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Those Who Speak Filipino Know Why It’s Really Called Cyrano February 12, 2008

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Judith Albano

12 February, 2008


Okay, I love Cyrano, I really do. This is just me doing the psychological equivalent of a bouncer’s work. Yep. That sounds about right. Now. How much do you really want to get in?

* * * * *

Mos Eisley’s cantina, my foot.

Sure, some of us that hang out at Cyrano are aliens, alternately sighing, rolling our eyes up, or laughing at the petty travails of humans, but to call it the Mos Eisley cantina is somewhat imprecise. For one, the barkeep and his lovely assistant/VP look much better. Still falling in the bilaterally symmetrical carbon-based group and all that. The rest of the regulars too. Of course, they could very well be wearing rubber suits like that worn by those folks in V, but as far as I remember I’ve never seen anyone down a live rat. Then again, I’m not around all that often, so I really wouldn’t know.

Star Wars? Heck no.

It’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest meets Twelve Monkeys meets
The Dream Team.

You don’t remember The Dream Team? Christopher Lloyd plays a burnt out creative director who lost it after being blamed for the failure of a new line of sandwich-flavored ice cream. Michael Keaton is a guy who thinks he’s God. Ah, you never saw the movie, but you know people like that? Sure. Bet I can tell you where they are.


Also known as the padded cell you keep people in so they won’t hurt themselves. Or other people.

Forget therapy. It isn’t as much fun. Plus I’ve heard the medication turns people into drooling idiots, and there are already too many of those in Makati. We don’t really need more.

Which brings us to Cyrano. Think of it as another alternative to alternative medicine. Sure, it looks perfectly normal, these places always do. The people look and sound intelligent enough. But that’s your first clue that something strange is afoot. Because, come on, is there really any place anywhere in the Makati of this dimension, where you’ll find halfway decent conversation after hours (Maybe even during office hours, but that’s another rant, er, topic, entirely)?

Now here’s the test: Try to ask for beer. Perfectly normal thing to do at a drinking place in Makati, right? Wait and see as to what kind of response you’ll get. Mostly hysterical laughter. Maybe some mumbling about religious beliefs. Does that seem normal to you? Didn’t think so. Now, as an added exercise, try telling Alex at the bar, “Alex, I want coffee.” You will be told that wanting and having are two different things. Which they are, of course. Just ask any English, Theology or Philosophy student.


Then there’s the final test: Ask if they serve food. Chances are they will hand you a phone and a folder. It’s okay. Ordering tapsilog, Chickenjoy and MiniStop chicken will not get you thrown out, I assure you. We’re crazy, not stupid. It might even earn you coolness points, depending on who’s around.

Of course there will be days when instead of a folder, you will be asked if crackers and slices of some smelly cheese are okay with you. That’s also good. And if you’re nice enough to the inmates, they’ll share the rare and wonderful foodness smuggled in and stashed away.

If that happens, lucky you. Those are really, truly, good. After all, losing one’s sanity doesn’t mean the loss of one’s tastebuds. (You’ll have to refer to the other posts for examples, though. Being the only Philistine in the lot, my food reviews only have two settings: Good and ick.) Although I do vaguely remember being served something with fava beans.

That’s only out front. There’s still the back room to be explored. Come in. But don’t be fooled by the pretty girls – they’re just as bad as the rest of us. Look. Listen. Learn. Then ask yourself this: Are these the kind of people you really want walking around innocent, defenseless humans at the end of a long hard week? Didn’t think so. You will notice a distinct scarcity of census-takers there. Must be the fava beans.

It’s okay, however. Don’t be afraid. Well, not too afraid. It’s not really as scary as I’m making it sound. It’s actually a fun place, in the Blair Witch-summer camp in Halloween-island in Battle Royale sort of way. You’ll be fine as long as you keep your wits about you and that prissy tendency to be judgmental at the door.

Otherwise, there are other places we’ll be glad to direct you to. They won’t be as entertaining, though. But it’s okay. At least they won’t be laughing you out the door when you ask for SMB.





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