Ria Jose first announced news of the speed-dating event in Davao a couple of weeks ago during one of our food trips. Would I want to go? Absolutely! Even if I didn't get to meet anyone, it would be something new to write about.
Some words about the place: Cafe Vivere is a cozy new coffee shop along Mt. Apo St. (near Davao Doctors Hospital.) The palettes of the cafe tend towards browns and sepias, lending a classy air to the ambience. They have free WiFi, too. I think I may have found a new alternative to the late lamented Spro Coffee Shop (though Spro will always have a place in my heart.)
I arrived earl at Vivere, armed with my EeePC so I could access the Internet while waiting. I was the third guest, but unfortunately, all three of us were guys. We introduced ourselves and the other two guys started a lively discussion on American health care and politics while I sequestered myself in a corner with my computer. Not long after, Ria also arrived and we sat together discussing music lessons and wedding coordination (her business.) If no more girls would arrive I would at least have had the benefit of a semi-date.
We didn't really get started until around a quarter past eight. That's when the other guys and gals started trickling in. Just before we began, our hostess Mauwi gave us sheets of paper with guide questions and scoring tables.
The ground rules: no exchanging of contact information, no asking for age, no discussion of career. The last restriction was the first to go, however, because we found it easier to ask: "what do you do?"
In total, there were five girls and eight guys, so the numbers were a little skewed. Gentlemen that we were, we guys rotated through the loop while the girls held the tables. We each had eight minutes to get to know our partners.
One thing I noticed about speed dating was how open the girls were about the details of their lives and careers. On the whole, it felt like the girls talked more about themselves than I did. Or maybe I just know how to listen. Or pretend to listen. Or...hmmm....
Of the five girls, I chose three, and of that number, I got two matches. Of the two I didn't pick, one was a reporter covering the story and the other...well, I shouldn't tell. The girl who didn't pick me looked like she really wasn't going to; so too bad we're never going to have that conversation about watercolors.
Still, not a bad way to spend a weekend evening.