Last Friday, May 11, a couple of friends and I went to Cubao Expo to watch The Anti-Apocalypse Show, which was a one-night comedy and musical event, for our SA21 field trip. Honestly, given the vague title, I didn’t know what to expect from it. Even the venue, I had no expectations of it because I didn’t even know where it was before this event. After observing for more than two hours, I can say this experience was a real eye-opener.
My classmates and I arrived at Cubao Expo very early. We were all afraid of the traffic and also because we were afraid that we might take a lot of time in looking for the place. Cubao Expo was like a compound with several establishments and shops. During the evening, the shops are closed while the bars are open. When we arrived at the place, we stuck out like sore thumbs. Everyone in there seemed to be relaxed and at ease while we looked like lost children. Most of the people there were in groups of at least four people. They seem to be in their early twenties to early thirties. Almost everyone was drinking and smoking. We sort of tried to blend in. When we sat down in one of the bars, some of us ordered drinks and food. It didn’t help that we all looked bored while waiting for the show to start. We were all sleepy while everyone was drinking and having fun.
As we expected, the program didn’t start on time but no one seemed to notice except maybe the people like us who came just for the event. Everyone was minding his own business. They just kept on drinking and smoking. The show started with short video presentations. Again, those who didn’t really come for the show didn’t even look at what was going on and what was the video all about. I think the video was meant to provoke thoughts and reactions as one of them was about the end of the world while the other ones were about the legalization of marijuana. It stirred a short debate in our group but others didn’t even seem to notice it.
The first act was a band. They weren’t like the mainstream bands were all used to hearing. They had a little to no lyrics with their songs. Their “vocalist” just kept screaming and making sounds at the microphone. Even the way he sang at the microphone was unusual. Normally, a person would hold a microphone near his mouth. In the vocalist’s case, the microphone was upside down (it was facing the instrument) and instead of getting it, he put his face near the microphone and started “singing”. Again, the people who just happened to be there that time didn’t seem to be very interested with this. They just kept doing their own thing – drinking, having fun and bonding with their friends. They would occasionally look over when the vocalist started to make weird sounds but would immediately look away after they’ve checked out what was going on.
While the band was performing, there was a sort-of ninja guy performing with them. He’s a “ninja” because he was performing what looked like arnis or something with his face covered. He also had a tattoo in red ink on his back. He would hit the pavement, the posts and even himself with different items. He scared our group a bit while the people who were watching the show didn’t seem to know how to react to him. At this point, we didn’t know what we got ourselves into. We weren’t seeing the “comedy” aspect of the show. Personally, I was a little scared that we may have gone into an event of a cult or something.
After what seemed like a 30-minute performance from the band, they introduced the first comic. When he started, there wasn’t that many people. He started making jokes about what was going on in the society and the recent events like the fight between Mon Tulfo and Raymart Santiago. The number of people watching actually seemed to increase. Then, a few minutes later, it was the next comic’s turn. His jokes were mainly about Filipino behaviours while the third performer’s jokes were about the Philippines current situation. It’s fun to note that people laughed only at the jokes they can personally relate to. People seem to find jokes that they feel connected to funnier than some other generic jokes. The funniest (as in the one with the loudest laughter) was the one where the comic compared 90’s cartoons to today’s cartoons. Since most of the people in there were in their twenties, they can really relate to the joke.
This experience was a real eye-opener for me. I’m not the kind of person who goes to bars and drinks. I’m more of a stay-at-home type so seeing what happens in places like these gave me a new perspective. I’ve always had that thought that bars are always very chaotic and that going there would be nothing but trouble. Yes, for those who are not used to the smell of smoke and alcohol, it may be a scary experience if you don’t have adult supervision, but then again you see, even for just a night, how others live their lives. You can’t judge people who smoke and drink to be bad people. We even judge others by what they look like. Sometimes, we just have to see it from their perspective.
Angeline Alyssa V. Nuguid
SA21 – Section A