It’s raining fun at Bandastiks 2016

Wigs, capes and broomsticks complete the act of The Reginas of Assumption. Photos by Boyet Rosales

Wigs, capes and broomsticks complete the act of The Reginas of Assumption. Photos by Boyet Loverita

By Lindy Rosales

“The best antidote to jet lag.”

That was some zinger coming from Consul General Tess Dizon-De Vega. She just arrived from Manila, and on, November 4, was treated to a madhouse of a contest called Bandastiks.

Organized this year by the alumni associations of Ateneo de Manila University, Assumption College, De La Salle University, Xavier University and St. Paul’s College, Bandastiks was created to “bring about camaraderie via music.” For the first time, it was held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. Previously the bands would gather in a private residence or a community hall and just jam the night away.

“This is my first real event with the community,” said ConGen De Vega, who livestreamed and posed with each alumni association.

She called the night a “celebration of camaraderie, unity and friendship,” and more, such as being Pinoy and love of music. At the end of her speech, she whisked her camera into view and asked everyone to pose for a “groufie?”

Bandastiks began in 2004 under the name Bandafest. There was an issue about the group’s name, leading to a brief hiatus. The contest came back as Bandastiks in 2015. New name, same fun gig, same motivated group of people.

“The members of our band are all alumni coming from New York, New Jersey and Westchester,” said Ateneo’s Ner Martinez, one of the original members. “Everyone is out to get the top prize this year.”

Five bands competed, the winner decided through audience applause. Emcees for the night were Ner and Domingo “Ming” Ampil who both wore matching gold blazers but had their school colors underneath their coats.

The Green Beats of La Salle alumni association kicked off the party with their version of “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. The timely beat set the tone for the night as the audience swayed along.

As the second band from St. Paul University was getting ready, the microphone dropped. “That’s for luck,” The Paulines announced in jest. “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King was their opening song; they were accompanied on the piano by Bobby Ramiro. The ladies wore black and white with a hint of red. Marilyn Abalos said they didn’t join the contest in 2015 but this year, “We are gonna have fun!”

The third band, The Reginas of Assumption College, surprised with colored wigs, capes and broomsticks. They performed with a guest guitarist and base player from La Salle and a drummer from Ateneo. Their theme was Woman. Their version of “It’s Raining Men” pumped up the crowd. Other members of the alumni association came on stage to dance along. Arianne Recto said this is their second time at Bandastiks.

The fourth band to play was the Snooky’s Bakdor 345 from Xavier University. They rendered an OPM medley from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s accompanied by a drummer and three electric guitarists.

The fifth and final band for the night was Ateneo’s Iskulbluekul who opened with “Bongga Ka Day” and ended with a smashup of other danceable OPM tunes which had several people posting Live on Facebook!

All the five participating bands were given Certificates of Appreciation. The event’s major sponsor was GMA Live TV/Pinoy TV. The network was represented by their marketing executive Grace Labaguis who was the final arbiter for the contest based on audience applause. In the end, Iskulbluekul was judged winner of Bandastiks 2016 capping a night celebrating the Filipino musical spirit.

ConGen Tess Dizon-De Vega connecting Bandastiks on social media: ‘Groufie,’ anyone?

ConGen Tess Dizon-De Vega connecting Bandastiks on social media: ‘Groufie,’ anyone?

Emcees Ner Martinez (right) and Domingo Ampil

Emcees Ner Martinez (right) and Domingo Ampil

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