Beats Manila

Saturday’s alliteration: A wicked weekend in Wanderland

I come from a family of audiophiles.

If there was only one thing my siblings and I share a love of, it would have to be an appreciation for music. I think it comes with being the child of a Music major, who, despite her failed attempts at getting us to play the piano successfully, managed to instill in us an appreciation for the craft.

Every time I come home to Davao, I would always come back to Manila ten playlists richer after raiding my siblings’ iTunes library. Because I’m not as patient as my sister or brothers when it comes to discovering new tunes, I rely on them to keep their eldest sister ”updated” :D

So the moment I heard that an indie music festival called WANDERLAND was happening this summer, I didn’t hesitate pulling the Ate (older sister) card and demanded my siblings fly from Davao to Manila to spend the weekend with me. Given the stellar cast of bands the organizer had lined up—The Temper Trap and Neon Trees, among them!—it took only a second and a half to get them to say yes.





So there we were last Saturday, surrounded by a sea of both neon-clad festival goers and hippie-themed revelers, all set to have a rockin’ good time. Behold, some of the indie pop and indie rock awesomeness that played before us…

New Zealand folk band, Avalanche City


Tully on Tully


Homegrown talent Up Dharma Down



American alternative rock band Nada Surf


“The guys from Utah”—the ANIMAL that was Tyler Glenn and the rest of NEON TREES. They totally killed it that night. Kept the crowd alive and roaring from beginning to end!




And, of course, last but definitely not the least:


The Temper Trap!!!


Dougy Mandagi’s vocal chords will make you weep.





By the time The Temper Trap played Wanderland’s final song—”Sweet Disposition” of course—my ears were ringing (with joy! pure joy!!!) and my heart really felt like it was about to burst. It was a heady combination of alcohol and dehydration (two cups of rhum for every drop of water), hunger (the fact that we haven’t had a bite to eat since lunch had slipped our minds), gluttonous music consumption, and dancing like crazy and (literally) rubbing elbows with our festival peers as we all reveled in the pulsating beats dished out by the bands. There is just something extraordinary about hearing the opening bars of your favorite song and hearing the throng of people around you roar in shared excitement. It’s a vibrant kind of energy that you want to always surround yourself with.

I’ve always loved rocking out at concerts—was lucky enough to catch The Killers, Aerosmith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they came to Asia—but apart from occasionally dropping by U.P. Fair with its lineup of local bands, I’ve never really experienced a music festival of this calibre. And I know this is still nothing compared to the really big ones held in other countries, where the musical buffet lasts for days on end. Coming home bone-tired from Wanderland actually made me wistful for all the festivals I let slip past me. Now that I’ve had a taste of it, I’m definitely including events like this the next time I travel—and I am still pulling the eldest sister card and dragging my siblings with me. It’s the best way to bond!



  1. I love music festivals too. Large or small, they are wonderful opportunities for fun and joy – and well done for taking along your siblings. I’ve found a good way of learning about festivals whilst you’re travelling is to look around or ask about them in local cafes and music stores. These places hold a wealth of information and I’ve caught some wonderful events by doing this. And this has given me a deeper insight into and appreciation of, the communities of the places I have visited. Live music … it just can’t be beaten!


    1. Hey that’s a really great tip! :D I will definitely keep that in mind when I next travel. What are some of your favorite music festivals? As I am a festival newbie, would really love to find out what are the ones to watch out for ;) Cheers!


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