Week 3: Experiencing a Neon Rave Party in the Province – Bigg’s Illumination

I am not a party person. I personally don’t like clubs, loud music or rave parties. My idea of a party would be more subdued like those of the Victorian era. But when I was invited to witness Bigg’s Illumination – well, how can I say no?

biggs illumination poster

The title makes you think of some Third World religious stuff (trust me to associate Illumination with Illuminati) but it’s actually an innocent and rather daring event by a homegrown brand in Naga.

Bigg’s Diner, now on its 32nd year has been known as a retro place – a resto where you go to eat and experience a 60s – 80s throwback. But recently they’ve been updating their game to still have that retro touch that made them famous while remaining relevant to their target market – the millenials.

According to CEO Carlo Buenaflor, Biggs Illumination is their attempt at connecting to the younger generation.

Biggs Illumination is a neon rave party. The dance floor is pitch black and only backlights illuminate the scene. Wear white or neon colors and you stand out. Wear black and you’re hidden. Flourescent make up is available for anyone who wishes to add a hint of neon color to their garb.

biggs illumination dance floor

DJs from Metro Manila were invited to share their beat and get the young Naga populace grooving to a beat. Of course, cocktails and beer were available in makeshift bars around the dance floor which was in a roof deck of a commercial building in Naga’s gimmick district.

I laud Bigg’s attempt to stage a first-of-its-kind event in Naga. Bigg’s has always been a game changer pioneering events the city has yet seen. Looking around the venue, it felt as if I haven’t left Manila at all. However, a look at the crowd validated that I’m still at a provincial city.

In Manila, it’s normal for people to start hitting the dance floor the moment they set their foot in. Those milling about have beer cups in their hands and before long will be out in the dance floor. In Naga, the crowd is more reserved. There was an atmosphere of feeling each other out. The crowd did not immediately take to the dance floor and it was a long time before anyone started to dance.

Gates opened at 6pm and I arrived at 9pm to a mellow crowd. I was expecting the party to be in full swing by then. Even when I temporarily left at around 10pm, the crowd had only started to thicken but nobody was really dancing yet. It was around midnight, after the Tower Burger Challenge that the real party began. It seems they were still waiting for the program to start not knowing that in raves like these, it’s a spontaneous event. Dance til you drop is the theme.

But despite the slow start, it’s still a great event for Naga. As a friend said, expose Naga to events like these and soon enough they will get the hang of it. And from the looks of it, Bigg’s is definitely the brand to do just that.

Oras Na! Roxas Na!

Since he became Mr. Palengke up until he stepped down to be PNoy’s running mate instead of LP’s Presidential Standard Bearer, I have supported Mar Roxas. To me, he is the logical choice to run the country. He came from a decent political family where all his relatives have served the country well without a hint of doubt to their integrity. He has worked diligently under the administrations who assigned him government posts and he has delivered what he’s supposed to do.

I know he is not perfect. There are times when he bungled up. Every time his PR team would come up with some cheesy campaign that will make him a laughing stock in social media I will cringe internally. I agree with them that the gimmicks are cheap but I disagree with the purported notion that Mar is not a viable choice for leadership.

When he was running for President during the 2010 Presidential Race, I was all out to support him. But when LP decided suddenly to switch to PNoy as their standard bearer, my heart went out to Mar when he decided to step down. I cannot forget what he said that day:

“Ito na ang pinakamabigat na desisyon sa buhay ko. Maniwala man kayo o hindi, ginagawa ko ito para sa bayan, para sa inyo. I do this for unity in support of change. And if that means that somebody must make the sacrifice, it must be me. Ako na,”

Mar Roxas, Aug. 1, 2009, Club Filipino

Now, we come full circle. After 6 successful years where Noynoy Aquino has successfully started the fight against corruption and began the positive change in our country, he is now announcing his successor. And this time, it is Mar.

Whereas in 2010, Mar began campaigning early, this 2016 he announced his Presidential ambitions last. He worked patiently, diligently and quietly with every responsibility assigned to him. Most of them even put him into bad light with the public who cannot comprehend how hard a position he holds. But he moved on, never once complaining.

This article summarizes beautifully why Mar Roxas is a game-changer; why he is the most rational choice for President after PNoy.

Grace Poe is a nice candidate. She’s a breath of fresh air since she’s not from a traditional political family. However, her experiences and capability to run the country is something debatable. Presidency is not just any ordinary position as I can see now. It involves a lot of other factors and winning it is certainly not as simple as it may seem.

