[Video] – Night Life on Mactan Isle – Philippines

Update:  As of July 7th, 2013.. Chicago Joe’s closed it’s doors until further notice.  It’s hoped that new management will re-open it.  If/When that happens I’ll be sure to update again here.

About once a month I like to get out and just have some fun at one of the local dance-clubs nearby.  There is a large one I’ve heard about, but not been to yet, over on Cebu called “Juliana’s” only because it’s kind of a hassle to be so far from home that late at night and a bit tipsy at the end of the evening.  But I’ll probably go there when I decide to get a room nearby there to crash at since clubs here don’t necessarily close at 2am.  Some don’t close until dawn as long as enough people want to party.

There’s a standard sized club here on Mactan known as the “Lotus Club” located about one mile from my place, in an area known as Tamiya.  It’s a lot of fun although a bit more ‘dressy’ than I prefer.  Nice thing is that the dress-code doesn’t apply if you’re a foreigner.   Cover charge is about $2 and beers are always about $1 each so having a fun time isn’t going to break the bank at most clubs here.  Lotus Club has a good sound system but the dance floor is not as big as I’d like.  But still a fun place to go.

My favorite place for fun is without a doubtChicago Joes Bump & Grind Disco Dance Club‘.  While they don’t mind that you dress-to-impress it’s not as formal as Lotus Club.  The girls there are usually dressed nice anyway so, it all works out.  What I like about CJ’s is that it’s not just a dance club.  It’s pretty much a Party Compound.  There’s something to do there day or night.. any day of the week.  There is scuba diving, beach access, a marina, swimming pool, outdoor patio with projection videos on the outside of the building.. upstairs are at least 8 individual Karaole Rooms for rental by the hour.  There’s also rotisserie chicken being cooked at the outdoor patio area if you want to have a real conversation away from the sound system indoors or just get some fresh air. A Conference Room is in the works as well as a possible billiards game-room.

Indoors the actual club itself is HUGE.  The dance floor is really big and the bar is well stocked.  I’ve always been able to get a table for myself and five others even when the place is packed.  They also have a kitchen and any food I’ve ordered there has been really, really good.  The Meat-Lover’s Pizza is one of my favorites, Chicken Nachos also good.  All week they serve Mexican, Italian and American food such as Menudo, Burritos, Lasagna, Grinder Sandwiches, Burgers and more.  It’s great to stop by on an afternoon for some swim-time and good food.  Prices are reasonable for booze and food, especially since good non-Filipino food is kinda rare on Mactan aside from the more expensive resorts.

Sound systems is great!  Lots of laser, spotlights and light gadgets going on and every so often the female bartenders get up on the bar to dance in their trademark mini-skirts.  I’ve been there once a month since I got here and always had a fantastic time.  ‘Chicago Joe’ himself can usually be found enjoying the fun in the evenings and is a friendly guy who really enjoys what he does.  There are ALWAYS lots of cute Filipinas here, local girls out to dance and have some fun.  What I like about CJ’s is that it’s not some cover for the local Pros to work their trade.  A few may sneak in every now and then, but it’s mainly a place where both locals and foreigners can just let loose and have some fun.  From what I’ve heard of ‘Julianas‘ in the Mango Square area, it’s more of a meat-market in a dance-club atmosphere.  Can’t say for sure since I haven’t been there.. yet, but that’s the word I keep getting.  Plus the area around CJ’s is pretty safe while the area around Juliana’s (Mango Square) is a magnet for Pros and street hustlers.  All things being even.. I prefer Chicago Joe’s each time.

A Live Band plays until about 10pm, followed by some great DJ music the rest of the evening.  Another fun event at Chicago Joe’s is the nightly ‘Sexy Dance Contest‘.  First a group of volunteer guys compete to see who can drink one beer the fastest.  The winner then sits in a chair with his hands behind his back while a group of female volunteers then compete to see who can deliver the sexiest lap-dance in under 30 seconds.  This happens around 2am and then the dancing kicks back into full gear.

Here’s a short video from just one visit to Chicago Joe’s.  It’s located on the East side of Mactan, right next door to the Imperial Resort & Hotel.

Henry ‘Reekay’ V.


Earn Money With Your Digital Camera

Author: Reekay

About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.
— Reekay


  1. Hi Henry,
    Found your website by chance and since have read all your articles, as I will be visiting the Philippines with an outlook to living there permantely your stories have been so helpful in getting a real feel for the country, keep up the good work, really enjoy your articles.

    1. Hi Chris! Glad to hear you’re finding the articles informative. I pretty much throw myself into the thick of it and try to pass on what I see as best I can. Will you be arriving to meet a Filipina you already been chatting with?.. Single or Married? The Philippines has lots to offer and I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). So many beautiful provinces such as Bogo that I’ve spent a little time in are such a getaway from everything I’ve known before. But plenty of big malls to keep up with the latest movies and shopping to be found as well. Be sure to subscribe so you get the new stuff.. get ready for an adventure.. it is truly a whole other world here. 🙂

      1. Thanks Henry, I have learnt a good deal from your articles, actually took your advice on the lady situation and will arrive single, alone and have a look around. Before I stumbled upon your site I did look at Lapu-Lapu as a possible place to live but after reading about your area sounds just the place for me. Thanks, I have subscribed and look forward to your new articles, take care.

  2. Hard to get good entertainment like that. I only saw one other place in Cagayan De Oro. I'm itching to go now. Many thanks.

