Attending the UP Fair Concert this year was a first for me since I wasn’t able to go last year when I was still in freshman year because we had lots of plates and requirements to do for our FA majors and GE subjects. I was envious of some of my classmates who were able to go back then, so I swore I’m going to attend this year’s event at least once. I was excited. Especially that the day I’m attending would be having some of the bands that I like very much so I had Friday scheduled for that, which also would be the day when my friends would be going too.
At around past 6 PM, we arrived at the Sunken Garden, as expected, with hundreds of people, whether it is inside or outside the barricades. All sorts of people were there, obviously, coming from all walks of life and all ages, though the majority would be about those of teenagers and those in their 20s. As for the kinds of people there, well, a friend of mine couldn’t resist observing, scrutinizing and criticizing those, in my friend’s honest opinion, with really bad fashion sense. Taste is somehow relative, but it’s obvious from anyone who has it to know what’s good or not. Basically, the ones I’ve been referring to are those people who wear punk/gothic rock attire that make up about a rough estimate of 70% of the crowd. We don’t mean to be mean, judgmental or anything, nor are we experts in fashion, but it’s really surprising to see the increasing lot of these people, who most if not all, come from class C-D-E communities (i.e. urban poor/squatter communities like those nearby UP such as Baranggay Balara, Quezon City, Brgy Tumana, Marikina, Montalban and San Mateo, Rizal). As best as I could remember, such kind of fashion started becoming a trend to them recently when current foreign punk/goth rock bands and singers set the trend and lifestyle of punk/goth like Good Charlotte, Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance and the like that they now try to imitate. I’ve seen some people wear the kind of attire they wear such as all black outfits and black shirts with a band’s name or logo on it, excessive eyeliner and black make up, 80’s inspired hairstyles, black polished nails, neckties, spike metal accessories, outrageous body piercing, tattoos, etc. but I guess in my opinion, some of them have the “right” to wear them because it suits them, unlike the ones we saw that were just miserable. A description by my brother in his blog (xananaventura.blogspot.com) is placed below in detail:
JJIB (jumping jologs in black)
Expired mascara (smells like sour milk, super clumpy so the lashes look waaaay thicker. So think that you can’t see their eye sockets anymore. Or maybe their corneas got smudged by the mascara. Which, according to them is the trend of the season)
Eyeliner that doubles as brow pencil and lip color cause they can’t afford the latter two
Marker pen nails (Pilots are too expensive; they use the made in china ones that sell for 5 pesos for a pack of 3 instead) topped with Ever Bilena/Careline colorless polish (P20 only for a group of 75,000 who will share in it)
The scent of someone who hasn’t taken a bath in 30,000 days – it’s the new Davidoff Cool Water for the Payatas/Montalban contingent, so deal with it. Your Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue scent is sooo out.
And oh, don’t forget fucking ukay fashon. As in, unapologetic baston pants in tablecloth plaid, black good charlotte shirts. All those clothes tyhey got from ukay 3 hours ago, with no concept of prewashing. And oh, if those bitches get a little “creative”, they’ll do a trenchcoat. Take note, LEATHER. In a 35 C temperature UP fair. Of course, who can’t forget the 65 year old fake Chuck Tailors and the 3 for 20 socks in striped colors galore. And, accessorized with the obligatory artsyfartsy bracelet they made out of stolen safety pins. Or hairclips turned pendants.
With hair done with the Michael wet look super hard hold gel (take note, one P3 sachet is shared among 75,000 guys. No kidding.) And of course, the hair color? Di sila pahuhuli sa uso. Bigen’s too expensive daw. Food color na lang.
The hairstyle? It’s the bi-level cut that was soo in 25,000 years ago. Of course the hair shouldn’t have been washed in over a week, so the gel sticks. Together with smog, the smoke of doobie, dandruff, the obligatory kuto, lisa and garapata, and the 3-day old sweat of their moshpit mates.
And their demeanor? They go in packs of 65,800, let’s just put it at that. And the manners? Hihimatayin si Peggy Post, the etiquette queen.
How were they able to afford the scandalously expensive tickets? They didn’t. They either jumped through the tin fence, or dug an underground passageway that starts from the beta epsilon lot to right smack in the middle of the moshpit. They’ll soil their clothes, but hey, that’s the point. You have to give it to them for the effort.
How about the more “highbrow” kurimaws? Easy. They didn’t eat for a week to afford the ticket. Since Hilary Duff’s now the (ex) girlfriend of Good Charlotte’s frontman, anorexia among punks is now soo en vogue. I. Must. Not. Eat.
