MANILA: Philippines

February 12-14, 2011

MANILA (Antipolo, Tagaytay, etc.): Philippines

In The City That Never Sleeps

Oookay so why all the talk about 90’s bands? This entry will shed a light on our Gen X fascination.

We’ve never really gone on a limb to watch a concert out of our little city here in the South but when it came to Deftones, stepping out of our comfort zone to purchase 4-figure tickets, extra expensive last minute plane fares and racking our brains for sustenance on a tight budget was all more than worth it.

Thanks to our gracious hosts Rich and Jem (thank you, thank you, thank you so much!), we got our month’s (or more) worth of adrenaline fixes in just a weekend.

How to enjoy 2 straight days of motherf*cking fun in the big city Jake & Belle style:

1. Purchase last minute concert tickets to the band you’ve been talking about for months regardless of the fact you can just listen to them on a live CD in the comfort of your own living room decked out with surround sound speakers equipped with powerful subwoofers and the kitchen just within reach so you can saunter off to grab some beer, nachos and microwavable pizza while you bang your head to a track resembling much of your day to day life during your growing up pubert years back in the 1990’s as your mum yells at you from upstairs to keep the volume down, “When are you gonna act like an adult and play some easy listening light rock!”

So what if you blow a month’s salary on a measly spot in the back just to see a 5 in. version of your favorite frontman amidst the sea of heads in front of you? It could be a once in a lifetime chance to experience them live. For real. Run and tell that, homeboy.

Deftones: Diamond Eyes Tour, Manila 2011

Video – ‘Birthmark’ opens and the crowd goes berserk. Berserker. Berserkest.


This (and everything related to it) has been the most facebooked/tweeted out status for the entire Valentine Season beating out anything cheesy and dripping with hearts, butterflies and chocolate. In our network anyway. Besides all the hype, people got quite hungover days and weeks passing the concert. It was that A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Belle’s Dad: You’re going all the way to Manila just to watch them?! Who are they anyway!

Belle: Are you kidding me, dad? They were my entire life’s essence back then! They were the cast to which my core had been molded! They are the foundation to whoever I am right now. Think of it as my musical pilgrimage. I AM GOING.

Belle’s Mum: Let her do it. They must be like the Beatles.

Belle: ???

Chino and the boys lived up to our expectations. They were as commanding, passionate, awe-inspiring, and entertaining as we imagined they could be. If Chino’s vocal work and energy in connecting with the audience was attached to some generator, it could have produced enough to power our entire country for a day. Let’s not forget Sergio, Stephen, Abe, and Frank who played their hearts out and emblazoned their musical prowess into our systems for as long as we shall live.

Video – ‘Change’ is eargasmic.

Jake & I wrote down our own version of their setlist since we heard the band would tour with 25 songs including those in their latest album, Diamond Eyes. It was a bet. Loser… uhm… loser climbs on stage and lick one of their numerous guitars? Lol. No. Too risky. Might get electrocuted. Or worse. Spanked to death by those huge biker dude roadies. ROFL&DYING.

We left our lodgings in Pasay to arrive at World Trade Center wayyy later than the time gates opened and totally missed out on the local opening acts Urbandub and Slipknot (WISHFUL)… I mean, Slapshock but just in time to see Deftones bust out the metuhl on stage. Suweeet.

The queue outside was a terrifying experience though. We thought the bouncers/security team would include our point-and-shoot cameras and binoculars as spoils of war in the trash. Good thing they laughed it off. God does reserve mercy for hardcore nerds. *evil laugh* Even then, I ended up throwing my uneaten oat crackers in a flowerpot in hopes of returning to it later… but it never happened. Goodbye, carbo laden goodness. Damn. Shoulda stuffed it all in my mouth.

Video – ‘Back To School’. ‘Nuff said.

Again… thank you, Splinter.com. And our condolences to the Thunder Dome in Bangkok for missing out. Too bad we weren’t able to flounder for the setlist after the show… too bad it wasn’t our cap Chino defended against the evil thiefbasterd… too bad we couldn’t kick some serious arse for Abe’s drumsticks when he flung them towards the audience… too bad Stephen and Sergio’s picks didn’t rain down on our end of the street… too bad none of them body surfed (except Chino, thanks) all the way to the back and crunched some balls with us… too bad Chi Cheng wasn’t there. But it’s allllll goooood. We’re not complaining. *wink*

We crapped our pantaloons.

