Red and Kala Constantino, The Oarhouse, July 21, 2006
After Steve Wallace's despedida last Thursday night, Friday night at the Oar was followed up by Red Constantino's happy birthday gathering (lest this be mistaken for another coup plot meeting) wherein all that was talked about were the favorite wordplay of nicknames of longtime friends, i.e. 'Titina my Titina' (who is yes, a girl and a real person) and the plight of everybody's pets (trust me, this isn't going to get any dirtier) who've been regulars at the bar such as Milo (Derek's dog) who really pigged out the previous night on a literal Roman deli spread of grapes, sliced apples, tomatoes, pita bread, mozzarella and pecorino cheese, pepperoni slices as provided by Ninang Sol Vanzi on Steve Wallace's sendoff. I mean, this dog on Red's birthday was looking for literal SECONDS, as drunk as it was and lapping up the food people kept stuffing into its mouth. But you see, that's why the Oar is such a sanctuary for creatures and humans who've always been perceived differently by the outside world. And why the likes of, say, a Raul Gonzales - will never really need to set foot in this place because how the world perceives him is, um... exactly what he is. We'll stop with him, okay folks?
What is always an occasion for free speech, food and inebriation should remain enshrined as sacred tradition in the democratic scheme of things, most especially during these times when wherein the everyday struggling of nameless and ordinary people can be found the only traces left of insight and irony, acceptance, and humor laced with hints of hope. Hell, throw in kindness too, because that's all we have left to answer this present outside reality of political deadlock, personal agendas, and the persecution of innocents. How much more the paranoia and intrigue inflicted on just merely being known in this country.
That's what makes no-bully zones in certain parts of Manila all the more important and necessary. Here's a toast to you, Red. ;-)