Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Before Orosa | The College Jock Series

Blogger's Note: Looking for something to post, I rummaged my old word document files for insight. These files, which I kept from a time I was your average university dude are kept safe in my storage disk. They tell of a time of juvenile discoveries.

Preceding the age of online exploration and the final liberation at La Dida, (a Lesbian bar which O-Bar now occupies) the first entry talks about my straight night-out experience in Malate. The article, which was submitted for a group project was written in a rather traditional style of feature writing. It was left completely unedited for reasons you will eventually learn as you follow the other series.

It is my wish that you will find a connection with my younger voice, much like you have found one in my old one.

A One Night Stand at the Ground

It is already around 11:30 PM when we got there. Around the vicinity, there is silence but within the cramped streets of Juan Nakpil and Adriatico, the place is just beginning to flare up as more and more young people arrive in their sporty cars and from (sporty) taxis.

There are three ways to wind up your Saturday nights. The first is to go into a bar (with dancing nude girls or not) and get drunk then go home. The second is to go to disco houses, get wild, get ravy and go home in the morning and the third is go home and sleep. We chose the second.

It seems years have passed since the last time I went there, while my best buddy is having his first time. It seems like everything is still familiar – familiar people, familiar atmosphere; even the clothing is familiar. But as the night passes, we have realized we’re getting old.

We went to Common Ground the hang-out place I considered as my home. It is located at the heart of young Malate, fronting the Verve Room and at the top of Insomnia. Beside it and which is the entrance to the place is Gotham, the bar where the yuppies hang out to enjoy live bands.

Common Ground is truly a place to get wild. Absolutely, there are no live bands performing there. The room is very small (around 100 people is their capacity) yet sometimes, the place is packed with 200 people all raving to the tune of an Ibiza dance. The dance floor is unnoticeable as you could only see it during the day.

There are many ledges in the room – elevated platforms where some wild people dance, usually a columm or something that is higher than the ground. Sometimes, even the sofa and the tables become ledges too. Ledges are very important in a disco house because when the people become entranced with the dance, they will try to express themselves unconsciously and sometimes they tend to accidentally hit people with their hands. Sometimes, smaller rooms have an advantage because people usually dance when many other people dance. To fill the dance floor in no time, the room should be small, however, if the place is filled with too many people, especially when it is really hell out there someone would bog down because of exhaustion.

There are many other disco houses around the vicinity; the most notable of them is Art’s Venue, Suburbia, The Verve Room, Politixx and the infamous Insomnia. However, if you want some wild dancing within the budget, a good advice is to get inside Common Ground.

The entrance fee is only P150 with consumable drinks unlike with other disco houses where the entrance fees ranges from P200 – P400 with consumable drinks. When you enter Common Ground, the first thing you will see is Gotham Bar, where there is usually a live band performing. The place is great for light, jazz music but very awful when it comes to wild dancing: There are no flashing lights, there is no dance floor, there are no ledges and the worst thing is that the place is too big to invite everyone to dance.

Then there is a door that leads to the Common Ground itself. When there is a street party, trust me, you will never see the room because there are too many people. There is also a bar inside and right in front of it is the DJ’s booth. I tried to ask some questions from the DJ but I realized that it would be quite impractical because the party has begun and the sound is too loud to have a good chat.

Like all other bars, you would meet different kinds of people here; from gays to guys and to girls to T-birds, all of them trapped in this temporal sanctuary from the real world. One thing is obvious though, we have noticed that most of them are younger than us! It seems that most of the people here are only high school students who just want to have fun. It seems like this place is their playground before going to more, wilder disco houses.

The sounds are great. They usually play the favorites: Horny, Better Off Alone, Get get Down and many others. They never played that bubble – gum “Techno shit!” but I never noticed them playing pure trance music. By the way, trance music is a kind of dance music where the beat is almost continuous unlike in Ibiza and House music - the beat is pumping the stereo. However, they played some groove tunes and RnB sounds last night, which I (and some of them) really hated so much.

And like all other disco houses, this place has its own secret. It is not confirmed if people here uses “party drugs or ecstasy” to induce hyperactivity, but in some instances, there are some prostitutes (male and female) lingering in the place. If you want to have a free entrance, try to get in before 9:00 and just order an Ice Tea and you will be marked as a guest. I told you earlier that the entrance fee is P150 but trust me bro, you can order all the drinks they have there including Mule (which cost around P150 outside) and the legendary Sub Zero (that cost around P200 outside). Never satisfy yourself with Budweiser or SMB, go for the best.

We danced the whole night till our bodies could not endure anymore. We have satisfied ourselves even though great storms looms ahead before the semestral break. Someday, when all things are done, in the most festive of the nights, we would return to that place to reclaim the moon and the ecstasy of a one-night dance.



MkSurf8 said...

"Horny" "Happy" .... kung nasa common ground ka, ako naman nasa piggy's/biology/club bath hahahah

anteros' dominion said...

YUP i did kuya. sana sa mga susunod pa, maka-connect din ako

cant wait for the next part

paci said...

ako nakapunta dati sa red banana.

omg matindi ang nangyayari sa dark room.

iurico said...

hahaha - I remember "disco" as a word from the 90's.

And yes, I think I might have spent a night or two at common groudn.

Désolé Boy said...

not familiar. hehe

seriously though, i considered taking E back then, but am worried my weak heart won't allow me that instead of putting me in a temporary heavenly trance eh sa hospital ang bagsak ko, haha

will wait for next one(s)

Anonymous said...

i like. gusto ko din yung "Horny". nakakamiss pumarty, yung tipong sasayaw ka lang buong gabi. pure fun, mapagod kakasayaw. damn!!! i want to dance tuloy :)

~Carrie~ said...

Iba ang writing style mo dito kesa ngayon. Ang inosente, parang ang sarap donselyahin. Echoz! Pardon naman the vulgarity of my language, yun yung raw, initial impression ko. Haha!

red the mod said...

Youth affords the chance to fail, the audacity to risk, and the potential to evolve.

Nostalgia. It never lets you go.

soltero said...

ay napuntahan ko lng dati Happy Sauna ahahaha..nagpa jakol ako sa girl bangag pa yta bwahahhaha :P

Eternal Wanderer... said...

disco houses?!!

retro term :P

Mu[g]en said...


Paumanhin naman! Limitado lang vocabulary ko noon.


So sila pala ang dahilan bakit nangibang bakod ka ngayon? Lol!


And that's why we miss those days. There's a room for us to start from scratch.

Mu[g]en said...


Hindi ka mag-eenjoy teh. Mabilis pa akong labasan ng mga time na yan. Hahahah!


Hindi ko na maimagine na papatugtugin yun ngayon. The real clubbing nights came much much later. Yun talaga ang mas masaya!

Desole Boy:

I think I'm the only clubber who experienced a state of trance without taking E. It's all in the blood pare. :)

Mu[g]en said...


Hahaha. Nako malay mo, nagkabanggaan pa tayo dun. Pasensya na, nadiskubre ko na lang ang salitang rave, bar, party saka clubbing much, much later.


When Red Banana was operational, I was already a denizen of BED. But I knew how the trading works there.


Huy, wag mo sabihing bente uno ka pa lang eh master mo na ang mga bathouse.

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