Women of NC - Arra Pascual The Queen of Sound


Any DJ worth their salt knows how to keep the beats going and the bodies moving, but Manila-based Arra Pascual takes things to the next level with great looks and smooth beats to boot. In the latest of our odes to the Women of NC, we talk with this deck diva about her passion for music, the party scene in Manila, as the best cures for a spot of overindulgence.


Why did you change from a singer-songwriter to a DJ? Do you still write your own music? 

Coming from a country where everyone in the street can basically sing, I found DJing a more unique thing to do and it differentiated me from everyone else. I get to perform songs I insanely love without stressing my vocal chords. I still sing off the record, express my emotions and write music; I’m just not earning from it at the moment.


Do you arrange a playlist for your set? How much influence can the crowd have 

I get selfish in my sets sometimes. When I like a new song, it gets played no matter what. The crowd always wins though; I’m a pleaser and I always want the crowd to enjoy.


Are your good looks adventitious?

I still think I’m the biggest DJ dork you will ever come across but thanks for the compliment. Looks don’t matter much in DJing but they’re definitely a bonus; DJs need to rock a room, not look cute or beautiful. My field is not a beauty pageant or a boob competition. It’s a tough job that’s harder than it looks.


You’re the Philippines Brand Ambassador for Pioneer DJ; how dis that affiliation influence your career?

After Pioneer DJ Philippines found me, my bookings exploded. It was a bit overwhelming at first; there were already a few established female DJs in the country and yet they chose me. Credibility wise they really gave me the kick-start that all new DJs would hope for.


Manila doesn’t exactly have a clubbing rep, is that fair?

I respect everyone’s opinion of clubbing in Manila but I’ll always be biased towards this place because this is my home, my comfort zone. The clubbing scene here is very laid back; drinks and VIP partying are inexpensive. Simply put, you cannot expect a top-notch service by paying a small amount of money, even when it’s the best that we have. The Philippines is still a developing country but lots of improvements are coming.


Where does the city’s beautiful congregate?

The Palace Manila in Taguig; it’s an entertainment complex where you can hop around four

establishments that are right next to each other. You can also head to City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque, where the club and lounge is one floor up from a casino, or The Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City, a cosy area for clubbing or hanging out at a pub for a quiet night.


Where should I stay to get close to the action?

Stay in Seda Bonifacio Global City hotel, from which you can explore the newly built side of Manila; it’s close to malls, restaurants and most importantly, clubs.


We overindulged last night and now need to recover. What do you suggest?

If “hair of the dog” is your hangover philosophy then you should head over to Skye, the city’s premium roofdeck lounge, or The Palace Pool Club for cocktails. Both places are in The Fort. If you can barely stand, stay in your hotel, order room service and hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! See if the concierge can get you some Bulalo (Filipino beef broth soup), which can help you recover and get ready for another day of overindulgence.


If we’re looking for a relatively quiet spot for a nice beer with new found friends, where should we go?

There are lots of pubs in Manila but most of the venues play heavy club music even if it’s a small bar. I think we Asians in general prefer that. If you want a quiet night, always leave before 10pm as it gets pretty loud after that. You can try The Keg in Makati; The Reserve Liquor Lounge; or the Moonshine Pub in Ortigas. Alternatively there is The Brewery at The Palace; Tipsy Pig; Skye in The Fort; or Cable Car in Quezon City.


Where should we go for an authentic taste of local cuisine?

You can go to The Singing Cooks and Waiters on Roxas Boulevard, or Sisig Society in Eastwood City, Quezon City. Try adobo, sisig, kilawin, sinuglaw, bulalo and sinigang, or ask the restaurant for their best seller!


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