And the day that makes motel and flower shop owners ten times richer has passed. Last Thursday, the blessed people who proudly display their “in a relationship” status on their FB pages had the perfect excuse to be cheesy as the world celebrates Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t one of them. Unlike the past years though, I didn’t spend my day moping at home, eating fatty foods, crying for an unrequited love, while spewing bitter comments (my favorite: maghihiwalay din kayo!) against people who were busy making babies. This year my Valentine was anything but uneventful, aside from joining the Dating Game program in our office (that’s another story), I spent the entire night in what has to be one of the coolest musical events ever invented, the Roots: Music and Arts Festival at the UP (University of the Philippines) Fair.
My officemate Diwa shared the event on her Facebook wall. When I saw that three of my fave bands, Up Dharma Down, Franco, and Itchyworms, are in the line up on the 14th, I set my sights on attending it. Ticket price is only PHP 100 and though I had to travel far to get to the venue, I didn’t really mind.
This is the first time I’ve heard of such event, which by the way, is already on its 10th year. The activity, which involves musical performances from local bands, art exhibitions, fair rides, and stores that offer food, accessories, henna tattoo services, etc. ran from the 12th to 16th of February. It was held at the UP Sunken Garden, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
I went to the event with my cousin, Jackie and my office mate Ian. We reached the place at around 5PM. Young people, mostly students, made the bulk of the crowd. I’m 30 but for some reason I didn’t feel out of place. Maybe it helped that I don’t look and dress my age hehehe… Jackie and I had fun checking out the different booths and taking pictures (in my cousin’s case, camwhoring).
Jackie got herself a pair of slippers from one of the stalls, while I was able to get myself this nice red leather jacket for only PHP 150! Quite a steal! Jackie saw it first but I was a lot faster. When I saw some random woman pushed it back on the rack I immediately made my move. Aside from the uber cool red jacket, I didn’t go home without getting that souvenir shirt. It’s available in two colors, I got the white one, for only PHP 200.
The first bands on the stage were members of the UP Underground Music Community. Among the bands who performed were Kontra Gapi, 3×2, Music Circle, With Fingers Crossed, Urduja, Ulirat, Specterull, Lights in Transit, Joop, Anton and the Salvadors, Extrapolation, Stomachine, Hello World, Mayo’s Anklet, Ivan Theory, and La Passionaria.
At around 8 in the evening, the crowd had grown thicker as the more popular bands graced the stage. The Internet Superstar, Ramon Bautista hosted the event with Bogart the Explorer, a guy in cowboy hat who speaks with an Australian accent.
First band that we watched is Moonstar 88. Next is the band that Raimund Marasigan (popularly known as the former drummer of Eraserhead) fronts, Sandwich.
Lights in Transit, a member of the UP Underground took the stage next. You can tell that the band is lesser known as the audience grew noticeably quiet during their turn. The band was familiar to me though because I’ve watched them perform at Route 196 bar in Katipunan last month. After them is the band that my future hubby leads (hey a girl can dream! Hehehe…), Franco! I’m telling you I couldn’t contain my excitement when I finally saw them onstage. This is one of my favorite Pinoy bands, though I admit, I didn’t discover them until last year. Their self-titled album is one of the best I’ve heard, you may find them on Youtube or grab a copy of their record so you’d know exactly what I mean. Be sure to check out my favorite songs from their album, Castaway, Next Train Out, and Memory Kill. Wow, I sound like a freaking manager hahaha… Anyway, I was able to take a video when they played This Gathering.
Another favorite band of mine, Itchyworms hit the stage next. I love these guys, they got cool and catchy songs and they were real fun to watch.
The audience went wild when Urbandub hit the stage. I’m not quite familiar with them so I made a mental note to check out their music after this event. People were singing along with their songs, and the jumping jologs (the people in the fair notorious for engaging in body slamming and jumping during concerts) started bouncing like crazy. When a woman who was standing right next to me started jumping and accidentally smacked her body against mine, I had to suppress the urge to hit her in the face. I mean really, what’s up with the jumping? Couldn’t you enjoy the music without needing to violate somebody else’s space?
Diwa’s favorite band, Giniling Festival, came next. Performance wise, they have got to be the best. They were all about having fun and not taking themselves seriously. They also have the wackiest lyrics there is. Imagine they have a song entitled “Boypren mo pokpok,” which chorus went like this:
Tsong boyfriend mo pokpok
Boyfriend mo nymphomaniac
Boyfriend mo malande
Tsong boyfriend mo horny
Di sya tumitigil kabebembang
Tsong boyfriend mo pokpok
See what I mean?
Just as my legs were about to give in (hey standing for five goddamn hours is no joke!), the band whose performance everyone had been anticipating has finally come up on stage. Finally, I was able to watch Up Dharma Down, live, woohoo!!!
Just like Franco, I didn’t become a fan of this band until I started listening to their songs last year. Better late than never right? I admit that I got a lot of learning to do when it comes to Pinoy music but don’t worry, I’m on it. By the way, I took a video when they performed one of their most popular songs, Indak.
Finally we reached the bottom of this post, whew! I hope you had fun reading this as much as I did sharing it with you. I’m not sure if you’ve been to the same event, if you did, I’m sure you’d agree that it is quite an experience. And that’s how you do Valentine’s Day for the singles baby!