From the late 90’s up to the early 2000’s, Orosa and Nakpil streets in Malate was the place to be for party goers. Those were the days when bars and party places were popping out like mushrooms; gigs and events were almost a permanent feature of the area while people looking for a good time would always be seen hopping from one bar to another.
Street parties were held almost every weekend or any major holiday; everyone would be seen hanging out at one of the corners of Malate either with friends or new acquaintances. This was what Malate was like until new bars popped up in other places and events were held more frequently at the mall or other establishments in nearby cities.
What does Nakpil Malate look like 15 years later?
As the bars owners move out of Malate, so did the partygoers. Attendance to events in Malate dwindled as a result. Subsequently, event organizers had become less interested to host parties there and chose to hold them elsewhere.
Another persistent problem with Malate for partygoers is parking. Whenever one decides to spend a night out in the area and has to park his car somewhere, he has no other option but to leave it in an open street where security cannot be guaranteed. Despite the presence of volunteers in the area whose job is to watch over parked vehicles, incidence of car thefts was common and had persisted.
In addition to this security concern, there is also the problem of flooding. Apart from clogged drainage systems and lack of discipline among Malate residents in disposing of their refuse, climate change may have contributed to Malate being a flood-prone area. This is a major hassle not just for those who spend their night out but also for those who have parked vehicles.
Today, the Orosa area has become virtually a ghost town. Most of the bars that did brisk business are now closed. The center of Malate nightlife has become dead.
On the other hand, the Nakpil area is still alive but seems to be struggling for survival. There are still some of the old bars and there are a few new ones doing business but apparently, the phenomenon of “bar hopping” in all of Malate has become just a thing of the past.
One of the few bars in Malate area that seem to thrive is “The Library”. Originally located in Adriatico, “The Library” continues to get respectable attendance for audiences who love to be entertained by standup comedy shows and karaoke. Basilica Bar, which used to be “The Library’s” main competitor in attracting crowds to Malate, is long gone.
Nevertheless, the Bocobo and Nakpil Malate area seem to show promise that Malate may get a second lease on life as bars in that area continue to attract a growing number of young people looking for some place to hang out and to party.