O Bar: It’s A Drag

Ask any gay guy in Manila what his plans are on a Saturday night and if he’s not meeting a special friend on Grindr, he’s probably going to one place – O Bar. What began as a small spot in Malate, O Bar is now a multi-level building at CW Home Depot and one of the few establishments openly catering to the LGBT community.

From the outside, O Bar looks like any club in Manila. The inside, however, paints a very different picture. Alongside huge portraits of men in make up, you’ll find half naked macho dancers and poi performers in bikinis on stage. Your regular neighbourhood tambayan this place is not.


Not surprisingly, the crowd of O bar is 99.9 percent male and homosexual. This doesn’t mean that straight guys can’t have fun. O Bar is not Muntinlupa city jail. No one will force you to be his prison bitch, unless that’s your thing. Women are also very much welcome in O Bar. In fact, the wildest people you’ll probably meet are the girls who come to dance and get smashed with their gay besties.

Gay or straight, everyone agrees that the highlight of the O Bar experience is witnessing the drag show. Every Friday and Saturday at around 1 am the lights are dimmed and the O Bar Divas, as they liked to be called, come out to play.

O'Bar-3It’s difficult not to be impressed by the drag performance. The O Bar Divas will literally do anything and everything to get a laugh. One minute they’re staging a fake wedding with a clueless Korean tourist. The next minute they’re lip-syncing and grinding to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”. As Jem (from the 80s TV show Jem and the Holograms) would say, it’s outrageous…truly, truly, truly outrageous.

An entrance free of P400 is required at O Bar, which is a fair deal considering you get 3 drinks stubs and the aforementioned free show. Local beers cost around P80 while cocktails range from P250 to P300. Table service is around P3000.

Needless to say, O Bar is not for everyone. If you’re an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic Tita don’t even bother stepping into the door. But If you’re an open-minded person who is looking for something off-kilter for the weekend then this may be the crazy spot for you.


The Good – The hilarious drag shows

The Bad – O Bar is a gay club so expect a sausage fest.

What P500 will get you – 2 beers and a cocktail

TAP’s Recommendation For:

Jeremiah “Jem” Sanchez (DLSU Benilde ’08) – Fashion designer. Has dreams of creating haute couture for Kendall Jenner but for now makes wedding dresses in Tutuban Town Center.

Christina Rebecca Dizon – Med Rep. Secretly in love with her gay best friend Anton. Hopes to be the surrogate mother of his babies.

Tomerson Peh (UST -’05) – Successful dermatologist. Wears muscle shirts and skinny jeans. Looks down upon effeminate men but sings Kylie Minouge in the shower every morning.


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