Burgos Street Reviewas

Billboard Makati

I have been surfing the internet and newsgroups for some reviews of bars on P. Burgos Street in Makati. Here are a couple of tid bits I have been able to gather from various tourists and expat locals:

from 2005:
I visited Makati in March ’05 and spent 5 days on Burgos St. (My hotel and business was there and I wasn’t up for the cab to and from EDSA.) The post-happy hour price for barfines was 3000p ($57!) which did not include tip for the girl. This seemed to be the standard price for the 8 or 9 bars I checked out. Some of the girls don’t ask for an amount, only what you think is fair. Anything under 1500 they get pissed off. Others will start at 3000 but usually can be talked down to 1500. Bottoms and at least two others have happy hours. Bottoms happy hour is 1500p short time, til 7. I walked in at 6:50 and went straight to the mamasan and said “If I barfine a girl in the next 30 minutes, will you give me happy hour price? She was reluctant until I bought her a lucky drink, but agreed. My question is this: Can the mamasans/management be talked down on the evening barfine price? I barfined 3 girls from Bottoms over 3 nights. I wonder about a package deal? For barfine and tip at 4500p ($85) and up, it would be nice to get a better deal. I like the bars, the girls and especially the 2 block walk to my hotel.

from 2001:
With a Cebu Pacific Airlines ticket in hand I arrived at the Century Citadel Hotel on Makati’s Burgos St. No questions asked they honored the Cebu Pacific special price of P899 for the night. This is another superb deal. $19 to stay at a two or three-star hotel/kitchenette right in the heart of Makati action. Next off to Ivory’s Jungle Room about a block away. By now its about 1:00 AM and I got a morning flight to Davao. Following some great info from friend on this place I fended off the hordes of the ‘buy me ladies drinks’ gals until I picked one I liked. An operative phrase of herís, ìI swallowî was a decisive factor. Off we went to the upstairs karaoke room where she insisted I buy her friend ladies drinks to play guard while I got a wonderfully executed slow casual BBBJ (while both ladies ordered many ladies drinks). Bottom line, she swallowed me and about $100. Makati ain’t cheap.

from 1998:

Without going into too much detail, I had to fly back into Manila to retrieve my 14 year old son who was flying in from a Boy Scout camp in Cyprus. I flew in on Philippine Airlines (domestic) from Legazpi City only to find noone on the roads. It was Good Friday and no one was working, driving or shopping. The first two are easy to understand, but I’ve observed the national pass time for Filipinas is shopping. The national sport for Filipinas is shopping for shoes. When I was in the Makati shopping malls on Saturday, it was obvious that every other store was a shoe shop. Some stores that did not specialize in foot apparel even had shoes on display much as 7-11 has candy beside the cash register. Amazing.
Friday night I went down to the bar in the Shangri La. I had a few beers and met several expats living in Manila who made this a weekly activity to shoot the breeze. Great guys all of them. Australian, Canadian, and American expats. They all lived there and really had no desire to ever go home to live again. Later in the evening one of the Canadians took me around the bars and lounges (I’ll call him Greg). Yes, it was Good Friday, but business is business in Manila/Makati. Best advice is to find someone who lives there and have him show you around.

We started at a place call Mogambo down in the Makati region. It is a small lounge off the main street. There is a large bar iside with about 5 tables surrounding center area. The girls stand behind the bar and dance and entice you to invite them over for a drink. Greg had a favorite that he had been working on for a while it seemed. The girls were typical 5 foot beauties from the Philippines, but nothing to really special. After being introduced to several girls I was noticed one a bit taller than the others. She was 18, from Cebu and only working in the bar for two days. She was adorable. Something you would want to take home and put on the shelf next to the good China.
Stop by and check out this place. As I talked with the girls, it was apparent that most of them really would prefer to be doing something else in life. A few were obviously looking for an escape to a better life and working the bars meant they could meet expats. For the majority, this was the best and only means of employment they could find. Jobs in the provinces are scarce and do not pay well. I tipped the gal from Cebu 100 P for just being sweet. You would have thought it was a Christmas present the way she reacted. I got a big kiss and a big wonderful smile. She wanted me to come back the next night for awhile. Sorry, but 100 P is only $US 2.70. Most of us would spend more than that just to dream of meeting women like this.
(Note: be sure to wipe the lipstick from you cheek after you leave. It definitely has a negative effect on girls at any other place you go to. As I found out)
Mogambo was worth looking through the selection of sweet young things. All can leave at anytime, but the bar fine seems to negotiable. Most of the girls were young and good looking. On the down side, it was slow that night and most of them would sit around and talk until someone walked in. Then they would hop up and start the dancing routine. I must say I’ve grown to dislike any song by Aqua since they were played over and over at each place.
We hit Pavilion and Rascals next. Sorry, but these places were dead and the girls were less than interested in talking or even dancing. In Rascals, I noticed a couple of Arabs sitting with four girls around them. They were easily the best looking in the place (the girls not the Arabs) I struck up a conversation in Arabic with them and was invited to sit for a drink. I bought a round and talked with the girls. It was obvious these girls hated being there and were not happy about their company. However, these guys were buying them drinks and that was all they cared about. One showed an interest in me and repositioned herself to sit by me. She gave me her phone number and said she was off on Saturday. (Never did call her) Most of them were pretty and ranged in age from 18 to 26. The Arabs were drinking too much and would probably pass out by midnight. The girls knew it and were more worried about which one was going to have to do the “boom boom” with them.
We went to several other places. All were basically the same: Girls wanting you to buy them drinks. Some were dancing, but not too thrilled about it… just moving the feet a little. I didn’t really see anything very special and most were not interested in leaving with us. Ritzy was full and had a few gals that were incredible. I do not know where they came from, but they were physically a wonder to look at. I never could get one of those to talk to me. There were a bunch of Korean and Japanese in that night and the great looking ones were sitting with them. Luigi and I talked to one of the Mamasans named Pinky. She set us up with a couple great girls. Within about 15 minutes I had three sitting with me that were earlier with a group of Koreans over in one of the corners. One gave me a back massage, one massaged my crotch and the other just held my hand and talked to me. Unfortunately, they were pushy about the drinks for the girls and I couldn’t take one out without paying for at least 10 drinks.
I did manage to negotiate a 2000 P price per girl for two of them, but refused to pay the high bar fine. Out the door we went without anyone.
We tried a new place called High Heels. This had potential. I saw a few good 9s and 10s. However, it was very apparent that most of the really great looking girls had “Bitch” tattooed on their hearts. I did meet a real sweet one who was great conversation. Her English was great and had a wonderful sense of humor. We talked about this line of business and why she was doing this when she was very well educated and obvious sharp. It turns out that she got pregnant out of wedlock and her office mates basically forced her to quit her job. The more we talked it was clear that Filipinas have a social conscience that establishes some sort of pecking order. Furthermore, I learned that there were lots of girls who just want to have fun and sex seems to be part of the menu. Sonya introduced me to a few of her friends on Saturday. They worked at one of the Department Stores in Makati. I’ll cover that later.

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