Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Dipolog Night-out

Something interesting! After the capitol, I should have been making my way towards Hotel Camila 2. it was past 9PM anyway, and I promised the staff there I will at least make time to peep at their Turnpike Restobar, remember? Well, it did not happen hehe. Here’s the story…

Still a few days before Christmas but Dipolog City at night was already quite festive. People everywhere seemed happy. Probably an effect of those lights over at the parks by the capitol and city hall? Probably. So, since it felt wonderfully safe, I opted to some more walking and roaming of the city center. There were nightspots I saw here and there, some looked seedy, some the usual hub of men and women who like croaking on the karaoke (oops, its called videoke nowadays hehe), some looked nice, other so-so. But this one bar called ‘55th Avenue Bar and Entertainment Center’ kinda looked a bit more interesting (yes, I judged the book by its cover and title hehe). I went near and the guard said “welcome sir, we have beautiful girls”! I smiled at his description and asked ‘unsa pa’y naa diha,”? Guard a bit surprised said “aw, you know how to speak, ha?! we have good singers, byutipul girls”! I could hear a band playing dance music. So I went in.

Nice one! Onstage was an all-girl band dishing out danceable tunes. Whoa, reminiscent of Ibaraki, so I told myself ‘why not watch them a while’! Thus, I looked for the smallest table, sat down and ordered SanMigLight. Aminin, we do not easily find anything like this in the metropolis. If I remember right, I think these kinds of “bands” are easier to find in Laoag or CDO than Metro Manila or Metro Cebu. Now I know there’s one in Dipolog. I remember they are usually referred to as “show bands”. Y’know, the entertainers where singers and instrumentalists alike move and dance in unison like a choreographed routine. Ganun! I easily see them in Tokyo, Bangkok, HCM, even Kuala Lumpur. And yes, most are composed of Filipinas!

They sing good enough! Well, if they don’t, at least they dance admirably enough hehe. So, entertaining enough! I admire their being girls and being able to use musical instruments to play music in public. Many Filipina girls may know an instrument or two but am not really sure how why what their talent are for since only they know who to play them in front of. Gosh! Therefore, for being brave to perform in public alone, I/we should salute these girls. By chance, their rest area was near my table, and during set breaks, they were like swarming over me hehe. I joked that it was not really an all-girl band since the drummer was a long haired male – real male, not even bayot! Ah, I think they got challenged and on their next set, a girl who was on guitar suddenly became percussionist. Not only that, in another song, they kind of rotated where vocalists became instrumentalists and vice-versa! OMG, I was really amazed!

Make the long story short, I got friends with the whole gang, including their male companion, who I realized was also the dude in charge of the sounds and lights of the place. I think he is husband or lover of one of the girls. Coolness, lean organization hehe. On top of that, them girls, and yes the manong of a drummer soundman whatever also served as wait staff when the other band was playing. Other band? Ah yes, and real all girls too! Whattaplace! Of course, they too area available to be “tabled”. Yep, male patrons who ask them to join the table conversations in exchange for drinks. “Ladies’ drinks”, that is, therefore costlier than any other drink. Isn’t that wonderfully practical? Whoever manages this place must have had an MBA hehe. Why have a set of waitresses and another set of GROs, when those roles can be equally fulfilled by the band members themselves?! Bright!

Here are some clips:

I naturally got friends with all of them that I learned many other things about them, their group, their professions and the derivative things that comes with this kind of life. Like what? Hmm, like being in this band and playing onstage is not just a simple local profession. The girls told me it was training and/or retraining for them prior to deployment, usually to Japan and elsewhere east asia. They say the POEA is very strict nowadays so that they really have to hone their talents to pass the ‘exam’ for a permit to go abroad as entertainers. Three of the girls were around because of ‘endo’ (end of contract) and had been going back and forth to Japan for many years now. Even them still had to further hone their singing, dancing and instrument skills. Ganun pala yun! I didn’t know it works that way!

Reason why almost all of them live in one place (rented by their manager), so its easy to ferry them around in one van and easy to gather everyone if they needed to practice during the day. Wow! And guess how I went home to Hotel Camila 2?! They offered me a free ride on their van!

Oh ha?!

1 comment :

  1. I am so totally envious of your Dipolo experience. I couldn't stay there long as i went on a mudguard-less Habal-habal ride, while raining on a cold night. And i'd happily trade it for that experience. :D