Tens of thousands gathered at the Globe Circuit Events Ground, Circuit Makati last January 16 for yet another successful celebration of Original Pinoy Music. Despite being rescheduled due to heavy rains last December 19, “Rakrakan Festival,” arguably the biggest all-OPM festival in the country now on its third year, has again proven that the local industry is very much alive, and raiseshopes of a Renaissance that mayagain see OPM dominate local airwaves and break further into the international music scene.
The festivity started early in the afternoon, welcoming guests to performances from Galaw Tao at the Mosh stage, False Apart at the Move stage, and Calebral at the Groove stage. For those who didn’t get the memo, “Rakrakan Festival” features three stages which cater to distinct musical tastes: the Mosh stage features heavy rock, hardcore, metal, and related genres; the Move stage houses light, alternative, and pop rock artists, among others; while the Groove stage caters to feel-good fans of reggae, ska, techno, and electronica.Seventy local artists from all over the country fulfilled these experiences, with notable acts fromseveral indie, underground bands such as Runbynine, Switch, Morphine Kings, Now You Make Me Angry, Drive Me To Juliet, May, Absolute Play, Assembly Generals, Collie Herb, and the Blue Jean Junkies; a great deal of explosive performances from established, well-known names like Sandwich, Kjwan, Razorback, Wilabaliw, Queso, Slapshock, 6cyclemind, Callalily, Mayonnaise, Imago, Rocksteddy, Typecast, Tropical Depression, The Chongkeys, and Brownman Revival rocked the Circuit as well.
Circle pits (there was even a “Wall of Death” during Slapshock’s act, the first ever in “Rakrakan Festival” history), stage dives, crowd-surfing, skanking, and jumping and screaming fans with a cup of Red Horse beer (or a can of Monster Energy drink) in hand dominated every area of the concert grounds well unto the end of the festival.There was even a touch of Rakista romance amidst all the madness when one dude proposed to his girlfriend at the moshpit. Can you believe that?? Who knows what other amazing things happened? So if you weren’t there, well, you missed out A LOT.
In addition to music, “Rakrakan Festival” featured other exciting activities such as the open skate and mini skateboarding competition held at the Mountain Dew Skate Park; street art contest c/o Bosny paints; backstage meet-and-greet; face painting and henna tattooing; and the staple annual Merchandise Bazaar, also the biggest of its kind in the metro with over 70 participating local brands selling a wide array of goods: from tees and tank tops to pants, snap backs, jewelry, artworks, CDs, buttons and pins, and other souvenir items.Attendees also enjoyed HUGE discounts and freebies from co-presenters Dickies and Draven shoes.
At the end of the day (or night, rather), “Rakrakan Festival” turned out to be everything it was envisioned to be: a grand, colossal success for Original Pinoy Music, its talents, its future, and much more. It lived up to its promise of continuing the legacy of local music that is deeply permeated in the Filipino subconscious and culture, not with standing the pervasiveness of imported songs in mainstream media. “Rakrakan Festival” is proof definite, visible, undeniable proof that OPM is, and will always be, here to stay, to influence and inspire, for decades and generations to come.
And one other thing’s for certain: “Rakrakan Festival” will only get bigger, louder, and more breathtaking as it makes its way towards an uncertain future.
Rakistas, see you all again in December for Rakrakan Festival ‘16.