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MANILA, Philippines – Through a surprisingly enjoyable mix of musical and comedic performances, alongside a stellar showcase of visual arts, Linya-Linya Land 2023 delivered a refreshing live event offering unlike anything I’d personally experienced before.
Created by the art and pun-powered merchandise brand Linya-Linya, the festival, originally mostly music-centered, had its first iteration back in 2019. This year, Linya-Linya Land finally made its long-awaited second coming last Saturday, August 26.
Despite the gloomy weather that day, not even the threat of a downpour could stop the hundreds who flocked to the iconic 123 Block in Mandaluyong City for a day of local art and merchandise and live entertainment for all ages.
Co-presented by Gabi Na Naman Productions, the event not only served as a gathering of people eager for live music, comedy, and art, but it also served as a platform to support Linya-Linya Land 2023’s chosen advocacy partners. These partners include the Angat Buhay Foundation, the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani, and the AHA Learning Center.
For the day’s live entertainment, Linya-Linya Land 2023 conjured up an enjoyable mix of five stand-up comedians and five musical acts, resulting in a well-rounded and one-of-a-kind gig experience.
For comedy, the Linya-Linya Land 2023 crowd was treated to quick yet impactful sets from Jeleen Cubillas, Victor Anastacio, Nonong Ballinan, James Caraan, and GB Labrador.
I quite enjoyed this segment of the event and it was also my first time witnessing stand-up comedy in person. What I liked the most about it was that it didn’t feel repetitive, with each of the comedians joking about different yet equally relatable topics such as family matters, social issues, and love, with some self-deprecating jabs here and there.
For music, returning to the Linya-Linya Land stage, there were Autotelic and Cheats; the former beautifully kickstarted the musical portion of the night and the latter effortlessly got the crowd to rock out to their songs.
Also returning to the Linya-Linya Land stage was Johnoy Danao, who brought a small string section to accompany him for a special intimate set.
Joining these three were Nica del Rosario and Ebe Dancel, whose sets elicited some of the most emotional sing-alongs from the crowd that night.
Last was DJ Ayel Mari, who properly capped off the night with nostalgia-inducing pop and rock tracks.
It is also worth noting that, in an unusual but welcome move, the live performances actually started off in the afternoon with an hour-long open mic session. This was also a mixed showcase of stand-up comedy and music. Performers included the likes of comedy collective Lady Boses, and the band Fox, whose dreamy sound brought color to the cloudy afternoon.
For art, there were visual artists from different disciplines showcasing their works. This included AG Saño and Panch Alvarez, whose mural pieces painted on the same day were auctioned off to event-goers, with the proceeds being directly given to the event’s advocacy partners.
Also present were illustrator and comic creator Rob Cham,
cartoonist and the creator of Pugad Baboy Pol Medina Jr.,
as well as jeepney signage painter Edwin Tayao who also took commissions on the spot from many festival-goers.
Of course, Linya-Linya Land 2023 wouldn’t be complete without Linya-Linya merchandise.
Other merchandise and products were available from the event’s advocacy partners and fellow local merchants, such as Baybayin Bags.
Overall, Linya-Linya Land 2023 was a nice change of pace from the usual music festivals I go to. The highlight of the experience for me was definitely the properly curated combination of comedy and music sharing one big stage. I was honestly unsure of it before going into the event, but Linya-Linya Land 2023 made it work and it definitely left me wanting more.
Next year again, perhaps?
But before that, revisit the magic of Linya-Linya Land 2023 through more photos below!