The Collective is a bunch of random shops housed in a converted warehouse. From the outside I thought it looked like an old-school market building. Inside there are a couple of restaurants, artsy shops, galleries, a bar, and lots of negative space.
We took a table outside B-Side and just sat there for a while. Actually we were waiting for someone to come and take our order but no one ever did. Well, there was this one girl in a skimpy outfit who kept on coming back to our table and leaving samplers of light brandy. I wanted to be supportive of her reaching her giveaway quota but I don't really like brandy so what I did was, I furtively poured the drinks into the planter beside our table. Later, I spotted a waitress all the way on the other side of the bar. I tried calling out and waving my arm in the air as urgently as I could but to no avail. The music was too loud and the lights too low. Anyway, I had to walk over to where she was to get the menu.
IT WAS FUCKING EXPENSIVE. Like San Mig Light was 60 pesos a bottle. And they didn't have beers by the bucket. I thought this place being "alternative", it would be cheaper but I don't know, being as close as it is to the CBD, maybe they couldn't escape the capitalist crap.
Actually, that's not true, because afterwards we went to Cable Car on Pasay Road to meet up with Panda (who had just come back from studies in China) and their local beers were only 45 pesos. And colder even. And the service was better.
Cable Car (Sports Bar. KTV. Billiards) was a nice surprise. On the first level there is a huge wooden bar which runs almost the whole length of the room. Upstairs is the KTV and the billiards tables, where we found Panda and his friends. There was also a beer pong table with a gaggle of minors around it.
Neil and I decided to play it cool and hang out at the bar downstairs. There was a little piped in music loud enough to keep up the buzz but quiet enough to allow for good conversation. Panda et al came down and joined us at the bar. Onion rings and chicken fingers were ordered and promptly finished. Can I just say that they were the best onion rings I have ever had. EVER.
Also I discovered that it is incredibly awkward to try to have a group conversation at a bar. But it was all good. In the end, everyone went home slightly inebriated and happy.