“#AllRoadsLeadToSSF2015” (SSF-Summer Siren Festival) – this line appeared on my Facebook news page one day and on top was a colorful poster announcing an upcoming festival featuring many local artists for three days – all in one beach. To add to that, it also boasted its newest feature which was the Glamping (fusion of glamour and camping) in partnership with Lifestyle Network.
What is Summer Siren Festival? Summer Siren Festival is one of the major music festivals by Travel Factor (a leading travel company) which features a local beach destination with local artists performing. To tell you the truth, I have been hearing about this festival after its first run from our friends from Travel Factor (Edge and Tikoy). There were also many good reviews from people who participated last year so I was pretty excited when the year 2 was announced.
Let me breakdown to you what happened on the eventful and awesome three days of Summer Siren Festival 2015.
Day 1 (April 17, 2015) – Rock the Waves
The event started when the participants met up at the parking space of Podium in Ortigas center at 6:00AM. Melvin and I reached Podium a bit early so we decided to have breakfast at McDonald’s El Pueblo (Trivia: usual meeting place of other Travel Factor trips). By the time we went back to Podium, many participants and coordinators were there waiting to board the buses. According to Tikoy, there were 8 buses going to SSF aside from those bringing their own cars. Whew! That’s a lot of participants.
After the roll calls, seat assignments and kit distribution, the buses left Podium before 7AM. After an hour, we had a stopover at Lakeshore along NLEX. Participants took bathroom breaks and ate meals before going back to the buses. After about 15 minutes, we all left for Zambales. To keep us from being bored, the coordinators also facilitated a “Bring Me” game where the winners got tokens from OLX as prize.
It was a long drive, about 3-3 1/2 hours due to traffic. We reached Crystal Beach in San Narciso, Zambales around 11:30AM. After leaving the bus, our coordinators lead us to Prince JB Resort where our group will stay. Since there were a lot of participants, Travel Factor reserved several resorts from San Narciso to San Felipe. It was nice that we were assigned just beside Crystal Beach – we can even join the party at the comfort of our resort balcony.
It was still hot outside but we were already hungry so we decided to have lunch. There were several carinderias near Crystal beach where participants can eat. Prices were very reasonable as well. After having our simple lunch, we went to Crystal Beach to see the activities.
At that time, people were still checking in and some were claiming their festival passes and kits. We went to the entrance, had our cashless wristbands scanned and entered the festival grounds. The cashless wristbands were used in purchasing booze and food inside (for a hassle-free night). The first stations were the reloading station for the wristbands and the Glamping registration booth.
Further into Crystal beach, we found tents already set up by participants. There were several activities by event partners and sponsors like Ice Cream making, Dove photobooth, dreamcatcher making, hairbraiding, tattoo and t-shirt design, flow arts and many more.
Beside the activity area was the Lifestyle Glamping section. It was a new feature of the festival in partnership with Lifestyle network where participants can enjoy camping “in style”. It has huge tents, a simple foldable chair and table outside, pillows and dining area.
After enjoying the activities, we went to the beach. It was still midday and the concessionaires and sponsors were still arranging their booths. We surveyed the area and saw food booths selling tapsi, kebabs, shawarma, shakes and booths from sponsors like Pony, Quicksilver, Roxy, Havoline, OLX, Nestle, Jagermeister, Islander and a lot more. It was so much fun especially with the different games and activities in each booths and of course the freebies. Participants have plenty of things to do – aside from swimming – while waiting for the performances later in the night.
The sun was unbearable for us so we left the beach and went back to our resort to rest. We figured we needed to recharge before the long night of drinking and partying.
At four o’clock we head out to the beach. Most of the participants were already there swimming, playing beach volleyball, taking pictures, sunbathing and drinking. It was pure fun and relaxation especially with friends and new-found friends. 🙂
The sun was about to set when we left the beach and visited the Travel Factor (TF) booth. The TF booth was creatively designed showing the group’s passion for travel and adventure. Inside the booth were some merchandise like sandos, t-shirts, bags, and caps. Participants can also reload their bands there. I feel proud that I know personally some of them (I know it was a lot of blood, sweat and tears putting up an event in this scale) and thankful because they always invite us when they have special events like this and even on some other TF trips.
I am not sure what time the actual performances started but when I went near the stage it was Indio-I performing. People were still on a chill mode and just sat on the sand and listened to the bands playing. They had an awesome line up on the first night featuring up and coming bands like my favorite The Ransom Collective and The Cheats. Rock the Waves was headlined by top local bands like Imago, Pedicab, Moonstar88 and Sandwich. It was nostalgic listening to the OPM hits I grew up with.
