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Rock On: Top Spots to Catch Live Rock Music in Manila

마닐라 유흥

Manila, the vibrant capital of the Philippines, is a city that never sleeps. Its music scene is a testament to this, with rock music holding a significant place in the hearts of many. From intimate underground venues to larger-than-life arenas, 마닐라 유흥 offers a plethora of spots where rock enthusiasts can get their fix. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to experience live rock music in Manila.

1. 70s Bistro

History and Ambiance

70s Bistro, located in Anonas, Quezon City, is a legendary venue that has been a cornerstone of the Manila music scene for decades. Its name pays homage to the era that shaped much of modern rock music. The venue's cozy, unpretentious atmosphere makes it a favorite among both veteran rockers and new bands looking to make their mark.

The Experience

Stepping into 70s Bistro feels like entering a time machine. The walls are adorned with memorabilia from rock legends, and the intimate setting ensures that every performance feels personal. It's a place where you can catch legendary Filipino rock bands like The Dawn and Razorback, as well as up-and-coming acts making waves in the scene.

2. Route 196

History and Ambiance

Though it recently closed its doors, Route 196 remains a legend in the annals of Manila's rock history. Located along Katipunan Avenue, this venue was a breeding ground for indie and alternative rock bands. It was known for its laid-back vibe and commitment to showcasing local talent.

The Legacy

Route 196 was more than just a venue; it was a community. It was a place where musicians and fans alike could come together, share their love for music, and support each other. Many artists who played here have moved on to greater heights, but the spirit of Route 196 lives on in the hearts of those who experienced its magic.

3. Saguijo Café + Bar

History and Ambiance

Nestled in Makati, Saguijo Café + Bar is a hidden gem in Manila's rock scene. Since its opening in 2004, it has become a haven for alternative and indie rock lovers. The venue’s name, derived from the words “sa guijo” (meaning “at Guijo,” the street it’s located on), is synonymous with raw, unfiltered musical expression.

The Experience

Saguijo offers an intimate setting where the line between performer and audience often blurs. The energy here is electric, with bands performing just a few feet away from the crowd. Regulars appreciate the eclectic lineup that ranges from hard-hitting rock to experimental indie music. Notable bands like Urbandub and Sandwich have graced its stage, making it a must-visit for rock aficionados.

4. 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub

History and Ambiance

Located in El Pueblo, Ortigas, 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is a relatively newer addition to the Manila rock scene, but it has quickly established itself as a premier venue for live music. The name, inspired by the idea of a dozen musical geniuses (or “monkeys”), reflects its eclectic and inclusive approach to music.

The Experience

12 Monkeys boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and a spacious layout, making it ideal for both well-established bands and emerging artists. The venue frequently hosts tribute nights, where local bands cover legendary rock acts, and these events are a big hit among fans. Whether you're there to see a local favorite or a rising star, 12 Monkeys promises an unforgettable experience.

5. B-Side at The Collective

History and Ambiance

B-Side, located at The Collective in Makati, is known for its edgy, industrial vibe. It’s a place that embraces the underground spirit of rock music. Since its opening in 2010, B-Side has become synonymous with alternative culture, offering a space where creativity and rebellion thrive.

The Experience

B-Side is not just a venue; it’s a cultural hub. The performances here are as diverse as the crowd, featuring everything from punk rock to reggae. One of the highlights is the weekly event “Dubplate,” which combines live music with street art and skateboarding, creating a unique, multi-sensory experience. If you’re looking for a place that breaks the mold, B-Side is the spot for you.

6. The Alchemy Bistro Bar

History and Ambiance

Located in Poblacion, Makati, The Alchemy Bistro Bar blends music, art, and gastronomy. While it’s not exclusively a rock venue, its commitment to live music and its eclectic lineup make it a notable mention in Manila’s rock circuit.

The Experience

The Alchemy offers a more sophisticated setting compared to other rock venues, but don’t let that fool you. The energy here is palpable, with bands delivering powerful performances that resonate with the audience. The venue also hosts themed nights and special events, providing a platform for both local and international acts.

7. Mow’s Bar

History and Ambiance

Mow’s Bar, located in Matalino Street, Quezon City, is a haven for the underground rock scene. Its unassuming exterior belies the raw energy that pulses within. This no-frills venue is all about the music, attracting a dedicated following of rock enthusiasts.

The Experience

Mow’s is known for its gritty, authentic atmosphere. The stage is small, but the sound is big, creating an intense, immersive experience. This is the place to catch bands that are pushing the boundaries of rock, from punk and metal to experimental sounds. For those who want to experience the heart and soul of Manila’s rock scene, Mow’s is a must-visit.


Manila’s rock music scene is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. From the nostalgic vibes of 70s Bistro to the cutting-edge performances at Mow’s Bar, there’s something for every rock enthusiast. These venues not only showcase incredible talent but also foster a sense of community among musicians and fans. So, if you find yourself in Manila craving some live rock music, you know where to go. Rock on!

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