One would think that a night out with friends in a pub is
enough. Who would have thought that one could drink all night and crawl to six
pubs in just one night? And that is exactly what I did one Saturday night. Except the crawling part.
Aside from occasional drinking sprees with officemates and friends,
I have limited to no experience with the nightclub culture of Manila,
especially of Bonfiacio Global City. Sure, I’ve been to the bars in The Fort
Strip, but I have no idea how pub crawls work. I was curious. I was excited!
That night, going to Big Bad Wolf, traffic was light. We
thought we were on schedule, turns out we were an hour early for the pub crawl.
But that was okay, Craig, the organizer, entertained all the questions with tales
about the origins of Lush Nights Manila.
In no time, our small table was filled with people. We were
given pirate hats and the shots were being distributed. The small glass was
topped with a preserved fruit that was overly sweet. My companions told me it
was cranberry. Although the shot left a hot line down my throat, it was not
strong enough to cause the alcoholic kick. Good thing too since it was just
We were then walking to our next destination, Tap Station.
Before we were given shots, Craig distributed Bingo cards to the participants.
One quick read and I knew that I would not be able to do any (let alone all).
Good thing I was grouped with two other people. My group mates made sure we
crossed out most of the items in the “bucket list”. Kiss a stranger? Pass. Show
underwear? Pass. Get a stranger to buy you a drink? No, thanks. Seriously, I
would not even dare to attempt any. A few creative executions (aka cheating)
later, and we had two things left uncrossed. Public makeout and DJ in the bar. Before
we attempt any of the two, a group has already raised their completed card. I
don’t know about the rest of our team, but I was thankful we did not get to
We then walked to Craft. Bottles of beer was distributed to
the group and the crowd was slowly chatting to strangers within the group.
Unlike the initial meeting filled with shyness and awkward introductions,
everyone was getting comfortable with each other. An orange-flavored shot was
then passed around. This, by far, was what I found the most delicious. It was
not as sweet as the first one nor as bitter the last one, but it was sweet
enough that you can roll the drink around the tongue to get a proper taste.
We headed to Prive next. It was obviously different from the
previous locations we’ve been. For one, the lights were dim and the music was
pounding. I knew that the alcohol was starting to kick in. A waiter was
distributing lemon slices and salt. Before I was given a shot glass, I knew
what was coming. Now I don’t know much about alcohol aside from the occasional
beer, wine and cocktails, but tequila? That I’m very familiar with. I quickly
downed my shot and felt the familiar burning sensation from the top of my
throat, past my lungs and down to my belly. A shot of tequila feels the most
familiar to me. A shot brings me back to my university days.
Before I knew it, we were one by one filing in cabs and
heading to Valkyrie and Palace Pool. Our last stop for the night. By this time,
I was keeping a close eye on my wristwatch. It was 1:30am .While we were
cruising the quiet streets of BGC, I thought to myself: Who knew that it really
was possible to do what we are doing?
When we finally entered the doors of Valkyrie, I knew I was
screwed. After dropping off my bag to the counter, I lost sight of my
companions. I didn’t know anyone. I made a beeline for the restroom hoping I
can catch a familiar face, but to no avail. I wanted to go home since I found
it pointless to stay alone in a very intimidating environment.
And just when I was about to grab my phone from my pocket, I
saw a couple of familiar faces going out of Valkyrie, heading to Palace Pool
Club. I thought that maybe I should say good bye first to my newfound friends.
There, in Palace Pool Club, I saw the group. Contrary to the urgent vibe from
the previous bars, everyone was taking it slow and finally enjoying the party.
Before, I concluded that I would just say good bye. But by
the time I flagged down a cab, it was already 4:00am on my watch. Dear old
introvert me enjoyed a night out with complete strangers. I slept the whole day
after. It felt like I was coming down with a fever, but thank goodness it did
not get that far. I think I understand now why people do this even though it
feels awful the next day. The unexplainable joy pumped by alcohol. The thrill
of moving to the next environment. The heart pounding along with the music,
different each place. And the complete strangers, suddenly becoming your BFFS. One
would think that a night out with complete strangers moving from one pub to
another would be bad. Who would have thought that this one would enjoy it?