Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Rain fell on my head literally after a particularly depressing day. My romantic life hasn’t existed for 14 years. This day it seemed even more bleak, empty and senseless. Suicide is just a word until you feel trapped and so desperate that there’s no other way your mind can cope. French Press Attaché Camille Conde and I had just gotten in a cab on our way to the third location for Fête de la Musique, when a familiar song played on the radio. It was TAG-ULAN by AFTER IMAGE. Hearing it was like meeting an old friend, it picked me up from depression a decade and a half ago,
Minsan ika’y nag-iisa, walang makasama
Di malaman saan tutungo
Naghahanap, nag- iisip kung saan babaling
Dito sa mundong mapaglaro
At tuwing ika’y na lulumbay, di maka kita
Nais mo na may makasama
Sa iyong lungkot akala mo ika’y nag-iisa
Narito ako’t kapiling ka
Kung nais mong ika’y lumuha
Ako’y makikinig sa bawat salita
Kapag umuulan bumuhos ang langit’sa ‘yong mga mata
Kapag mayroon unos ay aagos ang luha
Ngunit ‘di ka mag- iisa, kaibigan
Kay rami nang mga tanong sa iyong isipan
Nais mo lamang ay malaman
Bakit nagka ganoon ang nangyari sa ‘yong buhay
Tanong mo man sa aki’y, di ko alam
Handa akong maging tanggulan
Sa tuwing sasapit’sa’yo ang tag-ulan
Kapag umuulan bumubuhos ang langit’sa’yong mga mata
Kapag mayroong unos ay aagos ang luha ngunit di ka mag-iisa
Ako’y na ririto, naghihintay lamang sa’yo
Tumawag ka’t ako ay tatakbo sa piling mo, kaibigan!
Both the vocals and lyrics were by Wency Cornejo, who was lead singer of AFTER IMAGE at the time. Wency is the same guy who wrote and performed HABANG MAY BUHAY, which is a ballad that has been remade by everyone from Regine Velasquez to Sarah Geronimo. Wency has a knack for writing powerful emotional lyrics and combining them with haunting melodies. TAG-ULAN speaks about the same desperation and sense of loss that I felt and even if friends don’t necessarily give you a solution, someone’s there for you.
Just like the previous time 15 years ago, it made me feel better, if only temporarily. Music has the power to give us hope and move us in so many different ways. That’s what Fête de la Musique basically is, a celebration of music. They make sure to give us a feast of a lot of different genres and tastes. We have the French to thank for thinking of such a ‘fete’ or Fiesta to us that have been so influenced by the Spaniards.
By the time we got to A Venue, I felt renewed. There were so many food stalls, people having cheap street food, a variety of inihaw (charbroiled meats). The crowd was a huge mix of tourists, different races and ages all coming together for…free music.
In the first location where I met with Camille was at the Plaza Maestranza in Intramuros. One of the most loved and respected diplomats; French Ambassador Gilles Garachon was able to say a few words. He looked every bit like a rock star himself. He mentioned the fact that Fete had been running for 20 years. He also thanked and credited Sabrina Durand who had organized Fete Dela Musique for the past 7 years and was now going back home to France. Durand has quite an achievement. For this year alone there were 3 main stages (A Venue, Greenbelt 3, Plaza Maestranza), 19 pocket stages with over 200 acts.
Amb Garachon encapsulated the concept, “Fête de la Musique aims to showcase the breadth and depth of Filipino talent while promoting universal values such as freedom, cultural diversity as well as generosity, as most of the artists are performing for free. The spirit of Fête also promotes brotherhood among nations and the joy to share together the same passion for music, art and culture.”
The 20th year has grown more than the many different genres of music reggae, jazz, alternative, electronica and so on, there are also theatrical groups and performance art. The theatrical group SIPAT LAWIN ENSEMBLE immediately switched gears in Intramuros doing their humorous, interactive play ON THIS SITE WILL RISE.
