Mar 16, 2008

[Pink Scene] The VIP Treatment at Club Mafia Manila

NOTE: Unfortunately, Club Mafia Manila is no longer in business as of this time.

Okay, so there was the first look review and then the one month later review, so what's this? Good question - I guess you can call it the third look or perhaps just tag it as me being really happy with the progress of Club Mafia Manila - and apparently the minor role I've played in their development! Now how cool is that? Not quite sure what I mean?

Allow me to tell the story...

For the circle of queer friends I call Family, Saturday nights are Malate nights and for the longest time that has automatically meant Bed for the most part. We've ventured down to Government every now and then for friends and events but never really got into it. Sorry, just not my thing, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Ever since Club Mafia Manila opened and we got VIP status because of a friend, the routine has, more often than not, been to pass by Mafia first for a few beers, show our support, and eventually hop over to Bed for stronger drinks and more music. Not needing to pay entrance is certainly a big incentive to go and be neighborly, hehe.

Last night, March 15, was Club Mafia's Hot Hunk Search night and so all the more it seemed like a good reason to go. Sadly, we missed the show - blame that on the fact that we never really arrive at Malate that much earlier than 02:00am. Real night owls, huh? Blame my working life. Still, we arrived and found the place insanely packed - the most full I've ever seen the place in it's limited history thus far. Snaps for Mafia then! Still, it was slightly claustrophobic and the thought that there was only one exit kept popping into my head. Apparently this was precisely the kind of event they needed to bring in a larger crowd and I suppose it also helped that Downelink Philippines was also present at the event. The draws of social networking indeed.

We finally managed to make our way to the upstairs bar for steady queue of drinks and I was also waiting for a visiting friend from New York whom I had invited to join us that night. Without any alcohol in my system initially, all that comes forward is the music and I have to admit I was pretty thrilled - the songs playing were pretty much one vocal after another, an interesting mix of gay anthems, contemporary pieces and, get this, 70's disco songs! I know, I'm only 25 but I am such a campy retro kid at times and last night's music was pretty much calling to me all throughout. My New York friend was having a pretty good time too, although he was still holding out for anything with Linkin Park mixed in like that Britney Spears Toxic/Faint remix.

Fun moments of the night - that fairly decent remix of And I Am Telling You, of course hearing Ray of Light again, me never getting enough of Shining Star and finally a remix of Mika's Love Today, and yes I loved it! Oh, oh, and did I mention Boogie Wonderland? We still did a Bed-hop, and this was the first time I was kinda disappointed that we left Mafia since I was seriously liking the music. Yes, I am such a music person. I know I already said this before, but the music is the heart of any good dance club and if this is what Club Mafia plans to put out each and every week, I'm totally sold. I'll pass on the wordless techno and stick to the vocals and queer anthems ThankYouVeryMuch.

Anyway, we finally left Bed and decided to pass by Mafia again on the way out when we bumped into our friend Jojo, who got us our VIP status, and I was surprised that he sort of pulled me aside to thank me. Initially I just thought it was because we supported the event that night but in fact it turned out he had read my reviews. Insert moment of mild panic right around here. It's not something I had considered an impossibility, I have to admit. I've been tracking the traffic for this blog based around the search terms "club mafia malate" or "club mafia manila" and my first look review tends to rank pretty high up there, along with my photos. It's just completely another thing to have the people behind the bar talk to you about your blog reviews.

But apparently they weren't out to kill this Geek and instead appreciated the feedback. In my one month later review, I had almost written a line about thinking it was as if they had read my review given the dramatic improvement in music last week and it turned out that they did. Segway to me being introduced to the other folks involved with the Bar - despite the alcohol I can remember Reagan (like the president, he said) and Wency (I hope I got the spelling right). Reagan had remembered me saying in my last post about Club Mafia that I had yet to try their cocktails and he decided to remedy that for me.

Soon I had a chocolate margarita, which was really yummy for a chocolate fan like me. That was followed by an Assassin (P300), which comes in a nice big glass (or a pitcher if that's your pleasure), is really blue and although it's similar to a Blue Frog, it has way more kick. Man, I could really feel that drink in the first sip. There was this chocolate shot that went to my friend Ryan - I forget the name right now - and he enjoyed it a lot. That was followed by a Pink Panty (P150), which was a smaller drink but rather smooth with coconut in it, thus giving it that tropical vibe. Lastly, I was handed a Lemon Drop (P100), which is essentially something like a lemon margarita. Still for the price it was really yummy, much more satisfying from an alcohol perspective and something I can now see as my opening drink as opposed to a few beers. Thanks so much for letting me try all these drinks guys!

So yes, this Geek was plied with alcohol, but then I was never one to say no to a free drink. I think this was the first time I had ever been given free drinks and the most special I've ever been treated anywhere - and I didn't have to flash five credit cards, or something silly like that. So I think I'm finally at a quandary of sorts - Club Mafia Manila (not considering the mini-drinking session) has really come a long way since it started and as long as they keep up the kind of music they had last night, I'm totally sold. Plus now that I've had a chance to sample a significant variety of their cocktails, I can definitely see myself ordering more than just a beer in the weeks to come.

Remind me to write reviews of the other queer bars I've been to - it's only fair after all and I don't want to be seen as totally biased for Club Mafia. I don't think I am - at least not yet. But darn, if they keep playing music like that, I'm definitely going to get swayed significantly, haha.

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