Bayle sa Banwa (Dancing in Town)

Mar 25, 2011 by

Part of progressive tourism in any city is its night life. In Iloilo City, a hub of clubs have led the way in a fast-changing culture of the Ilonggos. From a collectively conservative group of people to a more sociably noisy bunch of yuppies and adolescents, the Ilonggos are adept to letting it all loose. So when you are in Iloilo, you might as well go out at night and allow yourself to dance the night away in some of the more popular dance clubs in the city.

Getting to these places shouldn’t be a problem because they can all be found in one area called — altogether now — SMALLVILLE! It’s a commercial and business district in Iloilo where most of the nocturnal activities take place. And if ever you need me from 10 PM onwards during weekends, this is where you can find me.

Here are some places where you can dehydrate yourself accordingly.

1. Rooftop Brewery. If you dig beers, and not just ordinary beers, but BEERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, this is your place. It is home to most of the young professionals who look forward to weekends to celebrate employment and taxes (among others). Signature music for Rooftop Brewery is 80s dance tunes. I love this place. The people are friendly but unmindful, the space is open yet feels exclusive, beers are frozen below zero but it warms you up til you get up on your feet and dance the night away.

How can you go wrong with a disco ball?

The happy habitues of Brewery: (L-R), Mike, AJ, Lala, Aimee, Gus, Moniq, Trisha, Odette, Ting, and Tabel. If you see any of them during your visit, poke them. You'll get a free beer.

photo courtesy of

2. Aura Iloilo. Aura is Iloilo City’s newest club. International in flavor and high tech in feel, it boasts the latest in LED lighting, a high-end audio system, and a full-color laser system. Aura caters to the younger crowd. One will notice the energy of these kids once the DJ starts playing Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. The club is spacious and it has VIP Sections where couches are available. My only concern about Aura is that their wait staff are not as friendly as I expect them to be. They seem to think too highly of themselves (and I am not talking about their height). Open on Wed-Sat 9:00PM to 5:00AM.

The spacious dance floor is good, and the lighting and sound systems are high-end.

The whirlgiggling gurls on the ledge.

3. Flow Superclub. One of the pioneer hyper-clubs in Iloilo City that cater to some pedigreed circles of the Ilonggo society. I used to frequent this place until most of the people I love hanging out with either left the country or have aged so rapidly they could not stand excessive revelry. I love their music especially when I’m in the mood to be possessed. I mean, go crazy dancing of sorts and go home feeling like I just got out of a washing machine, unrinsed. The interiors are narrow and you have to struggle your way through just to make weewee. But good food, good wait staff, good music. Just erratic crowd. Sometimes exciting, sometimes boring.

I think that's Sam Fogg's scalp on the foreground.

The ledge is just right smack in the middle of the target.

4. MO2 ICE. Perhaps the most notorious club in the Philippines, MO2 Ice is home to people so random it’s difficult to actually find a category for this kind of club. I am a regular of this place because I enjoy my anonymity here. Honestly, it’s full of crappy people but hey, you’re not there to discuss foreign economic policies or the poetry of EE Cummings. People are there to drink Red Horse, scream their lungs out when I Know You Want Me is played (gaaad, are they stuck in a time capsule or what?!), puke at every single urinal, burn other people’s faces with their stupid cigarettes, slam a man-rival with a bottle on the head to send people to freak out, and hook up. It’s a menagerie of extreme desires otherwise known as ‘trip’. For writers like me, MO2 Ice is the place to absorb random thoughts that would eventually propel one to write something entertaining. On the more objective side, the place is extremely popular; amongst the more open-minded ones, that is.

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