Monday, December 07, 2009

Rakrakan Fest 2009 -TFC Middle East successful events

Filipino Rock Arise in Dubai

By: Dominique Pechuela-Famador

ABS-CBN Middle East capped 2009 with the Rakrakan Fest 2009 on December 4, 2009 which was attended by thousands. Callalily, Itchyworms, Brownman Revival and Wolfgang kept the crowd’s untiring energy at its highest peak for hours at the free standing venue, East Hall of the Dubai Airport Expo. The ‘rock concert’ first staged in 2006 has evolved into an annual reunion of the Filipino expats in the Middle East. In its previous legs done in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Rakrakan did not only showcase the best of Filipino rock acts perse. The organizer took the pulse of the masses in full consideration and tried their very best to heed the plea of these modern-day heroes. This year, the team embarked on a brave venture to combine four of the Philippines’ most sought-after bands in their own respective genres.

Starting the night was the youthful Callalily. The talented young guns had set the tempo so high with their alternative singles and passionate preludes. They have undoubtedly got the ladies screaming and the gentlemen singing along. Theirs was such an impressive performance that gives assurance of a promising future for Philippine music. Quirky and catchy—that’s Itchyworms for you. The group invited great vibe and the audience willingly engaged. After all, this is the band whose songs Pinoys would sing over the highs and lows of their lives. It was Itchyworms’ second time to perform in Dubai but this is definitely their first with this magnitude.

The unlikely crew of Brownman Revival showed why they made it to the fold in spite of being a Reggae act. The 9-piece band gave their grooving twists to most-loved OPM (Original Pilipino Music) as well as wicked flavors to their own compositions. The desert winter was taken over by cool and comforting Philippine breeze that seemed to be settling during the whole stretch of their set. They spontaneously played Filipino Christmas carols to the delight of the masses. It was during their set that Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates H.E. Grace Princesa graciously went onstage to greet all who were present.

But more than anything, the audiences at the Rakrakan Fest 2009 were predominantly part of the ‘wolf pack’. More people began to gather and were entranced song after song. An unforgettable moment came was when lead vocalist Basti Artadi paused in “Natutulog Kong Mundo” and the crowd just filled in the following lines… It was a total uproar from front to back of the concert hall as thousands clapped and sang in unison: a truly hair-raising experience. Each of the band members couldn’t pick the right words to describe how great they felt.

In this YouTube era, where people can watch their favorite bands perform at their own convenience, this convergence of rock aficionados at the Dubai Airport Expo is undoubtedly exceptional as it is exhilarating. The global and national crisis that they are going through took the backseat for a good five hours—all in the name of Filipino pride. Other nationalities came to rock with much amusement. There were even Filipinos who came all the way from neighboring countries just to see their favorite bands. And everyone would agree that Rakrakan Fest 2009 is an event that truly lived up to their money’s worth…and much more! More Pics here

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