  1. Birthmark
  2. Engine No. 9 –> Belle’s bet.
  3. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) –> Jake’s bet.
  4. My Own Summer (Shove It) –> Belle’s
  5. Lhabia
  6. Around The Fur –> Belle’s
  7. Digital Bath –> Jake’s
  8. Knife Party
  9. Hexagram –> Jake’s
  10. Minerva –> Jake’s
  11. Bloody Cape
  12. Diamond Eyes
  13. CMND/CTRL
  14. Royal
  15. Sextape
  16. Rocket Skates
  17. You’ve Seen the Butcher
  18. Beauty School –> Belle crapped extra.
  19. Hole in the Earth –> Jake’s
  20. Kimdracula
  21. Back to School (Mini Maggit) –> Belle’s
  22. Change (In the House of Flies) –> Tie.
  23. Passenger
  24. Root

AND

  1. 7 Words –> Belle’s. BEST ENCORE EVER PLAYED. EVER.

7 words? Oh no, no, no. One word. Phenomenal!

Video – ‘7 Words’. BAM!!!

2. Get in the brewtuhl moshpit.

Jake: That was plenty EPIC! I haven’t done that in years!

Belle: Its times like these I wish I was a dude.

Like Chino yelled out, “Let’s give love to the back!” Yeah. Sure. There was much lovin’ in the back alright. The boys of summer were having a riot including our dear Jake. I didn’t miss out on the fun either since I got pulled in when my hoodie cleverly disguised the fact that I’M A GIRL.

3. Souvenirs. Buy jacked up event T-shirts which cost as much as a cheap household appliance.

4. Pig out at the midnight food bazaar Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Food enthusiasts definitely have to check this place out! Inspired by the Mercato in Florence and Boroughs Market in London, BGC got a taste of this weekend feeding bonanza. Our jaws dropped all the way down to the inner core of planet earth when we saw the food stalls (120++ and counting?) lined up for our viewing and tasting pleasure. We indulged in our ripe picking of homemade nachos, pretzels, crepes, grilled treats, various beverages, and even our favorite… the Mongolian buffet stall. We can’t remember the name.

Hungry for the “unusual”? It’s all there. That experience brought an entirely new twist to the notion of midnight snacking. Besides the affordable chow, they’ve got air-conditioned tents, ample parking space, an organic market, live bands… etc. We reckon if you can just stand nearby and feed on fumes to satisfy your empty stomach.



The Mercato Centrale is open on weekends from 7am-2pm. They also have the new Midnight Mercato which is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm-3am. Run and tell that again, homegirl.

5. Take a quick ride out in the mountains of Antipolo. It reminded us of Mountain View, Busay in Cebu City… but way higher up. We shivered our timbers off.

6. Don’t forget to go to church. We took a jeep all the way to the Mall of Asia in Pasay backpacks and all to hear mass at The Shrine of Jesus located just beside the SMX Convention Center. Beautiful church.

7. Get pseudo lost in MOA as you try looking for a certain thing in the grocery. Don’t ask directions so it’s cooler. You have got to take a jeepney heading there too. The conductor keeps saying “MOA MOA MOA *mwah mwah mwah*” and it’s a riot.

8. Spend an entire day in Enchanted Kingdom, Laguna.




Our hosts Rich and Jem enjoyed a mind boggling food trip while we channeled our inner adrenaline junkies and tried everything from the nausea inducing hot air balloon ride “Up, Up and Away”, to that pirate ship ride “Anchors Away” which threatens to pump out every last bit of food you consumed for the past year,


all the way down to the everyone’s friendly neighborhood “Space Shuttle Max”.

Side note: Anyone remember that 2007 incident when the rollercoaster stalled mid-air and trapped 25 passengers?



Jake: I never… ever… ever… heard you scream like a girl until now.

Belle: I. Am. A. Girl. Everyone seems to forget that.

Jake: At this point, my ears will never recover.

Belle: Kart race? Anyone?

To spice things up, we had a challenge for that weird balloon ride.

