UP Fair 2014: Backtrack

It’s that time of the year again when the UP Sunken Garden is transformed into fenced concert grounds for a weeklong showcase of talent of indie, underground, and mainstream bands. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s the UP Fair 2014.

My cousins and I are fans of this event, and mainly because my sibs and I are Iskolars ng bayan, we make it a point to block off one day of our February schedules to attend the concert every year. Last year, we trooped to UP on a Thursday night, but this year we chose the last day of the fair. On February 15, together with about a thousand of UP students, alumni, music lovers, and those who simply want to experience a UP fair night, we had a great time food tripping, listening to the music of UP bands and later on, Gloc9, Mayonnaise, and Parokya ni Edgar among others, and even trying out the games at the booths.

The theme of the February 15 fair day was Backtrack, though to be honest I have observed that there wasn’t anything related to “backtrack” in the concert grounds. In fact, it seemed as if a lot of things have changed from the first time I set foot on the fair grounds years back during my freshman days. For one, the ticket price has doubled – from 60pesos, ticket prices are now sold at 120pesos each which is to be expected given the big sponsors of the event. Smart, Tomato Time, Honda, and SM department store are just a few of the sponsors who have set up booths and ads all over the place. Also, the acoustics have obviously been manipulated so it’s hard to hear what’s going onstage when you’re at the far end of the sunken garden. People who used to content themselves in listening to the bands from either side of the sunken garden now have to purchase tickets and get inside the area before they could really enjoy. Nonetheless, we still had loads of fun and left only after Parokya ni Edgar’s set (though I would have loved to wait for Sinosikat and Franco and leave around 4am like we used to).

Here are some snapshots from this year’s UP Fair 2014: Backtrack:

Up fair 2014: backtrack
View from the sidelines – a big ad of Smart in the form of a hot air balloon welcomed the fairgoers and served as a landmark (San tayo magmeet? Sa may hot air balloon!)
fair 2014: backtrack
A constant part of the UP Fair: Power Up and their wall climbing challenge
fair 2014: backtrack
The stage by the sunken garden’s grandstand. Ramon Bautista and Joyce Pring were there to host a portion of the fair and give out prizes
fair 2014: backtrack
Crowd favorites included Gloc9 and Parokya ni Edgar who performed Bagsakan and Ang Parokya to the audience’s delight
fair 2014: backtrack
Our fourth year of observing our UP Fair tradition: sibs, cousins, partners, and friends
fair 2014: backtrack, rodics
No matter how many food booths and choices were laid out in front of me, I ended up choosing tapsilog from Rodic’s
fair 2014: backtrack, siomai pantea, up arki
Proud to belong to the most creative (and funniest) students in the country – UP Arki’s booth selling siomai and milk tea
fair 2014: backtrack, fair games
Me: Ate (kahit kuya yung bantay sa booth), ilang balloons ang kelangan putukin para sa Pringles?
Ate/Kuya: 80 po.
Me: 80 as in 8-0? (Disbelief is reflected on my face because you only get 7 darts for 30pesos)
Ate/Kuya: oo. 80 na piraso.
Me: Baka naman iba iba ang equivalent points per color ng balloon?
Ate/Kuya: Hindi, 80 talaga.
Me: Shet, bili na lang ako ng Pringles!
A few seconds later I went back and asked:
Me: Ate yung sa teddy bear ilang balloons?
Ate/Kuya: 150 po.
Me: (to self) That’s bullsh*t.
fair 2014: backtrack
So yeah I tried my luck at one of the games but failed to topple over a tower of cans to get a stuffed toy. Sigh.
fair 2014: backtrack
The seemingly impossible to get grand prize. Bili na lang ako sa Blue Magic.
fair 2014: backtrack
Alive pa rin ang buwis buhay roller coaster! At take note, may mga sumasakay! (Mga sawi siguro sa pag-ibig like this ate in front na parang contemplating whether to ride or not)
fair 2014: backtrack
Flying Fiesta: The UP way

I was a bit exhausted from the morning’s activities (dental appointment and feeding of dogs at PAWS) but I still managed to stay up until Parokya’s set which everyone really applauded, simply because their music never gets old.

I know it’s still a year away, but I’m excited for next year’s UP Fair, knowing that no matter what the changes they make to the event are, I’m still going to enjoy it with the people I’m with, the old and new bands who will perform, and that feeling that I always have a reason to relive my good old days at my alma mater. Maybe this year’s theme, Backtrack, was appropriate after all.

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