It has been a tradition for me, my brothers, and cousins to watch the UP Fair every year. This year’s celebration coincided with Valentine’s Day, so I used it to my advantage. When I got to work in the morning of the 14th, everyone was asking “San ang date?” I don’t usually celebrate that day with hearts and flowers, so the UP Fair was the perfect event to spend Valentine’s Day instead of going out on a date.
Anyway, that fair day was organized by the UP Underground Music Community. We were really excited with the bands who were scheduled to play – Up Dharma Down, Urbandub, Kamikazee, Moonstar 88, and Giniling Festival among others. What I was actually looking forward to aside from the bands were the funny and witty hosts, Ramon Bautista and Bogart the Explorer (who also happens to be Giniling Festival’s drummer). That line up explains why from the usual 70-80php, the entrance fee was 100php.
Before going inside the fenced area in the Sunken Garden, we chowed on the favorite merienda of UP students – pancit canton, kwek kwek, cheese sticks and chicken balls. It suddenly dawned on me how much I missed this place, and how simple life was when I was in college. With 50php, you’d be able to eat lunch. I missed that terribly. I should go to UP more often for food trips.
After eating at Vinzon’s Hall, we met with my cousin Anne, brother Louie, and his girlfriend, Kat. We went inside the fair grounds, and surprisingly, it wasn’t so crowded as we expected. There were the usual scary rides (scary = buwis buhay), booths, food stalls, and of course, the stage at the grandstand. UP underground bands usually perform from 6-9pm, and the mainstream bands come out from 9pm onwards.
The hosts made it the most hilarious fair event I’ve been to. They asked the audience who had dates that night, and those who didn’t have one proudly raised their hands. Ramon said, “Mga friendzone material kayo, mga pangit siguro kayo.” Everyone was just laughing so hard, it was like watching a stand up comedy. I’d pay even more just to watch them host again. I kind of wish I listened to my friend when he suggested that we get them to host our company Christmas Party last year.
Aside from the bands, what fair goers are usually after are the food and drinks in the numerous stalls all over the fairgrounds. I made two new discoveries – Ate Linds’ TOFUDAI and Simple Line Milk Tea:
UP Fairs are known for the food stalls, so be ready to eat, eat, eat while watching the bands perform. For dinner, I got my favorite Lechon Kawali. My brothers and cousins opted for the old school Rodic’s tapsilog.
UP students are known for being artistic and creative, and I sure as hell agree. It wasn’t just a music festival, but also a feast celebrating art and creativity.
It was the best UP Fair night I have been to. It came as a surprise that it was relatively peaceful, except from the expected presence of the JJIBs (Jumping Jologs in Black). I really enjoyed the food, the performances, and of course, the witty and humorous lines from the hosts. It also feels great to continue our February tradition of attending the UP Fair and going back to our roots.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Hope yours was also fun-filled like mine.