Sipat Lawin Ensemble Mng Dir Joseph Keith Anicoche, in character talked about not having panties morning, noon and night, proceeded to speak Spanish enumerating the names of districts and streets in Manila Escolta, Quiapo, España, Parañaque, Libertad…”. He was followed by 4 sexy girls in high heels, wearing highway construction safety vests in neon orange and hard hats. They led the crowd to the tunnels in Intramuros walls. The ‘show’ mesmerized the likes of former NCCA Film Head Teddy Co, Ballet Phil Artistic Director Paul Morales and Carlos Celdran. JK Anicoche gave credit to Celdran’s play as inspiration to ON THIS SITE will RISE during the performance.
On our way to Makati French Audio Visual Attaché Martin Macalintal reminded me of 2011 when a typhoon went through the morning and afternoon of Fete and dissipated just in time when the show started. The weather was perfect clear and cool by the time the likes of KAMIKAZEE hit the stage.
Makati was a different vibe from Intramuros. A_Space bar had a laid-back acoutstic atmosphere. I caught a glimpse of Kitchie Nadal in the elevator. Then it was PHIL POP 1st Runner Up awardee Johnoy Danao’s turn. His signature touching lyrics and guitar playing had even foreigners feeling the love in his Tagalog songs.
By the time we got to A Venue we saw the lovely Kat Agarrado walking backstage. She had just finished her set with RADIO ACTIVE SAGO PROJECT. Another old friend Jack Daniel’s bar was serving whiskey with Coca-Cola. My first taste of Jack was also when I first met my childhood idols THE DAWN. Vocalist Jett Pangan had one bottle for himself and was urging me to try it. That’s when I found out how Jack Daniel’s was a little too strong for my taste. For tonight, I needed it to be strong and take away everything that I was feeling earlier. Our pulutan was very Filipino. Camille treated me to my first isaw and pig’s ear.
French DJ Jon Attend gave the crowd a taste of European dance beats. PEDICAB immediately set up after him. Their combination of Disco and punk revved up the crowd with their hits OTOMATIK, SIMULAN MO NA and FX.
Then there was this duo I had never seen before, one was a DJ the other a drummer. The DJ looked almost exactly like David Blane except for a shorter haircut and a small Philippine flag draped around his shoulders like a Boy Scout neckerchief. DJ Nix Damn P has the same weird mysterious eyes going on and badass goatee as one of the most recognizable magicians in the world. Calling MOTHERBASSS as just a DJ act would be a disservice. Along with drummer Macky Brillantes, MOTHERBASSS is closer to a performance art.
Their song ULTRA GUN is a “mix of jazzy tunes, laced with funk mixes, hip hop samples and Motown vibes, lathered in brisk and snappy drum play” as they described it. Apart from the genres and catchy beats Nix Damn P feels the music by raising his hand in the air, suddenly coming out from behind the turntables and jumping in the air.
Macky would roll a drumstick in his fingers, throw it high and catch it. Macky would also cover his Mohawk with a hoodie and start jumping up and down getting the crowd to go crazy even more after the beats. THEY FEEL their music more than you do and it creates its own energy. Another thing about their music is the sheer unpredictability, after all the heavy synth, bass and drums they’d sample LET’S GE IT ON by BARRY WHITE. In spite of vastly different rhythms, they make it all work.
The final act on the stage was not any less energetic, although was again from a vastly different genre: IMERATRIZ FILIPINENSE turned Makati into Rio. The WORLD CUP frenzy has reached our shores by way of music. Samba beats dominated the air as dancers shook their bodies like it was the Carnivale. IF that wasn’t enough for you KADARA CAPOEIRA displayed their deadly but entertaining martial art.
More than any night I needed to get lost in the rhythms, the energy. What I witnessed personally was just a small slice of myriad of musical styles and genres. Music, our own OPM, French DJs, Samba, Jazz, Hip hop, rap, spoken word, blues, reggae, rock and many more were all part of this huge feast we call Fête de la Musique.