    1. With Mactan being so small, Chicago Joe’s is a real gem to have nearby. Otherwise I’d have to go to Cebu for a fun time, more travel/hassle. Nothing is Cebu is this large anyway with so many options. And the crowd there is always in a fun mood. 🙂

  3. Thanks Henry for the offer, beer sounds good, I will definately take you up on it, in the mean time I will continue to read your articles and stay in touch, take it easy there ha ha!

  4. Hi Henry its Mark from Vancouver again. Once again thanks for great in depth features you do. It is really helpful. I am moving next July to Philippines and am deciding where to settle full time. I love the south like Zamboanga City but it is still not safe with the MILF situation there and my gf lives for now with family in Cotabato City which is really not safe. I have friend from Vancouver who married Filippina and lives in Cebu city so that is in the mix.But I think in city its fairly expensive so your area sounds possible. Are there many rental units at good price in the area? I love the Bars like Chicago Joes they are all over Philippines and they always have such fun. I laughed at karaoke rooms and prices. I discovered one trip there to ask if the price is consumable. Ask and see if it is. It means that for price of room you can have beers in that hourly price of room meaning if you drink some the room is free. Not really free but 300pp of beer free. Anyway when I come to Cebu I would like to say hello and see how things are going with you. In the meantime keep up the great articles and features. I can see a lot of work has gone into them. Again, thanks.
    Mark from coolish Vancouver

    1. Sounds like you’ve been doing your homework. Personally, there are too many islands here to be on one where you have to even think about MILF, guns or craziness. I don’t care how remote, the rest of the islands are safer by comparison is how I see it. And yes, bars here are much more relaxed than my days I used to skip over the border to Mexico. In Mexico, I didn’t trust nobody and always watched my back. I’ve gotten to know some of the people in the community here and for the most part are really cool, laid back people. I always have a good time and it’s nice knowing there is no “last call” around here. ha! Drop me a line if you’re in Cebu sometime and we’ll meet up for a beer and some conversation.

  5. I can remember back while living in Olongapo in the mid ’80s, where there were many large nightclubs that lined Magsaysay Blvd for well over 1km. Some days to catch a break, one would head out the the Barrio, where there were many more bars, but they were smaller and more laid back. More ‘mom & pop’ish’ if you will. It still didn’t do anything for the recovery process. The only way for me to catch up on sleep and get re-charged and back to normal was to literally ‘leave’ the islands, and most times I would hope to be gone for minimum of two weeks. The word “Pace” may remain in your volcabulary, but it takes on a non-cognizant meaning while living there as a single guy…no matter what Island you live on. I’m glad I’m finally settled down and heading for Samar and a more quiet, gentle side of the Philippines. Just don’t age yourself too quickly Henry! 😉

    1. Hi Randy.. yes, during my initial 3 months that I was in a relationship with my g/f in Cebu, I had a fairly normal ‘pace’ I was keeping. Her and I were just talking about that tonight in fact. But as soon as we broke up and word got out I was ‘single’ again.. it’s been totally nuts. Fortunately for decades I’ve been primarily a nocturnal person so the late nights I can handle as well or better than these younger gals.

      Only on rare occasion do I drink to the point where I start laughing hysterically and grabbing complete strangers to shake them up if they aren’t on the dance floor. Usually I only have about 5 beers and have fun the rest of the night. I don’t smoke, so that’s a plus and I do have my collection of vitamins and B+ Complex for energy when I need it. I hardly ever touch soda, maybe once every two months and stick with Water all the time. Fresh pineapple juice is my addiction.. have blender, will blend at the drop of a pineapple.

      It’s early Wednesday morning which gives me about 3 whole days to ‘act normal’ until the party Friday night at CJ’s. That should get my body back to normal and get some work done. I already know that after 30 hours with no sleep I begin to hear sounds as if there’s a television or people talking despite it being middle of the night. I figure it’s stuff in my head just doing a replay at a higher volume.. but when it happens I know I really, really need to go to bed because neither that nor the imaginary birds flying in the corner of my vision are real. Although the salamanders climbing the wall.. they’re real. I’m pretty sure.

  6. Henryyyyyyyyyyyyy,

    Life looks sooooo good for you !!!
    You are a lucky man !

    Maybe you can add “ASK HENRY” to your site. Maybe people have some questions that don’t have anything to do with your stories but I dont see a place to post that (like now lol ). Others might enjoy reading your answers or asking simple questions (ex: Have you ever regretted once moving there?). Not a forum. You keep it real.

    1. Hola Kevin.. Sounds like a cool idea.. I’ll add it in and see if anyone wants to participate. 🙂

      I must say, I am so glad I came here. It was truly a giant leap of faith since I’d never been here before and basically came with no intention of leaving no matter what I encountered. A few weird things to deal with like flying roaches and giant spiders, but for the most part.. a fantastic journey every day. I’ll add in the ‘ASK HENRY’ section tonight with a form so people can pose a question. It sounds like a fun idea. ha!

  7. Hey, watch out for an American Pilot name BOB, he is from Tampa Florida and he has such “big ones” I don’t know how he can go thru the door!! He says he is 61, but he is 73 AND has been there twice and fell in love with a SCAMMER. Don”t know her name but she has 5 children and is 45 years old. Her parents own a supermarket nearby. PLEASE let her know that he is such a scammer he has had to go OUT OF THE COUNTRY to LIE LIE LIE to other woman. He says she likes to sing, so I hope you will warn her. BAD NEWS and his wife is going to take ALLLLLL his money honey!!!! So I don’t know who is scamming who… but Bob is BAD NEWS, I KNOW!!! Known him for many years!!!

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