Discovering Pinoy-ness in Shanghai

There is an ongong film festival of Filipino films here in Shanghai, and I’ve already seen the movies I’m interested in (Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Olivares, Maginfico, Minsan Pa). Since I’m a film nut who always felt the need to convince people to watch the films I like is a duty, I had a handful of my officemates drag themselves to watch Pagdadalaga at the Cathay Theater at Huaihai Zhong Lu:

Willing victims of my film-nerd conviction: L-R Auhmer, Ely, Sherile, and Cham

I watched the movie again, as I was interested on how it is inside a Shanghainese theater, and, well, I wanted to validate the goodness of the movie on a second watch.

Cool, conditioned air was non-existent, but this shouldn’t be surprising at all, since most establishments in the city don’t have this in the still non-summer weather. No bag inspections, which was splendid since I brought my DSLR camera. Lastly, the theater setup was similar to the Makati-Glorietta cinemas.

As I only had 2 hours of sleep, I didn’t expect that we’d be going any place else, but we ate dinner at Simply Thai around Xintiandi, where I hoarded the expat-targetted Shanghai magazines, and -finally- a competent Shanghai map, in English. There should be a repeat visit to the place, and consider reservations beforehand: there is pletiful, eat-all-you-can, long-grain rice here, and I don’t think any other culture wolfs down rice like Pinoys do.

As much as I am annoyed by the bar scene, I convinced myself that I should try the darn thing again. This time, it was Malone’s, where a Pinoy band was playing. Their early set were full of unfamiliar songs to my twenty-something officmates, but hell, unashamedly, yes, I knew from the first riffs that that was a Dire Straits cover of Sultans of Swing, dammit.

Between the band’s set -name unknown to me, pardon moi- some of the members introduced themselves to our group, since we were near the stage, and our brown faces stuck out. I suddenly felt that going there was a necessary gesture for a complete Pinoy-in-Shanghai experience. I’d cite one thing I wasn’t comfortable with: I had to patch my left ear with a finger, since the 2-feet-away stage speakers were slowly busting my eardrum, which I hope didn’t appear to the Pinoy entertainers as disliking their performance, as they were making them white people dance to anything from songs from the Black Eyed Peas to… Abba. Oh, roommate Auhmer came up with an apt analogy: the free-entrance bar was very much like Padi’s Point in the Philippines.

And my weekend just started. Sunday was really good. Post to follow.

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