the unexpected nights


Had I been at an office or a cafe, I would have looked like this but I was just at home (photo by Cholo Laurel)

I spent pretty much the whole day yesterday writing. I was working on a sequence treatment for a film I’m putting together with a director I really respect and admire (name to be revealed soon but if you’ve been following me on Instagram (@wanggo) you probably already know who it is). The director likes to go dark and deep and so I’m going to places I haven’t been able to bring myself in my past projects. Working on the script yesterday at home wasn’t difficult but it was revealing. Working with such dark and desperate characters was intense.

Lucky for me, I live in Poblacion and everyone hangs out in Poblacion at night. And it was a Friday and I completely forgot that people go out on Friday night. As a freelancer, I keep forgetting that I don’t have weekends or weekdays. Everyday can be a work day or every day can be a day off. It all depends on me. I sometimes forget that most people follow a schedule.

So the moment I finished my sequence treatment and e-mailed it to my director, I was a bit spent and I wanted to get out of the house. Lucky for me, my friends were out and they sent me a text asking if I wanted to hang out and I quickly said, “Sure.”

So I went had dinner and my friends Tony, Jake, and Bardo joined me. And then we went to Tambai to meet up with Jessie and Camille. Tony and Jessie are new found friends who I’ve been hanging out a lot with lately. They are friends of Apa, who has become one of my closest friends recently and he insisted I meet them because he just knew that we would be good friends. And he was right. Ever since he formed our little quartet last month, we’ve been inseparable and we’ve been constantly messaging each other on Telegram. Jake and Bardo are friends I’ve met also and while I love them dearly, they don’t go out very often. I was so happy to have spent time with them last night. Camille is Jessie’s friend, who is fun to hang around and she’s been joining us every now and then.

Apa is in Hong Kong now, taking a much needed break (he’s a workaholic so I’m happy whenever he gets a chance to rest and relax) but the rest of us were at Poblacion and having a blast.

We drank at Tambai and those who didn’t know each other too well got to know each other better. While we were there, I saw other friends as well. Tambai is a popular place to hang out, after all. In fact, Tambai is a play on the word tambay, which means to ‘hang out.’

Jessie had other friends at Oto, so after one round of drinks, we walked to Oto at another side of Poblacion, pairing up and just enjoying each other’s company. At Oto, some of us got drunk — not me, though, I had 1 drink and a half a shot the whole evening — but we were all having a wonderful time.


Camille, Jessie, Tony, Bardo, and Jake on their way back to their cars when we finished at Oto

Afterwards, I walked everybody else to their cars or to where it would be easy to book an Uber, and that’s when Jessie and Tony and I decided we wanted to eat first before really calling it a night. So we went to North Park for some congee, braised noodles, and lemon chicken.

We did what people do after a wonderful night out while eating. We talked about how lovely the evening was and how it was wonderful that we got to hang out with Bardo and Jake and how cool Camille is. We talked about missing Apa and wishing he was there and recapping the night’s festivities. By this time, Jessie was sobering up. We posted on our social media and just had an enjoyable time.

The two kept talking about what a lovely night we had and I ended up saying, casually, that the unexpected night outs are the best because there is no expectations for it and so it always exceeds any preconceived notions of what the night would bring. A planned hang out sort of creates an expectation and the enthusiasm builds up moving towards the time we all end up meeting and hanging out that the night can’t possibly meet that expectation.

But a spontaneous evening like what we had has none of that build up. So everything is surprising and new. Everything is unexpected and fresh. It’s quite enjoyable. I had a great night and it was a wonderful way to end the day of writing dark and desperate characters.


Jessie taking a group selfie at North Park with Tony and I, the last three standing


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