From 3.30PM to 1:30AM, over 200 local acts and 2 French artists (M.MAT and DJ Jon Attend) rocked the main and pocket stages all over Makati, Intramuros and Malate. Fête de la musique 2014 featured Tropical Depression with Lolita Carbon of Asin, Kalayo with Joey Ayala, Radioactive Sago Project with Kat Agarrado of SinoSikat, Basti Artadi with Radha, Motherbass with June Marieezy, Imago, Pedicab, Barbie Almalbis, Cocojam, Kjwan, Taken by Cars, Flippin’ Soul Stompers, Brigada, Miss Badkiss, Caliph8, Red-I, Philippine All-Stars, just to name a few.
A-Venue Open Parking Main Stage – 3.30pm onwards
Alvin Cornista’s Jazzmatik feat. Med Messiah, Words Anonymous , Blue Rats, Philippine Human Beatbox Alliance, LDP feat. Ron Henley, Philippine All-Stars Kalayo feat. Joey Ayala, Adinkra Lumads, Djembe Community, Planet Zips
Flow Arts Philippines, Tropical Depression feat. Lolita Carbon of Asin, and The Boys Radioactive Sago Project feat. Kat Agarrado, DJ Jon Attend, Motherbass feat. June Marieezy, Basti Artadi feat. Radha, Ebe Dancel feat. Lee Grane, Pedicab, Samba School Imperatriz Filipinense, Kadara Capoeira
Greenbelt 3 Park Main Stage – Concerts starts at 3.30pm
Brass Pas Pas Pas, Kate Torralba, Noli Aurillo, Badkiss, Christian Hervé , Flippin’ Soul Stompers, Bleu Rascals, Reggae Mistress, Caliph8 & Red-I
MAKATI POCKET STAGES
Acoustic Stage by Li Perez + Generic Mawmaw/Fête Throwback Photo Exhibit@A_Space Gallery / Union Bank on G/F 110 Legazpi St., opposite Greenbelt 5 Line-up: Acoustic Performances by: Bullet Dumas, The Sun Manager, Reese and Vica, BP Valenzuela, Lee Grane, Manskee, Isha Abubakar, Toni B, Tao Aves, Johnoy Danao plus special guests /
Fete Throwback Photographs by: Brendan Goco and Romain Rivierre
Chillout Stage by Radar MNL@Buddha Bar / Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue Line-up: Techy Romantics, Beach Please, Caliph8, Cheeba, A problem like Maria, Buddha Bar DJs, Alley Kat, Mulan, Emel Rowe, and more.
Rock, Reggae and Ska Stage by Chronic Wheeze + Fool Moon Productions@B-Side /
The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Village
Line-up: Wilabaliw, Embercore, April Morning Skies, The Chongkeys, Faintlight, Imbueno Kudos, Lost Thread, Bad Weather, Fun City Boys, Citrus Lane, Jejaview, Sirens, Give Chance To Run, VOC, Read Between The Lions, On The Spot, Sanctus, Absolute Play, Tropical Depression, Collie Herb, Dreadknot Used, Coffeebreak Island, Goodleaf, Dandimites, Nyte in Tunesia, Surevibe, Tea4two, Barrio Morning Glory and more…
House Party Stage by Personal Space + Durrty Hotdog + Riot House@Black Market + Finders Keepers / Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Plaza 2, Sabio St. near Pasong Tamo Line-up @Black Market: Red-I, Soulflower, Don P, The Zombettes, Major Chie, Samantha, Migs Fuckin’ A., Ras Taro, Asela, Karlo, Xtina, Raymond Ang, Kix Suarezy, Yanna and more, Visuals by Coup D’ Disqo and more… Line-up @Finders Keepers: Boyet Sison, Manolet Dario, Angelo Mendez, Huang + surprise DJs
World Stage by Luna Fest + Musikeraw@Café Curieux / G/F Bel-Air Soho Polaris corner Badajos St. Line-up: Ukulele Philippines, Planet Zips, Flow Arts Philippines, Kadara Capoiera, Talahib, Navy Blue Pants, Dayaw, Kontra Gapi, UP Kekeli West African Ensemble, Jam Perez, Karen Lou Mesina, Anahata, Christ Man, DJ Tribal Enkanto, DJ Lapu Lapu
