In what has become some sort of haven for local rock music aficionados across the metro, the Rakrakan Music festivities has been celebrating the best of OPM music since 2013.
But for the first time ever, the annual sonic spectacle comes with an empowering theme, as this year’s Rakrakan: OPM Against Drugs Festival sent out its message through a series of hair-raising, adrenaline-pumping and headbanging performances from the best ‘rakistas’ in the country.
Held at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds last Saturday, January 14, the spirited music-event featured top-tier local acts who eagerly showed up and put on a show for the music-hungry crowd.
With the star-studded lineup of rockstars under one venue, the bands performed in five different stages and were split into five categories—mainly the Slam stage, Mosh stage, Groove stage, Move stage and the Indie stage.
Fans wanting to let off some steam were urged to create massive mosh pits while listening to the hardcore guitar riffs coming from the Slam stage. Among the performers were Valley of Chrome, Insekto Pares, Bad Burn and Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus, along with other metal juggernauts of the Philippine scene.
The nearby mosh stage, meanwhile, featured mainstream wonders like Chicosci, Rocksteddy, Franco, Kjwan and Slapschock, among others, who left the audience bopping their heads and raising devil horn signs—the universal sign of rock and roll—high in the air.
Those who simply want to get their chill on huddled up at the Groove stage and listened to reggae tunes from the rastafari movement, belted by the Brownman Revival, Grin Department, The Chongkeys and other ensembles heavily influenced by Bob Marley.
True to its titles, the Move and Indie stages provided doses of lighter tunes and love-themed beats from both OPM staples and independent bands.
The former was headlined by crowd favorites Spongecola, Mayonnaise, Ebe Dancel, Gab and John (Urbandub), while Brisom, Flying Ipis, and BennyBunnyBand led those who represented the independent scene.
After performing in three different bands during the Rakrakan mayhem, one of the true legends of Pinoy rock, Raimund Marasigan, expressed his elation and gratitude for being a part of the festival.
“I’m very thankful that people are supporting local music,” the former Eraserheads drummer, who lent his talents to the Assembly Generals, Pedicab and Sandwich all in one night, told INQPOP!
“Our message always is to keep supporting local. Local music, local designs and street wear, local food, local movies. Kapag sinuportahan natin yan tuloy-tuloy, kahit sino yung nakaupo, kahit sino iboto mo, balang araw uunald din yung bansa natin. (If we continually support the local scene, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge, whoever we choose to vote for, someday our country will prosper).”
The 45-year-old rockstar also jokingly took a dig at his own age and shared how far OPM rock music has truly come.
“Tsaka ngayon lang to nangyayari na sinusuportahan ng ganito kalakali yung music. Nung lumalaki kami—medyo matanda na ako 200 years old—bihirang-bihira yung ganitong klaseng event. So maraming salamat dahil pinupuntahan ng mga parokyano, ng mga kabataan,” he said.
(This is the first time that local music has been showcased in such a huge scale. When I was growing up—I’m like 200 years old now—we seldom get to experience this kind of events. So I’m really grateful for the support coming from all the patrons and the youth,” he said.
An unexpected guest
In a night were rock stars and music icons were aplenty, the biggest surprise came from a special appearance from non-other than the director general of the Philippine National Police, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
— Khris Ibarrola (@KIbarrolaINQ) January 14, 2017
Aside from strongly relaying the current administration’s war on drugs to the crowd, the PNP chief stunned everyone, as he sung the chorus of the “Darating” with Banda Ni Kleggy and rapper Dello.
With rock-and-roll music developing a bad reputation for its association with the use of recreational drugs, the police executive gave out a lasting impression with his short speech after the performance. “Hindi po kailangan maging durugista para maging rakista, ‘di ba? (You don’t need to be a druggie to be a rocker, right?) Stay high with music, not with drugs,“ he said, much to the approval of the crowd who kept chanting President Duterte’s name.
— Khris Ibarrola (@KIbarrolaINQ) January 14, 2017
Aside from the music nirvana that Rakrakan: OPM Against Drugs Festival was, the event also featured other energizing activities which kept the festival-goers engaged from the afternoon until the wee hours of night.
At the top of the list was a skateboarding exhibition and competition which showcased the country’s best in the local skateboarding scene. Even up-and-coming amateurs showed up to flaunt their best tricks for awesome prizes at stake.
Others were drawn to the artistic demonstrations through graffiti painting at the show’s patented Street Art Competion, which debuted at Rakrakan Festival in 2014. Several walls were filled with vibrant illustrations coming from the best urban artists in the country.
VIP ticket holders, meanwhile, were welcomed to several meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with their favorite performers.
The Rakrakan experience would also not be complete without its highly anticipated All-Indie Merchandise and Food Bazaar. Attendees were treated to a wide array of band-related merchandise, from tees and tank tops to shorts, jeans, jackets, socks, jewelry and other accessories. Those who felt famished after a whole night of jumping and headbanging were exposed to a vast selection of gastronomic choices, all sold at reasonable prices.
The successful Rakrakan: OPM Against Drugs Festival came to fruition through the efforts by Rakista Radio and its sponsors Red Horse Beer, Draven Shoes, Dickies, and D&D Custom Guitars.
A full list of the event’s performers can be seen here: http://rakrakanfestival.com/bands/
READ: Rakrakan Festival 2017 all set to rock MOA Concert Grounds on Jan. 14