties.

      Anyway, that's my personal opinion. Hopefully, other people on the board could give you a different angle on the questions you asked.

      Enjoy Manila!
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Kangaroo29

      Try the MRT, it may be the better option.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Mahku


      EDSA Complex in Pasay is kind of sort of close to an LRT station, maybe 10 minutes walk or even faster if you walk fast.

      It's quite a bit farther from LA Cafe, etc. to a station.

      I like to walk and take public transport myself. But in Manila, with it's humidity and grit, even a short walk like the one from EDSA Complex to that nearby station can leave me feeling grungy and sweaty. And you really don't want to be like that when you're trying to meet up with girls. It does, however, make your first beer taste real good.

      Like all mass transit in Asia, the LRT is crowded and some of the cars aren't even air conditioned.

      Since taxis are so cheap there's no need to take public transport. Between Makati, EDSA and Mabini you almost never need to pay more than 2 bucks or so.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Member_#1584

      Thanks for all the prompt replies, fellas!

      I guess I'll be sticking to taxis then... When I was traveling/vacationing in Bangkok, I used the electric train almost all the time and didn't fear people pick-pocketing me... actually it didn't seem too crowded in those trains. But, I guess Manila is a different story. Thanks fellas!
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Jon88


      I have been taking theLRT and MRT in Manila when I visit-it is fast although crowded during rush hours. Never been pickpocketed - if you use common sense and stay alert you will be OK. It might be safer than buses and jeepneys. In non-rush hours taxis are the way to go - pick newer ones and make sure to ask if the AC is working. A couple of bucks will get you from Greenbelt to Malate if the traffic is light. Please tip accordingly as the taxi drivers don't make much money. They in turn could give you tips on the best place to monger.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Golazo

      Clubbing in Makati

      #1584. Hope you enjoy your trip to Manila. As mentioned before, if you want to check out a moderately upscale nightspot, go to Havana's at the Greenbelt Mall in Makati. Outdoor patio with tables that are always full. If you want to go in the smallish bar and listen to the Cuban music and dance, you will need shoes and collar. Flip flops not allowed. It is very safe and easy to get to. It is right near the Makati Shangri La Hotel and there are a cluster of really big malls. While in that area, you can also try the Hard Rock Cafe. There are also other nightclub/bars on the floors above Havana that are worth checking out. I have only ever seen working girls at Havana and Hard Rock though. The vast majority of patrons at these places are just Filipinos out to look good and have fun. If you want two very upscale places with nearly always a gaggle of girls looking to chat and meet, try the second floor bar of the Shangri La in Makati and Wasabi's (a Japanese Restaurant/bar) next to the Peninsula Hotel. Nice places and there are usually some very attractive, more cosmopolitan types hanging out there. Walking around in Makati is safe from my experience and I have often walked from the major hotels near the malls to Burgos. Fifteen or twenty minutes at night and you can get a bit of the feel of the city.

      There are also a bunch of night spots that are not necessarily tied into mongering on Adriatico Street in Malate neighborhood. I have been to a few like the Library and Bedrock. Nice talent and nice crowd.

      You can also go over to the business areas in Ortigas section of Manila. Lots of restaurants and bars near the big SM Mall that has many of the emerging middle class yuppie wannabes that work in the call centers and such.

      Then, when you get tired of doing that, hit EDSA complex or Burgos or LA Cafe because it will save you alot of time and effort! Have fun, be safe.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Dashing_Don

      Always enjoy Golazo's posts.

      Well written, informative and often hilarious! Golazo, I still remember your take on the mongers in your AC report. And the massage in Makati; "mediocre, from a minimally interested masseuse at steep prices". Great stuff. Roversman99 is another funny guy.

      Anyway, I'll be in Makati in two weeks. For the first time, in anticipation of the trip, I joined a filipino website to try to meet some regular girls, in addition to the pros. At least for the daytime. Of course, it will be EDSA at night unless I get lucky. Question: does anyone have any experience with meeting girls from the websites. Do their photos and online personas come anywhere near the reality?
      I'm not much for chatting, because I feel that no matter how much chatting you do, within 5 seconds of meeting a girl, you'll know whether you want to bang her not, regardless of how much time you've spent online with her.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • GoodEnough

      Safety in Makati

      What Dashing Don said about being safe in Makati is true. It's a generally safe place, especially around the Greenbelt area. However, during the Christmas/New Years period, walking alone in the street is probably not a great idea. This is the peak crime season, even in Makati, and during this time, taking cabs, even for short distances, is more prudent. Also, the incidence of petty theft increases dramatically in Makati during this preiod, which is logical considering it's the richest area in Manila. So, don't walk around with alot of cash, guard your cell phone and do not leave it on a table in Cafe Havana, and use some common sense.

      I do not know if the "Handle Bar" in Makati is well known to members of this board. It's a nice place, with old Harleys inside and out, and it's run by an expat. The place is having a "no cover charge/no entrance fee" New Year's Even party, which should be some fun. If anyone is looking for a relatively low cost blow out, this could be a good place to go.

      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Sun_Devil

      Girl Friendly Hotels

      To mongers familiar with Manila and Makati:

      Are there any 5 to 4 star hotels that are girl friendly in Makati? I am planning to reserve a room for a week at either the Mandarin Oriental or the Intercontinental for a week in January since I will be attending a college buddy's wedding, but would like to know if these are girl friendly hotels.

      If not, which ones are. Thanks in advance.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply
    • Spitfire

      Girl Friendly Hotels

      Sun Devil,
      I know the Intercontinental is girl-friendly. I'm sure the Mandarin Oriental is as well.

      Originally Posted by Sun Devil
      To mongers familiar with Manila and Makati:

      Are there any 5 to 4 star hotels that are girl friendly in Makati? I am planning to reserve a room for a week at either the Mandarin Oriental or the Intercontinental for a week in January since I will be attending a college buddy's wedding, but would like to know if these are girl friendly hotels.

      If not, which ones are. Thanks in advance.
      Posted 9 years ago | #Reply


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