Art Installation by: Cherry Ann Fulo, Levi Cruz, Beatrice Cruz Puertollano, Delfin, Luis Hernandez Latin Stage@Chihuahua / 7838 Makati Avenue
Line-up: Salsa Manila and Samba School Imperatriz Filipinense
Blues, Soul & Funk Stage by MamboRat Productions@H & J / 5081 Felipe St. Line-up: Kosmikskala with Nitoy Adriano, Kala, Chillitees, Ian Lofamia Blues Band, Conscious & The Goodness, Gin Rum N’ Truth, Bignay Soundsystem, Kakoy Legaspi and The Pasay Jazz
Hip-hop & RnB Stage by Boogie Down Manila@M Café / G/F Greenbelt 4, Makati Ave. cor Dela Rosa St. Ayala Center Line-up: Mike Swift, Qyork, Philippine Allstars, Legit Misfits, Nathan J and more…
Cabaret Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation@Murphy’s Pub / Cityland Condo III, 105 V.A. Rufino St. corner Esteban St. Line-up: Michelle Fitzgerald, Stella Ignacio, Carina Quiogue Dignos with Ed Carino & Boy Trillanes, KT Mas, Masashi Tsudaka, Cacophony, Ghost Pepper, Johnny Alegre Trio, Kizotano, The Jireh Calo Project, Tonet Lipana & Lynn Sherman
Mod Stage by MOD Philippines + Ava Prime@Society Lounge /
Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas
Line-up: Neighbors, Dandimites, Goodleaf, Minerva, Dragonfly Collector, Edralins, Flippin’ Soul Stompers, Escolta 3am, The Royal, Sundown Muse, Shane Cosgrove, Chicochongchu, Papamod With the participation of Body Shots 2014 Models, Vespa Club, Mini Cooper Club, Lee Cooper Fashion Show
Jazz Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation Hosted by Sandra Lim-Viray@Bayleaf Lounge / 2/F St. Giles Hotel Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue Line-up: Ed Castañeda, Sara Bichachi, Rayie (Ray & Ayie), Christian Herve, Koko Marbella, Anything Goes with Michael Puyat & Friends, Romy Posadas, Colby de la Calzada, Jun Viray, Arthur Manuntag, Cheryl Santaromana, Margaux Salcedo, Megan Herrera, Rosanna Gaerlan, Sean Manuntag, Tessie Garcia
Electronica Stage by Nomad Massive@Time in Manila / 7840 Makati Ave. (across A-Venue Mall) Line-up main room: Alley Kat, Herbie Walton & Her Cabral, Miss Badkiss & Emel Rowe, Ingo Vogelmann, Pav Parrotte, Martin Lugtu, Alinep
Line-up roof deck: Sparkee, Joee Mejias, Modulogeek, ProcopioKillsAll, GYHT, Turbo Goth, Fdog 13, Red-I, Bauhaus Cloud, No-Rom, Anomaly 1, Liquid A, Soulflower, Toro, Mecha, Kishore, Helen
Indie Stage by NDFY@12 Monkeys / 5/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City Line-up: Ourselves The Elves, The Ransom Collective, Hana, ACBD, Three.!, The Jireh Calo Project, Farewell Fair Weather, Sud, Carlos Castano, Brisom, tide/edit, Pitik, Earthmover, Identikit, Autotelic, Sinyma, Tarsius
FETE DE LA MUSIQUE – INTRAMUROS MAIN STAGE
Maestranza Plaza Main Stage –3.30pm onwards
Banda Kawayan, Chocolate Grass, Similar Objects, Imago, Peryodiko, Barbie Almalbis, Wilderness, Ea Torrado feat. Erick Dizon, Coco Jam ,Humanfolk, Kjwan, Mr. Bones & the Boneyard Circus, Curbside, Taken by Cars, Jack Versus the Crab, DJ John Attend (France)
Maestranza Plaza Art Installations & Street Performances by
Julia Nebrija, Ea Torrado, Leeroy New, Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Kulay Labitigan,
AI Garcia, Chris Aronson, PJ Rebullida, Flow Arts Philippines, Planet Zips, Pasyal Sunday Buskers
INTRAMUROS & MALATE POCKET STAGES
Alternative Rock Stage by Red Ninja@Sazi’s-Kalye Nakpil6 / 44 Nakpil St., Malate Line-up: Tonight We Sleep, Jejaview, A Music Theory, Imelda, Diachroma, The Kents, Sirens, Flying Ipis, Thieves, Paranoid City, Ephesus, Blue Boy Bites Back, Eddie Shawarma
