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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's a brand new year and like what me and my brother do annually for the past four years or so we go by ourselves to join the countdown, watch and take pictures of the fireworks display in Makati (we took a break from it last year to watch the fireworks at the back of Mall of Asia with his fiancee, now wife). What made the whole thing memorable was the spontaneity and rawness of the celebration. Bands and singers take over the stage with nary any interruption from any host or hostess making a huge bum of themselves. It was like Fête de la Musique only bigger.

This year the local government of Makati took over the celebration themselves taking along with them one of the two giant TV networks to cover the event. That's what spoiled the whole thing. The crowd was still there but they weren't there to hear unscripted spiels that border on insults to try and get a reaction from the crowd or even politicking from the government people be they part of the administration or the opposition (in this case the latter with then entertainer now councilor of Makati City, Rico J. Puno, calling [still] Mayor Jejomar Binay the next president of the Philippines. This was met with awkward silence and one person we passed by reacting, "Ha? Ano yun?").

Itchyworms was already halfway through their set when we arrived. I never paid them much attention before but they have really good songs. So much so even some of the foereigners in the crowd nodded their heads in sync with the rhythm. I became a fan by the time they finished playing. I do regret not being able to take a shot of them playing but I did however manage to take a video of Kamikazee which you can watch below:


As you can see the set was really picking up when they were rudely interrupted 10 minutes before midnight to feature the TV network's dancers in white doing aerial ballet (this was left out of the video). You see if this was not sponsored by any of the two aforementioned producers the band would have continued playing and welcomed the new year with a song that would have gotten the crowd jumping on their feet. Here's a video of the countdown and the fireworks display if you're interested:


We left along with some of the crowd right after the fireworks and missed the continuation of the Kamikazee set. Had we stayed we would have suffered through Lord knows how many more minutes of abs-cbn and Makati City patting themselves on the back onstage for a job well done(?). Really.

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