Young poets reignite the literary fire through spoken word

Text by Kimmy Baraoidan
Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan

College students crowd outside Ja Ke Bar for “What’s Between Your Lines?” a spoken word event held in Cabuyao, Laguna. Photo by: Chris Quintana

Saturday night traffic jams can leave one passed-out exhausted. It took us almost forever to get to Ja Ke Bar from Los Baños, with private and public vehicles moving at a glacial pace on the old national highway traversing Calamba and Cabuyao. The tricycle ride, from the old highway going to Ja Ke Bar, was a refreshing break from the long, draining, humid jeepney ride, with the cool air hitting us at lightning speed. Ja Ke Bar was tucked away inside a subdivision at the end of a long provincial road, just before the exit to the South Luzon Expressway. We never thought there would be a college hangout in the middle of this desolate expanse of tall grasses and overarching trees.

College students and some faculty members from Malayan Colleges Laguna fill Ja Ke Bar in Cabuyao, Laguna. Photo by: Chris Quintana

Ja Ke Bar was on the ground floor of a modern building, with its streamlined granite-black façade and bright orange accent popping out of the green and gray. Nearby was the imposing building complex of Malayan Colleges Laguna, which seems to dwarf this cool spot. When we arrived at the area, college kids were scattered around, perched on the sidewalk or on the hood of their cars, or by the tables just outside the bar. There was a kind of “T.G.I.S.” feel to the scene, wherein this generation of middle-class youth are chillin’ and hanging out like the world was their oyster. Some of them were preparing their DSLRs to record either still photos or video, while others were busily thumbing through their gadgets, checking on their social media accounts, and probably live tweeting about what they were doing.

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