Dive Bars


There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Angeles City, but too many of them are either tourist traps or cater to an unsavory clientele (girlie bars). The fun and party atmosphere of Angeles City quickly turns to annoyance after a few days as you go through yet another meal of overpriced bad food, super charged beers and scams, and people incessantly trying to sell you Viagra. Counterfeit iPhones, and tasers disguised as flashlights (I’m not kidding).

Puntos Sports Bar Review

So I was that much more happy to stumble upon Puntos on my last trip to the Philippine’s Sin City. It’s located on the perimeter Friendship Road that’s so popular, but way down a mile or two from the insanity of Walking Street. It actually sits right next to the Red Planet Hotel and a few yards from Savanah Hotel and others.

Puntos is a sports bar that’s designed as a comfy, chill and fun place for patrons to eat, drink and mingle. As the de facto restaurant for Red Planet (a discount hotel chain in SE Asia), it begins with an early morning breakfast. I’m addicted to the pancakes with bananas (they haven’t yet mastered the art of cooking them in there!) and also the mango/banana shakes are super refreshing and filling. Add in a couple of cups of coffee as I work, and this all costs only about $7 USD.

Later in the day, Puntos transitions to a menu with plenty of bar food appetizers but also salads, pastas, burgers, pizzas and their own large menu of Filipino food. The ambiance is relaxed and welcoming, too, with glazed dark wood tables and chairs made out of steel pipes in an industrial motif. Likewise, the floors are smoothed concrete tiles, the walls dark gray, and the high ceilings have all exposed ductwork painted dark.

Their huge three-sided bar could probably fit twenty people, and unlike a lot of bars on the islands, they actually know how to serve drinks! In front, there are a couple of tables to sit outside and watch the world go by, although you won’t get much more than traffic out there. I love how they always have sports playing on their half dozen large flat screen TVs, and it’s the prime spot to catch games and highlights during the NBA basketball season.

They also have a nice pool table and several nights a week, live bands with people singing favorite US pop and R&B songs that bring in a mixed, classier crow than you’ll find at other bars.

I’d say they could turn the aircon up a bit – a very common problem here in the Philippines where the locals would be downright cold at a temperature we find comfortable. But even without cranking up the AC, a few ceiling fans would be perfect to move the air, as it gets stagnant, especially during the heat of the day or when it’s crowded.

The staff also tend to run the same songs on repeat or even worse, play about one minute of each song before switching to the next. But that’s understandable with young staff working long hours, and I find their energy, kindness, and sincerity to be heartwarming.

They really care about you feeling welcome and having a good dining experience at Puntos, and I’ll come back here every time I’m in Angeles City!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post, Business.com, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo, Hotels.com, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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