01613: O Bar Is My Gay Home

Last night was rather awesome. It's hard to believe how many people showed up in support of LGBT Pride at O Bar's first big Pride Party at Ortigas Home Depot Food Street. And while any night at O Bar is pretty fun and crazy, the fact that the event was able to draw people from all over to celebrate even in the Food Street area was pretty impressive. The turn-out, despite the bad weather, was pretty phenomenal. And that's always a good thing for the LGBT cause in general.

This was my 10th Pride celebration, and the 2nd time that I found myself celebrating away from the "traditional" gay center of Malate. And while I have many fond memories of that area and the different bars and establishments that used to call that area home, clearly things have changed and the community has moved on. We're no longer limited to just one segment of Metro Manila for our celebrations. Now more and more we're breaking new ground in other parts of the Metro.

O Bar Ortigas has certainly become our new gay home in Metro Manila. Tobie and I have certainly moved on and now celebrate the quirky LGBT culture and diversity with fabulous drag queens, talented poi dancers and lots of great friends.

It's kind of amazing  how things have evolved in terms of O Bar. What started as me and Tobie settled in some random table at the back of the bar while I'd struggle to take photos over the heads of the crowd is now us somewhere closer to the front, taking as many pictures as possible and even developing blog posts featuring the bar and its various talents.

And it's not like we're getting paid for the things that we do in support of the bar. We just genuinely appreciate how much O Bar has become a second home for us - a gay home for us, and thus the location of so many good memories. And thus the photos, videos, blog posts and all the other social media stuff are all our little way of saying thank you to the owners of the bar and appreciate what O Bar means to us.

And so I can think of no better place for Pride to be celebrated at than O Bar, and I do hope that last night;s successful Pride activity will help other people realize how much fun the bar is and thus become a new place for them create great memories of their own. At the end of the day, O Bar may be a business but it's also a service to the community. More than just a commercial establishment, it's also a safe space for members of the LGBT community. And we can always use more safe spaces in the city - and it helps that it's a pretty fabulous one to boot.
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