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Reggae Bar: A Punk Story

by Michael Carmen Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Almost every often and awhile, from 2008 sometimes nervous that the restos would over-reserve, thinking that Pat Benatar or Screw Driver was boozing around the area where a reggae bar was located. Too many visitors and standbyers were around the vicinity, so cheering when some of them like unsocialized rapport or a crying baby in a city that never trust. Just like a night of the living dead when you turn on the radio and it’s not Friday, that you were deceived by a beggar. A lots of Germans come around here since last month and until now, near Remedios Circle in Malate Manila, beside that thirty-seven floor skyscraper along the road directing the mall to Padre Faura, abounding around the stretch of the avenue are some other foreigners of different nationalities. The reggae bar in the city, the wooden walls with native designs on it and the unleveled flooring gave the aspects of it the abberance but explicity and half open to the road as cars run by the front. The people are adjusted behaving very comely, drinking beer made in the Philippines or sometimes tequilla as it is served by shots, with toast’ regularly requested by New Zealanders and Iranians. Mito Paling, a German immigrant usually stopover babbling with his grandfather who used to wonder about him when esteeming for a hardcore band named Septic Tank and that saying “nevermind the Sex Pistols here comes Talkative Lampshades”. Hopped out from the taxi and staring from the pavement, bathed so lovely like a vicious hooker, Mito looked very agitated while seeking for a possible CNN reporter or some kind of cybercop volunteer that would fix his curiousity. More bourgeois men steps back and fourth on the thin concrete path, rocks around along, others overlooking from the left or from the right surveying empty tables and chairs. Some of them were malicious on women craving for thirst. Some are crustcore like Mito, accidentally or traditionally accessing to the scene where nobody ever knows or ever mentioned about the fad. The German ordered another round for his friends but his bonafide sincere conviction suggests a slamdance flicking gag that almost reminds of the 1986 rumored gigs, that he’s 42 years old.

Two years ago when I visited a tattoo shop that was attached to the bar, an African male came across the tables and greeted another friend from New Zealand named Steven Thompson, a thin little chap living in an apartment with routinary headset on with the enthusiasm for melody. Both consternating while staring at the people around. The afro approached a Filipina and seemed to be familiarized with each other smiling, wisecracking and some music, Steven was smirking from the distance. Several bottles of wine were quaffed until late night, the New Zealander left his table and went outside of the bar to find other spot for some hilarity , and came a pretty lady from the ghetto. She looked very delightful that she even prepared a thai noodles meal for the night, also came the hood, pretty calm that a joint would light for the guy’s amusement, farout. Groggy for few hours and finally came the noodles soup prepared by Julie Anne who was about to marry an Australian she met somewhere around the locality. She was very nice to Steven and to another man from Valenzuela, it was very humane and real, understanding about artificial intelligence. It was the night of the Baranggay Fest, the punks ( Steven and Michael) were also provided wines and beverages in the festival, lot’s of loud music and fun, beautiful women ramps back and forth and folks and children come across the street enjoying the glory of the event. Near dawning, they went back to the reggae bar to toss another round of tequila, it was a jazz music playing around 3:35 a.m., colleagues showed up most of them were Filipina from another town and some of them were drowsy beguiling with fake faces. Another chongki at 3:45 and adieu, see things tomorrow or Friday. While waiting for another hour to catch a taxi, the group were chirpy and anticipating about goons roaming around the circle while vendors greeted them with joyful smiles, and Butch (the owner of 1541) came along through the road at the edge of the sectioning avenue. The event was successful especially enjoyed from the gig with the independent bands from various localities in the Philippines.

Another Friday night followed, the streets were wet watering some parts of the sidewalks by the rain. Some hoodlums again were passing along the road while others seated around the area lurking on possible meal and allegedly armed and dangerous. Some of them are hookers, thieves, and even cops are part of the rubbernecked backgrounds, cars continued to flow south and north bound while headlights flashes to the eye like burning codeine or LSD. Superficially, within the temporary mode of the preceding hours, Mr. Paling glanced back from another street in sando and shorts. He ordered for the package promo of 6 bottles for only a cheap price, grimacing from the table while contemplating, wishing of some job offering but naught for the meantime. Another hour shortly after washing faces at the toilet, some group of men sat around behind the corner from the left side and staring at the German, his girlfriend, and a guy from the press, staring back and intimidated, inspecting issues. Feeling out from his chair, Mito Paling gazed back behind his shoulder getting the load from the enemy. The men were pretty tough looking, seemed alarmed from another conflict in another place. It was presupposing, the people around left their tables ignoring the collision as well very calm afterwards, and some were already drunk rather than picking the fight with the group of hooligans. Today, the highways in the corners of Remedios St. are serene, adversary to conflicts conveyed by strangers or even local people yet frequently some usually brawl in street clashes amidst the activities of the scene.

Nowadays, different kinds of music for every bar and restaurants would play, people gathering starts at around 6:30 p.m. up to morning at 6 o’clock a.m. assumingly for the matter. Distinctive and various are people that visits Malate area, malls, money changers, hotels, and bars are all in progression which seemingly booming as it look like but not necessarily statistical. One of the places is a reggae bar with it’s colleagues, would order the specialties cooked by the chefs, massage offer by reflexologist with oil or not, easing the pain at your table while the coolness is the blessedness.

“It’s a reggae bar but a punk bar although it’s not a real important place when we are here because we came from the roots”, one Australian says “even CBGB is not active any longer I heard”. The foreigner from downunder continued while tapping his jaw explaining how he got into the bars and it’s reasons. The tango music suddenly played at the chorus of the song while extra costumers ordinarily came inside the place and had their drinks, some nodding at each other or to the pioneers of the gigs, mostly from Europe and Australia. A few beatnik from Germany, older ones but significant for acceptance yet obviously kindred to the commoners and always customizing to the reflexology massage. Imperceptibly convenient with the ambience and interspersing among other foreign investors yet tolerable as for a normal routine. Police patrol regularly pass the road by the bars, peace and order.

Pedestrians proceeding through streets at noontime while sunny weathers crashes down to the surface so such scenery is bright and melancholy when raining upon the new and old skycrapers. Establishments, stores, and vendors along the streets of Nakpil and Adriatico are customarily and usual to the routines selling their products, sales marketing everyday to nearby business outfits, also to other designated prospected clients. Businessmen gets busy repeatedly as usual trying hard to move the market upward as loans get the interest per day, accounting every minute per capita as well as the stockmarket’s invested for the best of the profit as it turns into sodomy. Continuously in a reggae song when the chorus cracks like a nutcracker and stoned like a smackin’ zero lawyer from the cell. The French came asking where’s the reggae bar?

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