Makati After Dark Bogus: The Nightmare Event That Was

Before anything else, I would just like to make it clear: I am not an organizer of the Makati After Dark nor am I connected with any organizer of the event. I am just a blogger who was requested to promote the Makati After Dark event through this blog and to spread the word about it. And this is my side of the story.

Mommy Lariza and Me (Little Red Riding Zombie)

Like many of you guys, I was also very much looking forward to Makati After Dark. This would have been my first Halloween event with everything on top: a zombie-themed fun run, an after-party with popular local bands, a food market, etc. Hell, I even remember promoting the event to the driver of the FX I rode on the way to Buendia. The organizers promised a lot in store for the participants, and we held on to those promises.

I attended as a blogger covering the event. This means that I didn’t pay the registration fee, and had the chance to choose between participating as a runner or as a zombie. Initially, I thought you get to run as a zombie, too, but that didn’t make any sense at all (who would zombies run from? Can zombies, save from the World War Z type, even run?). Still, I showed my interest to participate as a zombie. At 5:30 in the afternoon, thirty minutes late for the makeup call time, I was at the Makati Ave cor. Buendia, and saw the horde of zombies gathering across Petron. I called Ed Uy (PR for the event. Read: NOT organizer) and asked where I should be heading. I was directed to go to the third floor Empire Plaza Building for zombie makeup.

We bloggers were also requested to come in costume if we can. Some of us went through the trouble of wearing gowns and costumes. I had a last minute idea to show up as Little Red Riding Hood, so that I could become Little Red Riding Zombie. I wore an all white ensemble, my mom’s treasured white eyelet skirt, complete with a heavy, red hood, all hugot from my closet. When I got to the waiting room for the zombies, many of the participants, including my blogger friends, were already being transformed by skillful prosthetic makeup artists under the direction of Head MUA Bessie Gray (read: NOT organizer). Some were made up incredibly. The makeup was so realistic and believable that I’d be scared to see them roaming the streets of Makati past six in the evening. So with the makeup preps and all, so far so good.

At around six thirty in the evening, most of  us zombloggers were already made up as our undead counterparts. We were instructed by the organizers not to go out, even for dinner. They told us that food will be provided, so we just have to stay put in the waiting area and wait for further instructions. Later, an organizer told us we should soon be heading to the venue. Since JR, one of our zomblogger friends, was not yet done with the makeup, we decided to wait a while before proceeding to the area. Said organizer could not be found anymore, and we had no clue on what to do or where to go, so we just stayed beside the stage, waiting to be directed by any of the head honchos of the event. One of the organizers kind of got pissed at us, saying we weren’t supposed to be down here, roaming around. Says us showing up there with our zombie makeup on kind of ruined the element of surprise. So he was just pissed and not giving us clear directions on what to do. And then, said organizer left us again to find our own way.

We were already growing dissatisfied with how the event was turning out and how we were not being briefed or directed to our area of assignment. At around 7:30 PM, we decided to cross Makati Ave to the registration area, and was told by one of the people manning the registration booths to find a place in the course since the run was about to start soon. We saw some of our blogger friends who decided to run, and some of them were already there at four in the afternoon to avoid the long lines. But other than that, there were very few participants in the starting area.

There were no clear instructions on where we should be assigned, so we assigned ourselves to an area where there’s not much zombies. We were also not instructed how to act, what to do and what not to do. We kind of just figured everything out by ourselves, like NO TOUCHING the runners, RUNNERS’ SAFETY comes first, try to grab a flag, etc. Hordes of zombies stayed at the starting point, while very few were to be found further in the course. And there, we saw the frustration of the runners who paid the Php 1k registration fee. With the number of zombies staying at the starting area, they could hardly make it past the zombies with at least one flag intact. Some of the runners even tripped and got wounded. It was too painful to watch. When the runners get to our area of assignment, most of them have no more flags on their belt. They did not have any more motivation to run the course, and the zombies did not also have the motivation to chase after them and make it a fun and memorable experience. Most of the runners who had no flags anymore were just walking, and you can see their disappointment that they didn’t even make it past a quarter of the course with their flags intact.

The zombloggers decided to just scare the runners, pretend like we were after their flags when we absolutely had no intention to get their flags. Try to make them sweat a little and make it worth the time, theirs and ours. I even remember one of the runners who was so game for the event. She came as Hit Girl, complete with costume and a toy gun. There was also a runner couple who came dressed in their PJs and bedroom slippers, looking like a married couple trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. They were memorable to me because it was fun to see the runners also putting an effort to make it look like the world has succumbed to the zombies.

