Fun and Learning

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 getting started.

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 finish.

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? 


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