Big Sky Mind: Loyals

Sandwiched between a coffee shop and a tea parlor is this grungy neighborhood watering hole with no signage. “BSM” or “Big Sky” is what the regulars call it and it’s been here since 1999. The place looks like an old dirty second-hand furniture store that has wooden beams stapled with old money from different countries. The next thing you’ll notice is the bar decorated with a pirate flag, a poster of Van Gogh holding a glass of absinthe, a sign that says “No Stupid People”, and a small blackboard chalked up with bets for the 2015 NBA Finals. Near the bar is the bathroom door filled with stickers that commemorate 16 years of music, art and drunkenness.

BSM3Big Sky Mind was known for its regular music gigs and art exhibits. Several years ago, it was the Saguijo of the north. There were amateur and professional musicians performing every other night but not that often anymore. Despite the growing number of bigger and fancier gig places around the metro, Big Sky Mind is still home to its loyal customers. The place gets packed late in the evening until the wee hours of the morning. The crowd here seems acquainted with one another. It’s like Cheers for the New Manila and Scout Area residents. There are others who flock from Cainta, Makati and even Alabang; treating BSM as their second home. In Big Sky, everyone is your friend. Nobody minds sharing a table with a stranger. Everyone is talking about his or her shared interests. Feel free to eavesdrop, introduce yourself and butt in. If you’ve blended in, there’s a great chance they’d treat you a free shot of Tanduay Rum(P50) or that crazy Cobra shot. At the end of the night, you and your new friends are singing along to Foo Fighter’s Everlong ; to Dishwalla’s Counting Blue Cars; to Rivermaya’s Elisi; to Chvrches’s The Mother We Share.

BSM1Drinks here are cheap enough. By cheap we mean, San Miguel Pale Pilsen at P40 and San Miguel Light at P50 per bottle. If you want to go hard, Jack Daniels and Black Label are both priced at P150 per shot. If you want to go hardcore, try the shot of liquor from a bottle of cobra wine from Vietnam (Yes, the snake animal. Not the energy drink.) for just P75. Don’t expect Michelin Stars for the food but if you’re drunk enough, their selection gets the job done. The Adobo Paté is P140. It’s like adobo flavored spread served with pita bread. You can also try the Mixed Fries (P175). Think Potato Corner. Sour Cream and Cheese flavored fries mixed in a large plate good for sharing.

Big Sky Mind opens at 9:30 in the evening from Tuesdays to Sundays but is closed on Mondays. Last call for alcohol is at five in the morning. Sometimes they allow customers to stay beyond closing time if you’re inconsiderately and helplessly drunk. The last man standing rule applies especially to Big Sky Mind. Big Sky Mind is here to stay; downing up bottles of loyalty 16 years and counting.


The Good – Cheaply priced food and liquor; 90’s vibe, very accommodating bartenders and patrons
The Bad – The place looks like it will fall apart soon and has very limited space
What P 500 will get you – 7 Pale Pilsens, Adobo Paté and a shot of cobra snake juice

TAP’s Recommendation For:

TJ Topacio (IAFT-Cebu ‘07) – Aspiring film director also a freelance graphic artist/sculptor/photographer/graffiti artist/etc. Spends most of his time brainstorming rather than doing actual projects and is also known as a buster.

Rafael “Raffy-J” Jose (Kalayaan College ’09) – The former lead vocals of The Broken Promises, an emo band. They had an album launch in Big Sky Mind last 2003 and he has been a regular here ever since. Disbanded on 2004 because nobody listens to emo anymore. EDM is the shit right now.

Oliver Williamson – A 45-year old Frenchman. An interpretative dance instructor. Likes to mingle around bars with his very liberated b.f. (best friend) Éric. Enjoys “group sessions”.


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