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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pink Manila Hostel: A Nomadic Pranksters New Hideout


I missed the discussion about the Ottoman Empire (over a case of beer) the previous night. Thank goodness as even I consider myself a bit of a nerd, I can only go as far as the boxer rebellion. My friend Gaye who initiated that out-of-nowhere topic, was staying at Pink Manila Hostel for a couple of nights when I invited myself to join her hang out by the pool. The sky was overcast and the road was drenched in puddles of rain when I arrived at the Vito Cruz area. Around early in the afternoon I came about this seven-floor building with the Pink Manila Hostel sign. I entered the gate and was met by stare downs from metal pumping 3-sets-12-rep-160-pounder-bench-press junkies. I momentarily feared about walking into a trap. 

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I was about to pretend that I came there to inquire how much the monthly membership fee, when I saw an elevator draped with flags made from art paper at the left corner. It says something about "before she became your girlfriend, she once feared you as a creepy stranger". Okay, I just made that quote. The sign at the lift was a simple but straight-up "There are no strangers at Pink". I went inside the small elevator and punched number 5.

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Before the lift's door opened I half-expected to see a dozen Russian women frolicking in the pool. For a split-second, I saw myself one step closer to Europe, given that my dependable wing-woman Gaye will do her job. When the door opened I was greeted by a quiet scenery suitable for an afternoon siesta. I guess its the same with hostels all over the world, riotous at night and steady during the day. The house manager and resident nurse-slash-artist, Valerie Carla welcomed and introduced me to the resident cat whose name I quickly forgot. I'm bad with feline names.

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Minutes later Gaye came down from her bunk bed after having a power nap. The three of us later had 'Thrilla in Manila', a cocktail comprised of Mountain Dew and a top secret alcoholic ingredient, at the small bar beside the pool. Gaye told me about the crazy conversation that occurred the night before. I regret missing that, as I would have welcomed the opportunity to listen to traveler's 'comical backpacking moments'.

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rooftop hammocks - great for curing the hangover while reading a book
I stayed in a few hostels before, one at Kota Kinabalu and the others in Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. Back then I thought those countries have an edge in providing affordable, decent and a friendly-environment atmosphere to travelers. The past couple of years though, a number of hostels have been established here; such as Pink Manila, MNL Boutique Hostel, Our Melting Pot, Sogo Hotel and The Circle Hostel to name a few. Other traveler-friendly resorts such as the vegetarian inspired Ambay Beach Resort have embraced that culture of rooting out strangeness in favor of a home-away-from-home-we're-all-homies setup.

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It's a way of asking "what have you been doing lately?'
Some nights, Pink Manila Hostel hosts a party at the rooftop. Reggae nights were the in demand theme. It doesn't matter whether there is a party or not as I found out from Valerie, most nights are filled with guests. The capacity of the hostel is broken down as follows: Dorm A can provide hangover refuge to 8 persons, while Dorm B and C can sleep 6 guests each, while the penthouse dorm sleeps 12 road-potatoes. All dorm-style rooms have an en-suite bath.There is also a couple of private rooms good for two persons. (see the rates below this blog post)

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The streets of Rio as shown during one of Pink Manila's movie night
On rainy evenings, when Pink Manila Hostel ain't gathering guests for a short incursion to nearby pubs and hangout places like Hobbit House and Central, guests are huddled together at the common area for a movie night. Expect a screening of in-house favorites such as "City of God", "The Beach", "Hostel", and soon "The Conjuring" or some rare French films not starring Gerard Depardieu.

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I've come to like the idea of hanging out at Pink Manila Hostel that I came back to hang out another time a few weeks later. I also suggest for others to do the same especially for travelers with a long lay-over in Manila. The next time I was there we were able to hang out with Chrissy, the owner of the hostel. We all went to Saguijo later that night and what do you know, it was my first time to go to Saguijo ever. I know, I missed out on a lot - but thanks to the wonderful groove of Pink Manila, I found my way there with the company of good people.
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Chrissy and me, Gaye, Edgar Zeta and Ryan

Pink Manila Hostel rates:
Dorm A,B,C = P580 A/C
Penthouse Dorm = P450 fan room
Twin Room = P1,600
Chill Out = P250 (shower, swim, billiards, wifi)
All overnight rates include a breakfast set of coffee and toast.
Beer is at 50 pesos.
For more info regarding promo rates and events:
and visit their website
2551 Don Pedro St. Cor. Bautista St. Malate, Manila
(nearby is the new bldg of Benilde, nearer is Central Pub, nearest is the Bulalo place)
# +63 2 484 31 45
Mobile: +63 919 235 69 39
@ pinkhostel@gmail.com
*photos 1-5 from Pink Manila Hostel Facebook page

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