you said follow me deeper and down
my love, cannot believe what we found
I feel like I left something behind. Like I molted after a long time in my previous skin. In more private moments I hope that people can tell, because I can't be the only one to have completely shed a life.
This was 2016, when I was halfway. I used to want to control how my memories went, but this time they come back disjointed, in snatches.
The company was excellent. It always is.
Bruce, Paul, and Alice.
We met up one night and had so many plans. I parked us at the Jollibee on Pioneer, opened the doors, and we ended up doing nothing.
Future was welcoming on another night.
Mike and Alice.
Nante and Jia.
Inside, Miguel and Soleil.
Bruce and David, and people who stare.
I went to Jay Javier's studio, to see Joey.
Joey was working for Jay at the time. Jay's is the best place to go to get film developed, because he refuses to stop.
It was Joey's birthday in an hour.
We found a spot and waited. Dia and Kiko.
Then, it was midnight. Happy birthday, Joey.
One day, traffic was worse than usual. It was backed up onto the Skyway, so I walked.
I headed to Alice, who let me into her empty house.
43 Hilltop Drive.
She had just finished packing, three years after she came.
Alice's despedida finally happened in Cubao X.
Alice and Anna O.
Bruce, Kim, and Austin.
Debrah and Alice.
Sanya, Iacopo, and Alice.
We did our best to make her cry.
It was Sunday, and Alice wanted to go to B-Side for Irie Sunday one last time.
It's not my thing but I love her and I do what I'm told.
Mic and David, the quietest people who go to the loudest places.
The best part of the night is after you think it has ended.
Alice is in Copenhagen now, where the weather is perfect, and the sidewalks are wide. She bartends in the city center, and rides a bike. She lives with Jeppe, someone who loves her. They both have Neri, who gurgles and smiles.
But when we talk, she sounds the same.
My friend Hannah got married in Coron. I photographed it, with some friends.
It was beautiful.
Congratulations, Hannah and Jon. ♥
The morning after was beautiful, too. Mirra took us around.
Our wedding videographer, Dan.
Terence and Rina.
Up ahead, Isla Sorna.
Ian, Rosem, Terence, Rina, Katha, Missy, and Mirra in the middle.
The girl who made it all happen, Mirra.
We visited the Twin Lagoons and a shipwreck, and I never felt so much sun on my face in my entire life. The water was clearer than the sky. Then, we arrived at Banol Beach.
Brigada and Jia were already there. They had played the day before at Hannah and Jon's wedding.
We stayed for about ten minutes because we had a flight to catch.
It was well spent.
Then, we went to the airport and flew home.
There's 12 million people in this city, and sometimes you can't find even one. One lonely night, I went to see Sonny at The Curator. He bartends here some nights, and invited me over. His timing was perfect, and saved me.
Sometimes movies give us expectations on how going to a bar to drink alone will go, but this one seemed right. I was in the area, and the bartender was an old friend. I sat at the bar and we talked as he juggled me and a few other customers. Then I stumbled home. That night was a blur, but I needed it.
The morning after, I still felt the same, and went to see James and Mafia, and Karla, in the neighborhood they just moved into in Makati.
James, from Karla's window. (They're neighbors.)
Karla, from James'. (Her room smells like cigarettes.)
The neighborhood. (They moved out already because I take too long to post about my life, and the apartment was badly run.)
The neighbors. (We don't talk.)
Back at Karla's.
We had adobo, and then left to do our duties as friends.
Until now it still doesn't make sense, but we can cross the city to show up to a party we were invited to, and leave immediately. That's what friends are for. I think?
We went to get food instead.
It's no one's fault.
I headed to Ziggy's, this one time. It didn't happen again.
I saw David on a bad night.
There are still places I need to get talked down from. Bad nights still happen. These days, when they do, I know who to turn to.
Sonny, at Cubao Z, one afternoon.
On days when he isn't bartending at Curator, Sonny is a photographer, and a very good one.
Hours later, Sonny had gone but David and Mic were still there.
Mike arrived, from across the driveway.
Mic's cat Skywise, whom I sometimes call Shopwise.
He's choosy, but friendly, when he chooses you.
The Benedictos, minus Bob.
I bumped into Gian on Maginhawa one day, and we had dinner somewhere excellent, Indonyaki. The food was amazing.
(It's terrible now because everything changes. Don't go there.)
It was cold, late one afternoon at Isabella's new place. I was somewhere nearby, and she invited me up.
Luca and Fabio dropped by as I was about to leave.
(They aren't together anymore because everything changes.)
I made it to the Preview Ball. The invitation always comes as a surprise, because every year I feel more out of place than ever. But there are friends in the crowd, and it's the best-dressed crowd to feel out of place in.
