MANILA, Philippines – When Conspiracy Garden Café posted a Facebook video on Monday, August 1, announcing that the previous night’s event would be their last, it shocked and saddened many.
“Last live…and last night at this place. After 19 years, Conspi bids farewell. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat (Thank you so much to all of you),” the post read.
Founded in December 2003 by celebrated activist-musicians Gary Granada, Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, and Cynthia Alexander, the place had become one of the country’s legendary hubs for art and activism, so a quick Facebook post felt like too brief, sudden, and simple a farewell.
Fittingly, its last event was classic Conspi: a night of musical performances and an art exhibit calling for the freedom of all non-violent drug offenders and the legalization of marijuana. Over the years, countless artists, musicians, writers, and activists have passed through those iconic black wrought iron gates along Visayas Ave., Quezon City to meet up, clink fat amber bottles of Pale Pilsen, and revel in all things creative and progressive.
Rappler has reached out to Conspiracy for details on their closure but have yet to get a response. Meanwhile, here are some netizens’ favorite memories of this famed watering hole: