Subway Productions

independent comic book creators based in Metro Manila, Philippines

Monday, February 12, 2007

Animax Love Is in the Air

Animax, a 24-hour animé cable channel, sponsored a speed dating event last February 10, 2007 held at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia. I found out about the event through the Animax online newsletter. When I read the announcement, I was a bit surprised that they will stage such an event. Speed dating is a new concept of dating for most Filipinos (although I heard that there have been other speed dating events organized in the past since 2004). I only knew about it when it was featured on a CSI: Miami episode. It made me curious how the general public will accept this because this is something very foreign to us. Even though I was having second thoughts, I registered online to join the event. I wanted to personally witness this event.

To those who doesn't know about speed dating, it is a formalized matchmaking process or dating system (a variant of a meeting system) whose purpose is to encourage people to meet a large number of new people. Its origins are credited to Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish HaTorah, as a way to ensure that more Jewish singles met each other in large cities where they were outnumbered by non-Jews. "SpeedDating," as a single word, is a registered trademark of Aish HaTorah. "Speed dating," as two separate words, is often used as a generic term for similar events. (definition from Wikipedia)

So from my Saturday CTP (Certificate in Teaching Program) classes in Philippine Normal University, I went straight to SM Mall of Asia. I arrived around 12:45 p.m. The event was scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. so I ate lunch and strolled a bit (it was my first time there). I also caught a few early shots of the venue. I confirmed my registration and I saw there are a lot of people who registered online just like me. But when they announced that the speed daters could take their seats, I noticed that only half of the tables are occupied. There are also more men than women. So it confirmed my earlier assumptions that this concept of dating will not be well received. The organizers had to invite many passersby (who are mostly just waiting for the Lovapalooza event or have no idea what the event is). They also have to lower the age requirement (from 18 to 15 years old).

I was nervous as hell in my seat. I really doesn't date much. If I like a gal, I would have a hard time talking to her while keeping a straight face. It got worse when the most gorgeous and hottest babe in the event sat in front of me. Her name was Soul (I read her name tag). It took all my courage just to say "Hi" to her. She was nice and encouraging that I lost some of my nervousness. Since then we conversed even before the official start so I felt lucky that I was able to talk to her longer than the others. Even my seatmate Patrick (who I believe was the most handsome guy on the event) was impressed on what I've done. I believe it was a milestone for me that I was able to talk to a woman while looking straight in her face. She was a sight to behold though I don't have a picture to prove it (it doesn't feel right for me).

She gave me tips on how to deal with women. She was a great help and I was able to use her suggestions on the other women I met there. I also got her number though I'm not sure if we'll be able to see each other again. A woman like that sure comes your way like the blue moon. We'll see in the future but I sure don't expect much. But she sure was a great confidence builder in me when it comes to women. I may never forget her because of that.

It was a hard time talking to the others since I jumped to the other women. the place was just too noisy that we literally had to shout at each other. There are many activites in the stage plus the performances (Callalily, All Stars, Amber Rowley, and Pupil were there). I was surprised to see Ely Buendia of Pupil performing. I thought that his doctors recommended him to rest for months. Callalily sure has many girl fans (probably because of the vocalist). Amber Rowley was very beautiful and the All Stars were always a crowd favorite for their hip-hop flava of dancing.

I've also asked evey female I've talked with what was their opinion about speed dating and the event. Some were bored and got tired easily (there just a very few breaks given to the daters). Many quit early but got replaced by late registrants. They all said that it was too hard to talk to each other because of the noise. Most of them got conscious because there were a big crowd watching them "date." The place was not a conducive place for meeting someone new. Many of them believed that Filipinos will get a hard time accepting speed dating as an alternative way of getting hooked up because it's not part of our culture and it's too impersonal. One does get to meet a lot of friends that has the same interests like you at a very short time. The place was also uncomfortable for the participants because most of them got hit by the afternoon sun (the place was too open with no closed windows and air-conditioning).

On my opinion, the event was a partial success. It at least proved that there are still some Filipinos who are willing to try out something new in the realm of dating. But it will take time before ordinary Filipinos will get caught on the concept. If Animax or any other company will try to stage a similar event, I suggest that they should not expect much for a big crowd. Many had a very inconvenient experience of the event (at least Patrick won a celebrity date). Speed dating should also not be tried while there are many activities happening around the venue. It's distracting and hard to converse with others.

I personally enjoyed the event because I really didn't know what to expect from it. At least I got over my fear dealing with beautiful women (thanks to Soul). Let's see next time if some other private enterprise will organize such an event.

Too few couples availed of the free photos…

…though the love message board was filled to capacity.

Pupil performing to culminate the event

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