Ever heard of the infamous Beatles in Manila incident?
On July 4, 1966, the Beatles, considered the biggest musical act at that time (and for many, until now), was in the country for a two-show schedule at the Rizal Stadium.
But before they even got to play, while in their hotel the morning of the show, the boys were told that they were supposed to be at Malacañan Palace for a reception, organized by then-First Lady Imelda Marcos. Unaware of such arrangement, they "gracefully" declined (as told in the documentary, The Beatles Anthology).
Later that day, the group performed in front of a record-breaking 80,000-people crowd—the most to see the Beatles in a single day. Unfortunately, the story didn't end there.
The next day, July 5, local headlines read "Beatles Snub President" and stories about the First Family's disappointment over the Fab Four's no-show were all over newsstands. But things were just about to get really awry from there.
The boys, along with their entourage, were literally booed, mobbed, jostled, and spat on on their way to the airport. They even admitted entertaining thoughts of being put into jail at that time.
Photo via Liverpool
"The whole place turned on us," George Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology. "We had people yelling and screaming when we tried to get to the airpor... there were all the government officials or police, who were trying to punch us and yelling and waving fists at us.”
How traumatic was the experience? Imagine George, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr literally kissing their seats when they finally boarded the plane. And to no one's surprise, the four vowed to never set foot in the Philippines again...
Imelda has since told her side of the story and denied inciting rage, but none of it actually matters now, for damage had already been done.
However, almost half a century later, the idea of even a single Beatle—since John and George had already passed away—returning to the Philippines may actually see the light of day.
Coinciding with the release of his album, Postcards From Paradise, Ringo has put up a social media campaign asking people to send him postcards from their own paradise:
Let's send each other postcards from Paradise peace and love R😎✌️🌟💖🌷🍒 pic.twitter.com/WBeRvPFdW0— Ringo Starr (@ringostarrmusic) February 4, 2015
OPM artist Ely Buendia—ironically the frontman of our very own Fab Four, Eraserheads—was among those who took notice of Ringo's campaign and, together with the Department of Tourism and ad agency BBDO Guerrero, he immediately pounced on the opportunity to possibly cajole the Beatles' drummer to come back, at the same time also promote the country.
Our man Ely B. explains how you can be part of the cause in the video below: