“……. Wha? What happened? I think I fell. Where am i?” Then I looked around and saw amongst the well-lit neon signs and towering buildings of Timog Avenue lies a small dim sign “Adonis.” It was hardly noticeable with its small passageway that is hidden by an electrical post. I kept thinking to myself if this was real and if this was really happening. Stepping down the car, every eye seems to be on us like they were asking why we were there. The air felt cold with the stares of the “bouncers” outside. It must be because we were outsiders there. We were not part of the society that they live in. Even if during the day we may share the same elevator or maybe the same jeep ride, when night falls, it’s like they’re from a different world.
After paying for our entrance and being allowed to go in, they were surprisingly kind when they speak to us (girls). I thought they would be colder towards us because of the fact that we were girls. Then I realized that it’s not who they are and where they are that dictates how they behave toward people because each person has his own personality. I was beginning to stereotype them for who they are. I personally have nothing against gays but I guess it becomes hard not to stereotype certain traits. But I was wrong. With that out of my mind, I hoped to see and experience “Adonis” without any prejudices.
Aside from the lit stage, the interior was also relatively bare just like the exterior. There were already guys “dancing” when we entered. I averted my eyes the moment I saw them. For me, it was sort of a natural reaction. I quickly returned my attention to my surroundings. Of course, the first thing I noticed was that everywhere I look was pitch-black with lights only focused on the stage. I believe the darkness was somewhat a way of hiding themselves for being there in the first place because you can hardly see the person right in front of you. In addition to this, we were strictly told not to take photographs because “isipin din naman daw namin sila (the guy dancers).” But the darkness also emphasized the stage like its saying “look only here.” We were even told to stop talking amongst ourselves and focus on the stage. This says a lot our how they view themselves there. They are willing to take you into their world and have you experience their society. Then as the announcer was saying something incomprehensible like some other foreign language, I finally looked towards the stage.
The bright lights lit up the inclined stage then two men wearing tight white shirt, an even tighter short shorts, and a pair of boots came out dancing provocatively. I was shocked because coming from a conservative family, I wouldn’t have even thought of a place like this existing before that night. The week before, I was already feeling something was going to be weird that Saturday night. I just kept asking myself why I was there. Once again I averted my eyes but looked again. I repeated this the entire night. It was sort of a routine. But after a while, I realized that it wasn’t that bad and my beating heart slowed down and I felt a sense of boredom. Even I was amazing on how quickly I adapted maybe because of the people around me who also seemed indifferent. I kept looking at my classmates to see their reaction. Some were chatting, some were looking at the table and others were playing/staring at their phones like me. I kept yawning and at the same time I was inhaling second-hand smoke. I glanced at my watch and realized that it was already past 11pm. I was also beginning to feel indifferent to the whole stage performance. And I guess the guy with the yellow shirt was the best dancer I’ve seen all night with moves that are wild na inaabanagan kong malaglag siya. But the thing that shocked me the most was the “thing” shown, if you know what I mean. That woke me up! But putting that behind me, the regular dancers came out again. Finally, i escaped the gayland. And the night moved on but I didn’t.
I keep on remembering the entire gay bar experience. And I always see flashes of their faces that showed no emotions. It was like they were wearing a mask. This reminded me of the clown painting with the big goofy smile but underneath that smile was a tragic life full of hardships. Is this the same case? Are they happy with what they’re doing? I heard they are getting paid a lot for this gig so do they really need the money or is this just something to pass time? It’s really hard to tell with their emotionless faces. Then some of my classmates started saying that some of them were look-alikes of people they know. I was thinking “who are these people and why are they in this kind of situation?” I knew nothing about them but there they are, giving themselves to the audience. This is some kind of male prostitution. This is what society has driven these people. Or maybe for some, this is what they put themselves into. I guess I will never find out. No one will because they make it so that everything remains a mystery.
I don’t mean to judge people with this statement. It was never my intention. This is just my insight on the night that I fell into a different world like when Alice fell into Wonderland but only, my fall was rougher and more shocking. No regrets though. Good thing I was able to come back but I’m not willing to go back soon… or ever. I did learn something though. I learned a little about the hidden and mysterious world and its inhabitants that some call their own.
From another land,
SA21 Section T