Beer has got to be one of the most terrible things I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s bad enough that it’s bitter but damn does it really have to leave that acrid aftertaste? So whenever someone asks me if I want a beer I always say, “No thanks… I’ll pass.” Surprisingly I’ve never met anyone who shared my opinion. Heck, Wikipedia even named it as “the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage.”
My dislike for beer was enough to discourage me from attending the local celebration of Oktoberfest, a 16-day beer festival that originated in Munic, Germany. In the Philippines, Oktoberfest is a nationwide event, usually organized by the San Miguel Beer Corporation and Asia Brewery. This year, though I changed my mind. Notwithstanding my indifference to beer, I joined my friends, Ana and Tina, at the SMB’s Oktoberfest kick-off party at Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on September 10, 2010. Surprise, surprise, I had a good time.
Thanks to Ana, we had media passes, allowing us backstage access! I’m telling you it’s really exciting to see celebrities and performers up close. We also received stubs that entitled us to a meal and four bottles of beer. I have yet to taste a beer that could change my mind, for now though, all my beer stubs made one person happy; Tina.
What made the night memorable for me were the great performances by The Dawn, Gloc 9, Kitty Girls, Mocha Girls, The Bloom Brothers, Slapshock, Freestyle, Sponge Cola, Mayonnaise, Parokya Ni Edgar, Maneuvers, and the Philippine All Star Dancers.
Now, a little review on some of these performances. I’m not what you would call a concert person, mainly because I could hardly afford the ticket price. In those few moments that I get to see one, I am always blown away by the experience.
If there is any band which I believe turned up the vibe, it’s the Freestyle. I was in awe when I heard the voice of their lead vocalist, Jinky Vidal. Even with all the jumping and dancing that she had been doing onstage, the quality of her voice remained. And man she could certainly hit those high notes effortlessly. I liked their rendition of Alicia Keys’ song “New York” where they changed the lyrics to Filipino to impart a message of patriotism. What do you say, a band with a purpose.
Nobody worked the stage as good as the Philippine All Star Dancers (PASD). To say that we were impressed would be an understatement. Watching them made me want to enroll in a dance school so that I could learn all those fabulous moves. It is no wonder they won the World Hiphop Dance Championships twice, first in 2006 then in 2008. Tina and I were so star struck; we followed the group to the backstage as soon as they finished their routine. Even when they were all sweaty and tired, they were very gracious when we asked for a photo op.
Temperature rose when the Kitty Girls (KG) took the stage. If watching PASD made me want to take dance lessons, KG’s Jocelyn Oxlade made me want to undergo plastic surgery. Yes, that’s how pretty she is. As expected, men had the time of their lives upon watching the girls. There was no mistaking the delight on their faces. They hooted, cheered, and screamed for more. KG did not disappoint; they performed with high energy and enthusiasm.
But the best performance of the night, in my opinion, was the one by Rap/Metal band, Slapshock. The crowd grew dense, people got louder, and I could have sworn the earth moved beneath us. Hearing their music live is so much cooler than listening to a record. It was so raw it felt like Jamir Garcia, the band’s frontman was singing inside my head.
Aside from the live performances, I also enjoyed the backstage access (a lot!). The life behind the stage is just as colorful what’s with all the celebrities who were running about the place. I’m not the type who stalks or runs after celebrities just to take their pictures but on this night I made an exception. Besides this time they were everywhere, thus no chasing needed. I saw Georgina Wilson with Isabelle Daza, the former looks like a very tall doll. Didn’t get to have a photo with them though. But I had the opportunity to have pictures with the very pretty, Sam Pinto; the men who made me feel like a hobbit, the San Miguel Beermen PBA Cagers; my new dance idols, PASD; my ultimate rock fantasy, Slapshock’s frontman, Jamir; and the gorgeous trio, Mocha Girls.
Out of all celebrities that I’ve seen that night though, it was Marian Rivera who really got my attention. She is petite, sexy, and crazy gorgeous! I was totally starstruck, I mean this girl is not a person, she is a god! That’s how beautiful she is. Unfortunately, I was not able to approach her for a photo souvenir. Sad 🙁 .
Beer lover or not, I totally dig SMB’s Oktoberfest celebration. The place overflow with beer and I noticed that people looked happy guzzling their beer. Again it made me wonder what have I been missing. Hmm… Beer is an acquired taste, maybe I shouldn’t give up on it yet.