Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Anniversary: One Year Later

(a personal reflection)

This time last year, one of the largest macho dancing gay bars in Metro Manila, "Home Base"*, had their biggest event of the year. They celebrated their 10th year anniversary, to commemorate a decade's existence from being just-another girlie bar along Roxas Blvd. to being the premier (and most expensive) gay bars in that area.

At that time, my friends and I were only neophyte regulars -- we just started going to that bar two months prior. But with each of us meeting and developing relationships with our own partners from that bar, we became frequent regulars, as often as going twice on weekends. 

Thus, taking part of a historic moment for the bar was exciting for us. We were looking forward to the "big night", or what bars call their special events, for weeks. 

Talk about "big night" -- that night turned out to be one of our biggest nights for the year.

Two weeks prior to the event, our respective partners informed us of their involvement in the big event. They had production numbers, particularly group dances, revolving around a theme. There were daily rehearsals for them, which they couldn't miss. And with production numbers, they were required to wear costumes. 

The theme, of course, was related to the bar's name. 

"All-white yung kailangan na outfit (The outfit required should be all-white)," my boy-partner told me. At that time, I was his regular guest, and we had been "together" for more than a month already, going to the bar for him almost three times a week.

"Wala pa naman ako white na pants at sapatos. Hindi ko nga alam kung saan ako kukuha. (I don't even have white pants and shoes. I don't know where I could get)," he shared to me, as I'd been his confidant whom he shared his work-problems. I asked if the bar would provide for them. No. Kanya-kanya (Each should provide for himself).

Preparations started, for all. Being the supportive partner, I helped my partner with his dilemma. Same went for my friend, Mary*, who also offered to help her partner look for the required attire. As all our schedules could only match the day of the event itself, both Mary and I went out of my way to leave the office early to meet up with our respective partners at Mall of Asia. She also wanted to get a new top or dress for herself in that mall, to be in theme. For me, I knew already what to wear days before.

At 6PM, we were rushing around the huge mall, going from one fitting room to another, as the boys needed to go to work an hour early, around 730-8PM. White pants, not this, get this one. Check. White shoes, the other end of the mall. What style? What size? That one. Check. Do you have a white belt? No, only black. Eeek. Okay, let's look for one. Oh, not available? Next store. There. Check. Do you have a white polo? Yes. Let me see. No, does not work with the pants. Let's go there. Okay, check. Let us bring you guys to the bar for you to prepare. Mary and I would dress up at her place.

Driving back to the bar for the big event, both Mary and I were quiet in our seats. We felt tired. Physically. And somehow, at the back of our heads, we felt we were becoming tired too, financially and even emotionally.

More than P10,000 spent just on clothes, I realized I bought an entire wardrobe for my partner. From head to foot. He didn't really ask me. I was the one who offered. Mary as well, for her boy. 

And what do we get in return?

Fun. Yeah, the night was fun. The production numbers were fantastic, similar to an opening of a beauty pageant, with a New York, broadway feel to it. Free food was served to regular customers. We didn't restrain ourselves from enjoying the night, despite the earlier day's tiredness. Beer and wine were overflowing, which we had to pay, at P420 a drink for the men. Laughter all around. Cheers. Non-stop flow of drinks for the boys. A few more drinks for our impersonator friends. We were even asked to dance, like in a disco.

At 5AM, bill-out. Total spent. P28+ thousand.

Nagpakawala ang mga gaga ng isang gabi. A night of revelry, without restraint. We went along with our crazy foolishness, even to the point of driving home drunk at 6 in the morning.

One year later, many things have happened since. We've broken up with our boys. All of them have also moved on -- either working in another bar or didn't have any source of income. We temporarily stopped going to "Home Base" for half a year, going from one gay bar to another, returning only at the end of last year. We've met, tabled, texted, dated with many machos and hostos, dancers and models from all over Manila's macho dancing gay bars and hosto bars since then.

Last night, "Home Base" celebrated their 11th anniversary. We didn't feel that compelled to go, unlike last year. No more week-long preparation for us. No more clingy partners who didn't have much resources. No more P10,000 spent on wardrobe for another guy. No more P28,000 bills.

As of 10PM last night, we were still deciding if we wanted to go to the event or not. However, hearing the song "I Believe I Can Fly", the perpetual theme song of the gay bar, being played inside Mall of Asia last night, I thought the universe was conspiring to remind me of that night's big event. It got me excited all over again.

So only Ringo (another friend) and I went; Mary was already happy with her new non-bar boyfriend. We celebrated with the bar who treated us like VIP for a year. Same fun, same bongga production numbers, same wild dancing, same boisterous laughters. But the difference is, last year, we celebrated at the peak of our craziness, our foolishness. This year, not anymore.


GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila


  1. I've always liked the fact that people have had their phases of crazyness at some point of our crazy affairs.


  2. good that you've learned your lesson, and quite expensively at that, P28,+++, big spender...

  3. good for you gbg. i don't think i can go that far to party all night. the most i spent on a guy for a night was 2+k in drinks and 12+k in cash, that is because he volunteered to drive me to the airport on my flight back home.this guy is the all time favorite at adonis for few years early 2001.

    1. i went to adonis last month but i was not able to see good looking guys there...(at least for me)...but i was able to table one...he's ok ...but not what i expected...or maybe because it was too late already and most of the good looking guys were already taken....but the place was nice so far....


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