What drew me in to go to the Anti-Apocalypse show in Cubao Expo was that it was free and it was convenient. After scouring the internet for possible events to observe, this one was near Ateneo and it was held on a Friday night. Furthermore, it seemed interesting because it was going to showcase a live stand-up comedy, a couple of comedy short films, and live music to be performed by bands I did not know of, the Wilderness and Stick Figgas.
Upon seeing Cubao Expo for the first time, it broke all of my expectations. I thought that it was like a smaller Araneta Center, where there would be a stage and rows of chairs filling up a small stadium, but what welcomed me was sort of like U-shaped plaza filled with hobby and art shops, shoe shops, bars, and restaurants. Arriving there at 8 p.m., an hour before the event, me and a group of friends had the opportunity to explore the place and observe the culture and kinds of people that were in there. Those drinking and smoking were mostly groups of people in their 20s to 30s who just got off from work and looking for a good time and some were college students mostly due to the way they dressed and also because I recognized most of them. There were also men who looked like the typical jejemon, wearing the cap and the oversized shirts, but they weren’t drinking; instead they were just sitting on the sidewalk, waiting for the event to start. Furthermore, there were also families eating in the restaurants and some elderly shopping at the shoe stores.
When it was already 9 p.m., we noticed people gathering in front of a small tent assembled in front of a closed shop, small enough to enclose a complete set of instruments for a band, a screen projector, and a small elevated platform made of wood for the comedians to stand up in. We decided to sit near the jejemons on the sidewalk because it was nearer the tent. Around 9:30 p.m., an animated video presentation about the history of weed and facts about marijuana was projected in the screen. Me and my friends were quite confused on why this video was shown and our questions were answered when the host of the event finally showed himself after the video presentation and told us that a group of people in crowd were fighting for the legalization of marijuana in the Philippines. For a moment, I was really scared because I thought that this event was a cover up for some drug users to meet up and convince people to support them in their cause. Thankfully, nothing illegal and out of the ordinary happened after that. The host then called the band, named Wilderness, in front to perform the strangest and creepiest opening act I have ever seen.
When they started to perform, I thought that they were just an average rock band belting out fast and loud beats, but then I realized that they weren’t singing anything at all. As the band kept playing, the more I was convinced that this was some kind of satanic ritual. One guy that was playing a Conga drum also used his voice to make incoherent sounds in the microphone, so much so that he was screaming his lungs out and jumping up and down, which was very expressive of him, but kind of scared me a bit. At this time, we were already out standing by the tent and out of the sidewalks, since a lot of people came to watch when the band started playing. While they were performing, a half-naked guy, wearing a shirt covering his head except his eyes, started to dance along the beat of the band. On his back, there were three unrecognizable symbols written in red face paint. He danced with arnis sticks, swinging them around and tapping them on the ground and on the pole supporting the tent. This went on for about 30 minutes and as I was getting bored, others weren’t. A lot were still engrossed in the performance and then that was when I noticed that there were also foreigners and old people in the crowd. I realized that no matter how much I thought that this act was demonic, people appreciated their art and was willing to watch them, no matter how long it was.
After the band performed, the host then introduced the next act, the stand-up comedy. Overall, there were three comedians and each had a different way of telling their jokes. I thought that their jokes weren’t going to be amusing, but they proved me wrong. It was my first time seeing and hearing a live stand-up comedy and I was glad that it was an enjoyable experience. Their jokes were mostly centered in recent events, such as the Raymart-Tulfo fight. One joke that I particularly liked was that one comedian was stressing that anime in the 90s was better than Dora the Explorer. I think it was due to the fact that I can relate to this more, that is why I found it really funny. This showed that racist or green jokes aren’t necessary for people to laugh and enjoy a good show.
The last part of the Anti-Apocalypse show was a viewing of short films. It wasn’t that clear audio wise, due to its muffled sound. We already left even before it was finished because it was already 11 p.m. Generally, the show was quite enjoyable and gave me a glimpse of what the outside world was after 9 o’clock in the evening. It was a new experience for me because I don’t go to places like these, mostly because I don’t drink and hate being exposed to second hand smoke. However, this new experience opened my mind further about a world I did not know of. Immersing myself in a whole different scene made me appreciate what the world still has to offer.
SA 21 – A