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LIKE EVERYONE, the saying ‘work hard, rest easy’ may as well be one of the most important drives that get us all going. Whether in the short or the long term, it doesn’t matter, just as long as the promise of rest at the end is the promised goal.

When one of the more prominent live music complexes opened its doors to the public in 2001, its entertainment schedule, which promptly started at half past six in the evening, ended ‘round Cinderella’s curfew time. 

However, Davao drinkers unlimited, molded from the same cast as that of other drinking crowds or revelers anywhere, along with some patrons, liked to stay around till one or two in the morning, taking their time to finish their ‘last orders.’ 

Among these motley bands of night crawlers were some musicians who had played the night prior. Like the rest, they, too, were at it, doing their cool-down routine before heading home. 

Incidentally, it was at this time, too, that the tenants and workers were done with their inventory and cleaning up their businesses. 

Here’s where the  ‘rest easy’ part comes in. What else is there to do when the universe has deemed to strand these three types inside a limited confine after they’re done with work? There used to be this popular APO tune in the 70s that went, ‘Now that it’s over and done, where do I begin?’  

A clever tenant (definitely not alcoholic, mind you) initiated it all. Why not have a table set outside and invite some of those weary workers, musicians, and friends so they can unwind after the hard day’s night? Thus, After Two was born. 

And just as the table got longer through the years with the coming in of more peeps, preparations for that post-work happy hour had taken on a tradition of its own. For one, out-of-towner bands always enjoyed open invitations to the sessions (some ending at 6 am). Thus, the spirit of camaraderie among those who attended had never been stronger. 

Although that may have been soo good while it lasted, the bonding it has forged still remains strong to this day. Even as a good number of those who once sat at the table may have left the country and are working elsewhere, they say no one can ever forget all those great times that had transpired after two. 

Last week, I and a couple of old musikeros were once again fortunate to be given a happy hour gig from six to nine. After that and a few one-for-the-canal toasts of beer and good old T, we were all herded, er headed home. An old After Two alumni later commented after seeing the FB post, “Why can’t they stay up until after two o’clock anymore?”

Shut up already. Of course, we still could if we wanted to. It’s only now that the rules have changed. After two… minutes past ten, the old eyes get sleepy, and one for the canal might become real after that.


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