5. We wait decades for our favorite artists to come here.
The Killers had their show in 2013, 9 years after the release of their debut album Hot Fuss. The Gin Blossoms had their first concert in 2010, 18 years after their hit album New Miserable Experience! Your loyalty is tested if you’re a Filipino fan. Still liking a band after 18 years is a badge of honor.
(I am resolutely avoiding any mention of Coldplay, who are coming here 17 years after the release of ‘Parachutes’, because I am still bitter about their concert being held at the MOA Concert Grounds, which is not really a concert venue but a glorified parking lot and I refuse to pay money to not see or even hear the artist I came to watch, thank you very much.) (Chloe: I’ve been to that glorified parking lot. And it ain’t pretty.)
4. Filipinos can SING.
I know all bands say that every city they’re in is the best, but they mean it in Manila! We just need to hear the opening chords and we’ll sing the entire song for you! And not just the singles, either. B-sides, deep album cuts – we got you! Heck, it’s like we don’t even need to hear you. We came here to sing, and we are going to sing!
3. We can be holding hands with God and still be louder than the VIPs.
Every time you buy tickets to a concert, you think that the worst thing that can happen (excluding not getting tickets, of course) is getting the worst seat in the house. But guess what? I’ve been there more times than I care to count, and it’s actually amazing! When you’re one of the lucky stiffs on the floor and you look down on us plebs (well, technically you’re looking up at us because we’re poor) in those seats that are so far away they’ve gone dark and look like no-man’s land, don’t feel sorry for us! Even when we’re thinking we’ve been exiled because we can see the pipes and the arena ceiling and it looks so scary, we are still the loudest in the place because we think if we shout loud enough, James Bay or Danny O’Donoghue will actually hear us and look at the last row! And every single one of us in the cheap seats is having as much fun as those people who get to touch them in the mosh pit. Actually because we envy the rich people, I like to think we’re having more fun. We don’t want to fight for space on the floor anyway.
2. All we need to hear is ‘How you doin’, Manilaaaaaa?’ and we lose our shit.
And we’re not even in Manila! To be precise, we’re probably in Pasay at the Mall of Asia Arena or Quezon City at the Araneta Coliseum. But these foreigners, bless them, think that everywhere in the Philippines is Manila. And we’ll take it because we just want them to come here.
(Don’t even get me started on their precious efforts with Tagalog – ‘Salamat!’ ‘Mahal ko kayow!’ – or balut. We’ll lose our minds.)
1. Every concert is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Quite simply, we are deprived. We wait for a long time for our favorite artists to visit, and 90% of the time we know they are never coming back. It’s not like in the US or Europe where there are 90-city dates planned. No! Every show in Manila (I mean Pasay City or Quezon City) is a one-night only show. And because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, every show is LOUD. There is no polite clapping here, only manic screaming. From the first note to the last, we are shouting out every word to the band. And we are standing up the entire time. (Except for the songs we don’t like all that much, which is the time set aside for sitting down and taking pictures.) So we make the most of it and scream our lungs out and cry and wail and sell a kidney if that’s what a ticket costs.
See? It really is more fun in the Philippines.