Joey Ayala, Ely Buendia to perform at Sagada concert
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The biggest concert not only in Sagada but in the whole of Cordillera is finally on.
"A Concert in the Clouds: Sagada Art, Music, and Peace Fair" will happen on October 28 and 29 at the farm of Jaime Dogao, a few kilometers away from Sagada's poblacion.
It will feature Ely Buendia, Up Dharma Down, Joey Ayala, Noel Cabangon, Gary Valenciano, Freddie Aguilar, Raymond Lauchengco, Lolita Carbon, and 20 more bands.
The concert is produced by Ed Formoso, a long-time visitor of Sagada who was also one of the biggest band producers in the 1980s Filipino music scene.
Formoso expects about 5,000 people to go to the concert, which will start in the afternoon of October 28 and end in the early evening of the 29th.
Tickets will be P1,000 to P2,000 – a pittance, considering the fees of the main acts would go by more than what Formoso would get.
"I will pay them but it will be with a huge discount," he said. In fact, he recently went to Manila with the full lineup, where he met Freddie Aguilar who learned about the concert and decided to join for free. Other acts also wanted into the scene after knowing about the concert.
"This is my way of giving back," Formoso said in an exclusive interview a month ago.
Formoso was briefly a musician in a band called Dinosaur with Boy Camara and Jet Montelibano. They came out with one album, Tales of the Storyman. It was by producing the album that Formoso ultimately became successful, through the way he marketed it.
Soon enough, other acts wanted to work with him and soon he was earning 6 figures a month as a producer.
"The problem is I got rich," he said, and he had no time to give back. Karma then came in the form of the CD and he had no way of fighting back. Slowly he came to his senses and spent most of his time in Sagada. Soon he was giving football clinics to the children there.
"And then it struck me... the idea of the concert came in," he said. It's his way of giving back and by that, he means giving everything to the Sagada people, who were wary of this hippie-looking guy.
Some Sagada people thought the concert was a fraud because there was a tour promotion that came out with a Sagada concert a year ago, featuring Manila artists and bands who never knew they were part of it.
Formoso, in contrast, personally knows many of the acts for "A Concert in the Clouds" – they're either his friends or his former wards who owed their career to him.
Some Sagada residents started an online petition to stop the concert, citing, among others, the "pollution" it would bring not only to the environment but to the souls of the residents. Never mind that the town was swept by tourism fever for more than 3 years, caused by the hit movie That Thing Called Tadhana.
The petition floundered, despite much publicity, with only 2,000 signatories, but the opposition was loud, so much that Formoso had to bring out a 50-point answer to the opposition. It eased quite a bit of the tension and some of the residents decided to join in on the fun.
The beneficiaries of the concert include the Sagada SPED Center which Formoso helped start, the Sagada daycare centers, Sagada Art Club, Sagada Football Club which Formoso also organized, Children Heart Support Fund with Dr Philip del Carmen, and 15 others.
After Sagada, Formoso wants similar concerts in other provinces to help people and promote peace in the countryside.
Attending the concert
The concert venue is the Tigano Farm in Madoto, Sagada. It is a 20-minute leisurely drive from Sumaguing Cave below the poblacion, accessible via Halsema Highway. There is no need for concert goers to climb Staunton Road and enter the main town, said Formoso. It is relatively far from town and will cause lesser noise pollution.
To get tickets, check the official Facebook page for outlets near you. You will not be given a ticket immediately; you need to sign a form and deposit your payment to Formoso's bank account. The ticket will be given to you at the outlet you indicated in your form a week before the concert to prevent the reproduction of the tickets.
There is a "no bed, no pay" clause, which means you must assure yourself of board and lodging in Sagada before you can have a ticket.
All bonafide Sagada residents are free to watch.
All visitors are expected to register at the Municipal Tourist Information Center. Visitors must respect all sacred grounds and sites. Attendees must also bring their own disposal bags and throw contents in garbage bins or in lodging places, and use eco-bags and water bottles.
Other reminders for attendees: Do not take close photos of rituals. Never engage services of children. No scanty clothing and no public display of affection. No littering. No styrofoam. No burning of waste. Minimize plastic containers. No smoking. No parking on provincial roads. – Rappler.com