How I Survived My First Silent Disco

I gave up on the party scene in my early twenties. At that point, going to a club to get wrecked (sorry, my age is showing) didn’t appeal to me anymore, and I much preferred staying in or hanging out at a Starbucks somewhere. If I was in the mood to drink, I would choose a quiet bar or lounge where my friends and I could actually talk. I also gave up beer for wine.

I wasn’t always this boring. I started partying when I was 15 years old, back when Valkyrie or even Embassy didn’t even exist. The clubs everyone went to were Absinthe and Temple in Greenbelt or Basement and Ipanema in Eastwood. I also went to pre-Nectar gay clubs Bed and Government. I peaked too early so I became a tita early. So when I was invited to the Silent Disco, a headphone party in the Ayala Triangle, I thought I would hate it.

I loved every single minute of it.

The Silent Disco is part of Art Fair Philippines’ 10 Days of Art. It is a competition between nine DJs for a chance to battle it out with 18 local and foreign DJs from Japan, Sweden, and Hong Kong at the Silent Disco finals at the Malasimbo Music Festival in Puerto Galera.

So basically, there are three DJs performing at each set simultaneously, and you put on a headset to listen to them. You can toggle between the three DJs, each performing a different genre, from funk to house and techno.

It feels awkward dancing to music only you can listen to, but the DJs were so good that I let my inhibitions go halfway throughout the first set. People look silly dancing in silence (I took off my headphones every now and then to watch other people), but when you are consumed by the rhythm, you hardly care at all. My 15 year old self would approve.

For the first set, I loved Shannon Conrado’s house, progressive, and tech music. I’ve always been a fan of dance music so I stayed within her realm the entire first hour. For the second set, I shuffled between Sky Dominique’s indie, experimental, and house; and Arpee Ong’s techno, minimal, and deep house. It’s like having split personality, but it can be a liberating feeling listening to two different kinds of music almost at the time time. For the third set, I also toggled between Bercel Reyes’s jazz, funk, and disco; and Paul Romanoff’s future house, bass movement, and trip house.

I had so much fun that I met my daily Fitbit goal of 10,000 steps. To be fair, I came from Art Fair with a friend before going to the event.

Silent Disco reminded me how much fun I had when I was a teenager. I didn’t even need alcohol, nicotine, or drugs to have fun, like I did when I was younger. It took me 28 years to understand that yes, you can get high just with music. Sometimes, even with music only you can hear.

*All photos by the amazing Blew David

For more information about Art Fair Philippines, visit, or visit its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. For more about the city that makes it happen, visit and follow its social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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