Drunken Nights, Epic Gigs, a Proposal: People Share Their Fondest Memories of El Pueblo Ortigas

The Ortigas hotspot isn't what it used to be.

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PHOTO BY Joanna Manalastas Calasanz ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) A lot of popular Metro Manila haunts have closed down since the pandemic hit. It is no secret, but while others have shut their doors with a sad goodbye, it looks like one place has quietly shuttered: El Pueblo Real de Manila in Ortigas. Right on the corner of ADB Avenue and Julia Vargas, this quaint little spot—built to look like an old Spanish town right in the middle of the bustling CBD—was a special place for many.

Also read: 10 Legendary Local Music Venues That Have Stood the Test of Time

Depending on when you were an Ortigas regular, we're sure you're familiar with some of El Pueblo's best bars and restos. There was the old Tequila Joe's—which BTW, was part-owned by the late Rico Yan—and the TGI Fridays where you probably spent at least one drunken birthday. Or the Congo Grille for great and heavy dinners. Then there was Cafe 1771 and the literal Sidebar next to it! And of course, those nights at 12 Monkeys. Plus, who can forget when Fête de la Musique would take over and turn the place into a massive concert stage?

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Well, we recently passed by El Pueblo again and it looks like the only one left open for now is McDonald's. Seeing the place with a fence around it sure brought in emotions—and a whole lot of memories! We asked you guys for some of your best memories of El Pueblo and yup, it really is bittersweet. From wild nights, romantic moments, epic gigs, and lots of great food and drink, check out some of the stories below!

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Join us on a walk down memory lane straight to the old El Pueblo Ortigas we used to know:

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