Guest post by : Fjell Joshua Sandico
Summer Siren came by fleetingly and up until now I can still feel the beat in my veins and the alcohol in my bloodstreams. It seems only yesterday when I found out about this fun-sounding event from a colleague. I know it is unusual for a 23 year-old person to be outdated with all the parties but that is my life. It has always been like that. So when I thought of going out of my comfort zone, I thought this was the proper venue–to let go and have a life.
A day before the event, I went to one of my bosses to remind about my “very short” vacation. I was bummed when I was asked to report the next day for a taping. I didn’t know what to do, but I braved their wrath and decided to live my life the way I wanted. It was a risk I didn’t know if it was worth it. I didn’t know the repercussions, all I knew was that I have to enjoy my life and that I needed this well-deserved vacation to have a good time.
Few hours before the official start my summer, I messaged Melvin to tell him that I won’t sleep anymore, him being clueless that I was actually nervous because of the 6AM call time. The next day, as anxious as I could ever get, I went out to go to the meeting place. Funny thing was that I missed my stop because I fell asleep.
Like the usual first days, everyone was still silent, thinking whether it was time to start new friendship. People came in groups, which made me feel so alone (as the only person I know was enjoying his hot coffee in a nearby McDonald’s). As time passed by, I was wondering where was everyone. I was looking forward to an awesome getaway but it was awkward to dance in the middle of Podium’s parking lot alone.
It took almost half an hour before everyone came. I saw Melvin and Shiela first. Then Stef and Edge followed. I didn’t know them yet that time. We had the usual handshakes and exchanged names. Later on I found out that Stef and Edge were with them in Indochina. Stef was supposed to bring drinks but unfortunately she didn’t (So we ended up with the now famous pineapple beer.). Edge even flew from Doha to attend Summer Siren.
One by one, the others came. I met Mich, who was also with them in Indochina. Then while we were having a little chat, a girl from afar (from what I decipher), was looking for her friends. I heard people around me shouting her name. Apparently her name is Sheryl. Melvin told me they met her in the TF Year 8 Party. He said she was the girl who came to the party just to hear the song “Free”, and true enough, after that she really left 😉 . Stef asked her a lot of questions and all she answered were a bunch of “ha?’s and aaahhh’s”. When we exchanged names, it was pretty cute for her to say “feels? “Hehe, idol mo siguro si Phil Younghusband di ko mabigkas name mo, di kita makakalimutan dahil jan”. Haha. Afterwards, one of Sheryl’s friends came – Elle, who is a Physical Therapy student from UST.
There I was in the middle of a conversation between people I barely know but I instantly felt like I was where I supposed to be. I was wondering if we were all going to bond over the weekend. Little did I know that we will be sticking out together most of the time (and even after the SSF) because Tikoy assigned us to the same resort and rooms just beside to each other.
At 11AM, we arrived at Prince JB Resort. Then our coordinator assigned the rooms. I was assigned with Elle, Stef, and Mich which was surprising (I was supposedly the only guy in our room). Then Sheryl wasn’t even on the list as it mentioned only 1 PAX with no name. In the end she was assigned with Melvin, Edge, and Shiela. I was in the middle of an awkward situation so we (it was just Melvin’s idea) then decided to switch me and Sheryl. I guess we’re not meant to be. Hehe.
It was still hot outside. It took us about half an hour to settle everything. Edge decided to have a nap to have energy for the endless party in the next hours. I was sitting outside when Elle asked us to drink. I know it was still early but hey I came there to enjoy and have fun. So we had a bottle of beer and the next thing I knew there was a girl standing beside me, all in her white bikini. (What the heck, Sheryl? Ang aga pa. Hehe).
The group went to the festival grounds at 4PM. There was not much going on yet. We used the time to swim and ahem, gave interview (iba na artista) to Paranoid City’s web show. When the sky was filled with kaleidoscopic combination of colors, it was time to hit the concert grounds. I walked with Sheryl and we talked about where we went in college and that she is an Industrial Engineer. We also talked about government bonds since I also learned that she works for a respectable bank in the Philippines (What was I thinking? We were on the beach!). She also learned that I work at It’s Showtime and that I am just 23 years old which she found hard to believe. This don’t happen to me a lot but at that moment, I wanted the time to stop and figure out what the stars are trying to say. I was hoping for an Ed Sheeran type of night…
“It’s late in the evening
Glass on the side
I’ve been sat with you
For most of the night
Ignoring everybody here
We wish they would disappear
So maybe we could get down now
I don’t wanna know
If you’re getting ahead of the program
I want you to be mine, lady
To hold your body close
Take another step into the no-man’s land
For the longest time lady”
The night was filled with the music of independent up and coming artists like Brisom, Paranoid City, Cheats, The Ransom Collective and many more. Afterwards, the crowd were serenaded and rocked by some of the mainstream bands like Moonstar 88, Pedicab, Sandwich etc.
