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or, “How do I role-play myself once again into a Fate-themed cafe”

One day I stumbled upon another Fate/-themed cafe, this time it‘s organized by an entity called THE UNION. “A Battle to Save the Children,” it says on the poster.

To which I wondered, “How?”

It was when I got alerted by one of my close friends, Naru of AniZone, that I am invited to feature this experience on keepsakes. (Side note: The way I see it, if it’s Naru-recommended, 90% I’ll go.)

Sunday, August 28. I didn’t sleep the whole Saturday. I was coming from a Rotary District Tree-planting Activity in Angono, Rizal.

It took me two rides and a brief walk to get to Commune, a cafe & bar located along Polaris St. in Makati’s Poblacion area. I was told by the jeepney driver that Polaris St. is actually long, and he was asking if which corner of the street will I drop off.

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I believe I already passed by the establishment during my trip to the 25th Fête de la Musique, but only realized that it has an activity area upstairs.

Now, I’ve expected that I’ll be meeting people from other dimensions, but I didn’t expect a certain Merlin to welcome me as soon as I sat down there… It was past noon, and finishing touches are being done.

Little did I know he was going to be entertaining. I’ve had good exchanges of words with him before, and it was just in good timing that we met there.

The clock’s past 1:00 pm. After clarifying with the headmaster, what is meant to be a simple photo- (and video-) taking become an immersion to yet another singularity.

The start of the session begins with a randomizer which will tell us “Masters” who will be our limited-time “Servant.” Basically, there’s a container of marbles in it, and if I get the gold marble, I get to choose my servant.

I wish I can summon my right to choose my servant, but fate says “no.” That’s the RNG for you, as always. Salty. The Holy Grail has spoken: “Nero Claudius.” Umu, I am pleased.

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I don’t even play Fate/Grand Order, but I am sure we can all live by these words.

The time is set to 90 minutes. During that time, we start a conversation, eat food, and play games. The best part, I role-played myself once again.

I don’t remember much of the conversation with Nero verbatim, but basically,

  • This Nero was organizing cosplay photoshoots before — I respect people who are organizing events because, for a fellow like me, pre-prod is hard;
  • I told her a bit about the story of keepsakes. and my life as well; and
  • Since this Nero was bored with running around in nearby cities in her empire, I gave her advice on traveling to other places.

That was supposed to be it, but guess what — Merlin called for a play of Drunk, Stoned or Stupid. That game. That damned game.

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A conversation with Nero turned into a game of “you and me against the world.”

I don’t remember the questions, I only remember that I am riled up defending Nero. My media colleague Brylle from AniZone was like, “pare, calm down.”

(My close friends should know this: Really bad things happen when I get too riled up, excited, ecstatic, etc. That one right there was far from close, but still an averted crisis.)

To cap off my time with Nero, I summoned her to join me as I preserve a keepsake of this lighthearted occasion.

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The first two sessions are totally chill, but the third session was swarmed. Maybe twilight was the best time for masters to gather around…Unfortunately, I am fully depleted of manna, so excuse me while I rest beside the Holy Grail.

I expected the Grail to give manna but it was the greatest showman Merlin who jolted me out back into the fray by just looking at him. By this time, I ask myself: What were they doing again?

Most of the photos above have been processed after I paid the Fou-tography tax and secured the proper permits from THE UNION. The ones below come from my camera.