It was around 10:30 in the evening of April 4 when we arrived at Metrowalk in Pasig City. My family and I, with the exception of my older sister, had just come from a late dinner at SM Megamall for what seemed to me like an impromptu reunion between my father, his two close cousins, and their own respective families. The trip to Metrowalk was sort of like a follow-up to dinner, just so we could have more time to bond with each other.
Most tables were already filled by the time we got there. An amateur band was already playing on the stage, filling the area with Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. The place was mostly dark, as the main source of light came from the stage. The rest came from the street and the surrounding restaurants. The air was filled with smoke, with only the occasional wind bringing relatively clean air to breathe in for those like me who can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke. It was also quite lively, as most customers were trying to speak loud enough to be heard their companions over the sounds of the bands. But it wasn’t too lively, just enough to be able to relax and have fun at the same time, whether just to socialize or to listen to the music. It was also slightly cool, neither warm enough to start sweating, nor cold enough to warrant a jacket.
We had to wait as it took a while for the servers to find us a table, but once they did we were seated quickly enough and were handed our menus. During this time, my sister and cousins arrived, and they immediately jumped to perusing the items on the menu. I personally did not order anything, opting instead for just a glass of water, as we had just come from a very fulfilling dinner. The others ordered beer more than food, mostly of the alcoholic kind (though some ordered non-alcoholic beverages like iced tea or Coke). The only food ordered was a plate of nachos, and some bagnet a little later. The servers stayed at the sides, ready to help at the tables at any given moment. The rest of the time was spent talking about trivial things, like what had gone on that day and how the adults’ jobs have been going.
Around us, people were mostly just drinking and smoking with their companions. And although there was the occasional applause for the bands, it seemed like most customers were gave more focus to socializing with the people in their table than to listening to the music. There were a lot of people too, most likely because it was a Friday night. They weren’t just seated in front of the stage. Some were by other restaurants, while others were seated where they could not see the stage even if they wanted to. These people were mostly seated by Starbucks.
The bands would change every once in a while. They would sing a variety of songs, ranging from more recent popular songs like “Firework” by Katy Perry, to older songs like “Next in Line” by Afterimage. I had always found it interesting to listen to covers, and that time was no exception. The singers would always inject a little bit of their own style of singing into the songs, while maintaining the song’s originality. Admittedly, it sometimes got to me when the singing would be so obviously different from the original, especially when the song was one I like and memorize. But this did not hinder me, or any of those listening from enjoying the music.
Like I said, however, most were not really paying attention to the bands on stage. For me, this is most likely because they did not come here primarily for the music. What most of the customers came for were the alcoholic drinks, and a place to smoke and socialize in. Metrowalk is just the place for these people, at it is an open-air place with music and booze. It probably didn’t matter to them what songs were being played, as long as there was music and talk to fill the air, and alcohol to fill their stomachs. Those who did come for the entertainment preferred instead to drink and eat in relative silence. Another thing I took note of regarding the audience was that no one came alone. There were always at least two people per table, and they would most likely have a bottle or two of beer in front of them.
Overall, I think it was an interesting time. I had never gone out like that with the intention of observing the people around me. It was interesting to see how people would react to the bands, whether it was with indifference or with enthusiasm. Besides that, it had also given me the time to bond with my cousins, most of whom I did not even know.
Christine S. Abellanosa
SA 21 A