Zoomanity Group’s Dinner in the Dark: Eye’ve Got The Power!
Ever wonder what it would be like to be blind? I know I have. If you think about it, we actually all have “blind” moments like when we turn off our lights and search our way in the dark to our beds.
Well, I got the real experience of being blind for a while when I attended “Dinner in the Dark” last October 20. You may be familiar with the concept as you may have seen it in some movies, like “When in Rome”. I was so excited when I first heard about this because I remembered the movie “About Time” where Tim met Mary for the first time and where their love story started. I think it’s about time they brought the concept here in the Philippines.
Zoomanity Group, one of the leading companies in the park industry, will host four “Dinner in the Dark” events for the benefit of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines. This exceptional gathering is meant to create awareness on what it is like to lose our sense of sight and appreciate it more. The “Dinner in the Dark” that I attended was held in Misono Restaurant at Jupiter Street, Makati City.
The Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines’ setup outside Misono Restaurant.
Tickets to The Black Monday Eye’ve Got The Power!
My friend and I arrived early because of my excitement. The waiting game gave me so many emotions and thoughts. ‘What is it like to dine without actually seeing the food?’ ‘What if I accidentally eat the tissue?’ ‘It will be totes awkward if I sit next to strangers!’ ‘What if I spill some water or break a glass?’ ‘At least they won’t see my face if the food isn’t good hehe’…
Eventually, it was time for the real deal. (Expect more words and fewer pictures).
We had an orientation, which lasted about 30 minutes or so before having our dinner. They gave us time to go to the restroom because once we wouldn’t be allowed to go out once we got inside. They also asked us to turn off our gadgets to avoid any light from coming in. Then, we were grouped into 5 members. I was actually feeling confident because I got to know my groupmates beforehand, therefore I could stop worrying about any potential awkwardness. Still, expect the unexpected. Before entering the dark room, while we were blindfolded, my friend and I were regrouped to a group of strangers.
We were assisted that night by a lovely blind waitress, Ms. Crissy who led us slowly to our table. I could sense her excitement and enthusiasm in accommodating us while we were figuring things out. I did not feel claustrophobic as some would say throughout my dinner experience. I actually felt clueless about a lot of things: how the food is placed, the placement of utensils, the arrangement of the tables, etc. The room was a total blackout! Although there were tiny areas with lights, I still couldn’t see anything. However, I found out that I don’t have nyctophobia or fear of the dark.
My tablemates were all guys and eye doctors (ophthalmologist) who happened to know each other, so my friend and I introduced ourselves. I was proved wrong when I thought it would be totes awkward to sit next to a bunch of strangers because it was actually nice and more interesting. I tried to remember the last time I laughed and had so much fun talking to strangers like this and I couldn’t. It made me realize how people converse more when they can’t see because there are no distractions. People become more open and engaged in what other people are saying. No one stops you from eating your food for #foodie or #foodporn posts, either.
The room was full of life because everyone was talking and sometimes, you could hear the funny reactions of those from across the table. There were also singers who sang beautifully while each table was busy chatting. This was probably the most vibrant room I’ve been to so far.
Apparently, we had authentic Japanese food on our table served in a single plate or bento box. I was personally having a hard time locating my food and identifying them, but my tablemates were so good they knew immediately what was what and how they were positioned. There were chopsticks and a fork but I honestly just used my hands most of the time. Those who used chopsticks were doing it wrong. Who can use chopsticks in the dark? Not me.
This was the food served to us: Kani Salad, Fish, Gyoza, Japanese Rice, Pork Tonkatsu and Watermelon (taken after the Dinner in the Dark)
The food was amazing. Even though I was struggling, I finished it all and found it all delicious. I actually plan on coming back if I crave for some Japanese food because besides the fact that it is yummy, their interiors are nice, too.
Here are some of the shots I took before our Dinner in the Dark:
Overall, I found this experience eye-opening *wink wink*. It may sound weird and scary, but this out-of-your-comfort-zone experience will make you think and appreciate your sense of sight. It will also enlighten you on how blind people get to appreciate life without actually ‘seeing’. My experience during Dinner in the Dark is something I will keep with me for the rest of my life and I guarantee that even if I get amnesia, I know that I will remember the feeling and fulfilment of that night.
‘See’ for yourself! Catch this special dinner offer from 4:30-7:00 PM (including pre-dinner orientation) on these following dates: November 1 at Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Clark, Pampanga; and November 8 at Zoobic Safari in Subic and let me know what you think.
For tickets and more information please contact the Zoomanity Group or the Eyebank Foundation of the Philippines.
Oh, and lastly, #EyePromise to become a hero in someone’s eyes! Click here to be a Cornea Donor or Donate for a Project!
Shout out to my table mates: Doc Justin, Doc Pius and Doc Mon; and Ms. Crissy, our lovely server!
Call: (02)8899824-28, (02)8957142
Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines
Call: (02)3026282, (02)3026287, 09178935995