The 17th edition of Earth Day Jam went to Rizal Park this year and drew thousands of jammers to the historical landmark along Roxas Boulevard in Manila City. Held on April 28, which was declared just days before as a special non-working holiday in Metro Manila due to the Asean Summit, music lovers of all ages happily took part in singing and dancing to their favorite OPM tunes while being educated by inspiring visuals, environmental themed games and various speakers on how to take care of our Mother Earth.
“It’s a very successful debut in Rizal Park. Dahil nga malawak dito, malapit tayo sa kalikasan kaya mas relaxed. Kudos to all of us!” enthused Earth Day Jam Foundation founder and singer Lou Bonnevie when she opened the show. “We know that everyone will treasure our message on environmental care pagkatapos nito at lalong mamahalin nyo ang ating Mother Earth. At alam ko naman na susuportahan nyo ito hanggang kayo’y nabubuhay. Let’s grow old together. Maraming salamat.”
The 12-piece jazz ensemble Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas then took to the stage, followed by Bratpack and Gracenote, the perfect appetizers that set the audience’s mood for a long night of rock and roll.
Moonstar 88 was in its usual element, singing the group’s classics, “Migraine” and “Torete;” while Brownman Revival and Imago had the audience dancing with their hits “Lintik” and “Taralets” respectively.
Bonnevie returned to the spotlight to entertainment the Earth Day jammers with her renditions of “We Will Rock You” and “Walking on Sunshine.” She also brought on the reggae grooves with “Kapayapaan,” and ended her set with the rock love anthem, “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”
Getting the audience more pumped up were Noel Cabangon and Kitchie Nadal who collaborated on Asin’s classic song “Usok;” as well as Gloc 9 and Abra, rapping their hits “Sirena” and “Magda,” and “Diwata,” “Gayuma,” respectively.
Finally, the crowd erupted with the heavy guitar pounding from Slapshock, Chicosci, Autotelic and Philia, with Mayonnaise closing the concert via their hit song “Jopay.”
In between the music sets were messages from environmental advocates, among them Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, National Parks Development Committee Executive Director Penny Belmonte, and other prominent NGO personalities.
The special “Gaia Awards” were given to artists Kitchie Nadal and environmental luminaries Edward Hagedorn and Emmanuel Shutz.
Concert hosts actor Alvin Anson, actress Pam Nieva and Midi Gentica also reminded the audience to do their share for Mother Earth by picking up every piece of trash they saw on the venue. Cleverly, they initiated a “Pass the Trash” segment during musical breaks.
Before the concert, there were whole day exhibits from Earth Day partners and supporters, namely DENR, Peace and Equity Foundation, Bauman Electric Vehicles and Earthday Network Philippines. DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau also organized a kite-making and kite flying activity.
The “Afternoon Art Sessions,” which had renowned sculptor Agnes Arellano and performance artist Billy Bonnevie as moderators, turned out to be a big hit with hundreds of beginners and professional painters participating. The best pieces were given awards later at the concert.