IN MEMORIAM: A LOOK AT THE CULTURAL HOTSPOTS WE LOST DURING THE PANDEMIC
It’s survival of the fittest in the business nowadays. As for these places, their legacies will continue as once-cultural gems in the Philippines.
We’re in for tough times. Businesses after businesses kept closing and we’re losing more options to go back to when the pandemic subsides. But a question that lingers in our minds while seeing the declining economy drag our favorite spots to closure is that—what else is left for us after COVID-19?
Everyone’s missing their favorite spots and more people are in a hunger for culture. The cities were once brimming with many different cultural hotspots like music bars, art gallery spaces, theater houses, and amazing restaurants. Until the pandemic happened and everyone had to shut in and forget about their lives outside. Whatever happened to these places that cultivated our culture now that we are locked and left with only the internet to stay connected? It’s the sad reality of today. Even though the internet helps us find ways to bring us closer to our culture with food delivery apps, digital galleries, social media platforms for entertainment, and more, businesses live different circumstances and the odds can only ever be in their favor.
We miss the loud city where the abundance of art, music, cuisine, and entertainment thrives in iconic establishments. But they can only go as far as they can and we can only go back to their legacy as mere enthusiasts or fans of their contributions to society.
It’s every musician’s dream stage. The Katipunan bar has hosted the best nights for music lovers, enthusiasts, creatives, and more to celebrate the music scene. Leaving a legacy in the music industry for having staged performances from both veteran musicians and aspiring artists, it is with deep regrets that the bar has reached the end of the road. Many artists such as Autotelic, The Itchyworms, Gracenote, Cheats, and Munimuni paid tribute to this 15-year old bar that has been home for many artists. They’re leaving their legacy with a shirt design by Rob Cham to commemorate the memories shared during those nights we wish it never stops.
Today X Future
The bar that welcomes diversity and all things disco and hip. This Cubao hotspot has been one of the go-tos of artists and music lovers for its thriving creative community and its eclectic music library. Most nights at 1AM, it gets full and crowded from inside to the streets where everyone can easily just tap the person next to them without being hesitant. And that’s the charm of this place. It’s a safe space especially for queers where you can dance-cry or mingle and chat with your peers and let time slowly pass by as you forget the woes and stresses of your life. It also has hosted many DJ sets and has an exquisite menu with a beergharita, which is a must-try! However, we may have lost it today, but who know what the future holds for our beloved TxF.
This Makati area is home for many bars that makes it a thriving community that gathers artists from everywhere. Known as a hip place, it holds many selections of bars that vary in themes that’s why it’s the perfect area to host events like Fete de la Musique, Bloom Arts Festival, and Pob Crawl which requires you to go around the area for a collaborative experience that welcomes you to new exciting places. Unfortunately, some of its locals have already closed shop including NoKal, XX XX, and Polilya, which have hosted the best nights around the area. Poblacion is known as a melting pot of culture for its diverse community and tourists so losing these places may somehow affect the area’s traffic because these are just some of its famous hotspots. So looking into the future of Poblacion, it’s sad right now but there’s hope in it, knowing that the area breeds new exciting places from time to time. Who knows what new concept bar will come out after our dreaded situation.
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The time has come for us as well. After 4+ years, for all the obvious reasons, we are forced to close our doors. We would like to thank the people behind the scenes—everyone in the back-office, our bartenders, servers, technicians and security. To our brand partners, who supported our vision and helped us make it a reality. To all the promoters, DJs, dancers, musicians, performers, artists, photographers, videographers and pop-ups that took part in our events. It was truly an experience working with you. Last but not least, we’d like to thank those who walked through our doors week in and week out. It has been a great ride filled with lovely memories of the smiles and good times on the dance floor with all of you. During these hard times for nightlife and culture, we hope that sooner rather than later things will return to normal, or perhaps even better. Goodbye for now. #ThankYouForDancingWithUs
This cultural hub in Makati has hosted many art events including photography and art exhibits, contemporary performances, and interesting workshops and talks. So with its closing, a piece of our culture comes with it for its many contributions in lifting local talent such as its annual Fringe Manila, which is a premier event during Philippines Arts Month, and providing a space for veterans and aspiring artists to showcase their work. It has also bridged the gap between Filipino arts community with the global scene therefore its resounding name has echoed through the art scene for years. Many artists found home in this lab because it has been a major hotspot that has been welcoming of the diversity of talent in the country. However, same case as most, the pressures of quarantine got the better but its staff reassures everyone that its mission to celebrate the local arts scene will continue in some way.
One last walk-thru of Pineapple Lab as we say goodbye to our beloved space on Palma Street (the cover photo was the…
Comic Odyssey BGC
This comics store has many branches but this particular one holds many memories for the past 8 years of its operation. It has hosted many comics enthusiasts and fan events where anyone can geek out all they want with like-minded people. In a Facebook post, they noted how the pandemic has drastically changed customer behavior. “The pandemic has completely changed the face of traditional retail. Customer buying habits have drastically changed,” it reads. Since this has been the case, they reassured that other branches will still be available including online services. However, we will be missing the exciting events in their wide spacious store where comics fans can enjoy the fun and enthusiasm of cosplay and geeking out.
Our Comic Odyssey Fort branch located on the 4th floor inside Fully Booked will be closing its doors on Sunday, August…