I went to the UP Fair down south; was it ever lesser than the one up north? NO. Not in every bit it is not.
I have to start with the fact that I am a South Boy; despite which, distance won’t bother me, much less If I need to go up north and listen to live music and get high with it. That being said, I had my share of the UP Fair last year; I went to UP Fair Elements, it was a thursday, and gahd it was just awesome.
But this year I went to the one down south.
T’was the 5th day of the UPLB February Fair; The night did show some signs of rain, but nobody really did mind. Much like it’s counterpart up north, it is situated on a large open ground lined up with tents not just in its circumference, but also in the middle. They had rides, they had merchandise, and tiny trinkets. From food and hugs, they had it all right there. And in the head of it all is the stage.
The stage was what I have expected it to be; not like the one in Diliman which had two sets of instruments left and right, this only had one, and that was just right. It had the usual sort of things you would expect in a gig, with lights and sounds and all (whoever was the service provider for their lights and sounds has Wi-Fi. I know ’cause I was desperate for internet connection then, and I searched for a Wi-Fi connection, but nah, their’s was password protected.).
I also saw a person covering the event, that had a smart phone on a tripod, rigged with about 3 big powerbanks, so that they can film the whole thing via facebook live:
These are all things, that are quite sophisticated now, back then was not the case.
“As in scaffolding tapos kahoy na stage .. backdrop ganyan. Tapos yung takip namin nun sa ulan, sa taas ng stage, tarapal lang. wala pa nga yung harang nun sa Harap ng stage. Ganun lang kame date, tapos three days lang. tapos PNE lage highlight na band. Hahahaha masaya na kame non.”
Came from one of the persons I met within the fair, that’s an alumna of UPLB. and such was the feels of that event to whoever witnessed it before. It somehow reminded me of what we had in our college, way back those days of mine, but it was not in this scale.
As a new comer though, I have to say there are some things that are a tad different.
It’s here that I learned that the traditional UP fair was done to demonstrate UP’s stand against human rights way back 1972 when Marcos was still on the seat. Ever since then the event was a cause for people that has the UP Spirit to come together and stand together and speak up about issues that needed to be spoken loudly about, and it has always been a platform for so.
This Fair was true to that; from the start to the middle of the night we had people speak about Human Rights, of Patriotism, of our National Sovereignty, of how we are doing as a nation, and also how the students feel about the current administration of the university. Heck when I arrived, somebody in the stage was describing how his family was a victim of Human Rights, and how we should make a stand about it. Also, some students that would never cease telling their pleas to the current administration of their university until they meet with him face to face to talk about it and settle the score.
It’s been stereotypical for UP Students to be thought of automatically as activists, and many a parent have been worried about sending their sons and daughters over there to study, only to see them in streets, rallying. This might be the case, but personally, I just think that UP has always been a place where open and bright minded people can come together, and find strength in each other to tell the country what needs to be told, from the smallest things up to the ones that really, really matter.
From that tradition, the UP Fair grew up to be not just an avenue to make a stand, but also a place to showcase local talent. Not limited to just bands, and with teenagers high on love (since it was valentine’s week), the night was spent on Nationalism; from voicing out what needs to be noticed, to local talent, the night was just that, nothing less, but infinitely more.
All of them came together to magnify that we all are Filipino, and we are not just by-standers; we are in the front lines of the fight for making us a better nation, our voice growing louder as one.
The night was not just a showcase for bands; the night featured cultural and dance performances from UPLB Filipiniana Dancetroupe and WYRE Underground of UPLB:
and acts from SAKBAYAN Along with Ephrot Act:
MINDSET beginning to rock the stage for that Evening:
and with the all-professor group ROCK 101 Composed of UPLB’s male professor’s:
Funk band LOVECORE bringing the vibe up with their awesome riffs:
Progressive rock band, CINDERBLOCK, Revving up the music more:
We Are Imaginary bringing up more good vibes to the night:
MilesExperience captivating the crowd with their music:
And Autotelic capping off that glorious night:
The night ended with cheers, smiles, shouts and love. Passion was there, mixed with art. This is how do they do the UP Fair down south, and it may not have a 10 plus band set lined up in 5 days, it was still worth the trip and the time. As the crowd and organizers (and some band members from that that peformed that are UP Alumni) raised their fists up to the tune of UP’s University Anthem, it left me with the impression that such events can be both enjoying and be really patriotic at the same time.
See at the end of this night, it was not just the music that stayed with me. It was the feeling that I am a Filipino, and I am proud that I am so, with all the local Artists around me, being creatives in their own right.
This was the UP Fair down south, way down at Los Banos, Laguna, away from it all; it was no lesser than it’s north counterpart, but it had it’s own identity, and own way of celebrating it, but nevertheless, this is a good first time memory of being in that place at that time.
And maybe, I’ll go back next year. ^_^