The Central Visayan island of Bohol offers achingly beautiful beaches, world-class resorts and phenomenal eco-tourism. Bohol is also home to some of the best nightlife in the Philippines. The island’s bars are perfect for sitting back and watching the sunset after a long day of exploring.
Bohol’s resorts feature an array of waterside bars with refreshing cocktails and funky live music. While Bohol’s Tagbilaran City gets quiet after dark, travellers who are looking for action should head further south to Alona Beach.
Aluna Lounge Bar is directly across from the beach. Owned by a retired US Army veteran, the lounge offers reasonably priced cocktails and ocean views. This bar is great for sitting and people-watching as the sun dips behind the waves. The lounge’s two long bars that face each other also make this destination ideal for travellers who want to meet new friends.
If your goal is to dance all night with a rambunctious crowd, Pinarella Bay is the place to be. The music is good, drinks are cheap and its famous theme parties often last until sunrise. DJs fly in from Manila and Cebu on weekends. The second floor is a relaxing spot for travellers who don’t want to (or can’t) dance.
Coco Vida is a busy bar with live cover bands that will keep you singing along to classic hits throughout the evening. Resident band Sacrifice have a talented guitarist and charismatic lead singer, who encourages audience members to come up on stage and sing. While food service is a bit slow, visitors should stay here for the cheap drinks and fun vibes.
This charming bar is located in the center of Panglao, nestled in a quiet garden with a tree house. The bar offers exotic cocktails, quality liquor and beer on tap, as well as a break from the hustle and bustle of Alona Beach. Happy hour runs from 5 to 8 pm daily. A house band plays upbeat rock or reggae music on Fridays, while Saturdays are reserved for slower acoustic ballads.
This quaint and relaxing beach shack has friendly staff, festive decor and delicious pork barbecue. Jamaican music (mainly Bob Marley’s hits) is played on a loop. The bar has the longest happy hour in Bohol, running from 10am to 10pm daily. Take advantage of their moreish rum and gin cocktails!
Located outside of Alona Beach, this Swedish-run bar is part of the Alona Pawikan Resort and provides a quiet atmosphere to relax with friends. If you’d like to support local breweries and distilleries, try the bar’s impressive selection of Filipino craft beer. Visitors who buy a drink can play pool for free and those who show up on Thursday can participate in ‘Quiz Night,’ which starts at 8pm.
Popular with locals, this karaoke joint has an adjacent store that sells liquor and is open 24/7. Hardy’s large karaoke machine has long wires that are designed to reach over plastic chairs and wooden tables; this way, when it’s your turn to sing, you can perform throughout the bar. Drink like the locals do and purchase one-litre bottles from the store to participate in a Filipino tradition known as tagay (cheers) that involves drinking out of a large bottle with friends. Karaoke is only available until 10pm and travellers are advised not to sing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’; according to reports, at least a dozen victims who sang this song in a karaoke bar in the Philippines have been killed.
Leave your flip-flops at the hotel and put on your best dancing shoes, then head over to ‘Atmos’ (as the locals fondly call it). This 20-year-old club with black leather booths maintains a reasonably priced cover charge. It plays modern electronic and house music by guest DJs from Manila and abroad. Private karaoke rooms are available for travellers who are afraid to sing in public. Guests staying at the Metrocentre Hotel get free entrance to the club.
Cushions and beanbags on the sand serve as chairs at Equation Sunset Lounge, while resident DJs play peaceful music. Aptly named, it is one of the best spots to catch the Panglao sunset after a day of island hopping. Order tapas and tropical cocktails while watching boats gently bobbing on the water.
A diver’s hangout, Badi’s is the best place to get tips on what reefs to explore during snorkelling trips on the island. Owned by a father and son from Russia, Badi’s is an interesting hangout if you’re looking for vodka and caviar. Check out the Georgian menu for appetizers. The cocktails have plenty of fresh tropical fruit. The bar’s motto is ‘Dive all day, drink all night.’