La Bamba
Way back in 1991 I can remember first coming to Angeles. This was a couple of months post Pinatubo and one of the few bars still operating successfully was Hobo Bar which was the original bar prior to becoming La Bamba. I paid sporadic visits to Angeles during the next year but then in 1993 after Ermita in Manila had been closed I found myself drawn to Angeles. I of course was not the only one and along with me were ex Ermita bar owners two of whom decided to start again in Angeles and purchased the Hobo Bar and turned it into La Bamba.

A few years later another group from Makati bought into the bar and they began to expand building Panama Jacks which is now Rhapsody.
 
   
   
 

Location:

Address: Fields ave, Balibago, Angeles City

Operating hours: 5pm - 2am

20% Asian Escapades Discount


   
   
   
 
Prices:
Item:Cost:
Local Drinks105p
Ladies Drinks150p
Double Ladies Drinks300p
Imported Drinks125p-175p
Bell Ring3,500p
Ping Pong Balls300p
Early Work Release2250p

Prices Updated On: 2015-02-01

La Bamba also offers Asian Escapades
members a 20% discount off your entire bill.
 
   
   
   

The influence of the Makati group was clearly obvious in Papillon as they placed an emphasis on a more safe sort of entertainment with shows, specialized dance groups and ladies drinks.

Interestingly enough La Bamba followed the Makati system to a lesser extent and it is the bar that still survives to this day. I believe La Bamba's longevity is attributable to many things not the least of which is adherence to simplicity and sticking with what has proven to work in the Angeles environment. The logic behind this bars approach is, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and I believe it is this approach that has served La Bamba well and enabled the bar to, 'keep on keeping on'.
 
   
Central dance floor

   
dance floor from entance

   
The wet bar

   
La bambas famous maragaritas
 

One thing I really like about La Bamba is that it hasn't changed that much over the years which means it is a model of consistency and customers know exactly what to expect when visiting there. When speaking to one of the owners about this he referred to it as being a 'retro bar'.

When I heard the term "retro" I thought to myself that is exactly how I see La Bamba. While the big money and the huge glitzy bars have certainly arrived and are an undeniable part of the modern day AC bar scene, there is still definitely a place for a bar like La Bamba which was here long before the big money operations, and will probably still be here long after the big operations are gone.

To some extent La Bamba represents a throw back to how Angeles used to be. The design is very simple with a stage in the middle and bar stools around the stage. On one side there is a series of couches where customers can recline and sit back watching the stage from a little distance but still being close enough to make easy eye contact with a girl of their choice. On the other side they have the well stocked wet bar area.

While on the subject of the wet bar I would like to state that in my opinion La Bamba has always had hot bar tenders. I don't know what it is about this place but over the 18 years I have been visiting, there has always been hot looking bar tenders in La Bamba and they are also pretty good at mixing and serving drinks.

La Bamba has always had a well stocked and managed wet bar and I have found the bar maids to be well trained considering how hard it is to find decent staff in Angeles. They are quite proficient at making a large range of shooters and cocktails but I always find myself gravitating towards the frozen margarita which they sell by the pitcher for a very reasonable 300 piso.

In the front of the bar on the right hand side is a round table which is used as a kind of gathering point. Personally I always gravitated towards this table because I saw it as a kind of managers table where the guys could gather round enjoying each others company and at the same time flirt with the girls. The irony here is that to the best of my memory La Bamba has never had an actively drinking manager who draws customers into the bar to enjoy a drink and enjoy the girls. Instead they have always placed an emphasis on low key, out of the public eye management that operates behind the scenes.

La Bamba has many advantages not the least of which is one that they share with all small bars, and that is, it offers customers an opportunity to have easy contact with the girls. The design of La Bamba with the center stage encourages customers to sit within 2 feet of the girls on stage and allows easy physical and verbal contact.


In today's world of mega bars and show girls it is nice to experience a bar that's design harks back to the old days where things were less commercial and there was a lot more contact between the dancing girls and the customers.

While on the subject of girls I have to say over the years I have always found some hot ones in here, in fact, for me it has always been one of those bars which should be included when bar hopping on Fields.

