#RPintheRP: A Travelogue

Day 7: I Know What You Did Last Sunday

Martin went home the night before but Nick spent the night again. We woke up relatively late — my sleep pattern is literally off the charts — like seriously I pretty much sleep at every Uber or taxi I’m in — and had breakfast at the Tapa King at the nearby mall.

Nick left after breakfast and I ended up walking around that small mall. Of particular note was the National Bookstore, which, to borrow from a Pol Sci professor of mine, is not a bookstore and is actually a mall masquerading as a bookstore.

***

A while later, my friend Egay came from the airport. He is a high school friend who lives in Bicol but spent the previous week jetsetting in Bali. He was here because we were to have a girl’s night out later (with Precious, who, for reasons, is always late.)

We rested a bit and then went to SM North EDSA to wait for Precious. I bought some much needed toiletries, including special conditioner for colored hair and a perfume from Bench, which, as a friend would later remind me, was actually my perfume when I was in high school.

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Given that Precious was now around an hour and a half late (something we had preempted, thankfully, we had a light “snack” at Sisig Hooray), we ended up just walking around, talking about boys, judging people, specifically this gay couple walking hand-in-hand, because we are #Bitterella.

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Mr. Baroy, where art thou?

When Precious arrived, we had dinner at Kenny Roger’s. (Precious volunteered to pay, which, since we had to wait for him, we graciously let him.) It was a delicious dinner of chicken and macaroni salads.

Precious wanted to buy a new shirt as he just came from a workout and was feeling self-conscious. After harassing the salesboy at Mint (Guys, hinahawakan ako ni Kuya!), he was three shirts richer and we were ready to party.

***

After a quick pitstop home to refresh ourselves, we were on our way to have some goddamn fun in the best — and gayest — city in Asia!

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Tonight’s gonna be a good night.

Alright, first stop: Mankind. Mankind is an…odd establishment, in that entrance is free; however the first drinks you buy are expensive af.

Mankind has dancers but they weren’t…well, they were fine, but I can’t help creating a comparison. It’s so odd that during this trip I promised to not draw lines of comparison, as comparing Montreal to Manila will always fail to account for privilege and colonialism, but allow me to do it once and only once here because this is an interesting study of gender politics.

Montreal’s infamous Stock Bar is full of hot men. So is Mankind. But in Stock Bar, the men are genuinely having fun, it’s sexy, it’s sleek, it’s hot, it’s generally seductive and a game of chance. The dancers in Mankind, by comparison, seem…distraught. They look like they have problems, that they don’t enjoy it, that they’re just doing it because they need money for tuition, etc.

In retrospect, I’m wondering if they genuinely are caught in this paradoxical sex trap or is it part of the act? Is it part of the image of the submissive Asian to be meek and pure and unwilling? Of course, the ultimate question is does that even matter to the viewer? The more we unpack this, the closer we get to an intersectional class- and race-based study of rape culture so I think I will end here.

***

Mankind was an interesting first stop; however, things can and should get better. This is where Manila Butterfly comes in. (Though we did have a quick side-trip, standing by a cigarette cart, looking like high-end hookers, where we ended up chatting with the same guy on Grindr, who ended up being just across the rode.)

Manila Butterfly is this little gay-themed watering hole in Tomas Morato. It was quiet, humble, and homey. Outside, a birthday party was happening, but we stayed indoors where we had some adobo and belted some karaoke.

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We didn’t actually go here — it’s just an interesting picture.

Again, none of us live in QC so we had no idea where to go next. Thankfully, the people at the birthday party had a lot of colorful suggestions. We closed our eyes and randomly went with one of them — Cubao’s Rapture.

Rapture is, just like the other two places, an odd venue. It is marketed as a regular bar. It has a stage and when we arrived there was a singer (or was it a stand-up comedian?)

But Rapture hides a club at the back. In its second floor, Rapture hosts a wild dance club. It was crowded, it was full of hot men, and it was fun as fuck. The room could not have been that big — in fact, it was one of the smallest dance floors I’ve ever seen — but, man, was it utilized well.

Smoking ban notwithstanding — and trust me when I say I oppose the smoking ban in its entirety just as much as I opposed the sin tax (it is regressive taxation and, at its core, anti-poor) — everyone was smoking and dancing and drinking and making-out and holding hands.

I didn’t hook-up with anyone that night, although I did feel a lot of eyes and hands (and maybe one tongue?) on me. With that said, I think one of us gained a friend that night.

 

It was almost five when we left — and note that we got at Rapture just a little over three — the night never ends! While I don’t think we were very drunk, we were tired as fuck and as soon as we got to the condo, we all pretty much passed out.

(Precious would later tell me that he was afraid of my snoring. I snored loudly for thirty minutes and then stopped. He tried waking me up but I wouldn’t budge. I’m wondering if I should start seeing a sleep doctor?)

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