Queen City Queen.
Sleepless and heartbroken, I went to sleep Saturday at around 10AM. Woke up at around 7PM and filled the bath tub with steaming hot water and slid in. Underwater, I thought how many self-critical, existential crises have happened while attempting to drown in the bathtub? Ten, twenty? Britney? Whitney?
It still hurt — losing my phone and losing my last living grandparent. There are a lot of things I needed to settle immediately here in Cebu and a ton more in Manila. So much is expected of me, but these setbacks make me move in a glacial pace, thrilling no one especially Miranda Priestly. I want to get a big axe and swing it at the fat piece of log called my life.
While I’m always generally happy, I’m not beyond feeling obviously sad and distraught. The happiest people you know make the best armors. Like chainmail, humour shields them from a deep sadness they think only they can solve. Often, they don’t realize, happiness shared is doubled and sadness shared is halved.
So when at 10PM Niche called and invited me to hit Scrapyard, a lounge bar inside the hip and artsy ‘design’ hotel called The House of Cebu, I said yes and was ready to just let the hours pass. After some lovely Kurant-fueled musings later, Fajj texted and invited us over to The Distillery. There, things went from anxious, lethargic and depressive to WILD.
I got to know a bunch of Distillery regulars, Cebu’s yuppies who are nothing of the sort you see in Manila. Their mother hen, Kitchie, a cool Comme des Garcons-wearing real estate agent, was a kindred spirit in black only fashion. From them I gleaned invaluable insight into the wants, needs & problems of Cebu’s new-moneyed working class.
So what brings them to Distillery? Like the one in Makati, they’ve kept bottles of Patron and Johnny Walker in the shelves enough to ignite a forest. They brought out the ‘hinog’ bottles, ones that would go past the one month holding period. A very good DJ played club classics and we danced like crazy in a packed hallway they call a dance floor.
I, the cheap beer-drinking Cubao X creature was wide-eyed when offered shot upon shot of Patron XO washed down with double blacks. It was endless and the music relentless with club music familiar enough for me to sing along to. Happy. I´m feeling so happy. I´m gonna be happy. Can´t you see I´m happy now.
Fajj, the Patron tanggera, drank 1 shot for every shot she offered and soon plonked down into the padded diner-style chairs. My heels were just killing me, so I sat down too. Unknown to me, there was an unspoken rule that those who sit to rest sarcastically gets crowned the night’s queen. In my mind, I dedicated the honor to my dearly departed Lola, who gave the best parties in her time. With deep congratulatory bows and even more shots/crazy photos taken, I begged off to leave.
To say that this trip has been a whirlwind is an understatement deeper than the hole in my heart. Needless to say, I’ve already made plans to be back.
Daghang Salamat, Cebu.