If you want a place to have a beer and listen to good music, there are countless bars, clubs, even pop-up stages you could go in the metro alone. But, if you’re looking to rock out with some of the country’s most famous homegrown bands, chill to the mixes of some of the best DJs in the local industry, or learn firsthand information on Original Pinoy Music (OPM) from the legends themselves, then 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is exactly the scene you want to be in.
Something for Everyone
In the tradition of gritty rock concert venues, 12 Monkeys boasts a plain-looking but well-lit wooden stage, superb acoustics, and a consistently stellar list of events and music performances. While the place has a very laid back vibe, guests are usually impeccably dressed and ready to groove. They’ve managed to draw in crowds within four months of opening, thanks to an eclectic mix of featured artists spanning different musical genres. With famed Filipino musicians at the helm of picking which acts make it onstage, they play the best of everything – from Classic Rock and Metal, to House and Electronica.
Get updates on their weekly musical lineup from the 12 Monkeys Facebook page, so you can choose which night to visit. Expect to fall in line on evenings when a popular local band, artist, of DJ is set to perform, but you can also get around the queue by reserving a table (For reservations, call 0917-5703222). Note that 12 monkeys charges entrance on some nights when a big band is set to play, although this usually includes a drink (or two). A fully-stocked, multi-tiered bar welcomes you upon entering, prepared to accommodate any beverage request.
Over and Above Your Average Bar Chow
On top of a unique musical experience, 12 Monkeys also offers Filipino dishes so ingeniously executed, you’d be hard-pressed to find something similar elsewhere. Have a quiet dinner by heading to the music hall early in the evening and taking advantage of the relatively empty venue. With successful restaurateur-partners behind the menu, dinner offerings are deliciously top notch.
For appetizers, St. Peter’s Eggs (P300) gives the lowly balut or fermented duck egg a makeover by serving it on a sizzling plate, sautéed in garlic chilli butter sauce and Pampanga’s renowned crab fat paste. Only high levels of cholesterol will deter you from ordering the Crab Fat Rice (P390) as an entrée, because it’s still the same tasty crab fat paste, only mixed with rice and crowned with a slab of crispy pork belly, garlic bits, scallions, and pickled green mangoes. The pares, a post-night out Filipino favourite of braised beef served with garlic rice, is topped with tamago (sweet Japanese egg) and comes with a ramekin of chilli oil in Midnight in Pares (P330), so you have it as spicy as you want – or not at all.