Ah yes, the club scene.
The ever so vivacious backdrop of flashy lights, loud bass drops, alcohol-induced frenzies, and a sea of strangers you will probably only have encountered on that single night.
It was a Friday when the three of us Jimbo, Dels and Gio, dropped by one of the famous clubs located within Taguig City, something which is quite unusual because it was not somewhere we would typically go to, so we all agreed that this would be a great place to do our “participant-observation” project. The place’s name is 7th High, a very popular club in the area. The three of us know for a fact that we usually are not really into these kinds of social gatherings in clubs, but since it was our friend’s birthday, we went ahead anyway. Heck, this was a great opportunity for us to be able to create this blog post you are reading right now! There was a party that was held jointly by a few of our old batch mates which although we did attend the same high school, we were not exactly the closest friends – we knew of one another but it ended there.
We arrived at the club late, around 10:30 pm which is the norm because everyone is fashionably late or so they say. Like all clubs, there is a certain dress code to be followed however it is different for both men and women. We noticed that men are required to wear smart casual or at least look very presentable; No shirts, no shorts, no slippers or sandals however long sleeves like sweaters are allowed even without a collar – or mostly smart casual with pants as the biggest requirements. Women however were allowed to wear anything they wanted so long as they looked presentable with some women actually throwing out any trace of being conservative. The three of us were quite uncomfortable, being very laid back guys and all. Everyone in attendance arrived in their most fashionable clothes, many of whom donned clothes to show their individual styles or personalities while some dressed to attract attention of the people within the club. No matter how each person dressed it was quite understood however that this was a place where looking good was given much attention and people are pressured to follow. So the three of us showed up wearing jeans, old sneakers and polo shirts, the short sleeved kind, and we all felt quite ‘underdressed’ or some would say too casual for a club. Another reason why people would always look their best is because most clubs, especially the more popular ones or some would call high-class, have their own personal photographers who roam the floors of the clubs snapping photos of guests and posting them on the internet for the general public to view.
The dark hue of the place, coupled with the lights, is kind of stimulating to the eyes. Add to that the rhythm of the beats played by the DJ, this makes a perfect setting for letting loose of yourself and be one with the crowd. On to the dance floor, the way the DJ mixes up the big musical hits makes the people go wild. Oh and yeah, the alcohol. This is the one, in our opinion, that really pumps up the entire setting. Beer, hard drinks, you name it, it’s all there. No club will ever be successful without the existence of alcohol. Aside from that, the foods served are usually the “pica-pica” type. Finger foods for the purpose of at least drying down the effects of too much alcohol, as well as giving a respite from all the dancing and the socializing. If you want a break from all those dancing and boozing, these foods are the way to go.
Another thing we observed is that people usually go to clubs in groups, with us not being an exception to this due to our batch mates’ joint party and as participating observers. It is unusual for someone to go and more so to see someone alone inside. We felt that in places like these, although one of the main agendas is to meet new people, a club is more of a venue where people go to unwind and enjoy in the company of close friends. Although the three of us prefer much quieter scenes, we experienced a sense of relaxation despite the loud music, blinding strobe lights and lasers when we were chilling with our friends in a place where the main goal is to have fun.
One thing that we noticed and could hardly ignore was the fact that even though there was a party going on, the place was still packed with people that neither the three of us nor the celebrants knew. There were many strangers and the whole club was packed. Going around the club from the bar to the lounging areas ( lounging areas were areas that you paid for to use, these areas had tables and couches that only you could use) became such a hassle because whenever you would say: “Excuse me”, the person you were saying it to would not react because he or she could not hear you over the loud party music. We found it funny that even though there was deafening club music playing, you could still see quite a few pairs of people still being able to chat while sharing a drink. We think that the loud music being played is to entice people to dance, let loose and have fun – is that it is also a reason for say a person to get up close and personal with another individual just to have a conversation.
But there is one huge drawback from all this “clubbing”: the cost, Know that once you enter the club, prepare to shell out a large chunk of what’s inside your wallet. The entrance ticket usually costs around 300 to 500 pesos, but since the three of us were invited by our friend in his party in the club, we were treated free entrance passes. Then there are the foods and drinks, where even the cheapest beer will cost you double the price of the one sold in supermarkets. What would cost you a bottle’s worth, you’d only get a glass worth of hard drinks in these types of clubs, talk about mega scamming, just cause they mix up two popular brands and give it a fancy name they are able to sell a glass for a ridiculous price! Bottom line is that it will really hurt your pockets big time. Since all these costs can bear down on the simple guy or girl who earn a medium salary, those people who can really afford to go to clubs are from the higher classes of the social strata.
But why is that with all of these things to be found in clubs, from the music, rhythm, and the strangers, to the alcohol induced chaos happening in the dance floor, people still flock to these social gatherings at night? Is it because of all the fun and the pictures that get posted on your Facebook wall? Is it because people want to meet new friends, and maybe, just maybe, “score” and make love later in the night? Or is it just pure ecstasy, and that these clubs provide an outlet for them to escape the rigors of a busy workday? Nevertheless, each and every person that enters the club doors has their own reasons why they go dance and party all night long. But yes, let’s take a look at the second example, the”scoring” part. If we go all Freudian into explaining this “clubbing” phenomenon, we can assert that these people who go there are motivated by a sexual desire. It is this desire that keeps men looking around for “chicks”, get their numbers, and probably go for a one-night stand. Add to that the age of those who usually go to these clubs are 18-25, prime ages for men and women to explore their sexual side. Another reason is competition among others. The dress-to-impress system is innately imbued in a club environment. In the club, your clothes are what define you. It is this essence of competition that the feeling of being superior among other people can be really seen (which is also why many do not want to go to clubs). And yes, clubs provide an avenue for people to release all the tension from work or school in the past week or days. Had all those bad days at the office? Just let all the alcohol drain it away in the club, and dance the night away. At least before the weekend ends, you’re able to have some fun.
The three of us were really surprised with our findings in this club, it was a total eye opener. After the experience, we were very interested to learn more about the ‘night life’ so we decided to research about articles regarding the psychology of clubbing. We found out that even though we were uneasy at first, we became comfortable in the club because of the company of familiar faces and music that gave us the ‘good vibes’ or what is scientifically known as ‘Oxytocin’ that gives you ‘high’ feeling. No wonder the place is called 7th high… Well we’re glad we were finally able to experience a club first hand and we look forward to experiencing something like this again, to be able to experience AN ALL NEW HIGH.
P.S. we did not drink or do drugs or whatever, the ‘high’ we felt is just because we were happy hehe
Paulo de Leon