(or the time a famous musician bought me a drink)
I’ve not been one to go for nightlife or the local music scene lately simply because I’m a morning person, a somewhat serious athlete, and there’s something about going to a dingy smoky bar late at night just to watch a band perform that makes my asthmatic throat constrict.
12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub at Century City Mall, Makati aims to change that attitude, and from my visit there last Friday I think it might actually work. 🙂
This music hall and pub was set up by the who’s who of Manila’s music, social, and F&B scene. My friend Raymund Magdaluyo is a restaurateur and has his hand in several other big ventures, but 12 Monkeys is the one he’s been devoting a lot of his time to lately.
Truth be told, if it weren’t for Raymund’s posts on Facebook about the stuff he’s been doing with 12 Monkeys, I wouldn’t have accepted the invitation for a blogger’s food-tasting and gone to the place. But knowing Raymund and his penchant for good food, I decided to exercise my stomach and sample some of their excellent dishes.
While I was waiting for my Mongolian bowl to be delivered to me, I started chatting with someone who had been introduced to us by the food-tasting organizer. I didn’t quite catch his name during that introduction, but soldiered on. I just knew he was one of the numerous partners (there are 12 monkeys, er, partners at 12 Monkeys) of the place so I just quizzed him on how long it had been open and what kind of crowd they wanted to attract.
He was a tall chinito with a bit of a beard. He kind of looked familiar, but because I see so many people pass through the doors of the gyms I work at, I just thought maybe he was one of those guys. He offered me a drink. “Waiter, I’m really bad at the ladies’ drinks here. What do you recommend?” he asked, then signed for what the waiter called “Ivan’s Secret”, a vodka-something-or-other invention.
“We wanted a place where OPM bands could go to perform that’s comfortable. It’s in a mall with safe parking,” he said offhandedly while I skimmed the press release.
And that’s when I saw his name among the list of partners. CHAMP LUI PIO, former vocalist of Hale. No wonder “The Day You Said Goodnight” had been playing in my head for the last few minutes and I had no idea why. *facepalm* He’s a co-managing partner for musical programming, alongside Chito Miranda of Parokya ni Edgar.
Later on, Champ introduced me to Neil Paras, who runs Friday nights at 12 Monkeys and also owns Big Bad Wolf and the soon-to-open Palace. Raymund also dropped by later that evening and we chatted a bit about triathlon as well as his restaurant ventures.
Speaking of which, here are more food photos:
You betcha I filled my belly! Although I couldn’t stay and watch the scheduled band perform that night, I’ll be back over there with friends, which is how I like to enjoy music and food.