The Zombloggers with the blogger runners

At around eight in the evening, we noticed that there were no more runners running our way. We were bored and tired, and hungry to boot. The promised food was not provided, no snacks, not even refreshments. The event was turning out to be a costume party wherein passers by have their photos taken with the zombies. Yes, the course was not exclusive to runners and zombies. There were lots of passers by walking along the route.

At around nine, after talking with our other blogger friends who just came to support the event, Mommy Lariza and I have finally decided to go home. I was hungry and tired, and the maple syrup all over my arms and legs was getting icky. We headed towards the registration area to let Ed know we were going ahead, but we found that his hands were full with handling the complaints of angry runners. I saw Hit Girl talking with Ed, narrating her experience of being harassed by zombies even when she did not have any more flags. She was told by the people at the registration area that it is possible that those zombies were not part of the event, and were probably kids from the slums who decide to infiltrate the horde and harass participants. Now why would they do that? One of my co-bloggers, Stacy, was also victimized. She shares that even her money which was kept securely inside her pocket, was gone after she was harassed by some of the unruly zombies.

Before heading back up for our things, Mommy and I passed by a convenience store to buy a bar of soap and some tissue paper. Afterwards, we headed straight to the comfort room to wash off the makeup. Two other zombie volunteers were there, expressing their disappointment with the event as well. They told us that some of them were already in the venue at 7 in the morning for makeup. They were not provided food and drinks as well. “Wala naman kaming napala,” she shares, while struggling with the gunk that was persistently glued to her hair. Imagine the horror of those whose zombie makeup was on their hair! That would be quite a bitch to remove.

On our way home, Mommy Lariza and I discussed how we felt about the event. We realized how much more fun we could have had if we decided to go to another Halloween event, say Solaire’s or the St. Peter Midnight Run. It was a waste of time and effort for the both of us. I could have chosen to stay at home and rest since I was set for La Union at 3 in the morning the next day. Despite this, we felt more sorry for the zombie participants who were paid Php 100 (I think) to compensate for the efforts. The runners who paid the registration fee had it worst. They did not get any loot bags, while some did not get even get the chance to run. Even if their money was refunded, the time and effort and the trauma of being harassed will not ever be compensated by getting their money back.

When we thought that the run was a pre-activity for what would be the main event, which was the concert, we later learned that the concert was cancelled. One day after, Makati After Dark’s Facebook page and website were taken down. Talk about accountability.

I just wanted you guys to know that we zombies did not have it easy. I read one blog post saying that we zombies at least got our share of fun, and that’s not true at all. Every participant, save for the organizers, were inconvenienced by this event. The organizers did not do a good job of, well, organizing the event, that’s why it became a big flop. I initially thought of keeping all this to myself, but decided to join the cause of finding justice for the runners, and supporting my blogger friends as well. Some of my blogger friends have been complaining about getting vulgar comments and curses on their post-event write ups. While I understand that many of you guys who are ripped off of their money by the organizers, I don’t see the need to be uncivilized. And please, direct your concerns properly. :< We were just invited to write about the event. We are not, in any way, connected with the organizers. And if we ever get any word on who to contact for your refund, we will make it a point to let all of you guys know how you can go about with your refund.

To the organizers: Be scared! The zombies are out to get you if you don’t do a refund!

I share your grief, and feel very sorry for having invited many of you to the event. It was not in my power to know that the Makati After Dark would turn out the way it did. For now, all we can do is pray and hope for justice.-HANA

For more updates, Like the “Makati After Dark Bogus” Page on Facebook . The page is run by angry participants who are out to get a refund from the organizers.

4 comments to Makati After Dark Bogus: The Nightmare Event That Was

  • Willa @ The Bloggers Journal  says:

    Second blog entry of another disappointed participant from the event.I’m glad I choosed to attend the Solaire’s AfterGlow instead of this one.I hope the organizer will learned from this.

  • Gregory Despain  says:

    They tried to pull this shit on Indiana and we told em no

  • AdC  says:

    This is what I always say.. “huwag mong gagalitin ang taga-media(traditional or new media).. kasi malalagot ka”, as they will definitely speak up.The other day, a friend from PR ranted about Jetstar Asia, and now, I read blogs about an event gone wrong. Where are the organizers now? It’s been almost a week. They must be answerable to everything they’ve done!

    • dollhana  says:

      According to the administrator of the “Makati After Dark Bogus” Facebook page, hanggang ngayon nagututuruan pa din at wala pa ring refund :<

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