Ermita is now only a shadow of its former position as perhaps the most exciting ten-block concentration of night-life in the world. The two-hundred plus night-spots on Del Pilar and Mabini streets were boarded up and closed due to the politically-motivated actions of a former mayor (whose name is justly forgotten) who chose to curry favor with church and conservative groups by waging a moral war on nightclubs. The result: the popular nightspots moved to Pasay City, Burgos street in Makati and Angeles City, enriching the tax bases and night life of those areas, but leaving behind a blighted and deserted area.
With the belated retirement of that mayor by the voters, the nightlife has again picked up somewhat, headed by the now-bustling L.A. Cafe and the Jurasic Park nightclubs/pool halls. Also popular are the G-point (Scandanavian owned and run), the Juri (which remained open somehow throughout the moral crusade). For a quiet escape, try the Holandia and Duck Inn within a few hundred yards of each other at the North end of del Pilar street.
Other than the night life, there are a number of coin shops and antique shops, as well as some artists who remained in the area even after the tourists departed. Other attractions include the Supreme Court, U.S. Embassy, several Universities and hospitals and the students have turned Robinson's Mall into a bustling shopping center and rendez-vous, with a Starbucks, Figaro's Nescafe and several other coffee shops and outdoor-type cafes, (albeit indoors).
Halfway between Intramuros (the old walled city) and the Old Catholic church in Malate, the Ermita area is a place well worth visiting still.