It’s a sad day for the Manila nightlife scene. Just when we thought that the pandemic was through with hitting our fave venues (we miss you, Route 196 and TodayXFuture), we had to say goodbye to another beloved space today.
On Sept. 1, the Makati nightclub XX XX broke the news that they had to close down. In a heartfelt post on their Facebook page, they expressed their sincere gratitude to everybody—from their staff keeping things going in the back office, to the DJs and promoters who kept the night alive to every single bar-hopper and partygoer that stepped in.
“It has been a great ride filled with lovely memories of the smiles and good times on the dance floor with all of you. During these hard times for nightlife and culture, we hope that sooner rather than later things will return to normal, or perhaps even better. Goodbye for now. #ThankYouForDancingWithUs,” they wrote.
XX XX was no ordinary nightclub, it was a safe space for everyone—especially the queer folk that just wanted to dance the night away. We spoke with them for our June cover on how they’ve been keeping their business afloat amid the pandemic so it breaks our hearts that, “for all the obvious reasons,” this place was taken from us too. Here are some of our thank you messages and best memories at XX XX:
I’ve been meaning to take a particular group of friends to XX XX but I’ve been postponing it for so long so I was crushed when I saw the announcement. XX XX was one of the first clubs I’ve been to and it’s one of my favorites. It’s definitely a place were misfits can feel free to be themselves. I can wear whatever I want and do a funny dance without anyone batting an eye. From BDSM Balls to nights that catered to niche artists, they made everyone feel included. I’ll miss them. – Amrie Cruz, Preen.ph junior content creator
XX XX was a refuge for a lot of trans and queer kids in the Metro. It was a place where we would all converge at midnight and let loose, have fun, and stop giving a shit. People literally came in different shapes, colors, and sizes. More often than not, my memory of nights at XX XX are blurry, but I’m 100% sure they’re always fun. Some nights I would stumble out of the exit, sweaty and out of breath from dancing, while other nights we’d walk out of the place completely sober after a long night of talking and catching up with friends. Dear XX XX, thank you for teaching me what chromosomes I have in my DNA. (Shoutout to all the men I’ve walked into while they were peeing) – Tricia Guevara, Preen.ph junior designer
XX XX was one of my favorite places to go to with my cousin. She works for them and she’d have me tag along with her sometimes. I felt seen and accepted and I’m thankful that XX XX was a safe space for queer people. – Anton Samaniego, Hinge junior digital associate
I had my first date with this person almost exactly a year ago. After spending the afternoon strolling around Makati during that day, I decided to bring them to XX XX. Hindi ko alam na Drag Night pala noong time na yun and it was kind of sad na the bar wasn’t filled that night pero it was fine because it meant free yung space sa taas. We ended up watching drag performances doon sa balcony and, as much as I enjoyed looking at the drag queens, mas nagenjoy ako panoorin yung date ko. And now, I’m about to celebrate my first year as his boyfriend. Sobrang thankful ako sa XX XX because they provided a safe space for queer people. It’s so sad na mababawasan yung inclusive places to have fun and meet different people. Thank you, XX XX, for the best date I’ll never forget. – Yel Sayo, Scoutmag.ph junior designer
The magic of XX XX wasn’t in the crisp cold air that greeted you when you entered or in the hypnotic light installations its famous for—it was in the people. I found solace seeing the same faces decked in different looks each night or the new ones that looked awestruck that such a free world could exist in the heart of gloomy Makati. Couple that sense of wonder with drinks and a couple of your best friends and it’s a recipe for a fun, blurry night which I’ve chased many many times. Heartbreaking is an understatement witnessing so many queer safe spaces shut down for factors that could have been avoidable had the government done its job. It’s even sadder that we can’t say a proper goodbye. We will have to settle for the fact that XX XX, like most of its fellow closed havens, will long be remembered as one of the places that defined our young nights. – Neal Alday, Hinge photographer/videographer
Lead photo courtesy of Paolo Abad
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