Why Not Disco’s Downward Spiral Gets a Reprieve!
When I first arrived in Dumaguete about four years ago, Why Not Disco was a relatively vibrant nightclub that was packed on Wednesday nights, as well as Fridays and Saturdays. The music was loud but people want that sub-woofer thump when dancing and thus the dance floor was usually packed and there was a healthy mix of Flipinos and foreigners (both residents and tourists).
Since that time, they turned the bass down (or off). I don’t know if it was because of complaints from the older foreigners sitting around the bar or from exterior pressure to reduce the noise level (I heard rumor that Perdices’ brother lived at Mamias next door and had complained, threatening to shut them down). Regardless, eventually, less people were coming to dance so the crowds started to dwindle except during band night on Wednesdays. Then, the music changed (worsened), the DJ’s often sleeping in the booth with pre-programmed songs, so the dancing crowd dwindled even more. As the locals left, the foreigners seemed to find the place less appealing also. So, with a complete lack of floor management, and apparently nobody to take interest in getting the customers back, Why Not was left with a few diehards and was headed to a slow agonizing death.
Recently, however, a new band started playing on Saturday nights. I don’t know the name of the group but they play all recent hits and play them well. Both the male and female singers have a lot of energy, good voices, and they have a good percussionist. People have started to come back and the dance floor is once again full. I hope this trend continues and I hope the management will now realize what is needed to keep their customers and get some DJ’s that can do as well as this new band!
So, if you like the way Why Not used to be, four years ago, check out the new band on Saturday nights.
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A Good night club for expats would be nice
I would certainly agree with you, particularly when the Dj’s changed. Obviously no one from management was listening or watching what was happening. I also noticed the bands started later and left early during that period. Although my history with Why Not is much shorter than yours, less than two years, I had felt it had certainly declined, and at an accelerating pace. I stopped going about 2 months ago when they had the “comedy shows” for two weeks on Saturday nights in a row. The focus of the audience orientation seemed to change and I decide it was not my orientation and stop going. This town needs a good disco, and it would be nice if Why Not would regain its past glamor as a vibrant nightclub, or a new club took it place in town. Unfortunately since I decided I did not fit in at the club any longer I have not experience the new band. The rest of the clubs in town seem to have a very small percent of expat patronizing them. Keep us posted if it starts to revive itself. Sooner or later the reduced cash flow should wake someone up.
Tiki Tiki seems to be a fun place, but does not provide dancing. There are very few expats there.
Why not tends to hit its up and downs from my experience. Lately it has been down. Thought maybe because it was low season for tourists. I do agree that the bands generally suck. The older one on Wednesday made me cringe. Mondays the band is much better but the crowd just isn't there. They tried a rock night for a while and the band was pretty good but it seems they have stopped that. I missed the band this Saturday so can't comment. I have been avoiding the place on Saturday ever since they had that gay, not very funny, comedy show. (I have to say that did bring in a crowd.....a crowd that uses their entrance fee free drink and doesn't order another single thing all night)
I regularly visit tiki bar for their cheap jack and coke. Everything on their menu is much cheaper than at most bars. It's more a place to take a girl for somewhat quiet, and cheap, night. I hit sizzlers and Bar Rocks up later, after midnight, these two places are usually packed, hot and can lead to trouble, but are the only discos in town that I would dare to venture into. The Black Pearl is a good place to chill out before 9-10pm, good food and relaxed place. La Fiesta is nice as well but way out in San Miguel.
I was also here around that time. Why Not has declined because it got some competition for places to go. As soon as alternative places started popping up, people started leaving.
Originally Posted by SteveB
Around that time, Coyotes (now Black Pearl) opened back up and Terry of Happy Fred's (now Pirate Bay) arrived back in town to run his bar. Many of my friends quit hanging out at Whynot at that point as they were more split between these three places. Then more places opened up such as Roadhouse and Time Out.
At some point Tommy took over Time Out and began drawing a crowd as an alternative disco for the locals. There were a couple of times that when I went there the place was so packed the manager wouldn't let me in until other people left. That place must have drawn a lot of people away from Whynot.
Bar Rocks, Sizzlers and the other closet sized "discos" have further chipped away at Why Not (Time Out has since gone away.)
I think the glory days of Why Not have passed and it makes sense that it's not the same attraction that it once was. When there were few other choices, then people were willing to go there, but it's hard for one place to serve such a diverse crowd.
The younger locals likely much prefer to be in a bar which is mostly other younger locals. The casual crowd likely prefers to be able to drink and talk in an environment where they can hear each other talk. A large segment of the expat crowd prefers expat bars where they know the owners and know their friends will be there. Many expats live outside of Dumaguete and prefer La Fiesta and Black Pearl simply because they are closer to home. Young college students probably didn't appreciate dancing next to hookers and getting hit on by the crazy expats and tourists who thought they could land any chick they wanted.
Also, discos get stale. Disco crowds want to hang out at the next new place. That's why the old places decline while the new places get packed. So, WhyNot probably needs to re-invent itself once in a while. But expats just want a good home (Pirate Bay lost a lot of regulars after Terry sold the bar,) so you can't please everyone.
I was sick of Why Not within a few months of living here. I went there last month and it seemed to be the same hard core people hanging out there as I saw when I first arrived four years ago. The same crazy foreigners on the dance floor, the same Nigerians and Iranians playing pool, the same hookers and the same guys I have never talked to in these four years sitting at the bar. So, I suppose they will always have that core crowd. Only the tourists change the face of that place.
Bar Rocks is only good if you still need a beer after 3AM or if you want to try hooking up with 15 year old girls (in either case, you might need to get your head examined.) I imagine Sizzlers is much the same. I immediately feel very out of place and I'm not even old.
I suppose the expats could use a new club, but that would require someone dumb enough to open one up. This being the Philippines, I'm guessing that opening a bar for a crowd other than Filipino's would be very difficult to keep open.
Maybe try hanging out at the hole in the wall Filipino bars for something different. Hanging out with other expats all the time gets old.
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Went back to WhyNot to see that band (FeeFir is their name) on Saturday. Although I like their music, the percussionist was missing and they sounded a bit flat. On top of that, they only played until 11:30 because they had another gig that night at Bethel. I guess their regular crowd new that because there was nobody at WhyNot. We left at midnight.
Yes you are right SteveB. I loved going to Why Not Disco before caus i love to dance but im quite shy, the jammed-packed dance floor gave me the confidence to dance caus i know people will not notice me. I started going back again last month and i noticed its not the same anymore. There are only a handful or no one dancing at all and its saturday night which is a little shocking. The reason i am going there now is because of their billiard table and not to dance. Their billiard tables are so good to play on and tourist and expats alike are so friendly playing billiards with a woman!! They even offered to pay for the game even though i lost Will go back there again and check out the new band..
Oh the benefits of being a woman. I bet most of them would buy your drinks too if you made eye contact and gave a smile. Probably don't even have to smile, just acknowledge their presence.
Originally Posted by Anna
I was offering advice to score free drinks. Not saying you were doing it.
I just go to why not for the billiards as well, since they have one of the best tables in Dumaguete. Nothing much else going on there now, and no smoking makes me less likely to spend any time in there.