I walked around Makati at a most unusual slow pace. Usually when I’m in Makati (the country’s main commercial/business district), I walk at a fast clip. Eyes fixed straight ahead, ears plugged, letting the crowd fade around the edges of my vision. Literally ignoring everything and anything.
But today the city was empty. Emptier even than Manhattan on a Sunday. And I walked and walked and walked and listened to Esperanza Spalding and thought the sunlight on the tall, silent buildings was beautiful.
And I walked straight into a McDonald’s, and the meeting for the Manila Music Festival.
Who cares if it’s a holiday and the rest of the city is either trying to find their vacation somewhere or enjoying the empty metro like I wanted to? This is the Manila Music Festival.
I’ve always been a big fan of festivals. There’s just something so majestic about bringing art and music and people together, and I kind of think that we’re at that cultural age as a city when we can and should do something about our insane love for music. That’s why I’m thrilled to have this chance to work on Metro Manila’s first music festival. I used to pay thousands of pesos to go to Singapore (and am still seriously considering paying thousands of dollars so I can go to Japan, Indonesia, Sydney, and the US) for music festivals. I’m incredibly happy that somebody is finally putting up funds for our own music festival here.
And the line-up is driving me crazy. Shinichi Osawa! IN MANILA! Literally a dream come true for me! I remember making my uncles look in the US for whatever CDs they could find for Mondo Grosso and/or Shinichi Osawa’s The One because they don’t sell his music here. And he’s just so good that I refuse to pirate his music via torrent. Also, whatever copies that are floating around the Internet just seemed like an insult to Shinichi Osawa. Really, 64KBPS and like one FLAT layer of sound? Why don’t I just slap him in the face myself? It must be mentioned that it was Dondi Virrey of the Techy Romantics who got me hooked on Shinichi Osawa. Here’s the first song that I ever heard from Shinichi:
Then there’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad of freaking A Tribe Called Quest IN MY CITY. IN. MY. CITY. I remember a memorably rainy night in B-Side when I watched Beats Rhymes and Life, that documentary on A Tribe Called Quest. Most of the hip-hop that I know is just influenced heavily by A Tribe Called Quest, and here’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad… I am crazy freaking out right now.
So anyway, I’m sorry. I was gushing, wasn’t I? All I really want to say is that it’s a blessing, is what this is. That I, little Ailene, is seeing how all of this unfolds. I was just in awe the entire time while I’m listening to them plan this out… It was just surreal. I don’t think I’ll ever be too jaded to enjoy being part of events and moments. And I will NEVER ever be that jaded that I will stop being passionate about music.
So there. That’s why I was working on a holiday.