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It takes only two to tango
Readers might remember these two faces from an article in FHM's April issue where they learned how to salsa, samba, and belly dance, to name a few. Anton and Gelo tried out those skills in real life by intruding upon this couple who were dancing along to the reggae grooves of Lady I. You be the judge: Did they fail to impress?
A formality to start the informalities
Prior to the salsa dancing, the obligatory ribbon-cutting ceremony. At the forefront are Department of Tourism officials and Miro Grgic, the Croatian president of Volume Unit Entertainment.
In the blue cap and blue sando is Russ Davis, a DJ from JAM 88.3 who claims he was amongst the first of the media guys to arrive so he could take pictures of the ribbon being cut.
With little to do yet but observe people doing finishing touches on the stage, the sound systems, and other booths, we chatted with these girls manning the entrance. They volunteered for the event, they said, one reason being that they get to see the acts for free. Seems like a good deal.
The problem with coming to a concert too early--like these two college girls who also claim to be twins--is that you've got a lot of waiting to do. And you get bothered by the likes of us.
Across the field are several walls of white set up for visual artists to play with. Pictured above are some members of Movement 69, who were featured in FHM a few weeks back. They started doing their pieces under the 2 P.M. sun. By nightfall, the walls of white have been transformed into works of art.
Sound check shenanigans
"This is not the real show people; this is only a sound check," quipped the emcee. People flocked towards the front anyway, because listening to an Afrika Bambaataa sound check is still a better way to spend one's time than counting the number of people coming in.
Water gun princess
A booth situated at the back was selling water guns for 200 pesos. This lady here says she didn't buy hers at the venue; she had her mom buy her a couple somewhere cheaper. Smart girl.
Parang beach lang
It was getting a bit cloudy by mid-afternoon, which meant concert-goers were now able to set up mats over the sandy field. The first act at the main stage, Nameless Heroes, will soon be jump-starting things at this point, so it was time to claim spots. Those tent-owners at the back, because they had a tent, had been able to stake their position way before the clouds eclipsed the sun.
Calling Sarah Meier over a steel fence, we asked her how it feels to be the host of the first-ever Manila Music Festival. She said something, but we couldn't make out what it was. Those earrings were very distracting.
Party's about to start
That's Nix Damn P!, tweeting about how he's about to get this shit rollling. Actually no, he's already getting people moving with his hip-hop set. The crowd was still pretty thin at this point, but the few who were here at the DJ stage were having quite a nice time--if the breakdancing were any indication.
Well, someone's got a new homie
That's FHM staffer Anton Umali doing what he does best: wasting precious interview time by goofing around with the interviewee, Afrika Bambaataa. Ok, we're just messing with you, Anton. He got some real cool snippets from the Bronx legend, which you can read here.
Mara Nepomuceno, the girl in blue, likes drawing old men, among other things. Her piece she says was supposed to be displayed at the DJ stage but was transferred to the main stage instead.
Speaking on behalf of the other artists in the festival, she believes that "bringing together artists of all kinds on such a large scale is such an amazing thing for anyone who creates things out of their senses." She finishes, saying how awesome it is to be part of it.
Dark, heavy clouds loomed over the area by late afternoon, with a drizzle passing by from time to time. As we prayed for the rain to go away, this trio continued dancing. If it were a sun dance they were trying to do, well, they succeeded. It never rained, in spite of a few lightning bolts saying hi throughout the rest of the event.
Bad role model
Electric or not, never drink and drive. This electric jeepney on display is being promoted by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities during the festival. Staff volunteers of the said organization were gathering signatures as part of their petition to get these vehicles on more roads.
From left to right: Solenn Heusaff, Georgina Wilson, and Ornusa Cadness. They were among the celebrities in a crowd that included college students on vacation, yuppies enjoying Labor Day, and a good number of foreigners. We couldn't muster enough courage to ask Georgina if she'd do a cover with us.
Your face is her canvas
Mara Nepomuceno's creative juices were still flowing by the time she finished installing her artwork at the main stage. She had some face paint, and we were looking to blend in with the colorful crowd. Problem solved.
Like we said, it was hot. Manong sorbetero made a killing.
Why they're making gang signs, we don't know. All we know is that they gave us some of the energy drinks that they were promoting. Not that they needed to--their smiles were more than enough to give us a boost. Naks!
Yep, the Manila Bay sunset is as legit as ever. There simply could not have been a better time for June Marieezy to be playing.
When the sun sets...
Well, you know the rest. We spent most of the evening at the festive DJ stage, feeding off of the crowd's energy. Meanwhile, rock acts Wilabaliw and Razorback play at the main stage.
From foreign lands
"Mabuhay!" we might have greeted this international contingent of almost-twenty-somethings--if the phrase hadn't become so kitschy.
It could have been just the non-stop dancing, but occasionally, those equipped with water rifles shoot a stream upwards that get random people, well, wet. No one really gets pissed. It's all just part of the fun.
After all that shaking around, fishballs taste like gourmet. With this streetfood staple going around, the Manila Music Festival gains instant cred in our books.
By the time Bambaataa took to the stage, we had gone home. Fortunately, an intern of ours managed to pull through for us. Here she shares her experience:
"I capped my wild night by dancing with the community and sharing the stage with the Godfather of Hip Hop, himself, Afrika Bambaataa. History was made in Manila that night, and I still could not wake myself up from the experience."
"Ali Shaheed Muhammad warmed us up with his great beats (he spun before Bambaataa). Some of us members of the Pinoy dance community who went, jammed below the stage while he was spinning. After which, we headed on to the stage for Afrika. Funkroots (Pinoy Bboy crew), and the Philippine All Stars led the cipher onstage. Other dancers from the community (members from Soulstice, Stellar, Tha Project, CADs, among others) joined the party."
Our intern was late for work the following day. Inexcusable.