Not being in the mood for yet another inuman-all-you-can session, I decided to join my friends Perci and Jon for dinner at Likha Diwa, a veggie/new agey restaurant in Krus na Ligas, C.P. Garcia. Upon alighting the tricycle and walking a few steps, I suddenly felt Perci pulling my arm and screeching in my ear, “Hoy, sa Likha tayo! Bakit ka pumapasok sa Sarah’s?!” And that was when I noticed I had entered Sarah’s without even realizing it.
It’s not difficult to describe how Sarah’s looks like physically. It looks like the parking lot of a small house that woke up one morning and decided it wanted to be a beerhouse — with monoblock chairs, ice cold beer and not much else. Nope, not even a decent banyo, their lavatory being a makeshift stall at the back of the house that that you only find after navigating your way through lines of dripping sinampay, old automobile parts and a forlorn-looking dog. Not even nice and happy attendants, their concept of service limited to having a crabby looking girl in short shorts scream irately “kanino ba itong sisig?!” Not even good music, though a few bottles of beer and a healthy dose of optimism could turn that guitar-playing pimply-faced 21-year-old from Lib Sci into the next big hit in Indy Rock. Shabby chic, more shabby than chic.
But there’s something about Sarah’s that never quite leaves you (quite apart from the scent of isaw and uling and dog-pee) and never allows you to leave it completely. Anyone with even the slightest familiarity with frat dynamics in UP will tell you that Sarah’s isnt exactly the best place to be if you dont want to get caught in the cross-fire, and I’ve had maybe one or two unpleasant encounters there with drunken manyak strangers, but there’s something about Sarah’s that makes me feel comfy and happy. I remember, while studying for the bar, I would study in Likha Diwa the whole day, and then walk over to Sarah’s for San Mig Lights and then some with my B.I. friends, until maybe 2am. (I stayed at a boarding house during bar review, ostensibly so I could focus on reviewing, but, well…)
Yes, there’s something about Sarah’s. Maybe it’s because I’ve had some of the best, best conversations of my life while seated on one of their monoblock chairs — the type of conversation where you just talk and talk and talk and talk until you realize it’s closing time and the crabby girl in short shorts is giving you the evil eye. It could also be because some of the more important decisions of my life were made there (like enrolling in law school.) Or maybe amidst the many changes in my universe, both good and bad, Sarah’s is one of those things that remain constant. It’s reassuring to have something that’s always there: seeing me through College courses, random hassles, sweet victories, boyfriends, life-choices.
Over the past several months, Ive been frequenting BarKo, simply because of its proximity to our headquarters and because thats where we usually head off too. I like BarKo, of course, and appreciate having a CR that actually flushes. But there’s something about Sarah’s that makes the beer just a little bit colder, the night air just a little bit nippier, and the stars twinkle with just a little bit more magic.
Take me back, take me back to Sarah’s.