By Kris P. Bayos and Mary Joy T. de Lara

No place can exactly duplicate the comfort and relaxation of one’s home, but an unobtrusive establishment along Doña Juana corner E. Rodriguez in Quezon City begs to differ.
Clothed with already worn sofa sets donated by its owners, Big Sky Mind offers the usual party ambiance, minus the hubbub of social life of Libis in Quezon City or Malate in Manila.
“We want our customers to feel at home,” says Tehrani Reyes, who has been bar tendering Big Sky Mind for four years now. “Relaxation and solitude are our main menu.”
Cloistered between a sari-sari store and bank, Big Sky Mind is usually mistaken as a small and dim bar. But despite the absence of a signage to publicize its existence, Big Sky Mind need not advertise itself to attract customers. With A-list regulars like Jay Taruc, Susan Enriquez, Diether Ocampo, Kristine Hermosa, and Julia Clarete, the word-of-mouth technique deems fit.
“What we’re offering best is privacy at its finest,” Reyes says. “Showbiz personalities usually seek Big Sky Mind’s comfort to help them escape the hassles of celebrity life.”

A cozy niche
The bar is usually quiet during the weekdays, except on Fridays where live band performances are usually held. Subsequently, a cacophony of mellow rhythms and throat grating yells could usually be heard by motorists from the nearby street.
But aside from mainstream bands, underground music enthusiasts hold production at Big Sky Mind. In fact, Big Sky Mind has provided home for orphaned bands.
“There has been a number of underground bands who have made it to the mainstream after holding their productions here,” Reyes says.
But apart from catering to performing artists, Big Sky Mind also accommodates visual artists and their works by housing an art gallery exclusive of exhibition fee. The exhibited artworks include paintings, photographs, and literary pieces. The upstairs floor serves this purpose.
“Once a craft is bought, that is the time the management get a small percentage from the artist’s earnings,” Reyes says.

Sky is the limit

According to Oliver Malong, who co-owns Big Sky Mind with his other four siblings, the name of the bar itself signifies its openness and spontaneity. Each word denotes the particular characteristics that make Big Sky Mind different from others. Sky symbolizes the myriad of topics that customers can get lost in, while Mind denote the intellectuality of the atmosphere.
The Malongs never really intended to start a small bar. Cindy Malong, the eldest sister was supposed to go and study in the prestigious Center for Culinary Arts. After finding the tuition too expensive, she instead used the money for the start-up capital of Big Sky Mind.
For now, his eldest sister Cindy Malong handles and manages the bar. Living just across the bar, the Malongs are able to keep a close eye in their business.