Whenever I have the usual craving for something raw, inspiring, moving, and a fill of live music to bang my ears while spending an alone time with myself... I go to this place tucked in the edge of Makati's Central Business District. An old, up and down house turned into a small cafe, the second floor turned into a small art gallery and the next room to an ukay-ukay store. Ironically, I usually bring my friend the Goth Chick with me, I know I wanted some time alone, but I don't mind her tagging along. Bringing a fellow hardcore music enthusiast means we both have a "leave me alone" state whenever we are already in that place. That place where new and budding talents as well as the rooted and more well known bands perform to awe the snobbish crowd of fanatics, artists, photographers and enthusiasts, the emopsychotic loners, the Goth Chicks, the Bohemians, fellow band groups, and of course... the usual people(who are not snobbish but wants to get everybody's attention) who just wanted to "be seen" and the weekend huddle of the new age "chikiting patrollers" with their young teenage faces and attitudes armed with their parent's money and flamboyant displays of expensive mobile phones and DSLRs as their bling-blings with loud squeals of their puberty.
This place is, Saguijo. My first visit was back in 2005, my bohemian friend tagged me along to watch the band of his friend perform. On our way to that place, one will never knew such a venue exists in the middle of a residential area. Along the way on Guijo street, I started to notice an unusual number of parked cars and I started to see several people walking towards one direction. It's like going to a rock concert and a gathering of activists. If you know what the usual U.P. crowd looks like, you'll know what I mean (I am not from any university). The cafe was well hidden, and one must turn to several corners before landing to front of its gate.
My friend told the cab driver to stop, and we got off to a small gate with bystanders that look like a small army of reggae fans. We went in and paid tickets at the small booth. The place was small, very small in fact that it gets really tightly jam-packed and hot inside. Not only that you will be literally rubbing elbows with everyone else, but also, rubbing sweat! You have to squeeze your way just to get to the bar or to the common restroom. Yes, there is only one restroom! The nice thing about that restroom is it is relatively clean knowing the number of people who uses it on a single night. One part of the wall is neatly vandalized with different poems, messages, "shout-outs", and whatever thoughts people might think, no porno messages written.
On that night, Urbandub was just starting to be popular, Kaya was also making it's way to "populardom", that was my friend's friend's band by the way. One thing I like about the Saguijo crowd is that they are well behaved, most of them. Where the loud men, women, and kiddies are hushed. Most of the time, people don't care at all, they just stand and listen to the music.
People flock to that cafe to listen to music an get a dose of its rawest form. There are small lounges outside that caters to people who wants to eat and talk while listening to the performing bands. I prefer getting inside and get as near as possible to the bands I like and get lost and swim in the sea of sweaty bodies all around me. It is exhilarating to jump in unison with the music and the rest of the audience as we sing out the lyrics of our favorite songs of our favorite bands, it's a priceless experience... It's like being lost in space and being one with world at the same time.