WE attended the SunStar Davao Christmas party but still had some time to spare before going home. I wanted a couple more cold beers, Imee suggested a place because the owner and many of the crew there are her friends. I’m okay with any place that has beer.
That was what I thought. I was wrong.
It was my second time to be in that very popular bar along F. Torres Street. It has a huge hall with tables and chairs and a live band. On my first time there in the early part of this year, I concluded that it’s not my kind of place. It’s a bar with a full live band playing at top volume, conversation is impossible. And it was full. I don’t like crowds.
But then, I only wanted my beer fix. Wrong.
Since it was my second time, I also had the luxury at observing the jampacked crowd, all seated (or standing by the bar) being their Dabawenyo selves. This means, just sitting, not dancing, not clapping. Just sitting. Outside are several others sitting, waiting to be seated, so they can sit through the next set.
It’s a Dabawenyo thing. Being in a place is praise enough. Dancing to the music is just too much. That’s the very reason why dance clubs can barely eke out an existence here. Imagine a dance club full of... seated customers.
But more than just the Dabawenyo crowd, there was one thing that tagged me as ancient.
I’m not sure if it’s just that bar in particular or if that’s the norm in all bars these days as I haven’t been to one in quite some time. (Except at Taboan to eat dinakdakan at Goat’s Eye, but I don’t really mind the band. I just eat.)
For the whole set, the singer just segued from one song to the next, loud noisy ones at that. Gone were the spiels in between songs that were always a welcome relief in bars with live bands because it gave you time to talk with your friends. Going out to listen to live bands over some drinks it seems means going out and listening to live bands over some drinks and nothing else.
But looking around, I realized, there is no need for those breaks and spiels as people were on their phones in between watching and listening. They have their own world outside their current companions.
After a bottle and a half, we left. Outside, more people were waiting to be seated, to sit and drink and check their phones all night. So this is what a night out now means... I’m glad there’s always wine at home. I’m too old for this.
Life, even recreation, now has no breaks. Welcome to the fast lane. Not.