Aside from the bands, Havoline facilitated some games and gave away prizes like smartphones and watches. Motherbasss and The Zombettes also had great set list after the bands to cap off the night. Day 1 was hosted by MYX DJ Chino and TF’s very own Alexa Arabejo.
It was one super memorable night considering that it was just Day 1. I was starting to wonder how much more fun Day 2 will be with all the booze and drinks and music and just the festive spirit of everyone.
Day 2 (April 18, 2015) – Heed the Call
Day 2 started a bit late for us because we ended up drinking until the wee hours of the morning with Edge’s famous Pineapple Beer (more personal stories in our next post 🙂 ).
At lunch time, we went back to Crystal beach and ate in our favorite booth – Tapsi Anatomy. I think I had enough tapsi during the festival. We revisited the activity area where more and more participants were unleashing their creative sides. I really wanted to try making a dreamcatcher. Maybe next time. Year 3, okay? 😉
As advised by our TF friends, we rested a bit because we needed the energy to last until 4AM, or maybe 5AM. 😀
The sun was still out but not too hot when we left to swim. We sat on the shore, swam, watched the guys enjoying the kitesurfing, drank the free nestle coffee, took pictures and savored the festive atmosphere. The sun set beautifully that day signalling a day, or probably night, about to start as beautiful as it is.
After the stunning sunset, we visited the concert area. Adinkra Lumads were playing that time. They reminded me of Kontra Gapi when I was still in UP with the ethnic sound and instruments.
The artists for Day 2 were mostly performing EDM (or in my terms “party-party” music) like Sherwyn Diwa, Ian Maliwat, JV Naguit, Katsy Lee, Ace Ramos and Euric. The night was only beginning but the booze were just overflowing. Not free but still overflowing – jagermeister shots and beer here and there. I couldn’t even remember who gave me a jagermeister shot when I was at the TF booth. All I know was that someone gave me a shot glass, I drank it and then partied again. 🙂
After a couple of shots and well having enough energy from the booze, we went straight in the middle of the crowd. It was time for Kidwolf, BV and Kio Priest’s performance. Definitely the highlight of our night. People were jumping up and down, dancing to every beat, singing with their hearts out and enjoying each others’ company. It was a night to remember – if we were still sober to even remember. But it was hell lot of fun especially when they sang SSF’s anthem – Free (We’ll be running wild and free. The sand and the waves and you and meeeee). Major LSS.
We stayed in the middle until the Summer Siren Surprise – which was about being Filipino (and patronizing Filipino music). I admire Travel Factor for staying true to our roots and for promoting the local music scene and our local beaches. I admit that I was enjoying more foreign music these days but they reminded me that the artists here are of equal talent and music skills. Kudos TF!
Because we felt tired, we left the crowd and stayed at the TF booth. It was fun partying with these guys. I can see the amazing camaraderie they have. Congratulations again and happy birthday, Cedric and Phoebe! Ang saya ng party nyo! 😀
The night was still young, the people were still dancing and singing, and we were still partying. I was already tired and all but hey, I don’t usually join parties and Summer Siren happens only once a year so we stayed longer and drank some more.
We left the festival grounds at 2AM and went back to our resort. I was so tired from standing but wanted to continue drinking so we settled in our resort with the infamous pineapple beer. Walang susuko hanggang walang gumapang. 😀 We waited for the event to finish before calling it a night (or maybe a day). Hearing from the background, Day 2 was wrapped up by DJ David Ardiente’s mix of Salamat.
It was one night I will definitely remember, the people, music and booze were just incredible. Thank you!
Day 3 (April 19, 2015) – Time to go home
Just like what happened the other day, we stayed in bed a bit late. There wasn’t any call time in the morning so we weren’t in a hurry. It was also very hot and humid outside and the aircondition was just comforting. I was still half conscious when I went out and ate breakfast.
It was time to go home. By 11am, we got a message from Inna, one of our coordinators that they’ll pick us up at our resort before going back to Crystal beach and riding our bus. It was bittersweet seeing the buses left one by one. Summer Siren 2015 was coming to a close.
We left San Narciso by 2PM and had a quick stopover in Zambales. I was so tired that I just slept the whole travel. We reached Podium by 7PM where the participants were dropped off.
It was an experience like no other. Aside from visiting a new beach, my most important take away from this trip were the new experiences and people that I met (Sheryl, Elle, Fjelle, the TF peeps) and my renewed love for OPM. I added a few again on my list of “people I met while traveling”. Those three days were truly memorable for me. I was able to relax, unwind and have fun. Sabi nga ng primer “Please, never, ever throw anything into the water (except maybe your worries, or your problems)”. I can feel a new energy flowing returning to my home and work.
Thank you, Travel Factor and Friends and see you again!