The mobile reunion at Connect Poblacion

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Barkadas rediscover the famous drinking district at San Miguel Pale Pilsen’s pub crawl. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — The best way to discover a city is on foot and local beer brand San Miguel Pale Pilsen seems to agree. The lager label took patrons on a walking tour around five bars at Poblacion, Makati on Thursday, Dec. 20.

The pub crawl, entitled “Connect Poblacion,” encourages a personal rediscovery of the now densely populated drinking district. The evening adventure was designed to bring the brand’s “Walang Iwanan” message to life.

Representatives of the brand call the event a reunion, both with old friends and our old city. The brand encouraged participants to seek out hidden gems and learn about the locality’s robust history.

Although it maintains a reputation as Makati’s modern drinking quarter, Poblacion has a deep connection to the city’s past. Poblacion was the first settlement of Makati in the pre-war era, and has served as the seat of governance since then. It now houses at least 17,000 residents and a vast commercial center.

Pub crawlers are given an Instax at the beginning of the night so they can document their barkada reunions. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

The Poblacion crawl

Today, with so many new bars and limited parking options available, many patrons have taken to walking between different spots. To supplement this experience, San Miguel Pale Pilsen invited local tour guides to accompany participants around Poblacion.

Pineapple Lab, Concepto Poblacion, NoKal, and The Social on Ebro served as the evening’s main event hubs. Each stop provided a unique entertainment experience and a game with prizes up for grabs. Completing all four stops entitled visitors to a “secret gig” featuring prominent local acts.

A burlesque performance at the Pineapple Lab. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

At Pineapple Lab, burlesque performers staged a show for all. Seasoned entertainers Lucky Rapscallion, Antoinette Noir, and Fay Castro each treated attendees to a memorable number.

A “drawing relay” game at the art gallery also tested the participants’ creative skill. Teams had to work together to identify words like “Santa,” and “lechon” using only drawings that were made by their teammates.

Models Drew Venzon and Nate Venzon shared their excitement about seeing a previously unfamiliar section of Poblacion. “We’re starting to explore many great hole-in-the-wall places,” says Drew. “We haven’t discovered these before.”

Meanwhile, Concepto Poblacion, a casual dining spot on Mañalac street, hosted a band performance to keep guests entertained. Concepto also converted the adjacent SoleSlam, a streetwear and sneaker shop, into a large ball pit for the evening’s guests.

Pub crawlers at SoleSlam streetwear shop, which was turned into a giant ball pit. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

Participating groups were challenged to search for seven “golden balls” within the pit to win a prize.

James Calonge, who was there to unwind with friends, makes special mention of Concepto’s low prices of San Miguel Pale Pilsen beer. “I liked Concepto. They serve the cheapest beers in Poblacion,” says Calonge.

Calonge says the event gave him a break from the holiday rush. Connect Poblacion gave him ample opportunity to reconnect with his long-time barkada. “We’re all happy to be here,” says Calonge, “Minsan na lang din kasi magsama-sama lahat.”

Daniel Darwin and the Drummers kept attendees company at three-storey outfit NoKal, where they performed soulful covers of Top 40 hits. Attendees here played a game called “How Well Do You Know Your Squad?” They also squared off in a dance-off conducted by in-house DJ Chex.

Daniel Darwin and the Drummers at NoKal. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

In between stops, participant Lorraine Alelis says she was surprised to see how large Poblacion is. “Nagugulat ako na ang laki pala ng area,” says Alelis. “I’ve been to one area before and akala ko yun na yun.”

The pubcrawlers then headed to The Social on Ebro, the sole dining park in the area. There, team members exchanged phones for a fun social media takeover. Participants were also treated to a jamming session using found objects, like water bottles and makeshift tambourines.

A game of social media takeover at The Social on Ebro. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

Secret celebration

To cap off the night, guests who completed the four-stop pub crawl were treated to a free concert at Cinko, the rooftop bar at Artina Suites Hotel.

On the rooftop, guests enjoyed rounds of San Miguel Pale Pilsen to wind down from the evening of walking. The Ransom Collective, She’s Only Sixteen, Cheats, and DJ Kristian Hernandez entertained and performed while artist Kris Abrigo was creating a live mural as the evening progressed.

Artist Kris Abrigo at work at a mural at Cinko, the last stop for the pub crawl. Photo by PAOLO ABAD

“This is our last gig for the year,” shares She’s Only Sixteen frontman Roberto Seña. He thanked the crowd for spending the evening with their band.

Sharing his thoughts on the mural he created for the evening, Abrigo says “Yung main theme is TBT, throwback. It’s a group of friends having a selfie, in line lang with the theme of the evening, walang iwanan.”

If Connect Poblacion is any indication, then the pub crawl is here to stay. For information on upcoming events, visit the San Miguel Pale Pilsen Facebook and Instagram page.