Tuesday, January 31, 2012

La Verde - A bar away from a home bar!!

Finally, I've got my lazy self to write about what was probably the most interesting part of my stay in Manila. La Verde Bar (I can feel a lump in my throat already). The bar is in one corner or a mall called Festival mall and for most of the people reading this - the mall is probably about 20 times the size of Inorbit in Malad, 30 times the size of Nucleus in Pune and 10 times the size of Macy's in New York! Basically, it freaking huge!! So big that in all my times of visiting it, I would get lost. I never entered and left from the same gate in the mall.

The funny thing is, I very often came to the exit where the bars were. That's probably coz I just closed my eyes and let my Jedi powers lead me to the correct exit :). The Filipinos will always insist that this is not half as big as Mall of Asia - which is the biggest mall around. It's so big that they're considering giving a status of a city! Yes, that was a joke. I would generally go to the mall to exchange money (not coz I was getting drunk so often but coz they always had the best exchange rate and for an Indian man, that rocks!) and I would always control my expenses (again, Indian man) by exchanging only 100 dollars at a time. So, in a nutshell I went there about six times. It did helped that it was a 10 minute walk from the hotel.

I loved the place so much that it's just easy to get carried away and forget what I started talking about. La Verde (another lump in my throat).

Discovering La Verde was complete serendipity. I got back from the office one night (at about 1:15 am) absolutely famished and hoped like most places around my office I would get something to eat at the hotel. Around the office I could eat McDonalds and Jollibees (the Filipino equivalent of McDonalds) 24 hours a day. But, there's only so much bread with chicken/beef cutlets I can eat. The hotel staff told me they shut down at 12:30am (whaaaaat!) and I could go to a place around the corner called Yellow Cab - pizzas and pasta kind of place. Not what I wanted. So the cab guy that drove me to the hotel recommended "Festibaal". He told me there were some bars there where I could get some regular food till early in the morning. I was to find out that early in the morning meant 11:00am!! So off we were to "Festibaal". Until that point, I'd only seen one side of the mall and this dude actually drove me past two red lights to one corner of the mall. I could already hear the music from a distance.

Once I got off, I had a choice of about 10 places I could go to (1:40am) all buzzing with energy. All I wanted was for something to eat and head back. I walked around and picked the place with the cleanest bar seats knowing that I would picked on by the cross dressers if I sat on a regular table. "Sir Martin" had arrived! I sat at the bar and this guy immediately knew I was a foreigner.

"Hello sir, where are you from"
"Where is that, sir"
"In India, it's also called Bombay"
"Oh, I know Bombay sir. You drink whiskey there."
"No, actually I only drink Vodka and beer"
"But Indian people like.. Blimpers Bride"
"Blimpers Bride?? Hahahha.. No, Blenders Pride"
"Never mind. Drink San Miguel Lite, very good beer"
(Cross dresser walks on to the stage at 1:50 am)"Okay, give me a pint and your food menu"

The San Miguel Lite came on in 10 seconds and I ordered spicy chicken wings with french fries. The safest thing without bread. The guy at the bar then told me my order would take 20 minutes, which I was okay with, since the big gulp of the awesome San Miguel Lite made me realise a couple more of the lite wouldn't hurt. It was three San Miguels before the food actually came (2:20am) and I ate like a Somali kid..

Once done (about 2:45am, I think), I ordered another San Miguel and the cross dresser had already spotted me as the foreigner in the crowd. The next few minutes could have been hell but thanks to the beer on my empty stomach, I was a little high already. The next few minutes were like this,

"Hello Sir. Where are you from?"
"Bombay" (they don't recognise Mumbai - Yay!)
"Ohhhhh, Bombay, India. Would you like us to sing Jai ho for you?"
"Not really, I don't like that song too much"
"What is your name sir?"
"Martin??? Ohhh, welcome to La Verde, Sir Martin (I could hear bagpipes in my head with a king laying a sword on each of my shoulders, saying, "I pronounce thee, Sir Martin"). My name is Xena (like the warrior princess)"

This was the begining of "Sir Martin". I stayed there till about 4am, eating more French fries and getting picked on by Xena. He/She finished his/her lot and came up and spoke to me. That would be my first friend at La Verde. A 41 year old cross dressing man. I promised I would come back soon and left coz I needed to sleep. On the way out I met they bartender and all he said was, "See you on Friday sir, my name is Jek". I had to go back now.

This was only my first time in this place and it only gets better each time. I'm going to talk about all the friends I made there, including Xena. But I think I've written enough for now. More in the next post! It's going to be worth the wait! :)


Xena: Sir Martin, do you like Filipinas?
Me: I have a girlfriend!
Xena: But do you think Filipinas are beautiful?
Me: Yes, but not like I want to do anything about it!
Xena: Sir Martin, Do you think my tits are nice?
Me: I need to go throw up!
Xena: You like them soooo much??
Me: You're disgusting!
Xena: Then you'll like me better in bed!

That was the first time they picked on me after calling me Sir Martin.


  1. Lol;-))) this is nice blog too again thanks for sharing ! I am glad u had good time :-)) the way u said it's tempting now should go there sometime in life. Cool place I guess there lot of people from that place who comes to work here I know few girls myself ;-)) the Xena thing was funny lol couldn't stop myself laughing atlast u got beer and food :-) lol . Manila my next place to visit . ;-))) nice one .enjoyed it .