Jacqui and Belle.
Xtina, at the dj booth, as always.
Jigs and Harvey.
Camille and Patricia.
Outside, Jess W.
I discovered this neat trick where you take out the plastic stirrer from your glass of vodka and it instantly looks like water.
I'll try it again at the next ball.
Future turned 8 and threw itself a one week long birthday party. I went every night to honor my second home and spiritual living room.
When Saturday came, I was hungover for days already, but the body can achieve amazing things after five nights of partying, like go to one more party.
Xtina, obviously stalking me from the Preview Ball, in friendlier territory.
Lui and Debrah.
David and Mike.
Mikki and Maddie.
Maddie and Etienne.
Chris and Trisha.
Mike and David at the bar.
Club Gentle, David and the Benedictos.
Mich, Debrah, Diego, and Ge.
Mich. This is a group shot.
The people keeping home alive: Sam, Leah, Austin, Chie, and Sharon.
James and Mafia.
Mersi, with Cru and Neal.
Chris and Mikes.
This is generally the face you make when the bathrooms at Future open, depending on who comes out, or what they left inside.
David and Kate.
Sam and Karlo.
I feel it in my bones. One day I will stop being the last to leave a party, but before that time comes, I will stay.
I met someone last year. His name is Rye.
We spend the day together.
Usually, until they end.
We go to exhibits together.
We look for ourselves in pictures.
Ryan and Garovs. This was their exhibit.
Rye and I keep eating out.
He's making me fat.
I think he knows.
But it never stops.
And I like it this way.
Things escalated when we began crashing other people's dinners.
Miguel and Nimu, in Little Tokyo.
Thankfully, the bill arrives and then nothing matters.
Bobby teleported back home for awhile, and Reg and I visited him, for a quiet night.
Quiet nights mean a different thing for us.
Quiet nights mean we made it out alive, and made it home before sunrise.
I went to Hannah's and we watched a movie, reheated some Chickenjoy, and listened to each other. Then, she fell asleep and I let myself out.
The day Ferdinand Marcos was buried, we went to UP.
There's never really enough of you.
Rye and Chris.
Go, always, when you are called. There will never be enough of you, but that isn't the point.
We went again, this time to Luneta.
It was late, and we looked for somewhere to eat.
We went to SuZhou on Mabini Street. It was Carla, Joey, Rye, and me.
We finished everything, because standing in the rain and yelling about a dictator who was given a hero's burial, was tiring.
The last protest against his burial happened at the EDSA Monument. I found it kind of a cruel joke to gather here.
It's a monument I pass everyday on EDSA, and I never noticed how small it actually was.
These gatherings feel the same now, just the same people saying the same things.
I think people used to protest to show their anger, but when nothing changes every time, maybe we come together these days just to see who will come.
This kind of thinking works both for failed revolutions and nights at Fort.
I went with Renchie one night. Rain was back for awhile, and a new club called Nectar was opening in the Fort Strip. It's what friends do.
We went to the Airbnb Rain was staying at, because he's a modern millennial wanderer like that.
We were told the party would start at 10, which meant it would be fun at 12, so we decided to leave at 1.
It took us hours to do nothing.
I've been learning that just because you go out at night doesn't mean you live an exciting life.
It's still not a reason to stay home, at least for me.
Remember that plastic stirrer vodka trick I told you.
Austin and Xtina.
Leah and Sam.
I guess it's like a Future in Fort with strangers, better airconditioning, and expensive drinks. But friends can make anywhere the place to be.
(Unlike other restaurants and relationships and residences, Nectar is weirdly still alive. Go if you like.)
Speaking of Future.
I stick to what I know, now. I know the nights are long, but the company is great.
The tables are full but there's always room.
There's a spot at the entrance where you can peek at the next song.
The line for the boys' bathroom is longer than the girls'.
Everyone looks different, but they feel the same.
Stand clear from the door, because Kim will hit you.
This night wasn't the last night I went in 2016. It wasn't the craziest, or the quietest. But I liked this night.
Miguel and Jess.
A birthday pizza for Anna.
JR and Kim.
Julianna, dancing to Ariana Grande, the only artist that brings her inside.
It always surprises me when I remember how forgetful I am.
My days go unphotographed and so many ordinary nights fill my photos.
But I don't get sick of these times.
Last year is seven months ago.
But I love all these faces and the places we see each other at. (Even if it means just this single place.)
Last week, I turned 29. I went to Future, and everyone was there.
I don't understand why time demands to be felt so strongly now, when the days and nights feel longer than ever, but the years that pass feel like seconds.
But it feels like the right time again, and it hasn't in so long.