Like most bars La Bamba has defined time periods when it is at its strongest and the line up is at its best. With La Bamba right from the word go they placed an emphasis on the day time market and from 1994 through to 2003 this was by far the most popular daytime bar. Times have changed somewhat in recent years and other bars have come along to compete with for the day time spenders however in my opinion La Bamba is still one of the best daytime bars on Fields and certainly worth a visit.

La Bamba has always run a significant number of girls and during the nighttime the shift is far from shabby. As I have stated there is nearly always some good looking girls in here and La Bamba is definitely one that should be checked out early evening from around 7 to 10PM.

La Bamba was one of the first bars in Angeles to do away with the single position of DJ. The idea was for the Filipino staff to multi-task so rather than have one person who acts as a DJ they have one person who can be a bar tender plus a DJ or a cashier plus DJ. Here at La Bamba they have an extensive music selection and customers are encouraged to request a song at any time. The music in here is generally a nice mix between what the girls want to hear and what the customers want to hear. Most of the customer base seems to be males in their mid to late forties through to guys in their sixties and this customer base quite naturally has a very different taste in music than Filipina dancers in their late teens and early twenties. Having noted that I have to say in my opinion La Bamba is one of the few bars that manages to find some musical middle ground and somehow keeps both factions happy.

Traditionally La Bamba has always taken the less risky low profile conservative approach. For example in years gone by there was always a raging debate about bikinis but La Bamba for as long as I can remember has whenever possible veered away from bikinis and adopted the sexy shorts and top approach. In the past I have asked management why and have received the reply because the girls prefer to work dressed like this.

Which brings me to my next point. The management at La Bamba has always placed an emphasis on looking after and caring for the staff that work their. From foreign owners and managers through to the head Mamasan and the lowliest CR cleaner everyone is respected and looked after. In La Bamba there is a type of extended family feel among the staff who work there. Their fellow workers become like their family unit and the bar becomes their home away from home. The loyalty and respect that this approach engenders is clearly evidenced by the large number of girls that keep on returning to La Bamba and bring with them their boy friend, their husband or their big spending customer. In fact many girls have in the past left the fold and gone onto bigger and better things yet at the same time have never forgotten their roots and it is not uncommon to see girls who have worked in La Bamba in the past returning and partying in the bar.

The La Bamba managements dignified approach to the girls is demonstrated by the bars policies. For example as far back as 1998 they were among the first bars to do away with the straight out bar-fine and replace it with an EWR 12 drink minimum system. Under this system once the girl has gotten 12 drinks she may stop work and do whatever she wants. This system has disadvantages and advantages but the bottom line here, is that for the customer, this system can often work out less expensive, it certainly demonstrates a level of respect for the girls and a careful approach to the business as a whole.

La Bamba is almost what I would call a mainstay Angeles bar. In some ways it is delightfully old fashioned and harks back to yesteryear bars in a bygone era. It is to the best of my knowledge the oldest bar still maintaining the one name in Angeles, so no matter what you may think of the bar and managements policies, they cannot be disputed if longevity is any kind of yardstick to measure by.

La Bamba is a pleasant little bar and I always have a good time in there. The girls can be a little bit shy until they get to know you but once the initial barrier is overcome they can be some of the friendliest girls on Fields. Best of all they are perhaps the most friendly AE bar in Angeles offering a healthy twenty percent discount off your total bill for AE members. Yes you read that correctly, La Bamba offers a 20% discount off AE members total bill which is the biggest AE discount in Angeles.

If you are bar hopping on Fields my advice is to make sure you pop into La Bamaba and check it out. This is a fun little bar with a good lineup of attractive girls and they make a mean margarita which they sell by the jug upon request. Then to make your La Bamba experience even more enjoyable present your AE card and receive the generous 20% discount off your total bill. La Bamba management have always been customer pro active and with the 20% AE discount this makes La Bamba the best value bars on Fields This is a great bar with some hot girls, realistic pricing and a friendly ambiance which makes all customers feel welcome and happy.

Gallery
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
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