And we mean that in a good way
Mexico and the Philippines share a lot of commonalities between them, from its colonizers down to the similar-sounding names of the general populace. But perhaps the most interesting one now is the fact that both nations are down to party. Creative director Alex Diaz—together with his crew at ProMedia Productions—sought to combine the festive nature of both cultures by putting together the first-ever music festival in the Philippines centered on Cinco de Mayo, Cinco de Mayhem.
Held at the Vista Mall Daang Hari Open Grounds on May 4, the festival wowed the crowd with a stellar cast of music performers and a slew of interactive booths and art installations. Included in the roster were James Reid and Nadine Lustre as part of the group Careless Music Manila, joined by Quest, Kiana Valenciano, Curtismith, Deuce, Nix Damn P and Marga on the Mic, among others.
“They’re all my good friends and they’re also very talented,” shares Alex. “These are the ones who locked themselves in…They were on board and they wanted to make a great festival.” True to their billing, all of the performers put on a show as their energy rippled through the crowd in attendance.
Olmeca Tequila unveiled a drumline to open the celebration, setting a vibrant tone with the crowd early. As such, people were quick to try out the interactive booths scattered throughout the event area, like the giant flip-flop slide from Havaianas and a life-sized maze.
DJ Divine Smith owned the deck by sunset and had turned up the chill factor, playing a series of head-bopping tunes to liven up the crowd even further. Quest’s brand of pop included a stirring rendition of Walang Hanggan, which tugged on my heartstrings. I haven’t really memorized the lyrics, but seeing the pop singer perform made me think about lost loves and mixed signals.
The sexier parts of the night officially began with DJ Mark Siangyoo and MC Chris Ty-Z taking to the stage. The former churned out a mélange of electronic beats accompanied by the latter spazzing out on the DJ’s booth and throughout the stage. Capturing stills had become a bit of a challenge, as my limbs moved involuntarily at several points of the performance, taking a cue from MC Chris Ty-Z’s infectious energy.
Alex surprised everyone when he suddenly raced to the stage and performed his latest single Broken with Natasha Jordan. And he certainly owned moment. To those that don’t know, Alex is also an actor and singer.
Kiana Valenciano later took the stage and did so like a festival queen in her all-white look and bejeweled gloves. All eyes were glued to the R&B princess as she belted out hit after hit, capping off the set with Does She Know with Curtismith.
Next up, DJ Euric followed by Nix Damn P and later joined by the country’s first and only female MC, Marga Bermudez. As a hype master, she naturally whipped the crowd into party shape.
Careless Music Manila started off pure fire with Astrokidd, Massiah, KINGwAw and Curtismith. And of course the moment everyone was waiting for: James Reid and Nadine Lustre. James greeted the audience with a string of new songs and then disappeared backstage to make way for none other than Nadine Lustre. Nadine, in her matching denim bra top and bottoms, performed and danced to a series of hit songs. Not long after, the pair emerged on stage to sing one of their hottest singles Summer, to which the crowd responded to with deafening screams and hoots.
Wearing macabre face paint to match the festival’s spooky theme, Deuce—Patty Tiu’s club alter ego—went up on deck and kept everyone in high energy. She was later followed by her fiancé and Red Bull Music national champion Mark Thompson, along with the 3style champs, to close out the show. For those in attendance, the festival was an endurance test that separated the true partygoers from the pretenders.
Cinco de Mayhem was a success for ProMedia Productions and everyone involved. And we’re looking forward to the promise of an even bigger Cinco de Mayhem in the years to come.
Words Paul Wenceslao
Art Alexandra Lara