Duterte is a popular choice because of his notorious reforms in Davao City but running a local unit is different from running a national unit. Besides, it would take more than social media to win the elections.

Who else? I totally agree with anyone who says Binay should not be President. Anyone who acts the way he does is someone who doesn’t deserve our vote. His pre-campaigns and his recent antics clearly smells of someone who is up to no good once he assumes office. Someone who tries really hard to secure his victory – to the extent of even leaving his Cabinet pose – is someone I will never trust in a million lifetimes.

Mar Roxas is the logical and most viable option we have. I hope Filipinos will start thinking rationally and strategically. Other candidates may be good but they need to have political allies, enough connections here and abroad, enough resources, and enough experience to be able to implement the changes that our country needs.

Roxas may have had his blunders but at the end of the day, he’s still the best option we got.

I am not ashamed to campaign for him for I believe in what he can do. And I believe we have no better alternative.

With Mar Roxas. Taken circa 2009 during the launch of GRF 50th Anniversary.
With Mar Roxas. Taken circa 2009 during the launch of GRF 50th Anniversary.

Related:

Mar Roxas: The Long Road to Endorsement by Rappler

Mar Roxas posts in this blog – because I’ve discovered that I’ve consistently written about him

Well Done PNoy! – Thoughts on SONA 2015

It may not be the best presidential term. It may have been riddled with criticisms and missed opportunities, but, for the most part, it was a good term.

Having lived through 5 presidents (Cory, Ramos, Erap, Gloria and PNoy), PNoy’s term is, by far, the best. He was able to accomplish more than all the 4 past presidents combined. It took 5 presidential terms to finally curb the adverse effects of Marcos’ dictatorship. After the Martial Law, we have spiralled downwards as the poverty of our country was slowly exposed. Corruption remained rampant and people, despite the nationalistic spirit during EDSA Revolution, remained apathetic and impassive – already disillusioned with the state of our government.

I recall how we, as the youth, were constantly urged to be more aware of political affairs; to care more for the country and who we vote and what reforms took place. Yet I will hear many in my generation simply refuse to care, choosing instead to dream of going abroad towards greener pastures. They long to take courses that will secure them a work abroad. Many became nurses and left the country.

But the case is different now. I see more of my generation becoming aware of the current state of our nation. I see more people beginning to care.

And this is because PNoy has given us hope. Hope that there could be a better Philippines.

He has shown us that good governance is possible. That it is possible to rise up in the middle of corruption, criticisms and dissents. He has inspired us that a TUWID NA DAAN is possible.

Oh yes he is not perfect. Yes he has his lapses. There are many things that could have been better. Yolanda and Mampasanao are his recent blunders. But for every blunder he made, there are many other praiseworthy items worth noting. The improved credit ratings due to increased trust by investors, the number of PPP projects which totaled to 50 vs the 6 in the past 3 administrations and the K-12 Program which to me, when given the chance, will put our education at par with the world’s standards (after all, before K-12 we are one of the only two nations not implementing K-12).

He knew it will be a tough job to lead this country coming from the blunders of the past administrations. But he still took the challenge. I can recall how he ascended to presidency right after his mother died. He must have been in grief still at that time when he took on the challenge. It was Mar Roxas who was supposed to be LP’s bet for President. I was all geared to support Mar. But the sudden turn of events saw Noynoy running for President.

I voted for him. And I was not disappointed.

There are many things I still wish would happen like the passage of the FOI Bill but six years is indeed a short time to implement all the good things the country needs. I also know that sometimes, in the pursuit of goodness, there would be certain decisions that will make you unpopular. Decisions that for now, the public may not understand, but when the right time comes everything will be made clear.

PNoy’s term is coming to an end. But his projects and what he accomplished will remain for long. The 2016 Elections is just around the bend. At this point, we should all be diligently doing our research on who the rightful candidates should be.

Instead of criticizing, let us think of solutions. And then determine who’s the leader who can best implement them.

We cannot expect perfection but we should demand excellence. And our next leader should be someone who will do his best – whatever it takes – to serve the country, and not himself.

Indeed you did Mr. President. You did.  -PNoy quoting 2 Tim 4:7
Indeed you did Mr. President. You did.
-PNoy quoting 2 Tim 4:7

Related Articles from around my blog:

PNOY: Lonely at the Top?

Where is PNoy?

Related Articles from around the web:

Aquino’s Legacy: His Final SONA by CNN Philipipnes

SONA 2015: Legacies and Missed Opportunities by Rappler

Full Text of SONA 2015 in English (courtesy of Rappler)

Great Insights of Friends working with the PNoy Administration

aika raffy