It’s easy to spot a member of this oh-so-exclusive contingent. Look at the bag. It’s pinned to the brim with backstage pass Ids they either dug out of the trash after a major gig or stole from a production assistant they mugged after a big band event, or maybe stolen from a bouncer who denied them entry. And take note, in the kurimaw world, the more STOLEN backstage passes you have pinned in your pakshet JonSport, Van, Fony (Let’s get it on!) or Esel (the opposite of Asolina and Nleaded) bag, the more you are high up there in the (garbage) ladder.
For all you curious earthlings: why black? Easy. Black makes you look cleaner. Imagine if they all wore white. My goodness, mother of pearl could be the new white. And if you go in hordes of all black, you’d be very discreet and nondescript. So discreet, no one could ever differentiate among the kurimaw, the tigre-sized daga running around, cow poo, and the giant flying ipis in the field.
And phones? What phones? Communication is a complicated system of fuck you signs for anger, another fuck you sign for love, one more fuck you sign for intense enjoyment, and the very unique fuck you sign for agreeting. And if you ask them what contingent they belong to, they’ll look at you scandalously, either give you the east coast or the west coast sign, or pull up their feet and give you a fuck you sign like in the Fony (Let’s get it on!) print ad while wildly declarins “Fank’s nat ded chong! Pakshet raaaak ooooon!!!!!!” (take note of the scandalously multiple exclamation points)
Just like before when the fad was still hip-hop, and those who can’t afford to be like their American counterparts have devised their own style, which was considered jologs with those oversized shirts, below the knee baggy shorts and rubber/plastic slippers. Not to mention, a little “bling-bling” jewelry/accessories would do, regardless if it were real or fake. Realizing it, it was hip-hop they’re trying to imitate; now it’s punk/goth rock that’s becoming the new jologs. I’m not against punk/goth fashion; it’s just the ones who are doing it. It’s true when they say that we Filipinos tend to overdo things (however, this is a generalization), and imitation in every sense of the word (has somehow been a part of our culture nowadays). Well, for us it’s their business anyway, but we can’t seem to avoid getting irritated. Adding to that is the kind of behavior these people show during the concert, being very unruly, noisy and quite rude. Taste, good breeding and manners don’t have to be only done by those in the middle to upper class societies; it just depends on the person.
Well, playing fashion and etiquette police in this place didn’t stop us from going in. That’s what to expect in places like this. We didn’t have tickets yet so we’ve decided to buy right on the spot which meant that we’d line up with the hundreds of people lining up to go in. Some bands have already started playing, and we just listened as we wait. After a long wait, we were finally able to get in. Like in any fair, there are lots of booths and stalls, which sell food and other merchandise, rides and amusement games. We decided to check out the food first, ate and watched the concert. It was somehow an enjoying experience to watch the concert, even from afar because we get to avoid the occasional moshpit riot by the kurimaw crowd, shouting and flashing banners whenever a good song comes up. We also occasionally went around the whole fair area to check out other stuff and we literally have to swim through hordes and hordes of people. It’s very crowded and people are just unorganized and inconsiderate sometimes that you get your new shoes “baptized” over and over again. I would not recommend people with claustrophobia to get into these places. It’s worse than a rally.
At about 9 PM, we decided to go out and just watch the concert from outside by just listening to the music as the crowd gets thicker and thicker, and the kurimaws get worse by the second, we see the line to the ticket booth unchanged since we went in. People are still trying to get in amid the humid and jam-packed concert area. There were much worse kurimaws outside, running around, shouting, throwing things around, hitting people as they pass by, and other really annoying things. So far as for the concert, we chanced upon listening to really good bands (though we forgot their names unfortunately) in the genre of pop, reggae and rock, though still none of those of our favorite and much established bands. A friend of mine told me that usually, the good bands come around at 12 AM and play until the break of dawn, literally at 4 or 6 AM. Since I had to go home at 12 AM, I just enjoyed the remaining time with my friends, listened to the bands as much I could, took pictures around, talked about gossip and stuff, played fashion and etiquette police again until some of us went home already. Those that were left decided to stay until morning, some at the sunken garden, some at FA where there’s also a concert being held for FA Week with FA bands and videoke matches all until the break of dawn (I wish I went there instead, at least the crowd was majority FA people). As I bid goodbye to my friends and ride a taxi home, I question myself if my 85-peso ticket to the concert was worth it. Maybe it would be if I had watched my favorite bands and if there were lesser kurimaws. This reaction paper for a live musical event had turned into a fashion, etiquette and cultural review that weren’t really my intention at first. I don’t even know if this would pass for that category. I just couldn’t resist recounting my experiences a few days ago. You can call me a mean judgmental hypercritical elitist with this but that’s what I really feel. So if someone invites me to the UP Fair again next year, maybe I’d have second thoughts (though I might attend still!).
*This was submitted as a reaction paper for my Art Stud 2 Class for a live musical event.
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