June 24, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 19, 2008
June 18, 2008
June 16, 2008
June 15, 2008
On July 4, The Beatles held two soldout concerts at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium with a combined attendance of 80,000; the evening concert registered 50,000 paying audience, being rivaled only in size by the concert The Beatles gave at Shea Stadium in New York on August 15, 1965. Such record-making statistic though was supplanted by the succeeding events owing to a fiasco that happened earlier in the day.
The Beatles' alleged snub of then-First Lady Imelda Marcos remains hazy to many Beatles fans. Even reliable sources maintain conflicting accounts.
The common story goes this way.
On July 4, a lunch was set at Malacañang Palace at 11 a.m. with 300 children waiting to see The Beatles. An hour before the party, a delegation came to the Manila Hotel to collect The Beatles. Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager, declined the invitation on the grounds that no earlier arrangement had been made and The Beatles were still in bed.
The day's scheduled concerts, however, later proceeded successfully. In between concerts, local televisions reported the alleged "snub" showing footages of children, some crying, disappointed by The Beatles. Epstein watched in horror and went immediately to the television studio to apologize and set the facts straight. But barely had he started reading his press statement when the transmission blipped.
Newspapers carried the headline, "Beatles Snub President." The following morning was the scheduled departure of The Beatles to New Delhi. Suddenly, The Beatles and their entourage realized they were practically on their own without any help: Room and transportation services were withdrawn. In the airport, the whole Beatles entourage was manhandled as it made its way to the plane.
Tony Barrow, the tour's publicity man and part of the entourage, claimed that Epstein received the invitation the night before the concerts but remained noncommittal. Whether it was wise for the local promoter to take this silence as approval is now moot.
Bill Harry, in his book The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia, acknowledges the existence of an invitation from Ramon Ramos, the local promoter, for The Beatles to pay a courtesy call on the First Lady, but it was slated for 3 p.m. of July 4, an hour before The Beatles' scheduled afternoon concert. Ramos did not pursue this invitation, since The Beatles wanted to be in the concert location two hours before the set. Nor did he inform anyone in Malacañang about this. A further mixup in schedule emerged when the Palace set the meeting at 11 a.m. as reported in The Manila Times on July 3. Whether anyone went out of his way to settle the matter, and what transpired in this effort, if any, remains unknown.
Peter Brown, the executive director of NEMS Enterprises (The Beatles' Vic Lewis, the tour agent, received the invitation while still in Tokyo but failed to relay this to him.
What is interesting about Brown’s account though was the call Epstein received, immediately after his refusal, from the British ambassador, who advised him against missing the party of the First Lady, and reminded him that the help and protection they were receiving in Manila was courtesy of the President. Epstein stood by his decision. Whether The Beatles would have come to the party even if Epstein recalled his decision is another question though.
UNKNOWN to many, almost 40 years ago on July 4, 1966, The Beatles made history in Manila. They played twice to the biggest paying crowd in a single day in Manila with at least a combined audience of 80,000 in attendance, unmatched anywhere in the band’s touring history.
At 4:00 p.m. that day, The Beatles launched their first gig before a delighted crowd of 30,000 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, yet unaware of the ugly events that awaited them owing to their inadvertent failure to show up at a luncheon party for them in Malacañang.
Four hours later, The Beatles returned to the same place for their second and last concert in Manila, this time to a crowd of 50,000. The latter, grossly ignored by many to this day, is The Beatles’ second-biggest concert attendance in history, surpassed only by their concert at the Shea Stadium in New York in August of 1965.
All in all, the Beatles performed 11 songs in their Manila con-certs. They opened with the Chuck Berry original Rock and Roll Music and followed it up with 10 original Beatles compositions: “She’s a Woman,” “If I Needed Someone,” “Day Tripper,” “Baby’s in Black,” “I Feel Fine,” “Yesterday,” “I Wanna be Your Man,” “Nowhere Man,” “Paperback Writer” and “I’m Down.”
