But then came Valentine's Day. My lunch friends and I have been planning an Instagramable, Pinterestable, rooftop, candle-lit dinner for months, only for it to be near cancellation because it turned out Dawn shouldn't even be at her condo's rooftop. Long story.
I, Sheng, Me-an, Kat, Sandra, and Dawn already cleared our schedules for a Post Valentine's GNO (girls' night out for the abbreviation challenged), so what are we left to do?
We threw caution to the wind and had our feelings interpreted through a cocktail.
Dawn and I were rushing to Greenbelt 5 after a surprise Friday overtime (more mine than Dawn's). The rest of our friends are already there and I got seven missed calls and a string of "Where are you"s from Sheng. We had a reservation at that bar for 8:00 PM and it was already 7:45. "They will only hold our reservation for 15 minutes," Dawn said, still calm and collected, but you can see the slight panic in her eyes. "I guess we'll have to do our dinner in shifts," I resolved. I called Kat and the girls agreed to go ahead and claim our reservation with whoever was done with dinner, lest we want to lose our chance to have our feelings in a glass.
I wolfed down my dinner (chicken curry with rice), dropped by Beauty Bar but bought nothing (sorry, Sandra and Dawn!), and exited at Greenbelt 1 and headed to Salcedo Street.
Kat and Me-an were walking several paces ahead of me and Sheng. What's new? So when we got to Salcedo Street, we lost them. Or we thought we did.
We stood in front of an inconspicuous building. No signage, no bouncers, no loud music coming out of the establishment. "I've been there and I've seen what the door looks like," Kat said confidently while we were walking. But she and Me-an disappeared, leaving me and Sheng clueless as we stood in front of a locked door with a buzzer and a sliding peephole.
"You think this is it?" I asked Sheng. "It looks like it," Sheng replied as she was dialing Kat's number on her iPhone. I knocked and pressed the buzzer. It happened so fast: the sliding peephole opened, I saw two eyes and heared a voice that asked me who I was, and I answered with "I have a reservation under Dawn Niekamp." I thought they weren't going to let us in so I followed with "We're here with Dawn."
The door opened, we were ushered into a mud room, curtains swiped to the side so Sheng and I can enter, and we were in: We're inside The Blind Pig.
We found Dawn and Sandra already halfway through their first round of cocktails. Me-an and Kat were already settled in, browsing through the menu. As Sheng and I sat down, it took a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. There were no electric lights save for a chandelier with lights turned down so low, you can't even read through the menu. Candles lit up the place, but just enough for your to get through your first order. People say The Blind Pig does it this way, reminiscent of the 1920s Prohibition era where you have to ring a bell to be let in to a bar and drinks are served in hush-hush.
There was a couple behind us, another group of friends in another table, and several empty tables. It was just 9:00 PM anyway and everyone was talking in whispers save for our group. What do you expect? We're a bunch of girls out for a great night!
Playing it safe, I asked Dawn what she had and I ordered my first drink - bourbon with honey. Our server introduced himself as Patrick and shook my hand. Very curious. Nobody who handles my drink has ever shook my hand. He then did the same thing to everyone on the table. In my head, I was waiting for a sleek, Makati ex-pat Sirius Black to step in followed by a Hell's Angel Hagrid. Very The Hog's Head.
The night continued on as we swapped stories about, what else, but work. Bowls of rosemary popcorn were ordered, served, and devoured. I listened intently to my friends, checked my iPhone for an online campaign we were running, and took several swigs of my drink. In 30 minutes, I saw the bottom of my glass.
I couldn't contain my curiosity anymore so I called Patrick and asked him to make me a drink that has strawberries, some fizz, and a good amount of alcohol. "Can you do it?" I asked him. "Of course," he said and brought me a Vodka Cobbler.
The drink smelled great and tasted divine. It has a slice of strawberry, lemon, lime, and orange atop a mountain of crushed ice with a splash of vodka and some citrus drinks interlaced, a hint of mint. I'd go as far as saying this drink got me - is into everything to the point of indecisiveness, has her highs like citrus, but has her lows like vodka, fiery like mint but not too much to assault your senses. Pretentious, I know.
I savored my Vodka Cobbler until it was time for us to go. I was ready to order another drink but my friends had to go home and I had to drive. There will be a next time though, and hopefully, soon.
The Blind Pig
227 Salcedo Street
Legaspi Village, Makati
Tel: +632 4786990
Open Mon-Sun, 6PM onwards
Call +63917-549-2264 for reservations
As seen on CNNGo: The Best of Manila.
Follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!
And please LIKE Avon Philippines on Facebook if you like me ;)