New Years Eve in Manila
November 23, 2008 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Things to do on New Year's Eve in Manila?

My husband and I are going to Manila on December 27 for a business trip. After he's done with his business, we plan on staying through the new year (leaving on Jan 5).

Any suggestions for things to do on New Year's Eve? We plan on staying at the Peninsula in Makati and would like to stay close to the hotel. We're looking to party like it's 1999!!

Any other suggestions for things to do while we're there are welcome.
posted by mamaquita to Travel & Transportation around Manila, Philippines (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
the pen throws a pretty big new year's bash in the lobby with food, drinks and music every year, as do all the other big hotels—so you can get all dressed up and party without even leaving your hotel. i went to the peninsula one a lot when i was growing up and it was always great fun. otherwise i would just ask the people your husband is doing business with for suggestions, they'll probably end up inviting you to something fun!

p.s. while you're in manila, do one of carlos celdran's tours! they're the only commercial ones really worth doing.
posted by lia at 10:24 PM on November 23, 2008

Whatever you do for New Year's Eve there, be sure to stay indoors and away from windows.
posted by brownpau at 6:10 AM on November 24, 2008

Staying around the Pen might be ok, but you're probably going to have a lot more fun if you get out and party with the locals. Rizal Park, Baywalk, etc. are probably going to be pretty busy. (I was last in Manila when Pacquiao won the title; Roxas was basically shut down because of an impromptu street party.) The Peninsula's concierge staff are truly world classs and can easily point you towards a more authentic experience. I would, however, recommend staying away from the light rail and keeping less than 2000 pesos in small bills on you if you go out.

Oh, also, use the hotel's car service for the airport transfer. Yeah it's going to be far more expensive than a local cab, but Filipino cabbies driving ranges from aggressive to psychotic to homicidal. Plus the hotel driver will fend off the touts hanging around arrivals.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:41 PM on November 24, 2008

Convince the Peninsula staff to let you stand on the roof and just watch the fireworks. 10pm-1am was the peak period last year. I counted over 10 professional level displays last year.

If your husband mentions he'll be around for New Year's Eve, it is very likely he will be invited to something.

I'm not sure what age group you belong to, but I'm sure nightclubs like Embassy will be packed.

On taxis, force them to use a meter--even if it takes 6 tries to find one that agrees. At the airport use the taxi counters by following the signs after the luggage area. If you fly in on PAL, use the yellow cabs you'll see when you exit the luggage pickup area. Hotel pickups are 5-10x more expensive than a metered taxi.
posted by joelr at 10:39 PM on November 24, 2008

Response by poster: We ended up going to the ball at the Pen and it was quite the party!! The street outside the hotel (Makati and Ayala avenues) were blocked off and a stage was setup. There was live music out there and fireworks at midnight.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions about cabs. I wasn't clear on what you guys meant at first but quickly found out once we got there. We didn't have a problem finding a cabbie willing to use the meter.

Finally, we couldn't get a tour with Carlos Celdran; however, we did use one of his suggested alternates -- Ivan Man Dy who conducts tours through his company Old Manila Walks. I highly suggest the Binondo Wok'ing Tour.
posted by mamaquita at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2009

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