This repertoire of less than a dozen songs basically went unchanged throughout the Beatles’ tour of Germany, Japan and Manila. In fact, the Beatles performed the same standard set when they toured the United States for the last time in August 1966, a month after the “Manila nightmare.”
From time to time, The Beatles deviated from this set by taking on “Long Tally Sally” instead of “I’m Down” as closing climax. On few occasions, they played both. Encore performances were probably not yet in vogue then, because whenever Paul introduced the last song with the line “Our next number will be our last number . . . ”, it was indeed the end of the show. Straight from the platform, The Beatles, as a rule, proceeded immediately to a waiting car parked nearby for a swift exit from the concert arena.
A recording of The Beatles’ concert here in Manila has yet to surface, if any. We listened to their last ever concert to a paying audience in Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, 1966, and it carried the same standard repertoire. The whole concert clocked around 30 minutes, including the adlibs. By today’s standards, this is way too short. For example, Paul McCartney’s 3,000th gig in St. Petersburg on June 20, 2004, reportedly lasted for two and a half hours despite the threat of a downpour.
If anything, the concert in Manila proved that The Beatles were at the height of their success. One member of the audience present in this historical concert, a nine-year-old boy at the time, posted a comment in a website devoted to The Beatles back in 1999. He remembers that he was one of the spectators along with his two other older brothers. He said The Beatles looked too small as he and his brothers were seated in a more distant section from the stage and their singing could hardly be heard as their vocals were drowned by the screaming of fans.
Some of our best artists fronted for The Beatles in these concerts. They included Eddie Reyes and D’Downbeats (with the D’Cavalcade Dancers), Dale Adriatico, Wing Duo, Pilita Corrales, Lemons Three, Quartet (accompanied by Pilita Corrales and The Lemmons Three) and The Reycard Duet.
Based on the photos available on the Internet, the cost of a grandstand ringside ticket then was P30, while a field reserved ticket had a tag price of P20. Gate receipts from the two concerts totaled $100,000.
Despite the bitter experience that The Beatles and their entourage experienced at the hands of airport security personnel when they left the country, they did not leave without posting yet another milestone in their touring history with their Manila concerts.
June 14, 2008
June 13, 2008
June 12, 2008
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
It is good to be home. Three weeks in the United States can effectively cause a distortion of a native Filipino's reality. There are common facets, like rising oil prices and the constant mingling with brown-skinned compatriots. But it stops there for the most part. Once out of an international flight, the American airport settings contrast sharply with our own Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The contrasts further intensify once one steps out of the airport to the freeways and highways with all sorts of vehicles plying the routes. One immediately knows he or she is not in the Philippines, even in the company of Filipinos.
Truly, the battle is in our homeland. I witnessed the exasperation, even insecurities, of Americans as oil prices rise to unimagined levels. I heard that major American car makers were closing several plants, especially those manufacturing the gas guzzlers. I felt the depression of plummeting real estate values, of unpaid mortgages leading to re-possession of homes. Yes, even the land of the free and the home of the brave are not exempt from economic woes.
Yet, at its worst today, America remains light years beyond the state of our native land. I saw a few poor people sleeping in the sidewalks of LA and San Diego, but I could count them with the fingers of my hand. Our own poor is like an ocean, vast and immeasurable. They simply are too many to count. They would be eyesores except that they are human beings. How can human beings be eyesores? How can Filipinos be eyesores?
As oil prices skyrocket, we get assurances that our gas prices are "under control." What is meant by "under control?" The same is worse for food prices which had risen even before oil prices went crazy. The import levels of rice are unknown, from below $300 per MT to at least four to five times their previous level in a few months. And no one can tell the Vietnamese or Thai to stop increasing prices just like no one can tell the oil-producing countries to stop exploiting the rest of the world.
We find a Philippines that is quickly deteriorating to its classic rich-and-poor syndrome, meaning those who can afford and those who cannot. The gap is again widening with the poor winning the greater numbers as usual. It is a most dangerous trend. Even the fledgling middle class is slipping towards poverty. The government has much to be careful about. Fear turns to paranoia quite quickly, and paranoia to desperation.
