Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour in Manila

Madonna concert Manila (5)

It was 2005. I was in the Physical Education Annex of the University of Santo Tomas, waiting for my Folk Dance class to start, when someone from the next class played Madonna’s “Hung Up.” Confessions on a Dance Floor just came out, so kids my age were listening to the Queen of Pop. And it was good. That album won Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards and broke a record for topping the charts in 41 countries. It is now one of the best-selling albums of the 2000s.

I was hooked.

I soon lapped up her previous albums, filling my iPod Mini with songs that were older than me. I fell in love with “Material Girl,” “Borderline,” “Holiday,” and “Like a Prayer.” I watched her movies, read her books, and sang along to her concert tours. I also listened to the pop singers who emerged since then, but I haven’t seen one who could match Madonna’s daring, artistry, and re-invention.

While I was still in school, I made my mom promise me to buy me a ticket in case Madonna goes here. She readily agreed, probably thinking that Madonna has reached her peak and she’s too old to tour. But I patiently waited. I waited for 11 years. Late 2015, amidst another rumor that Madonna is touring the Philippines, it became true! The Philippines would be one of the stops for her Rebel Heart Tour!

I still remember the promise my mom made me, but I’m already working. The tickets were so expensive, so imagine my joy when Globe sponsored my ticket! And what an experience it was. Madonna is not just a singer. She is an entertainer, and she performs just as well as she did in The Virgin Tour in 1985.

I want to tell you more about my fandom, but I wrote a lengthy review on, which turned out to be a recap because I loved it so much. The Rebel Heart Tour proved why Madonna is still called the Queen of Pop. And she’s not going anywhere.

Read my review/recap here.

Grimes live in Manila

Last Thursday, Grimes was in the country for a one-night only performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati. I first heard of Grimes a couple of weeks ago through my high school friend, who I recently re-connected with since going our separate ways in college. He introduced me to Oblivion, and I was hooked. Then after a few days, I found out that she will be performing here. Perfect.

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Nananaginip Nang Gising, UP Asterisk’s 7th anniversary party

Last Friday, I was in Conspiracy Bar in Quezon City to support my friend Stefan for Nananaginip Nang Gising.  The event is the seventh year anniversary and cult night of Asterisk, the three-time Outstanding Arts and Letters-Based Organization in UP Diliman. Stefan handles social media, and he does a great job of it because I usually get events to feature for Supreme from him. He did the marketing for the event and he invited me, Nikko, and Erin Emocling to represent When In Manila.

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Haute Auteur 2012 x Musique en Scene

Musique en Scene, the gig featuring the awarding of Haute Auteur 2012

Last Saturday, I was at B-Side at The Collective for the awarding of UP Cineaste’s Haute Auteur 2012 with my friend Jonard, a research assistant for the Genetics laboratory of UST. Now on its third year, the festival’s goal is to pay tribute to cinema’s roots, proof of which is the homage to Nora Aunor and other cinematic greats in its entries. It had a week-long screening at Shangri-La Plaza Mall, with an accompanying print sale from artists like Manix Abrera, CJ de Silva, Apol Sta. Maria, Kasey Albano, Benjie Marasigan, and two artists I greatly admire: Rob Cham and Carina Santos (who recently followed me on Twitter and I still can’t get over).

Camyl Besinga of the Techy Romantics

At the ceremony, the finalists’ entries were screened again, with a band live-scoring the film. Honestly, my main reason for attending was to see the Techy Romantics, a local electronica band that I discovered a few months ago. They’re actually the only local group that I obsess over because their sound is mad awesome. Plus vocalist Camyl Besinga’s voice is incredibly hypnotic. They played around midnight, when most of the Haute Auteur attendees left, but when they started their set, B-Side started to get packed and everyone was dancing. It was easy to tell that they were the crowd favorite because they got the loudest cheers and they were the only group that were demanded an encore. They relented and performed 7 Years, a beautiful song from Touch. I was just dancing and smiling the whole time, it was insane.

The Walkie Talkies, a sister tandem

Besides Techy, I only knew Encounters of a Yeti, but I discovered great music from other bands. I particularly liked The Walkie Talkies, a sister duo that covered The Spice Girls’ Stop, Regina Spektor’s Us and a mash-up of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. I can’t find them on Facebook but the taller sister had this amazing voice that I want to listen to all night. Surprisingly, I also liked The Wilderness. Their music was a little hardcore for me, but I found myself dancing along, even though I’m not a fan (at all) of heavy, noisy, and wild rock.

Lee of Better In Bed, still adorable as ever

On top of that surprise is seeing my friend Lee perform. Apparently, his band Better In Bed is one of the performers. He was one of the more popular ones and girls kept shouting his name. I liked his last song, Galaxies, and I now have it on my iPod. Before leaving the stage, he announced with a raised eyebrow that he wasn’t straight, then left. Ever so badass.

The Black Vomits

The Black Vomits were good, too. They’re this rock band that had the sexiest songs. They were almost as hardcore as The Wilderness but I thought there was something sexy about the way the vocalist sang, moved, and dressed. I think it was her confidence and the way she stood, but she’s aces in my book. In short, she makes me want to turn straight.
I didn’t watch the rest of the bands because I left quickly after the Techy Romantics, but the other performers were Musical O, Sleepwalk Circus, Ciudad, Pocketful Of, Ivan Theory, Similar Objects, Purplechickens, and Reese and Vica.

The Evolution of Hung Up

Madonna first rocked the music world [and the world in general] in 1983 when she released her first album Madonna, with hit singles such as Everybody, Burning Up, Holiday, Borderline, and Lucky Star. And now, 24 years later, Madonna still knows how to turn the world into one huge dancefloor with the 2005 release of her 10th studio album, Confessions on a Dancefloor.

Hung Up is undoubtedly one hell of a song, and I bet you agree with me. If you do not, it’s either you do not have taste, unaware of true fabulosity unless it bites you on your flat ass, or you have lived like a hermit somewhere in Nepal during the last two years. I kid, I kid. If you are not in the know, Hung Up is the first single from Madonna’s Confessions on a Dancefloor album, and to say that the song is phenomenal would be an understatement. The evolution of the song’s live performance would be the focus of this blog entry.

Confessions on a Dancefloor was released on November 15, 2005, and Madonna simultaneously performed several of its songs at various clubs, discos, and other venues to promote her new album. On the same date of the album’s release, Madonna performed at KoKo Nightclub in London, England. This is the first live production of Hung Up, which would pave the way for future performances.


Like wine, it just gets better and better. But of course, we must not forget the essence of her fantastic productions. The song. The song that is considered by many to be one of the biggest hit singles in Madonna’s career, ranked by the United World Chart as the 3rd most successful song of the decade and the 43rd most successful song in music history. Due to the single’s worldwide success, it currently holds the record of reaching the number-one position in the most countries [45 countries] for a single. This record was listed in the 2007 edition of Guinness Book of World Records. Hung Up is also the 3rd biggest-selling dance single of all time. With this song, Madonna achieved her 25th gold single, surpassing the Beatles for the most gold singles of all time.