On these great plains,
there are visions of the clouds
turning red at partings,
where the earth sighs
away from the warring skies.
The Last War Party, Ruel De Vera
The Most Careful Of Stars
Previously, Melancholy Heights
Back when I used to be a prominent member of a local student council party in UST, the seniors among us would party the night away after the day-long meet and greet at the college lobby, and end up spending the early mornings in some quiet and relaxing place in the city.
The socializing, among my party mates holds many memories, for it was during these after-school "overnight meetings" did I first taste the Manila club scene. That, of course, is another story. This entry is about my love affair with Cloud 9 in Antipolo, and how I discovered the place thanks to my political associates.
I was lucky to be part of that group, who decided to hold a meeting on a Saturday for some organizational planning. It was the summer before I turned Senior, and the meeting ended late at night. The cool kids of the Arts and Letters, with their wheels and club gears had no plans of going home. There's always the choice to go to Timog, at Phenomena to dance.
But that's an option not everyone in the group accepts.
When another orgmate with a car arrived, the group composed of around 15 girls and boys made their way into the waiting vehicles. There were four cars in the convoy and despite the protests of others, the group made their way to Timog for some night of merrymaking at the dance floor.
"I was at the back seat of the second car. Yung driver namin na freshman eh naisipan makipagkarerahan dun sa kasama niya sa unahan. It was on a sidestreet along the Scout area, ang kipot nung kalsada pero nasa 60kph yata yung patakbo ng mga kasama ko. Parang ewan lang. We come out from one main street intersection to another, until dun sa isang kanto, biglang lumusot yung unang car saktong may BMW na paparating. 'As in inches lang ang pagitan', sabi nung Freshman driver nung unang car. Pati yung mga kampanteng pasahero sa loob eh biglang nawala ang antok."
The club was packed and the gatekeepers refused to let new guests in. The still unoccupied Ozone disco, whose infernal remains rest just a few steps away reminded the owners of Phenomena of its tragedy. Since there were no Starbucks along Timog back in 2001, our elders thought of returning to the place where they used to wait for sunrise, high up in the mountains; where the vista of a waking city graces the pilgrims from the plains.
People who have been there, and who have seen the city from such heights call the spot, "The Overlooking."