First times will always be the best.
I’ve been out of my couch lately and I’ve set aside a couple of films to catch up on other aspects of my life. Though I will forever be indebted to film, and will still find myself wanting for more time, recently I’ve caught up on the latest trends on television and music.
I attended my very first real concert. Finally. And the experience is far more overwhelming. At the cost of 3,099php, I found myself wandering along with fellow wanderers KC, an officemate; Nico, my long lost brother from another mother whom I knew since we were ten; his former officemate Jan who apparently looks ten years younger than her real age (this ain’t a sponsored comment). We all basked in the sunlight, clad in our shortest shorts and the coolest (breathing in and out) outfits along with other diverse fellows who came there to enjoy the hippie soulful spirit.
I never got to see the first three acts but I heard they were good. I may bore you with other feelings and thoughts I had during the festival ’cause I can tell you now that I remember every bit. So, I’ve compiled ten things about this year’s Wanderland Music Festival.
10. Tis the spirit of Summer
Shortest of all shorts, see through blouses, flipflops, smoltering heat, and sandos and breathy outfits clad in both women AND men. Booths like Jamba Juice that catered refreshing drinks to complete the essence of summer. The weather was perfect in a way. Many didn’t seem to mind how hot it was (let me remind you that the festivities began at 12 noon). Some who did made every effort to hide from the sun (ahem me and my friend did). But this kind of weather gave everyone the excuse of wearing anything you want but a coat.
9. There’s nothing as majestic as clowns and a carousel ride.
You can’t find a music festival that has clowns and a carousel ride and booths around the corner like what was offered in Wanderland. And yes, there were clowns in stilts too. Although it was a bit sad when the Ferris wheel we expected downsized to a three feet Ferris wheel stuck on a wall of some booze drinking booth.
8. The water is Golden.
The Filipino expression is “ang tubig nila ay ginto”. Get it? If you still don’t get it, the cost of a bottled water the size of a Coke Sakto [read: the smallest bottle of Coke you can buy at six pesos] is at 50 pesos. Quenched my thirst for only a couple of minutes and although I wanted to get more, I kind of wanted to save it for later when I got even more thirsty. And when I said earlier that the weather was immensely hot, you’d expect a back up of thirst quenching water around. Not a hundred peso fruit shake or ice cream or booze to be worth more drinking. Stock water or “baong tubig” not allowed. It was amazing how some people stayed hydrated. I understand if it was to prevent people throwing bottles at bands they hated (which didn’t seem to exist) or so they can help out their sponsors (the bottle company was never heard of), but it definitely wasn’t green. There were loads of empty bottled water scattered everywhere. What a waste of money, right?
7. The Booze
Although I never got to play on the Margarita pong, the fact that there was excited my, ahem, drinking fantasies. I didn’t want to play because it costs a bit and I didn’t want to risk losing. The drinks available for purchase was the regular San Miguel light beer which was like water to me (thus me mentioning “I’ll save my thirst for later”) at 50 pesos which later was at a buy one take one sale. Not bad.
6. The Fashion
My friends and I went as simple as we could. She was quipped with the latest hipster vibe with her DMs on and a cool salmon colored blouse that complimented her fair skin while I wore a pink knitted blouse and boots from Forever21. Her friend wore the shortest of shorts and a sando with a tank top underneath.
The usual hippie setting trend of this year was still yesteryear’s (literally) hippest trend: the flower band. Also, men in Sandos, men in curly wigs, models and actors and music enthusiasts were in their best garb. Even the musicians! I love the violinist from Woody Pitney’s band who wore a simple white with rose prints tube dress and boots. Very country! Plus there were garbs from Timex and River Island available for purchase.
5. The booths!!!
You have McDonald’s on one side, a beer and water station, Jamba Juice for healthy refreshments, some other fancy booths like River Island whose booth was probably the most photographed. And since they sponsored the event, tickets were given away for a 500peso discount on a single purchase at any River Island branch. Oh and by the way, they’ve got their own stocks ready for view and purchase at the festival. There was also the Timex booth, Globe (whose walking charging stations served great purpose for my phone), among others.
4. Art Candies and the Crowd
Several displays that were all over the center isle were made of Candy. You read it damn right. And no I didn’t grab a piece.
Come afternoon some guest artists began painting walls and walls or art which was free for everyone to ponder upon and take pictures upon. Cool.
3. The weather was perfect
It was soo hot that most of us had a feeling that the Water Cycle would begin to take effect. But alas, the weather played along just right! Although yes many would complain about Manila weather as just scorching enough to make everyone who went go tan, we were advised enough to bring our own mats to sit upon the grass (I brought my blankie, which fit six people and is three times bigger than me) and bring sunscreen and an umbrella to avoid the sun’s harmful rays. It drizzled a bit when Londoner Lucy Rose sang but everyone just went along her gray and pink colored songs and even loved her more when she asked “is it raining? I’m used to the rain. I’m from London. You guys are great.”
I’m sorry Queen if I let you go to The Killers concert alone. This was fun especially with the company of friends you can sing along the songs with, drink beer with, who’ll save you a spot to sit on, and who’ll actually take a video of you dancing to Architecture in Helsinki’s Escapee.
I also stumbled upon Queen’s officemates Lalai and Jen. This event is the ONLY time I will be using a mono pod. It was fun though, especially when I set it on a ten-second timer (because I was afraid two seconds was too fast) and we all panicked this way.
I also met up with my co- Shoutboxers, a group of people devoted to this local radio station called Jam 88.3. The Philippines’ finest alternative rock radio station.
They were just chillin when I came up to them.
And lastly, the real reason I came for and was willing to spend three thousand bucks for.
1. The Bands
Chocolate Grass, Brisom and Techy Romantics and The Ransom Collective are just a few of many uprising indie artists striving to make a name for themselves in the local music industry although they’ve already got a number of fans here. I got to watch The Ransom Collective and I loved that they mixed folk and pop and excellent lyrical compositions.
Woody Pitney’s country inspired songs jived with the afternoon weather. And yes, Woody Pitney is hot.
Franco’s rasta sound will always, always remind me of trips to Baler. Okay, that means a trip to the beach to surf and smoke man. Since it was prohibited to smoke in the crowd (although I got to snuck for one by the side of the restroom), he just had to say “parang ang sarap mag smoke no?”
And then came Lucy Rose.
‘Shiver’ would have to be the most LSSd song from her line-up that stuck me the most. Lines like “Now I shiver like I used to/ And I’m leaving just for you/ And I shiver like I used to, just for you..” Her cold, smooth voice mixed with a gifted knack at playing the guitar and piano, no wonder the crowd has been excited to see her play. Plus, she gives Taylor Swift a run for her money just by coping Lucy’s look which by the way was ethereal but very simple.
(More to come about other bands and the continuation of this article. Good night for now)