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 blacklights 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.


#Y: A Journey of Personal Catharsis

I don’t have much experience with indie films – or films in general – but I do know that Cinemalaya films are a must-watch for they expose issues in society rarely discussed and much less shown on film. And so, I made it a goal to watch a Cinemalaya film this year – finally after being cooped up in the province for so long where Cinemalaya is virtually inaccessible.

With so many great films to choose from, I didn’t know where to begin. A friend recommended #Y and it being about my generation, I opted to watch it. And so, at 9pm on a Thursday night, there I was, alone, in Greenbelt, watching #Y.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the film. The reviews were mostly vague. And nothing could have prepared me for the film’s effect. Seemingly shallow at the beginning, the more I dwell on it, the more it exposed issues inside of me – issues I have been too afraid to disclose; issues I have set aside and never really dealt with. It was not your usual indie film. It didn’t just expose issues in society – it exposes issues within yourself.

And so, after almost a week of having seen the film and after countless discussions with friends, officemates, myself and even the director – here is my take on the film and how it has purged me of my own personal demons.


The overall apparent theme of the movie was suicide. The trailer unapologetically led people to believe it was a film simply revolving on sex, drugs and alcohol and never really gave a hint that it was primarily about suicide. Hence it was a shock when the film opened with the main character – Miles (Elmo Magalona) – lying on the pavement, in his own pool of blood.

And from there, it was a flashback to how it all began.

The suicide theme was softened by Miles’ comedic monologue. I found it funny when, even while lying in the pavement, apparently dead, the audience can still hear his thoughts – about how dying by jumping off a building, despite being really fast, was in fact, very painful.


No one really knew why Miles would commit suicide. In fact, his family and friends all pretty much had good opinions about him. They saw him as having everything he could wish for and living a pretty much good life. No one knew why he would do it. But I do.

And that I have expounded here.


Sex was another overriding theme in the movie. It tackled how sex is the norm in today’s generation and how the days of Maria Clara and sex-after-marriage are seemingly down the drain. My mom would have a fit when she reads my exposition on sex – and my vast knowledge of it but such is the reality of things.

Continue reading “#Y: A Journey of Personal Catharsis”

mood swings and mean sides

Dahil sabi nila, at sabi ko, na ang blogs ay paraan ng pag-express ng mga saloobin at hindi dapat na-ce-censor di kaya ng ibang paraan ng komunikasyon, hayaan nyong ipakita ko ang malupit na aspeto ng aking pag-uugali. OO mabait akong tao. Pero minsan baliw din ako at nagiging mapanglait. Ewan. Gusto ko lang siguro manlait. O mamintas. O baka lumalabas lang ang pagka-masama ko. Dapat nga hindi ko to i-popost at gud lak na lang kung ma-post ko man to.

At dahil this is one moment of insanity in my end; a moment wherein I deviate from all norms of my thinking; then pardon my irregular and informal use of language. If I switch from Pilipino to English and vice versa pardon me. And if you know me personally, that is you will see me any time soon, please refrain from talking to me about what you read here. You see I hate it when people will try to censor what I write. Heck! There was this girl who could point blank curse in her blogs and no one censors her for it. I will not curse in my blogs. That is not who I am. It’s just that I also have a mean side to me. I am no angel. I know I am a work in process though. Yet there are times when we have to unleash the evil in us to get rid of it. And maybe that is what I am doing now.

In any case, I have been an anti-social person at work. In the sense that I do not like social functions like all the apparent school-like activities like theme days or talent nights or programs or even sports fests! I have had my fill of such activities when I was in school. I am sick of it! Totally! I have been a constant participant and organizer of numerous events that to see them at work makes me gall. How I wish it was my day off during such occasions. The reason I loved the morning shift so much was not really because I could have a normal bio clock but because I get to have the whole site to my own. We are the only account with a morning shift and as such the number of people at the site is next to zero. It was lovely taking your breaks alone – in silence – punctuated only by the occasional chirping of birds. During the night shift, there are a lot of people and when you take your break, you are never alone. It is never quiet.

And so today was Hawaiian-theme day and finals night of the American-Idol inspired singing competition. I have nothing against the organizers or the participants. It’s just that I know the events could be further improved – based on my numerous experiences with the matter. But then I am not complaining. For if I was to complain, knowing myself, the next thing I know is I am the heart of it – fixing the item or factor I was complaining about. You see when I see the reason to complain, that means that to my opinion there is something that can be improved and what I do is I look for the solution or the manner to improve that. And again, I can only shake my head as I watch the numerous number of people in the pantry that time, participating as audiences. I guess I am really too serious for a person. This is after all their idea of a break from the routine of work.

I have a different idea. How I wish that given the upcoming elections there would be forums or debates or discussions as to who should be the next leader of the country or what reforms the country would need or what kind of a leader should we vote for. How I wish that there would be some sort of propaganda introducing us to the numerous aspirants for various political positions. And then sometimes I think there are other great activities that we could have, maybe. But then again, I do not want to dwell further on the thought. Because knowing me, if I am utterly convinced that something is a good idea, I will not rest till I get to implement it.

He said I liked to complain. Well maybe I do. But I also want to resolve things. I complain because there is something that does not meet my expectations. Yet I see to it that when I complain, I do something to remove whatever it was that caused me to complain. Tsk. This is hard core blogging. Why am I back to blogging in my outlook? Because I cannot talk to him. Tsk. I don’t feel like talking to my other blogs. OR blog since there is only one that is in there.

I am having mood shifts. To think that I am so pretty today. And the senior manager even took my picture because they apparently thought I conformed to the Hawaiian inspired theme. But then I did not. I just thought I’d dress up today – my own style.