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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where My Party People At?

Partyphile Anxiety: a condition brought about by the sudden lack of good places to party, which leaves partyphiles tense, restless, and in dire need of some hardcore partying.

I am sure most Dabawneyo partyphiles have been suffering from partyphile anxiety lately. Somehow, the bars we used to frequent are now filled with wannabes and high school students; which isn’t really the crowd of choice for ultimate partyphiles.

The cool crowd now flocks to places where they can chillax over some frozen beer instead of spending money in clubs \that offer cocktail concoctions and great house music. This isn’t really bad, but it just leaves the really good bars with a lot less “spenders” and are instead filled with kids who aren’t even of legal age to drink. There has also been a sudden decrease (or maybe even a complete disappearance) of really good events thrown by the hottest clubs in town.

So we, the partyphile crowd, look for other places and ways to have fun. Now, we see house parties gaining popularity again. I used to think this was reserved for the high school crowd; and that was actually the case when I was still in high school, not too long ago. But now that the tables have been turned and little kids now frequent the hottest bars; we are left with no choice but to go back to our old ways of gathering the barkada and mixing up our own cocktails. Somehow, the party scene is becoming less about where you go, and more about who you are with: a futile attempt for partyphiles to keep the party flame burning.

The Davao party scene used to be a lot more exciting. There used to be a lot more party options for the gimikero. There used to be better bars; hotter events; more exclusive parties. We did not have to share the dance floor with people of the (excuse the term) jologs crowd. We used to be in our element when we were in bars; now, we seem more and more out-of-place in the sea of kids, emos, and wannabes.

And it used to be easier to classify if the crowd was of the ultimate partyphile race (those who love to drink, dance and socialize); the partyphile wannabes (those who love to drink, dance, and try to climb the social ladder), or the non-partyphiles (those who love to drink, sit and indulge in senseless conversation). Now, it seems like everyone drinks for the sole purpose of getting wasted; Davao has become one of the most intoxicated societies in the Philippines. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. A lot more restos and “grills” have been popping up, posing to serve good food, when all they really sell are cases upon cases of cheap frozen beer.

Davao has ceased to become exciting for the partyphile race. It has, however, become a haven for everyone and anyone who would want to get wasted, puke in public and try to look for cheap thrills.

So, what can a poor, frustrated partyphile do to solve this problem?

Sadly, I do not know. But I have been contemplating on (gasp!) quitting the party scene completely; a really big and scary step for someone who has found solace in hardcore partying. But until I am ready to give my party mojo up, I will continue praying that some inspired entrepreneur would finally open a bar in the metro and breathe new life into the waning Davao party scene.

So to all the anxious, lonely, out-of-place partyphiles out there, let’s keep our hopes up and wish that the Party Gods would send us a new hotspot in the coming months… or else, the partyphile race might be completely extinct.


Discreet Infidel said...

ayos man japon ang torres

Anonymous said...

Actually it's not the lack of party places but the shortage of partyphiles that causes partyphile anxiety.

DavaoeƱos are notorious for their "ningas-cogon" attitude when it comes not only to new bars but also to new restaurants. Just look what happened to Racks, Don Henricos, and even Max's. During the first few weeks people would line up and wait to be seated. But just after a few months these same places were having very few patrons and had to close down eventually. Now if one were to crave baby back ribs, calzone, or even the sarap-to-the-bones fried chicken and found that his favorite restaurants are no longer there, are the owners to blame?

Now let's talk about the bars and clubs. In 1997 there was a great big place under one air-conditioned roof called Calzada along Duterte St. Its theme was that of network of streets - that's why it was called Calzada - complete with street lamps and cobbled stones. These "streets" were lined with bars and food stations serving various specialties. There was a stage for live bands that played 80's music and a large dance floor in front of it. From 1997 up to early '98 there would literally be hundreds of yuppies (I'm not exaggerating here) inside Calzada - even up to 4am, on a weeknight (there was no 2am liquor ban back then).

And then what happened? Zircle at Victoria compound came in. Until today I could never understand why the party people left Calzada for an infinitely inferior place like Zircle.

So after a while Calzada was converted into a food court and eventually closed down, leaving Zircle as the ultimate party place.

Until The Venue came along. Well The Venue was a much better place than Zircle and so it's no wonder why it drew the Davao crowd. But for me, Calzada was still the best.

Anyway, people thought that after The Venue there won't be another big place to challenge it, and they were right. Because it was the small clustered bars in Rizal Promenade, Wheels 'n' More, and MTS that did the job.

During this era the party scene was great, especially with Pops, Urban Club, and 183 before its renovation. (183 used to be packed after midnight, with people still coming in even if there was hardly any room left inside, and so the management decided to expand it to accommodate more. Big mistake. The place lost its magic because what the owners missed is that people wanted it tight.)

And now came the Torres bars. Well they offer cheap food and cheap ice-cold beer in a big lively place where you get to see all your friends, and that seemed enough to draw the crowds, leaving even Urban Club thin except on late Saturday nights. Crowds beget crowds, and even for partyphiles the most upscale club is only as good as the crowd that patronizes it.

You said that the party scene is becoming less about where you go, and more about who you are with. I believe this has always been the case. It just so happened that there was no Torres before, and all the cool people were in the cool places.

But don't lose hope partyphiles. We learned from the past that nothing is permanent, and Davao's party scene is constantly evolving. Let's just hope that the next wave wouldn't be all about cheap frozen beer.

Anonymous said...

i guess davaoeƱos are more practical than other people. they want to go places where they can eat more...and drink more. and as long as there is somewhere cheaper, the better. from the lechon manoks wrapped in banana leaves, non-air taxis and fastfoods with unli rice...and down to cheap, cold beers in spartan settings, all these can be crowd drawers.

the birth of the torres bars especially bakbak and bbq boss (used to be only ihaw-ihaws) started when people had to drink cheap beers just to load up before hitting the binisaya pa, "para gamay lang gasto." people would go there as early as 7pm from work or class to eat and drink few beers to warm up, load up...and heat up...especially when they had no other place to go before party time.

i can still remember when these erstwhile ihaw-ihaws had to close before midnight - until a few of them decided to sell ice-cold beer, and the others followed...kasi lam nyo naman ang pinoy, gaya-gaya. hehe. so maybe that's how torres came about.

for me, most party-goers particularly the newbies just like to be practical when they want to party hard...if they can pay less for the same amount of fun, why not?

so as for the real partyphiles, there is still the urban club that caters our needs...but we have to mark our calendars on saturday to join forces.. hehe. see you there.