I’ll preface this with thanks; It has been awhile since I have covered an event for Indie Manila, and from the start until now I am grateful that I get to do this; to do something that my soul feeds on while getting to help and touch people with what I do is a blessing and an honor, always. 🙂
To be completely honest, I was a bit concerned when I accepted this assignment. Why? Well to name a few, I don’t know the venue. I know that it’s in Makati, and I am familiar with Makati Avenue, and Poblacion, but hey. A coffee shop in the middle of one of the metro’s red light district? Really?
Also, I didn’t know anyone from the prod. This is not the first time that this happened to me, but it has been awhile since I went to a gig and I had to introduce myself and get to know people and mingle with a group of people I barely know. Normally I’d go to a gig and know at least one person in the crowd. And this time I barely know anyone I can speak to and hang with.
I also did not know the artist and anybody from the lineup. Tiny Corpuz, yes. Because she’s my boss’ friend (and actually he was the first person I went to when I got there) and I haven’t heard anyone of his songs and let alone saw him perform in a gig. Goes with the rest of the artists.
But as often said, we go out on the limb because that is where the fruit is.
So out to the limb, I go. With the help of Google Maps, (as always) I found my way to Makati Avenue, then to Jupiter street, then to Polaris street. I almost missed the venue. I was walking on the street and I am almost on the street’s end and I couldn’t see my target. Yet when I asked a person where the commune is, it was just beside the person, to his right.
The Commune Cafe and Bar is a place you wouldn’t find very easily unless you’ve been there before, or know a friend that has been there before. The door leading to the inside doesn’t even look like a door. It looks like a wooden wall. I actually have to feel the thing and push it so I’d know it will open. But behold what’s inside; probably one of the best-hidden gems in Makati. The walls are in black and actually looks like a blackboard with all the chalk writings on it. A very big window, which during daytime, should supply an ample amount of light to the interior of the cafe. It was a combination of books, coffee, laptops, cake, and the usual yuppie working inside a coffee shop. Seeing all of this, again, I almost felt that I was in the wrong spot. I thought I was going to a bar, but it was upstairs.
And upstairs I go.
Now I see speakers, cigarettes, guitars, beers, and groups of friends. The place itself looked very intimate; a few spotlights lighting up the stage, with fairy lights hanging from a ceiling, and also surrounding the stage. Artworks, from shirts to paintings, to photographs, digital art, and what have you. They also had a balcony, as a smoking area, which overlooks the bars and other places that are flashy surrounding the Commune.
I was getting very excited.
Oh, and let me just twist every negative I said earlier. I already did with the venue, and coming from a mindset that “i-don’t-know” now I am in that mindset “I-am-hella-glad-i-got-here”. The Commune is a cool place. I’ll stop here, ’cause It was not my assignment to do a full review of the place, but hey! go there if you like. I will if I can.
I did not know anybody when I stepped inside the venue. I saw Tiny and he was very nice enough to direct me to Rice. My heart felt very relieved just hearing her talk. She was very welcoming, and that led me to think I was in a nice place. And the people are nice too. I forgot how it felt like to risk going to a place where you don’t know a soul, but when you conquer your fears and begin opening up on people, you’ll meet a lot of them and also get to share a great night with them too.
I did not know anybody who will be singing that night. I often got assignments for gigs involving only singer/songwriters, In fact, I think this was the only one I have been to so far. and I am glad I did. Ourselves the Elves were the only exception, for they were the only group that night, but the other performers went solo. I loved all of the sets. and what their songs represent also represented what I have felt during that night.
The songs that evening reminded me that probably, artists are the strongest and bravest people that I will know. Artists dwell in the saddest most painful side of being alive but would have the power to inspire positivity. Artists have gone thru the ringer, and often they might not have gone out of it yet, but still, they inspire moving forward and not stopping. Artists celebrate tears as much as they celebrate laughter. The artists that might have reminded me of such and their music just washed over me.
Tonight was the last leg of Rice Lucido’s “Pahina Uno” EP Launch. This is her Page One. If this is what page one looks like, I am just as hungry to read page two, until I read pages of a book that most certainly, would leave me in awe.