Rakrakan Festival ’14: The journey to local music realm

70 BANDS, 3 STAGES, 1 HUGE EVENT…

These are the formula of what Rakrakan Festival was like. Our journey started as we received the brochure on the known event back in Bazooka Rocks III, and my best friend (whom I went to concert with) and I were so captivated with the event description that we bought ourselves a pre-sale ticket and could not hide our excitement until the day of the concert arrived. We packed our secured bags with charged phones, cameras, and extra cash, all for the captured memories during the upcoming concert and the souvenir items we might encounter in the bazaars. We headed all the way to Makati together with another concert-going friend, and enjoyed our entire day and night seizing the opportunity to discover new good bands and songs, to appreciate further the bands we are already familiar with, to rock, jump and mosh along with fellow concert-goers, to chill whenever we felt like it, and to roam along the venue as to explore further what the huge music festival has to offer.

The concert was simply worth the night! Not only we enjoyed the experience but it has successfully managed to be streetwise providing experiences that every concert and gig goer would expect only at a cheaper price. To purchase a ticket of either P 270, P 320 (General Admission Pre-sales), P 400 (General Admission Door Price) and P 1,500 (VIP, that already includes experiences provided to general admission ticket holders + access at the backstage + the right to take pictures with a DSLR camera) for three stages with 25 line-up bands each, skate exhibition and bazaar is already worth an expense. The best bands are mostly featured at the second half of the concert, with MOSH stage as the most dominant scene.

We stayed at the MOSH stage (a stage featuring performances of heavy rock and metal bands) at the foremost. My best friend already watched most of the bands in the MOVE stage (a stage featuring performances of alternative and mellow rock bands), and has therefore lost interest to watch them again, and that our commonly yearned bands are all playing in the formerly mentioned stage. We would also roam to other stages as we pleased, and took our chance to explore the skate and graffiti areas, as well as the bazaars. The following are my favorite performances on scene, mostly at the MOSH stage.

1) SLAPSHOCK

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An excellent band performance paired with rainy weather and a wild moshing crowd. Another interesting (and the most inspiring) part in this segment is when Jamir Garcia (the vocalist) introduced the band’s special guest Jonas to play the drums, an autistic child they met in Tacloban in 2011.

2) VALLEY OF CHROME

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Finally the band that I, personally, have longed for. I was expecting them to play earlier on stage, yet did not play until later, which was indeed worth the wait. Definitely one of my favorites both in live and in recorded version.

3) RAZORBACK 

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One of my appreciated veterans on scene – be it in live and in recorded version. I personally adore the guitar riffs and the vocalist’s captivating stage presence.

4) PEPE SMITH

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Not only Pepe was excellent in singing and playing the guitar, but being a sole old icon (well, he is turning 67 this Christmas!) on scene proves well that no one is too old to pursue his or her own dreams and passions. It is incredible and admirable to see how he still grooves at this age.

5) THE YOUTH

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It was such a pity that we did not get to watch the entire segment as we did not expect them to play earlier than their designated time. Yet we were glad that we managed to catch up!

6 & 7) DIACHROMA & DAYS OF JANUARY 

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One of the best bands to perform which did not make us regret to finish the entire concert. Besides, the Days of January’s (c.f. photo below) energetic performance woke the sleeping moshers and slammers up and made the entire audience scene go wild.

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8) EVEN

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I did not use to be a fan of the band until I heard that their performance was infinite times better than I first heard of their recorded songs. They have officially become my favorite ever since.

9) GINILING FEST 

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Definitely the best among the earliest acts. One of the reasons to appreciate this band is the fact that I can relate to their performed songs on stage (I admit that Tsong (Boypren Mong Pokpok) has become my current LSS).

10 & 11) FLYING IPIS & CHOCOLATE FACTORY

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Tuned to them while hanging out at the groove stage. Fell in love with Chocolate Factory (no taken picture, sorry) the first time I heard them, meaning during the concert.

12, 13, 14) CHICOSCI, BARBIE ALMABIS, & TANYA MARKOVA

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Did not fully watched the first two mentioned bands (Barbie Almabis & Chicosci) but I am certain that they did well in their performance as I am already familiar with the two artists and appreciate them very well. However, my best friend is right about Tanya Markova (c.f. recent picture) whom she appreciates. They are indeed a comedic Parokya ni Edgar type of band (well, excuse my comparison..) who are worth the listen!

I also love the fact that the MOVE stage has turned into MOSH stage when Chicosci performed. They were the most epic band in the named stage as much as Slapshock took the entire MOSH stage.

15) NEVERENDING WEEKEND

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The last band from the MOVE stage, whose name describes well the overall experience Rakrakan Festival has provided. Otherwise, great newly-discovered band!!

Meanwhile, I would have loved to see Saydie perform better live. I was quite disappointed with Kath Taylor’s vocals that sounded more like a moan or a whine than actual singing (I can barely understand the words she uttered in the performance), especially that their recorded songs turned me into their fan. It was also a pity that we missed Urbandub’s, WilaBaliW’s, and Mr. Bones’ outstanding performances as we were buying food in the bazaars (for the former two) and were watching another band in another stage (for Mr. Bones). On the other hand, I was awfully glad to see Karl from False Apart playing for Saydie (oh well, fangirl moments again). I realized later on that he was also the guitarist of the named band, and he looked so familiar that I immediately assumed it was him!!

I did enjoy the huge music festival as much as my companions despite the rain, certain problems in the venue’s sound system, the not-so-safe location (although the venue is nice. One reason to remain vigilant during the concert and on the trip to and from the event), and the cliffhanging 30-minute performance of each band especially if one adores the band and enjoys their performances (although it is understandable that the organizer was only attempting to make the 25 bands for each stage fit in one night). None of these things should ruin the fun we all had, as it gave me an opportunity to discover bands I have not yet discovered, to watch the bands I have always been a fan of, and to enjoy those musical rocking and slamming moments with friends.

Oh, and I would have loved to see Tropical Depression (from the GROOVE stage) perform. Yet we were all busy moshing in the other stage.

… Description of my Rakrakan Festival in one picture …

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…currently experiencing Post-Concert Depression with my ears ringing and songs banging in my head…

Rakrakan Festival is organized by Rakista Radio for all Filipino music enthusiasts to discover and rediscover what OPM (Original Pilipino Music, ie. Filipino music) has to offer aside from what is currently shown on the mainstream. The named music festival is held every December, always featuring multiple bands in different stages, bazaars, and extreme sports (like skate) exhibitions.

For more information about the organizer and the event, check their official websites, Facebook, and Twitter pages at: 

SUPPORT 100 % OPM. ROCK ‘TIL YOU DROP. 

Additional reading

“Rakrakan Festival ’14: A year end bang for OPM,” Yahoo! Celebrity Philippines

“Rakista Radio ends 2014 with a blast at the Rakrakan Festival!,” Radio Republic

Slapshock XIX Anniversary Tour: Such a blast for my summer weekend

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