Tired of the Nightlife

For the past two years I’ve had the opportunity to go out clubbing on an average of once every month. While initially it was a heady rush, at some point the party life just starts feeling like the same night over and over again, like “Groundhog Day” except I don’t look like Bill Murray and the music playing on the sound system isn’t “I Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher.

What drew me to it in the first place? Well, it was an opportunity to get dolled up and wear my most outrageous heels. Most days of the month I live in flipflops and sneakers and don’t feel remotely glamorous. And sure, I got to hang out among beautiful people and bump elbows with celebrities and feel, just a little bit, like some of the glitz rubbed off on me. But in hindsight, I’m not sure how glamorous it is to come home smelling like smoke, with dark circles under my eyes from staying out so late, and have awful drunken-looking photos uploaded onto Facebook the next day.

Initially I also went out clubbing to dance. I teach BODYJAM in the gym and always like taking some of the moves out to the clubs and see if they actually can be used without people laughing. Unfortunately, club culture (at least in the clubs I go to) have people just bouncing around or bobbing their heads to the beat, occasionally singing along to familiar tunes. Nobody actually dances any choreography. Additionally the floors are usually over-packed with people, like sardines in a tin can. Good luck trying to find space to execute a flashy arm combo without smacking someone in the mouth.

These days I like being home before midnight, and I get to dance as often as I want when I teach BODYJAM anyway. I don’t know if this is me getting older, or just getting wiser. I’d rather make a night of meaningful memories breaking bread and getting deep into discussions about life’s meaning with friends than wake up the morning after clubbing to stories of embarrassing exploits that I can’t even remember because I was too drunk.

Not that I won’t go out anymore; of course I still will to hang out with people whom I won’t have opportunity to be with otherwise. But I’ll get my kicks from their company, rather than the nightlife culture itself. I’m over it.

The Trouble with Mall of Asia

I live in the Q.C. (Quezon City) and it has everything a girl like me would need: shopping malls, parks, restaurant rows, etc. So I very rarely make my way to the other end of EDSA and that imposing structure known as the SM Mall of Asia.

I’m only here when I need to a) see some friends for whom MOA is the closest/most convenient mall; b) attend Fashion Week or any other event held at the SMX Convention Center in the MOA complex; c) attend work-related meetings at Fitness First MOA; or d) visit a specific store not found in any other mall in Metro Manila.

It’s for Reason D that I’m at MOA right now, having made my way through the 2-hour traffic jams caused by payday Friday (and I should note that it’s Friday the 13th as well). I’ve brought my entire mobile office with me as well, since I don’t want to pop into the store, get what I’m looking for, and then leave MOA to go work somewhere else on my articles.

So here I am ensconced in my little corner of Coffee Bean counting the reasons I don’t come to MOA more often.

Reason #1: It takes too long to get to MOA! I live about 15 minutes away from SM North EDSA, and 10 minutes from Trinoma. Today it took me 2 hours to get to MOA. One hour into the trip and I was only on EDSA-Santolan.

Reason #2: MOA is huge! While I appreciate that there might be more shopping choices in a mall of this size, most of the stores also have branches in other malls in the metro, and since stores of similar pricing and products aren’t located near each other, it can be quite tiring to window-shop in MOA. In fact, it’s making me tired just thinking about it… And good luck if you’re trying to find a specific store but don’t know where it’s located: there may be touch-screen store maps around the mall, but some of these terminals aren’t working anymore, and the listings may not be updated.

Reason #3: MOA is crowded! You’d think a mall of this size would have ample space for people, but during certain times of the day you won’t be able to find a place to sit down or even stand in line at the restaurants and fast food chains. There are always throngs of people here no matter what time of the day as well. Don’t these people have jobs they need to be at? Or maybe they’re all freelance, like me?

Reason #4: It’s too hot to walk around in MOA. Apart from the main mall, which is fully air-conditioned, getting from store to store involves walking along a non-airconditioned corridor. I know boardwalks are vey popular in other countries, and MOA is built right on Manila Bay with that boardwalk feel. Unfortunately, this is the Philippines and “al fresco beside the ocean” translates to “sticky and sweaty”.

Still, it’s always an adventure to come here. I just always need a whole day — and comfy shoes! — to take it all in.