9. Watch the firework display. It was a day before Valentine’s Day so they had these cheesy deformed heart-shaped fireworks. Nevertheless, very amusing.

10. Freeze your junk out in Tagaytay, Cavite.

Don’t forget to wear extra bootey shorts (you know what I’m talking about) to make the experience extra special. Drop by Leslie’s Restaurant for their specialty Bulalo (tagalong version of “Pochero”) while reveling in the breathtaking sight of the Taal Lake then hang out at Starbux Coffee for some after hour deserts. We can save all the other Tagaytay sightseeing musts for another entry. We’re still getting goosebumps thinking about it.

11. Save money by pulling an all nighter and not spending on room accommodations for the last day. Sleep on NAIA 3’s airport floors as you wait for your Check-in counter to open at 3:30 AM for the first flight to Cebu City. You can even do some window shopping out on their mini-shopping mall at the second floor. Prepare some pain relief patches for stiff joints when you wake up.

Belle: Maaan, these floors are cold.

Jake: *incoherent mumbling*

(Best part? A really nice member of the ground crew who resembled Ugly Betty handed us heart-shaped chocolate with a huge decked out smile. It helped stave off hypoglycemia, too.)

Important points:

*Take public transportation to navigate through the city. Like we said, we were very tight on budget. We decided to rough it and look for accommodations once we landed in Manila. FYI, there is shuttle service from the NAIA 3 terminal that can take you to the MRT-LRT station in Pasay to get you started.

That, or hitch a ride from good friends who are already living there. Comfy.

*If you haven’t gotten exercise for the past couple of months, the ride called “Swan Lake” in Enchanted Kingdom can help you tone those thighs, legs and buttcheeks in a flash. 10-minute tandem paddling can make you feel as if you spent 10 hours on a Stair Master. Said straight from the mouth of a gym-traumatized couch potato.

*EKstreme Tower Ride open? Not for long! Grab the chance to scream your nuts off on the drop tower before it closes again sometime at sundown “for technical checks”. Unfortunately, we didn’t know this tip sooner.

*Try Ferino’s special bibingka from their teensy stall there in EK. It’s like a culinary explosion in your mouth. What makes the local delicacy unique? It’s got “itlog na maalat” in it. MMM. Nom nom nom.

*Packets of store bought instant coffee and a personal portable water heater can save your life.

*Possession of a swiss army knife can get extremely annoying when caught by airport security.

*Expect a whole barrage (or barangay) of Cebuanos in any major concert in Manila.

*When caught in a moshpit, blink once and be transported at the very back of the hall… just like magic.

P.S. Anyone posted a blog about Stone Temple Pilots or Anberlin from last March 9? We’re dying for feedback.

Hats off to another blockbuster adventure!

Next massive project… MR. BIG LIVE IN MANILA. FTW!

Fin!

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2 thoughts on “MANILA: Philippines

  1. i was listening to nu107 one time and my father just came into sala. he said, “why don’t you fix that radio and make it tuned in to a radio station? that static sound is annoying.”
    i laughed much to his chagrin.

    i almost cried with change. sh3t. me and my frat brod were bitter; we were discussing how lame the concert was, and how the people weren’t participating and if we were there we would have created a commotion. lol.

    those floors of NAIA 3 are indeed cold. i had that unfortunate experience of being stranded there hahaha.

    btw, what’s with the bed intruder song? lss? hahaha…

    1. Hahahhaah yeah that’s exactly what our parents thought of NU…. static on the radio. At least they admitted they’d much rather listen to “rock music” instead of “hip hop” and the like as those sounded to them like ‘chanting’. LMFAO.

      Ohhhh you mean you didn’t make it to Deftones? MAAAAAN! That was transformative! Hmmm I dunno which videos you might’ve seen or who you might’ve talked to but the people were crazy singin, boppin along and moshing! Audience participation was truly a ++— and yes, next time another huge gig comes along, do create a commotion! We’re comin’ with you. *muwahahaha*

      The price to pay for free rest = NAIA bitter cold floors. A/C on full blast on each visit. We thought about bringing nice sleeping bags next time >:)

      p.s. He’s climbing your windows, he’s snatchin’ your people up– Tryna rape em so ya’ll hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your kiiiiiddds etc etc etc

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