Of Cats and Dogs and Squares and Promenades

Nov. 21, 2005

Davao City has a good mix of live-performance venues, discos, videoke joints and bars, thus making nightlife in the city a lot more fun and exciting than it used to be.

By Gilbert L. Pacificar

DAVAO CITY — Entertainment centers are mushrooming in Davao City. Aside from bars located inside hotels, there are bars clustered in entertainment arcades in certain districts in downtown Davao. These have become regular venues for both local and Manila-based performances.

Among these are the Matina Town Square in Matina District, the Rizal Promenade on Rizal Street, the Damosa Gateway along J.P. Laurel and The Venue along Quirino Avenue. These have various bars to choose, all under one roof. These holes either offer live and acoustic band performances, discos, videokes, billiards halls, or simply a cozy place to hang out with friends.

As a result, nightlife in the city has become evidently alive and ever more exciting now than it used to be.

Records at Davao City Investment and Promotion Centers (DCIPC) show that there are more than 50 establishments categorized as for entertainment established since three years ago, including hotels and malls.

The DCIPC attributed this to the growing economy of the region and Davao City, being the center of trade in Mindanao.

Here are some of Davao’s finest spots for those who are looking for easy and relaxing fun or out for a wild night of booze:

Matina Town Square (MTS) is a place for live entertainment. Located in the southern part of the city, fronting the Ateneo de Davao Grade School in Matina, it is just one jeepney ride from the downtown.

Meeting Place. Taboan, at the Matina Town Square. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

MTS has Taboan, one of the most frequented spots for live performances of Davao’s homegrown artists, with state-of-the-art sound facilities.

Here, you can sit back and enjoy live music with friends at the tables and chairs spread under one dome where fresh air freely circulate. There are stalls inside where one can choose food and drinks.

Lively. A live-band performs at Taboan, at the Matina Town Square. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

During breaks of performances, you can take a stroll for a while or relax on the benches at the sprawling park. Lovers and friends can enjoy the moon and the stars and still stay within reach of the music streaming from Taboan.

The place is one of the many favored venues for tourists and visitors flooding Davao, especially during its yearly festivities such as the Kadayawan Festival in August and the Araw ng Davao celebration every March.

If you dig stand-up comedy, there is Impit Purok, also the Matina Town Square. For 98 pesos, you can enjoy the buffet and the laughter.

Meeting Place. Kanto Bar, at the Matina Town Square. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

MTS has other bars to choose from such as the Whistletop Bar and Billiards and the Kanto Bar where one can hang around enjoying a bottle of beer while listening to either live performances or streamed music.

If you want to simply unwind, there is a good spot somewhere along J.P. Laurel Avenue, the Blue Post Bar and Billiard. This has been chosen as the most oustanding bar in the city for three consecutive years by the National Shoppers Choice Award.

Located along Quirino Avenue , beside the Central Bank, The Venue is one of Davao’s most popular party place. It can accommodate as many as 1,500 partygoers. The Venue can be a place for live concerts, fashion shows, corporate parties, product launches, conventions, national and international billiard competitions.

The Venue is widely known in the city for having a first-class showcase of well-known national musikeros and bands from Manila.

Aside from the spacious place for live band performances, The Venue has at least five bars inside the compound, one of those is the well-known Blu Gre .

Station 91 Cafe and Bar along Claro M. Recto Street (formerly Claveria Street) also has live band performances. There are at least 20 stalls inside the compound offering beverages and food. They have regular performers every night.

Rizal Promenade is located along Rizal Street, in downtown Davao. It has at least 10 bars and it offers acoustic live bands, music and discos for their customers.

Fronting Rizal Promenade is the Cats and Dogs Family KTV Bar . Here’s a place for friends to come together for lots of videoke. Interestingly, the owners named the joint out of sheer amusement, after watching how cats and dogs behave. This could be a good place for estranged or quareling friends to bury the hatchet — and whip out the mic!

Cats and Dogs has eight videoke rooms. It charges 100 pesos per hour per room for unlimited songs or 50 pesos per hour but with each song costing you 5 pesos. The customer is allowed to bring in food but not drinks. Cats and Dogs is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Gilbert L. Pacificar/davaotoday.com)

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