Pobla Nights Are Back, Thanks to Virtual Poblacion

Whenever the weekend rolls around, we can’t help but miss the TGIF celebrations and Saturday nights spent bar-hopping in Poblacion; the late nights-turned-early mornings that we spent over drinks with friends, having heart-to-heart talks on the sidewalk, and treating ourselves to absolutely satisfying bites of steaming hot fishballs, squidballs, and hotdogs (ahh, we can almost taste them!).

It turns out we aren’t the only ones feeling this way, either — a lot of Pobla regulars took to social media to express their nostalgia after Polilya, one of Poblacion’s most popular hangout spots, announced that they would officially be closing their doors.

During a live video podcast by Manny Tanglao and Kyle Quismundo of Filipino indie rock band Cheats, the two musicians reminisced about the good old days in Poblacion; and a whole bunch of their listeners, the “Mankyds”, could definitely relate. (Because yes — the pandemic has made it feel like Poblacion nights happened lightyears, instead of just months, ago. Do you agree?) 

Also read: A Going Out Guide: Where to Eat in Poblacion from Day to Night

Pobla nights are back, thanks to Virtual Poblacion

Originally intending to honour Polilya, Manny, Kyle, and the Mankyds decided to put together Virtual Poblacion — a virtual party via discord server complete with a DJ, drinks and bar chow, karaoke, and even the presence of manong fishball (you can literally hear the frying sounds!). The event ended up attracting more people than expected, thanks to word of mouth — allowing Virtual Poblacion to turn into a regular occurrence. 

Check out the following video for a sneak peek at Virtual Poblacion:

 

“If you haven’t been to Poblacion, it’s basically an ‘e-numan’ with all the bar feels and the chance to meet interesting people — I can attest to this,” Justine of Mankyds told us. We had the pleasure of having a chat with her and learning all there is to know about this virtual event. Read on to find out more!

Virtual Poblacion: All you need to know

How can people join in?

“It’s basically like texting your friend on a hard day’s night, ‘Tara sa Poblacion!’. So, we post the notice about our parties just hours before through Instagram stories. Basically, they have to follow our Instagram account, @mankyds. They can also DM the said account to ask for the discord server link.”

How often do these Virtual Poblacion parties take place?

“We do this at least twice a week. Mostly Thursday nights after the live show and on weekends.”

Image credit: JC Gellidon

What exactly goes on during these virtual parties?

“Believe it or not, it’s like going to an actual bar. You get inside, look for familiar faces; if you can’t find anyone you know… It’s either you drink in silence or you reach out to the crowd. Don’t worry, even introverts meet new friends through Virtual Poblacion!”

“We really try to get as close as possible to the real thing. You will hear the DJ playing in the background, you can dance if you want to, you can talk and mingle, so on and so forth. We really encourage our attendees to have an actual drink or food beside them, since we serve virtual liquor and bar chow via the text channels.”

What can potential guests look forward to?

“If they were regulars in Poblacion, they should expect nostalgia. Our attendees felt joy that they had the virtual party, and sad at the same time because it reminded them of the good old Poblacion days. We make the experience complete: We hop from one bar to another, we have manong fishball — and people can just go there to have a little bit of peace and quiet, buy some virtual fishballs, talk to those who went out of the bar as well.”

Image credit: Hamaru Yakitori & Sushi Official Facebook Page

“We will soon open Dulo Mnl for a laid-back chill kind of night, and a partnership with Yoi/ Hamaru for Virtual Poblacion with actual DJ sets.”

Also read: Nightlife in Manila: 10 Speakeasies You Have to Check Out [Updated 2020] 

Excited to join in the next Virtual Poblacion event? While we’d love to experience the real deal once again, we can’t wait to enjoy even just a slice of Poblacion at home — see you there!

Gabriella Salud

With the intention of pursuing a career in medicine, Gaby got her bachelor of science degree in psychology—and proceeded to follow her passion for writing instead. A former editorial assistant at Metro Society magazine, she loves to hear people's stories and tell them through her writing.

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