I was in an SUV with 6 other girls on our way to Subic. It was a Friday and I used one of my leave credits to join this trip. We were on our way to a destination festival called Summer Siren, a 3-day art and fitness, and musical event. It’s already in its 4th year and the venue is the Subic Bay Waterfront. I prepared for this, went on a diet, bought a new off-shoulder black blouse, and even dyed my hair from orangey brown to black. If my friend, Silver‘s reaction with my overall look is any indication, I think I did a pretty good job prepping myself.
Recently, my friends, Silver and Caresse, introduced me to their other friends. We hang out one night at Serendra, in the condo unit of their DJ friend, Jason Dewey. Jason is a white guy, tall, and bulky. We had what they call, shrimp night, in which Jason cooked lots and lots of shrimps then everyone eats. As I sat there gobbling more shrimp than I could handle, worrying what it’d do to my waistline, Jason mentioned that he’s set to play in the Summer Siren Festival. He said that if we want to go he could get us some free passes.
The girls expressed their interest to go (including me, but only in my head).
“It’s going to be on Friday,” Jason said.
In my head, I was like, “Dang! I got work on Friday night.”
“Jason we’re coming, I’m taking Marge with me, is that okay?” Silver said.
I looked at her and tried to telepathically send the message that I got work. Of course, she didn’t get it, I’ve no such power. Then Jason mentioned that Up Dharma Down will be among the bands to perform and I was like, Work? What work? B*itch I’m going to Summer Siren!
Friday night, Silver and I had a hard time getting to the meeting place in Quezon City. The traffic was so horrible I could have sworn I turned a year older. To make matters worse, our Uber driver drove so slow and very unlike the typical Filipino drivers we have all hate, you know, those who like to overtake. When you want to reach your destination fast though, you want that kind of driver. But alas, we chanced upon a driver who seemed to have forgotten that he got passengers and drove in his own sweet pace. Silver was visibly irked and being an empath, I could feel the tension, so thick I could almost touch it. I was just thankful that Silver, did her best to stop herself from lashing out in consideration of me. To be honest I just didn’t want us to have additional stress, which would most likely happen had my friend gave the driver a talking to.
After what seems like an eternity we reached Quezon City and met the rest of the girls. All in all, there were 8 of us. Our lady driver drove really fast that we were able to reach Subic in 1 and a half hours.
We went to the hotel where Jason is staying so we could all prepare. I was already dressed up, just needed a little bit of retouch. The others have changed their clothes, did their face, sprayed perfume like we were all preparing to go to a prom. I thought things like these would no longer excite me; guess I was wrong. That night I have set aside the fact that I’m in my mid-30s, and acted like a girl in her early 20s ready to go out and have fun. I felt super confident and genuinely excited to see what the night is in store for us.
Jason’s hotel was a stone’s throw away from the beach where the concert was held so we went there on foot. We had 4 passes in a form of a bracelet that Jason provided to us. We were 4 short of passes, preventing us to enter the venue right away. It was around 11 in the evening and UDD was already playing. I couldn’t contain my excitement and couldn’t wait to get in. Caresse, seeing how excited I was, took off her bracelet and gave it to me so that I could finally watch UDD. I was so stoked! Silver accompanied me inside and we were giggling like high school girls as we squeezed our way through the crowd; of young women in crop tops and short shorts and of men clad in board shorts and sleeveless shirt. Silver made sure we would get to the front so we could watch the band up-close. When we found a good spot, I shrieked in joy in true school-girl fashion and immediately used my phone to snap some photos of my favorite band.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Silver received a call from Jason asking us to go to the backstage. The backstage area was being manned by 2 guards. Silver gave Jason a ring, we spotted him inside, waving us in. The guards saw him so we were allowed entry. Having the backstage access is one of the best things in the world I’m telling you. There you can stand beside the stage, see how the backstage crew do their work, and basically have the most amazing opportunity to approach your favorite artists and have photo ops with them.
There was also free drinks; Silver and I helped ourselves to a vodka mix drink. I don’t drink often but when I do I drink a lot. I easily finished 3 cups, heightening my sense of euphoria. You know that feeling when you could feel the music’s vibration coursing through your body? I get a terrific buzz from it.
When UDD’s performance has ended, my most-awaited moment finally came. Silver asked Armi, the band’s lead if we could take a picture with her as soon as she climbed down the stage. Armi is about my height, with pixie hair, dewy skin, and a slender frame. Her lips break into a beautiful shy smile and gladly accommodated us. I stood next to her and told her I’m such a big fan (I just had to let her know!) Then I smiled, while my friend took our photo. We said our thanks, me quelling the urge to squeal in delight.
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Then it was time for Jason Dewey to take on the stage and spin some good music. The audience had a blast, singing along and dancing in complete abandon. I was doing my own sing and dance number backstage whenever I could. Everybody looked like they were having fun.
After Jason’s fantastic performance, we left the event for the after-party. Yes, I know, I’m cool.
We went to a club where Jason was also set to play. Joining us were two of Jason’s friends. I was already tipsy when we left Summer Siren; my condition worsened when we went to the club.
The music was loud, space was small, and the lights a play of pink, purple, and blue. We went up to the VIP area up in the balcony, right at the side of the stage. I was there basically doing things I should have done when I was younger; dancing, drinking, talking with strangers. Now when I’m buzzed I am a completely different person, not the uptight, timid girl that everybody knows. When I’m intoxicated I talk to people, I’m generally happy, and I have low inhibition. I was having a blast and I don’t even remember the last time I’ve had that much fun in a long time. Guess I should party more eh?!
That night I sat beside a guy whom I’ve gotten drunk ’cause I practically made him finish the drink that Caresse didn’t even want to touch.
“I have never met a woman in my life who got me so drunk,” he drawls.
I laughed and said, “Then I’m special.”