I arrived on a rainy Wednesday afternoon at the Lio airport, and after dropping off my things, went straight to town to buy some supplies, met up with my friend Macy, and her co-worker Kring, both Environmental Officers at El Nido Resorts, at the ‘White House’ and then off to dinner at our favorite place in town – Sea Slugs Bar and Resto.
I have always esteemed Sea Slugs Bar and Resto as my favorite restaurant for its fish steak in lemon butter sauce. Every restaurant I go to, I’d order the fish in lemon butter sauce if it’s in the menu just to see if it can best the one in Seaslugs, and so far, there has been none. Sea Slugs still has the best fish steak in lemon butter sauce there is, at least according to Macy and me.
Yesterday, I was in town again to hang out with some old friends. The first place I went to was Sea Slugs of course. At six in the evening, live music was playing and the place was already full of diners. I wanted a table by the beach so I took one in the resto next door, Og’s Bar and Resto.
I bought a wide angle lens converter a day before I flew to Palawan and decided to try it on. I wasn’t really into taking photos because my mind was into other things, so this night comes down as the night the lazy photographer was in town. I’d just sit wherever I was, find some little thing to put the camera on top of to give it more leverage and stability, yes, a makeshift tripod, and click once or twice.
Here is a shot of Sea Slugs, with my 18-135mm kit lens.
Here is the same shot, with my Vitacon .5x wide angle lens converter.
And there you go, there is already a lamp post at the corner going off to Caalan – on the left side of the following photo.
After having dinner at Og’s, I went straight to El Nido Art Cafe and Boutique where Cecil, Judith and Tani were waiting.
Sikap band was playing, with Weng on vocals, from the Moralde family, which was my foster family back in 2005, as they lived in the house across the street from us. I didn’t really know he was playing so I was surprised when I heard him say, “Welcome back…!”
In El Nido, bands start playing really early. The band was already playing when I was in Sea Slugs at six in the evening, and Sikap was on at Art Cafe from seven to ten in the evening. The cafe closed at twelve and Cecil and I decided to drop by Balay Tubay to come see Kuya Bong before finally calling it a night. Balay Tubay is the only bar that plays music until one or sometimes til two in the morning. My fondest memory of Balay Tubay was this time when the band was playing Rolling Stones covers, and people started dancing – that is how I came to love Honky Tonk Women.
To be honest, this here, at Balay Tubay, is where it all started.
When people ask me how I got into the music scene, I always think about the time I was living in El Nido and I was in Balay Tubay almost every night.
When I came back to Manila, I longed for the live music and started hopping from one music venue to the next.
My love for music and bars, started right here. And that is the real story.