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Passing the bars
Source: Inquirer
Author: Jason Dapolito
Date: 2001-05-02
PEOPLE donít only come to Boracay for the

powdery sand and immaculate waters; they also

come to party. The uninitiated should think of

Boracay as a macro version of Malate. The bars

literally line the shore, making it almost impossible to walk past all of them the

whole day. If you plan to do that by foot, you will need two or three days.

On second thought, it would be unfair to compare Boracay to Malate. It

should, in fact, be the other way around: Malate is like Boracay. For starters,

the original Cafť Breton is on the island and so is a fabulous crepe place

named Goryoís. Along with this discovery, Iíve learned that everyone has a

place in Boracay. From the high society to the ordinary folk, everyone is

accepted as he/she is.

Here are the places to hang just in case you find yourself spending a lonely

night in Boracay.

Cocomangas Hotel & Beach Resort

Unique for: Billiard tables, lounge areas and, hey, the DJ plays your request!

Famous for: "Still standing after 15" & Jam Jars.

Backpacking has taken John Monroe of Vancouver, Canada a long way.

After having toured the world, he stopped by the sunny island of Boracay

and fell in love with it. In 1986, what started out as a hotel resort branched

out to the now famous Cocomangas bar, which greets passersby with a very

relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Any place that takes two tropical fruits

for its name must exude some charm.

The bar literally made this paperís headline for its unique gimmick, "Still

Standing After 15." The concept is simple: drink 15 straight shots of tequila,

and after that if youíre still, well, standing, then you earn for yourself a

metallic name plate (to be put alongside hundreds of other "survivors" in their

gallery) and honor for your country. Yes, you heard that last one right.

Survivors are tallied based on their citizenship, and so far Filipinos lead the

Brits by 1,385 survivors (2,204 as against 819). It would be interesting to

note that only one Egyptian, one Nepalese, one Tongan and one guy from

Lesotho have tried the Cocomangas tequila challenge, as attested to by the


If drinking is not your cup of, er, tea, then slug it out at the billiardís table, or

just hang around the spacious lounge areas while sipping the barís specialty,

the jam jars. That or laugh at those who fail the "still standing" challenge.

Beachcomber Bar Disco & Restaurant

Unique for: Dancing to both electronic music and rhythmic lapping of the

waves (this is beachfront property).

Famous for: Beachcomber Mudslide.

If you have walked the fine shore of Boracay at night, chances are youíve

seen this bar with its blaring music and attractive lights. If you went in, you

wouldíve been totally reminded of the í80s discos, if not for the sand on your

feet and the shore just to your left (or right or frontÖ depending on where

youíre facing). This open-air bar is perfect for anyone whoís into the groove

and wants to get a piece of the action by dancing to popular and

not-so-popular dance tunes. Donít fret, thereís nothing horrifying as

"Aringkingking," although the sets could use some techno-pop/rock music.

According to Wilbec Gelito, bar owner-partner, Beachcomber also holds at

least two theme parties a week, explaining its popularity among the locals. "I

really think itís the atmosphere that sells the place. Itís nice to have all of

these right on the beach, where itís more accessible to the people," he

explains. Meanwhile, bartender Rhiam Gardina offers another explanation for

the popularity--the Beachcomber Mudslide. "Itís vodka and Kahlua with

flavored ice cream. Itís one of our house specials thatís proving to be a


Aside from the bar, thereís a quaint Korean dining area tucked in a little

corner of Beachcomber. The flooring is done in wood, topped with a carpet

with throw pillows for the customersí comfort. However, it looked

suspiciously Indian to me. But, hey, if you came here to dance, does it still


Bom Bom

Unique for: The only artsy bar on the island that Bob Marley would have

surely loved.

Famous for: The artists who come and play to the delight of their most

foreign audience.

"No name."

"What," I asked.

"The bar with no name," he said.


"It used to be the name of this bar. The Bar With No Name," he explained.

It had a name after all. But thanks anyway to whoever baptized the place as

Bom Bom two years ago. The bar has been there for quite a while, but it was

just recently that the owners decided to christen the place, Yolk Arias

explained to me.

However, during that time, performances were limited to the Tribes Festival

that Bom Bom held, during Holy Week. And then, performers started

pouring in, and now, they are there to entertain everyone regularly.

The place is small, cramped actually but, thankfully, the performances are

held outside where hammocks and seats are provided. The bar doesnít really

boast of any particular specialty drink because, according to the owners,

"everything on the menu is special."

Hey Jude

Unique for: Cosmopolitan ambiance; real cool music provided by guest DJs.

Famous for: The drink Cosmopolitan, good music, superb pizzas and

beautiful people.

How does the name "Rocky and the big Ny-oo" sounds like for a bar?

Sounds too ethnic? People have to thank the uncleís owner, Rabin Sanda,

for providing his nephew less time to explain what on earth is a Ny-oo

(pronounced nya-oo).

"Well, Rocky and Ny-oo are two people I met while I was traveling to

Burma. Theyíre the nicest people that Iíve met," explains Christopher Jude

Lee. "I didnít really want to name it after myself but my uncle did. But I really

like it. I think itís very catchy."

Located at DíMall, a part of Boracay with commercial shops and

establishments, Hey Jude enjoys good exposure to the crowd that frequents

the place. Only six months into operation, the bar looks like it is headed

toward being the best bar in Boracay, if itís not considered that yet.

For the barís concept, Jude drew inspiration from his experience working for

the different bars in Miami. "When I came here, I felt that the bars were all

the same. And so our team decided to bring in a new concept. I think that

our style is really Miami-like." Aside from the ambience, the music is

something Hey Jude must be proud of. With guest DJs coming in from all

over the world, like Spain, Israel and India, the bar is at par with bars found

in Manila and elsewhere around the world.

For day, their set consists of blues, chill-out, pop and reggae. At night, you

just might find yourself dancing to progressive tunes, hip-hop and Latin music.

And while youíre at it, you might as well try their most potent drink, the

Flaming Lamberdini--five different liquors blended into one. "It gives a nice

kick in the butt," Jude adds.

However, the best thing about the bar is something they never really intended

to happen; Hey Jude is now famous for its pizza. Again, Jude has his uncle to

thank for that.

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