Spoken Word Stage by Speak Philippines@Sev’s Café / Basement Legaspi Towers 300, Roxas Blvd. corner P. Ocampo, Malate (across CCP) Line-up: Speak Philippines, Ipat Luna + Open Mic
Dub Stage by Torta Manila@Heaven Malate / Nakpil St. corner Orosa St., Malate Line-up: Abdel Aziz, Adadub, Allrock, Reiz, SilverFilter, Xombie, Gabby-Z
Nouveau Jazz Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation@JPL Hall of Freedom, Lyceum of the Philippines / Muralla corner Real Sts., Intramuros Line-up: PI Jazz artists
Experimental/ Hip Hop Stage@Eat Cafe, V Hotel / 1766 Adriatico Street, Malate. Line-up: Similar Objects, BIN5, Like Animals, NoR, Ayon, Moki Mc Fly, After School, Special, Floating Sound Nation, Sleeper Second, The BGNR, Inkeyes, Zomtendo, Lustbass, Jamessushe, Fxxxybint, Sloj, Impulse Project
Independently organized pocket stages around Makati, Intramuros and Malate were located near the main stages for people to freely jump from one venue to another. They are as follows: Acoustic Stage & Fete Throwback Photo Exhibit by Li Perez + Generic Mawmaw at A_Space; Chillout Stage by Radar MNL at Buddha Bar; Rock/Reggae/Ska Stage by Chronic Wheeze & FoolMoon Productions at B-Side; House Party Stage by Personal Space + Durrty Hotdog + Riot House at Black Market & Finders Keepers; World Stage by Luna Fest & Musikeraw at Café Curieux; Latin Stage at Chihuahua; Blues, Soul & Funk Stage by MamboRat Productions at H&J; Hip-hop & RnB Stage by Boogie Down Manila at M Café; Cabaret Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation at Murphy’s Pub; Mod Stage by MOD Philippines + Ava Prime at Society Lounge; Jazz Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation hosted by Sandra Lim-Viray at Bayleaf Lounge, St Giles Hotel; Electronica Stage by Nomad Massive at Time in Manila; Indie Stage by NDFY@12 Monkeys in Century City Mall; Alternative Rock Stage by Red Ninja at Sazi’s Kalye Nakpil; Experimental Hip-hop by BuwanBuwan Colletive at Eat Café, V Hotel; Spoken Word Stage by Speak Philippines at Sev’s Café; Bass Beats Breaks Stage by Torta Manila at Heaven Malate; Nouveau Jazz Stage by PI Jazz Festival Foundation at Lyceum University of the Philippines.
Fête de la musique 2014 is organized by the Alliance Française de Manille, the Department of Tourism, Intramuros Administration, the Embassy of France to the Philippines in partnership with B-Side Productions and Viva Manila, and through the support from corporate partnerships with Rustan’s, Stores Specialists Inc., Bensimon, Smart, Spinnr and Illustrado; venue partnerships with A.Venue Mall, Ayala Center and Greenbelt; institutional partnerships with the City of Makati, Barangay Poblacion, MAPSA, Makati Police; hotel partnership with Best Western Plus Antel Hotel; and media partnerships with BusinessWorld, High Life, HerWord.com, Esquire, Myx Music Channel, Solar News Channel, Deezer, Yahoo!, Radio Republic, Amplify.ph, Balut Radio, Travelife and the Tourism Promotions Board. Fête de la musique organizers would especially like to acknowledge the support of all the pockets venues and production partners for their continuous involvement and contribution to the success of this event that is celebrated worldwide.
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