Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cotabato City Nightlife

Dusk, and I saw that the barbecue stands were starting to come alive. Smoke was getting thicker everywhere. Oh, these and the fruit stalls actually line the wall of an elementary school! Instead of a sidewalk for the children, they have these stalls, so everyone walks along where vehicles pass! I walked across to my hotel and hesitated if I should go up to my room or continue roaming the nearby areas. I did not seem to want to see my room until I was really feeling real sleepy. But that’s another story I will tell in the next blog entry. Anyway, I went up for a little rest and to watch the evening news on the small ‘remoteless’ TV. It was not even done yet and I started to wash up to prepare for dinner and nightlife, if any. I caught myself going excitedly swift out of my room, down the stairs and out of the hotel. Gosh!

I already told myself I should not eat at those barbecue stalls since there was nothing I heard that might have been special. My Lonely Planet book only mentions Mami King but I was sure there must be something better since this is a city and I have passed many restaurants and bars along Sinsuat Avenue earlier in the day. I did ask Honey (the front desk girl) before I went out of the hotel where might be good to have dinner and almost all she mentioned were indeed along Sinsuat Avenue. So I went for it, and am not so sure which restaurant I went to. Its probably in the area of Mang Gorio or Las Hermanas but neither of them. Awrrr my memory hehe. Nice food, nice place anyway. Heavy dinner! So many things looked delectably tempting. And I must say I ordered more than I can finish. But OMG I finished them all!

After dinner and a bit of rest, (I think I spent more than an hour at this restaurant and that’s unusual) I decided to walk this avenue since coming here I observed it looked safe. I reached a place called Café Florencio. It’s a restobar with huts all over the place and there was live singing. Not that it was grand to the ears but the singing attracted me just the same. I told myself, this might just be the only thing of its kind around, so I better stay for at least a few bottles. Well, entertaining enough! Most if not all of the ‘entertainers’ were high school or college kids and most of the patrons were their classmates hehe. But I thought this was kinda nice training ground for them. I asked a waiter and he told me that these kids are paid and that some have actually become professional singers. See this video below, you will like the last part:

Aside from the singing there was dancing if anyone wanted to, while the singers dished out the danceables. This place is too dark for me, but just what the youth really wants, right? I could not even make out of the waiters’ faces. With kids onstage and mostly kids for customers, aside from the boisterous shouting to coax friends, they kept moving, transferring from table to table, bantering loudly and it included a lot of running around. My seat got banged by a hip or a thigh not just thrice. Someone accidentally knocked some bottles off a table, friends would be passing and throwing a cap around while the owner chased it, and so on. Kids and their nuances, really. And I cannot say I was not like them when I was their age anyway hehe! But what made me decide to finally take off was a pack of mosquitoes feasting on my legs!

I walked a bit onwards more for I saw other restobars along this avenue during my jeep rides earlier. And I stumbled upon “Avenue Grill”. Crowd was a bit on the normal bar habitués – meaning the yuppies and the working class. And the place looked cool enough, so I went in. This place is also open, meaning just the roof, no walls, but there was nothing biting or gnawing at my feet hehe. Probably because there’s an electric fan whirring at almost every post. Packed! All tables taken, good a waiter found a small good-for-two corner near the cashier’s area. A better place than Florencio’s just the same. What attracted me here were the entertainers. See the following videos, you’ll like the 3rd especially.

The lovely tandem of this lovely lady and equally lovely gay can easily be crowd drawers in the metropolis. I gather they are a very popular pair in Cotabato and nearby areas. And that they too are as popular doing solo, meaning the lady in her husky jazzy voice and the sisterette in his, aw her lovely gayness! Gadgets and sounds were good. Noticed the piano guy? Its an electric organ yes, but I feel awkward referring to the musical instrument as ‘organ’. Though many times seeming inanimate (he barely moves hehe) this keyboardist is also good. He can ramp up great effects to compliment the duo singers. And both singers kept glancing at something to the gay’s right flank? It was a laptop where their lyrics and whatevers scrolled as they sang. I have not even seen anything like this setup anywhere except Metro Manila.

See? Whoever told me not to go to Cotabato? This is a safe and sound city! I was back in the hotel at half-past midnight, and that only means one thing: I enjoyed the night! Yey!

1 comment :

  1. I know the owner of Avenue Grill. He will be thrilled to see your post. :)