Apr 29, 2013

The exodus of BED from Malate

The first time I came to BED was in 2003, during their first year. And I first blogged about BED here 5 years ago, when BED was turning 5. And now BED has reached the 10-year milestone, a rarity in the Malate scene. Throughout all those years, BED has experienced ups and down, from the unfortunate fire that hit it in 2010, to its expansion from a hole-in-the-wall bar to its massive superclub state.

BED celebrated its 10th year with a surprising announcement a few weeks ago: they would be leaving Malate for “greener pastures.” At first I thought that they would be moving to Greenhills, but then a comment on their Facebook page mentioned the Greenfield district near Ortigas Center and it made sense. And during their last party last Saturday, they have confirmed that Greenfield is their new home, though they haven‘t stated the exact location yet or even when they will reopen.

Because I have fond memories of BED, I could not not go to that club for their last night in Malate. I guess hundreds of other people felt the same way because the place was packed to the rafters! The air-conditioning was not enough to cool the place down due to the sheer number of people and the boys were hot, literally, sweating like they were partying in BED in 2004.

So why did BED management decide to leave Malate? BED is an institution in that gay district and the idea of BED leaving seems like a letdown for the gay Malate community. The most common reason I’ve heard is that BED could not compete with O Bar Malate and Che’lu, the two other popular gay clubs nearby.

But is moving a smart decision? I guess time will tell. There used to be a gay club along Makati Avenue called Government, but it closed down I think partly because relatively few people went there due to its isolation. Fahrenheit does have a (now newly renovated) clubbing area and I think they’re doing successfully despite being isolated but their success is because F is primarily a very popular bathhouse. Then there’s O Bar Ortigas, which is also doing well, even recently having Anne Curtis gamely joining a production number that was actually impersonating her! So the question if BED will be successful in Greenfield is an open question.

Whatever the answer may be, I wish BED good luck with the move! What we need are more gay-oriented establishments in Metro Manila and BED moving to Greenfield would be a welcome development.

Other tributes:


rudeboy wrote on April 29, 2013 at 2:58 AM:

Interesting. I just came from Malate, dissecting the BED move and the ultimate fate of the once-fabled, now-flailing district.

The most common reason I’ve heard is that BED could not compete with O Bar Malate and Che’lu, the two other popular gay clubs nearby.

One of BED's principals stated in his FB page that the crowds simply dwindled over the years. This much is true, although the presence of cheaper alternatives such as O-Bar Malate and Che'lu also siphoned off a good deal of BED's clientele.

Malate gained fame as a bohemian district dotted by edgy dance clubs and quirky restaurants. Its Renaissance in the 90s was heralded by establishments such as Blue Cafe, Joy, Pepe N' Pilar, Batavia, and Sala, among others. When Joy shut its doors, it gave rise to the next wave of BED, Bath, and Acquario. Red Banana came along, and then O-Bar took its place and reigned on the corner of Orosa and Nakpil until it, too, just very recently abandoned Malate for Greenhills pastures.

And now BED has followed suit.

There's a lot of talk and movement in Malate now that there is a void left by BED. But some voids cannot be filled; not because they are unique and irreplaceable, but because they are products of their time.

And now, clearly, inexorably, that time has passed.

Whatever the ultimate fate of Malate - particularly the "gay intersection" of Orosa and Nakpil - BED will always stand as a point in time. A time when you and I were young and beautiful, and life was full of laughter and dancing.

There will come a time - soon, some insiders say - when Malate will no longer be recognizable to those of us who were fortunate to be part of its incarnation as a party nexus. Then the Malate we knew and loved will pass into myth, and then a new generation will only know it as legend.

Ryan See wrote on April 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM:

It's odd, feeling this kind of loss when I didn't get to know Malate early enough to experience the vibrant gay life it used to offer.

JM wrote on April 30, 2013 at 3:03 AM:

It was nice to see you again, Vince. Pasensya na, I was preoccupied reliving the days when I used to rule from the ledge. Haha. :)

Anonymous wrote on April 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM:

...when ever a topic about BED Malate comes up....bigla kong naa-alala toh!.....sabi sa akin nung friend ko habang nasa jacuzzi kami..."...alam mo ba, ako ang bading sa pamilya namin! Pero nagpunta ako sa BED..Ka-iikot ko ng kaiikot dun! Nakita ko ang kuya ko na nakikipag-lips to lips sa isang lalaki sa isang madilim na sulok!

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on May 1, 2013 at 11:57 PM:

@rudeboy, I see that you provided exceprts of your blog post. Very, very well-written.

@Ryan, hopefully the vibrant gay nightlife will sprout elsewhere.

@JM, it was nice seeing you too! Yeah, I wouldn't dare distract you from your moment. :)

@Anon, nice story. :)

rudeboy wrote on May 2, 2013 at 5:41 AM:

@ Vince : Actually, my blog post emanated from this comment on your post - not the other way around haha.

So...thanks for giving me the idea for a blog entry ;)

Guyrony wrote on May 3, 2013 at 5:13 AM:

@JM - Weh.

@Vince - Ah, the infamous BED. How time flies. We thought they would be there against the test of time, but sadly that is not the case. We are fortunate enough to have experienced BED as it was...

P.S. They will be relocating to Greeenfields near UNO Lounge and will be reopening by June.

Will we be there?

Perhaps, perhaps not anymore.

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on May 7, 2013 at 3:22 AM:

@rudeboy, I actually initially wanted to comment that you should turn your comment into a blog post. But I went to your blog and so the blog post and I assumed the opposite happened. Hehehe.

@Guyrony, I'm definitely visiting the new BED, maybe not on its opening, but surely during its first months. I got to blog about it for the benefit of the readers anyway. ;-)

haze wrote on May 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM:

When will the new BED opens?

Venetta wrote on August 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM:

This is cool!