Photographs by Mac Villaluna (@vietnameat)
Food & Drink Recommended Bars

Conceived as Today x Future’s lil bro, this tiny Poblacion club has come into its own

Futur:ist just turned one and is no longer just the torchbearer of its Cubao predecessor.
Jam Pascual | Mar 13 2020

On the night of Futur:st's anniversary, drinks flowed, bodies swirled alongside and against each other, good music banished silence, and time seemed electric, for all the joy that inhabited its moments. Chuvaness, Manilaanimal, The Vanstock, Bins, Ayon, Saint Guel and Samantha Nicole manned the DJ booth like kings as a cavalcade of lights hit artworks and the disco ball's mirrors. This is not the kind of revelry that transpires in just any bar or club. Such parties only happen in safe havens.

There was a time when people thought of Futur:st—perhaps diminutively—as the little brother of Today x Future, the Cubao monument-unto-itself that defined, and continues to define, the spirit of the anti-Makati party culture.

Small space, big crowd.

"It was always going to be an extension of Today x Future—from the core concept of having an ever-evolving creative space and the music we want to share to even its physical layout and DIY furniture, even the food we serve," says founder Samantha Samonte (or Samantha Nicole on the DJ’s booth). If you notice, things are placed the same way in both branches. You walk in, you see the DJ booth on the side and at the end of it is the bar. Then you notice the furniture that are all mix and match." And then there’s the gallery space, which has hosted scores of amazing exhibitions.

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Chuvaness on deck. Photo by Mac Villaluna

But one can't help but feel that Futur:st has grown into its own autonomous and dignified entity, with its own character. Those who frequent its predecessor Today x Future, are a different crowd, whereas Futur:st's dedicated patrons give the space its unique spirit. The drinks hit different, the lights shine different, the disco ball spins to its own momentum.

Sharon Atilo with guest.

"I learned to DJ at Futur:st and practice every once in a while there," photographer and DJ Cru Camara tells me. "DJ-ing there is pretty fun because they encourage you to play what you want. It's a nice atmosphere to be a part of, especially as a beginner DJ."

I've gone to Futur:st for a range of events—from nights just to watch my friends spin, to exhibits and zine launches that spotlight the bolder artistic minds of my generation. And I can't help but look at Futur:st and feel, this must have been what the 17th century salons of Paris were like, where intimidatingly cool people get hella faded and the parties make you feel like you're a part of something bigger.

Regina Belmonte

"I think the people and the music are what brought me there," says partygoer Ino Barreiro. "I was never really familiar with the bar scene in Makati until my sibling and their friends took me around. After making new friends and hearing Samantha Nicole perform, I guess it was only natural for me to eventually want to visit the place! I go where friends and good music are." In a neighborhood as overrun by startups as Poblacion, where new joints have patrons that come and go without commitment, Futur:st has done something amazing: turn wandering souls into mainstays.

Photographer Mac Villaluna (in cap) and Kat Lagman.

The space is still, kind of a baby, true, but if this is the kind of gathering it has mustered over the course of just a year, brighter things await it. "Futur:st is pretty new but it does feel like the more refined, more mature version of TxF but always with the same heart and grit," says Samantha. 

Here's to heart and grit.

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Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

Futur:st might have once been considered a lesser copy of Today x Future, but has evolved into something all its own. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

The space of Futur:st has also hosted exhibits, zine launches, and other art-related events. But on nights like this, it's a full-blown disco. 

 

Black and white photographs by Mac Villaluna (@vietnameat)

Color photographs by Jack Alindahao (@jackmarion_)

All courtesy of Futur:st