When the rice prices began to rise three months ago, many predicted food riots to start July or August. Actually, a few food riots have already broken out in a few countries and even a foreign government had collapsed because of food prices. The Philippines must do all it can to avoid such riots, to avoid such social and political turmoil. Those for or against Gloria are not ready to handle a wild situation. The fundamentals of Philippine society are weak, very weak, with tens of millions impoverished and tens of millions more capable of sinking to poverty.
Poverty is not kind. It punishes the poor daily, demeans their dignity, and drives them to despair. When the political situation is stable and hunger only intermittent, our poor remain docile even in their misery, a lingering pattern from colonial days. Government mitigates the situation by subsidies, and so far has done enough to stave off organized protests. But July and August are delicate months; there will be no homegrown rice until harvest time in September. And debts incurred for the new school year have to be paid.
The Philippines just celebrated its Independence Day. Unfortunately, independence is a hollow state, just as hollow as democracy. The trappings are all there, but the substance is missing. Poverty makes slaves of people, denies them choices. How can true independence and democracy co-exist with a poverty so massive and crippling? How can independence and democracy live with such shame?
Filipinos have little to celebrate, but much to strive for. Those who have wealth must share it, and those without wealth must create it. The kind of poverty we have cannot be eliminated with occasional successes; it can happen only with great sacrifice, with great generosity, with great determination. Most of all, poverty cannot be dismantled without corruption being dismantled as well. Honest and sincere leadership must accompany the journey from slavery to emancipation.
Is there hope, then, for independence and democracy in the Philippines? The odds are against it, the poverty too massive, the corruption too endemic. The odds are against a peaceful transition to transformation but compensates but greatly improving the odds for violent revolution. After all, independence and democracy have more often been born from blood rather than from enlightenment.
Two people-powered, peaceful revolutions have shown that Filipinos know how to create a miracle. What Filipinos do not yet know is how to keep miracles from turning out to becoming debacles. We know how to get through the night with spectacular creativity and festivity but have no morning after formula. No one thought out the whole process. Changing leaders do not change fortunes, not collectively, that is. Two revolutions, both successful, did not carry the more important ingredients - leadership and vision for sacrifice and progress beyond temporary euphoria.
Perhaps, the pressure from food and fuel will force both rich and poor in our country to change. And, perhaps, the ability of Filipinos abroad to confront diverse environments and the disadvantages of being foreigners who have to prove themselves - yet succeed - can be like a shining model to those left behind. Filipinos abroad, though, must find a way to return, to share their golden experiences, to tell the stories of hardship and loneliness, and most of all, to show how heroism and undying love for the home land can raise a whole people out of shame.
Independence and democracy are worth the sweat of our brows and the blood of our veins. They are the legacy we must build, the honor we must attain, for ourselves and for Filipinos of all time.
June 11, 2008
A 15 minute walk from Cebu City and of course I am talking about crossing a bridge. They bulldozed the corals and sea urchins to reduce the accident when swimming, like hitting your head on the coral reef and getting sting by a sea urchin.
it was good for business but destroyed the environment.
June 10, 2008
June 09, 2008
June 08, 2008
June 07, 2008
June 05, 2008
These are the pics of my beloved Philippine heroes. Jose Rizal was an idealist through his anti-violent pen, Andres Bonifacio was a fundamentalist and founder of the revolutionary government and General Emilio Aguinaldo was a strategist that always won a battle, but only one hero was chosen by politicians not by the Filipino people.
In my opinion the Filipino people are the true heroes of the Philippines.
My own people who served with my heroes are the one should be recognized by the Philippine government. Like the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), Filipino merchant marines, Filipino nurses,doctors and teachers, son of sweat (anak pawis) the Filipino farmers and the list goes.
I thought dirty politics started during the Marcos regime but I was wrong it started when my country was discovered
by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.