It was my first time to go in a far place alone, and this time I went to a comedy bar along Timog Avenue, Quezon City. There are three things that boggles my mind before I went inside – I might be persuaded to buy a drink (because I don’t have enough money to buy one), the hosts might notice me and ask me to go to the stage (YES to exposure, pero baka pagtripan ako ng mga bading), and I’m going home alone. Good thing I met two of my blockmates outside the bar, so I had the confidence to go in.
After we paid for the entrance fee, we got a stamp on our wrists (it was a small star, holding a pole) and an usher led us the way to the seats. We got a table near the counter where drinks are being prepared and waiters are on standby for orders. Matalas ang pakiramdam nila, at mukhang nakakahiyang hindi umorder kapag inabutan ka ng menu. Buti na lang umorder yung isang kasama ko.
I noticed the wide variety of customers that flocked in the bar that night. From couples, barkadas, some foreigners, to officemates, and even families gathered there to have some fun. Most of them did not order much drinks, unlike in other bars, and feel relaxed and comfortable. The upbeat music and bright lights gave a lively and awakening ambiance in the middle of the night.
Good thing we only missed a small part of the first act. As expected, I saw two cross-dressed homosexuals on the stage, now talking with a pretty girl. It’s as if I was in a parallel universe wherein the two dominates over the girl, owning the stage. The people buys that set-up, and continues to “okray” the girl. After a while, they looked around the audience and found a German and Pinay couple. It was a generic “kumustahan”, but I was surprised that one of the comedian, Pretty Trizsa, talked to the foreigner in German language fluently (mukhang naiintindihan kasi, at sumasagot yung foreginer, though binibiro na lang ni Pretty Trizsa yung conversation on the latter parts). And the same went on when they talked to an American also near the stage.
Looking on how the comedians interact, I realized that they were able to talk freely about anything – most of the time about sex. Even though this has been a taboo in our society, they would even mention the genital parts and not use pseudonyms for those. Also I noticed na ang lutong at madalas sila magmura, well I know that they don’t mean it that much and it was only their manner of expression. They were very confident to face the people and honestly admit about their sexuality by wearing women’s clothes.
As I looked around again, more customers came in and the bar was almost full. The waiters and ushers were more eager to convince the customers to order. Also, few women in sexy outfit would go around and ask people to buy a certain kind of drink. Amidst of the fun coming from the stage, the people working behind were doing their best to earn more.
The act ended up with a song number from one of the comedians named Tekla. He sang very well, but I noticed how he tried hard to sing like a woman especially at high tones. I began to think how hard it would be for persons like him to find ways to earn money. It’s hard to entertainment people, and especially maintaining their hype all night to stay. Kaya saludo ako sa kanila dahil they have the guts to do this kind of job.
Before we leave (because it’s almost midnight, and I’m commuting alone), I took a glance again at the place. I cannot believe that we have been under their power that made us stay for hours by just looking and listening to them. As we all know, homosexuals are not officially accepted and only tolerated in our society. Few had been their opportunities in the real world, and most of the time they were being given less priority by the society. This prevents them from growing as individuals living and trying to be in the society. I guess the field of entertainment had been one of their outlets to speak up and express themselves for the people of the society to be heard. And with the stage as their world, they are being given the opportunity to rule, even for a short period of time. The challenge for us is to learn to accept them, because they are people like us too.
I went home safely, I didn’t buy a drink, and the comedians did not call me up on stage. We had fun, and I would love to go back there again. 🙂
Lawrence Angelo M. Malasa