Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic

Metro Manila has officially transitioned to a modified enhanced community quarantine allowing us residents to regain parts of our normal lives, while still being mindful of physical distancing, proper handwashing at all times, and following strict community rules like curfew and limited movement.

We are seeing malls, commercial centers and restaurants reopening once again, as well as some offices and businesses as long as these observe MECQ guidelines.

The live music scene, however, is yet to recover since non-essential mass gatherings cannot be allowed still, and for all the good reasons. This entails countless job loss not just for the musical artists but also for managers, roadies, assistants and employees who all work for live gigs and venues.

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Full Transcript: Ebe Dancel on his 20th Year in Music Industry, 1st Solo Concert


FOR Ebe Dancel, the show always goes on. He has been doing so in the last 20 years. The show went on for the singer-songwriter when his longtime alternative rock band Sugarfree disbanded eight years ago. He went solo and almost slowly but surely made a name for himself in the industry.

Come February 29, 2020, the show continues for Dancel as he finally holds his first solo concert at the Metrotent in Pasig City. It marks and celebrates his two decades in the local music industry.

Last December, this author was able to exclusively interview the OPM icon in promotion of the upcoming solo concert, which sold out within months of selling by the way. It was serendipity of sorts for the last time I was able to interview him exclusively was for the promotion of his first solo album eight years ago. 

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IN PHOTOS: Musical Artists, Rock Legends and OPM Icons at Pinoy Playlist 2018


FOR two weekends of October, audiences near and far Bonifacio Global City in Taguig were treated to the Filipino musical talent spanning all genres and decades.

​Over a hundred solo artists, bands and icons played in celebration of original Pilipino music at this extraordinary festival co-curated by Moy Ortiz, Noel Ferrer and new National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab. 

Here are some of the performances we caught at the Maybank Theater of the BGC Arts Center: 

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Music that Enriches from ‘Mandiriwa’ Joey Ayala

TICKETS to concerts of famous, foreign musical acts are pricey (if not overpriced) for many reasons. There’s the grand stage set-up with pyrotechnics and lighting effects, the different costume changes, the many back-up dancers/singers, the state-of-the-art musical instruments and sound engineers, and all the other logistics. Most importantly, there’s the much-awaited idols, like Madonna, Coldplay, Britney Spears, Chris Botti and Sting, etc. All had VIP tickets ranging from P20,000 to P60,000.

This is the formula of a sold-out and entertaining concert in westernized, colonized Philippines.

But what about a concert in an intimate venue where guests can cozily enjoy music (while sipping beer, yeah). A concert stripped down of all elaborate designs, props and back-ups. A concert featuring ethnic instruments that are part of our culture. A concert revealing our identity as Filipinos through indigenous music and ingenious lyrics.

This, on the other hand, is the formula of Joey Ayala’s “Mandiriwa” concert held last September 18 at the Music Museum.

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