Last Friday night, May 11, 2012, I and some of my friends went to a comedy show in the Cubao Expo entitled “The Anti-Apocalypse Show: One night Comedy Fest and Live Music Event” for our SA21 requirement. Cubao Expo was generally a U-shaped pathway surrounded by some shops and a lot of bars. The event itself was actually nested close to these bars. There were a lot of people too, eagerly waiting for the show to start, having beers and cigarettes in their hands. The moment my friends and I decided to go to this place for our requirement, I knew right away that I would stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd. But, I was dead wrong. When we got there, I did not simply stick out like a sore thumb, but rather, I was an extra-terrestrial being, stepping on a foreign land and discovering a new breed of organisms.
Being an introvert myself, I rarely go out of the house, and when I do, it will be of some degree of importance such as meetings, practices and requirements for school. I seldom go out with my friends, they having to force me to go with them. I also hate being in a place that has a lot of people, that’s why I infrequently go to SM malls. I just don’t like hanging out with a lot of people because I’d almost always rather be alone. I like spending quality time with myself, watching anime or sitcoms, reading books and writing short stories. I grew up in a very conservative family; therefore I do not drink or smoke, go to parties, shindigs and bars. I chose my friends carefully and tried my best to avoid people who might become a “bad influence” to me. With that kind of picture in mind, I would be the last person expected to go to a show like that.
We got there considerably early: 8 pm, though the show was supposed to start at 9 pm. We decided to stay at a bar just to have a chance to sit down. My friends ordered 3 plates of French fries and 3 bottles of beer. Even though some of my companions were drinking beer, like all the rest of the people there, we did not blend in. We were simply different from them, different from people who drank bottles of beers already despite being only 8 pm and a crowded plate of cigarette butts on their tables. Being an alien to this place, I even feel cold sweat running through my face whenever I look around, it is bad to judge people I know, but I have this sense of impending danger around me. I was simply not used being around these people, that’s why I feel as if they may hurt me or a fight might just erupt somewhere in the corners.
The bar we went to further highlighted the differences between my world and their world. Pictures of Che Guevarra, Obama wearing a Chinese soldier outfit, hammers, lightning strikes and such painted its walls. It goes to show that the bar had a Leftist theme or belief, unlike me, which made me feel more uncomfortable with the place. In addition to that, a lot of people in this bar were adorned with tattoos and piercings, while I grew up in a family taught me that permanent body modifications were taboo and not to be patronized.
The show was supposed to start at 9 pm, but because of Filipino time, it started almost 8:45 pm. I was irritated by this because I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. I feel that I also hate tardiness because of the Ateneo culture I have been indulging myself with for almost 3 years. Ateneo takes pride in its promptness and strict implementation of time management. So, being in a place that starts an event 45 minutes later than it has announced created a greater separation between their world and mine.
When the show started, I was happy. I could actually get my effort’s worth to go there and my patience to actually stay there. I admit I was a little excited for the show, because it was a comedy show, and I would appreciate some laughs after the tiring week that has passed. But their opening video scared the hell out of me.
They opted to start the show with 3 short videos, all of which were dedicated into the history of Marijuana and its good effects to the body. I felt shivers run down my spine as I looked around, how many people here with me now are actually smoking marijuana rather than normal cigarettes. I felt that my friends had the same feeling and we stuck closer to each other than before. The announcer also stated that the event was organized by a group of UP students trying to pass the legalization of the use of marijuana in the country. I remember my friend whispering to my ear, “Faith, maling lugar ata tong napuntahan natin. (Faith, I think we’re not in the right place).”
After the video presentation, they said that a band was about to perform. I sighed and felt a little light, I expected rock music or punk, both of which my ears can tolerate. When the group started to perform, I just stared at them with widened eyes and a gaping mouth. The group was called “Wilderness” and they performed in the genre of music that I have never heard before. This is simply because their song did not have lyrics, or lyrics that I could hear clearly. Their singer was grumbling words into the microphone; I could not understand any word he said. In addition to that, there was this performer that “danced” while they were playing. His face was covered with a shirt and imprinted on his back were Alibata symbols. He started aggressively hitting his two Arnis sticks into anything he can see, on the floor, on the stage, on the poles, almost everywhere. He was also running around wildly, shouting to the beat of the song. This went on for 20-30 minutes, and the strong pounding in my chest escalated in every moment. I simply did not belong. I knew my friends felt the same way.
Afterwards, they decided to start the comedy show. The comedy show in itself was not so bad. I remembered laughing really hard because of the different puns of our government, China and Philippine conflict and the Tulfo-Baretto incident. During this time, I felt the surge of calmness in my system with every laugh. Sadly, my friend’s car was already there and we had to go home, not able to finish the main show itself.
We live and breathe in one big world, but it is not crazy to say that within this world there are several, little, small worlds created by the differences and similarities of people. This trip had taught me that. Being an alien to the Cubao-Expo world last Friday was truly frightening, but it taught me a lot about myself and a lot about the people beyond the world I know and is familiar of. It also taught me that despite the differences in our world, there will always be a central idea in which these worlds will diverge, and in this case, it’s humor because we all laughed when the comedians started joking around. But since we were not able to stay long for the comedy show itself, memory was only able to regain the bright and emphasized difference in my world and their world.
It was a night truly unforgettable. But, sad to say, it’s not a night I’d want to do all over again.