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Gimik Barkada KTV: Singing your heart out in Cebu City

That the Philippines is a country of singers is an oft-repeated observation. No wonder the abundance of KTV bars, singalong bars and videoke joints – all venues that, plain and simple, intend to provide a place for belting out. This, too, is the concept behind Cebu City’s Gimik Barkada KTV & Music Lounge.

That the Philippines is a country of singers (trained or croaking or whatever types) is an oft-repeated observation – and while there may be truth (or none at all, depending on how you look at it) in this claim, all over the country, there are numerous venues that exist to allow Filipinos (and their friends) to attempt to – well – sing. Think KTV bars, singalong bars, videoke joints – all venues that, plain and simple, intend to provide a place for belting out.

This, too, is the concept behind Cebu City’s Gimik Barkada KTV & Music Lounge.

Pronounced jee-mik (akin to “jay”), NOT gi-mik (akin to “gay”) by many Cebuanos, this place is frequented by barkadas (including LGBTs) into singing. And not such a bad place to do so, too.

Lay-out-wise, Gimik has a main hall that: 1) has bar-like feel, complete with tables and chairs arranged facing a small stage; and 2) has a main stage, which is taken over by the singers from the crowd when the song/s requested is played; at times, this stage is used by professional performers (singer or stand-up comedians, among others). For many, though, Gimik’s appeal has to do with the rooms “behind” the hall, as these provide them some space to be with their closer friends, maybe to sing or… do whatever.

The rooms cost P100 per hour (if you want your songs recorded, cough up some more cash). Drinks, meanwhile, cost from P200 per bucket (5+1 beer bottles). And the food? Well, let’s say you don’t come here for the chow…

Here are observations worth noting, though.

This is no classy KTV bar; in fact, this is somewhat… seedy, for lack of a better word. So be prepared for the dark (gloomy, even) hallway; somewhat stinky rooms (one room I tried smelled of smoke left over by the group prior to our use; and another of spilled beer), among others…

No, the staff members are not the friendliest – so forget the smiles that Cebu City is supposedly known for; it’s all business here, thank you very much.

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The sound system isn’t all great. But while belting out after rounds of beers, who cares, right?

Be careful where you lean, as there are cockroaches joining the partying.

When there, be sure to pay immediately, and then inform the people working there that you’re extending (if you intend to do so), else, they will turn off the TV and the airconditioning, thereby forcing people to NOT even finish the drinks they have ordered, and just opt to leave.

No, I don’t think I’m nitpicking; just stating raw observations.

But since our group of seven paid less than P500 during my first visit there (with somewhat similar expenses in the follow-up visits), this place serves its purpose…

For more information on Gimik Barkada KTV & Music Lounge, call (+63 32) 2530129, or just head to Mango Square in Cebu City.

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