We went back to our room at around 1AM. Since the night was still young, a couple of bottle of beer would help us fall asleep. Just when we were sleepy and were gearing to lie on our bed, Edge came and the next thing I knew was that he was mixing pineapple juice and Red Horse beer and passing a shot to everyone. They said it was a shot but actually it was a ‘glass’ full of pineapple beer. It was really good, a silent killer. Melvin, who claimed to be wholesome, drank the beer like a milkshake. While we were having a conversation, I noticed Sheryl drank only a quarter of her cup and ate a lot of chocolates (So what color really is your favorite? Blue? Gray? Red? Yellow?) and chips (para-paraan para di uminom). The beer started sinking in to my head. I had no sleep the other night and it was 2:30 in the morning. I went to the bathroom and when I woke up the next day, they were all bullying me for sleeping early.
I woke up at mid-day, everyone in the room already had their breakfasts and ready to go. But me? What the heck, I didn’t care if it was lunch time. I was on a vacation anyway. Nothing much happened in the morning because of the booze so the day started at lunch. We headed straight to the concessionaires to look for something to eat. We all decided that it was going to be a Tapsi kind of day. It was still hot outside so we decided to just go back to our rooms to gain energy for the night’s epic line up of DJs and performers. While inside the room, Shiela, Melvin and I talked about things only the three of us were, I think, allowed to know. Hahaha. Sorry for not spilling the beans but it was just a good laugh. It was about me, being quiet and shy. (Shiela: Actually, that was about a two-door refrigerator!) The girls in the next room have nothing to worry. 😉
It was 4:30PM when we decided to hit the beach. Sheryl was in her rainbow-colored bikini, as colorful as her personality. Looks can be deceiving they say and it really does for when I look at her, she looks younger than me and just childishly adorable. What the? What am I saying? Anyway, the sun took its curtain call then the stars and the moon took over. It was a perfect night, filled with the best people, the best music, and the best vibe. It was something I can live up to everyday if I am with this bunch of people.
When the DJs dropped the beat, Melvin and I needed to pee but the bad thing was that the restroom was closed so we decided to just go back to the room and take a bath as well. When we went back, all of our friends were gone except for Mich and Elle who were having a drink. Elle then let us try something and the moment I swallowed it I thought “whooh di pa ko kumakain”. It think that was Jack Daniels. We also had beer but Melvin was telling me we should eat first. It was going to be a very long night so I gave in. We bought dinner in a nearby eatery then saw the others at the resort. We had a quick dinner then we went back.
The concert grounds was packed when we got there. We saw other TF coordinators with Tikoy who asked us to go to the front because BV will be performing anytime soon (BV is the one they were looking forward to seeing since she sang the Summer Siren anthem along with Kidwolf). When we got there, it was insane, people jumping up and down to every beat. Sheryl was doing her crazy pose everytime Melvin points the camera to her (I didn’t know if she’s already drunk). I can’t help but extend a hand for her since anyone can accidentally hit her anytime because she was going in every direction. She made me laugh without even trying. Then in the middle of the party, the girl in front of me got out of balance and she ended up hugging me. I just loved Summer Siren since then.
When we were all sweating like pigs, we decided to just chill at the TF booth. Hey, did I mention that there were a lot of things that happened to Sheryl on that day? Let’s enumerate: 1) When she was saying that she needs to go to the restroom, she made everyone else promise that they won’t go anywhere and made them pinky swear; 2) She lost her phone only to realize it was with someone all along; 3) Edge made her drink two shots and another coordinator gave her a shot then bought a couple more and after that, she went nuts; 3) When she was drunk–which she didn’t admit–she bought Milo and sat on the sand not minding anyone; 4) She broke TF’s LED poi; 5) She acted like a guard in the TF booth and held OLX’s party light; 6) She took the camera from Stef when she was about to take the TF Team’s photo and zoomed in manually (she zoomed with her arms not with the lens); and lastly, 7) and posed to a lot of Melvin’s photos. How I wish I had the courage to have a selfie with her. It was fun just looking at her. Hahaha.
It was already 2AM when we decided to call it a day (meaning to drink in the resort since the booze on the grounds were a bit pricey). We had Edge’s concoction again–pineapple juice and Red Horse beer. We drank the night away. Melvin was waiting for Tikoy til 5:30 in the morning. When we won over him that it was time to go to bed, he became a different person. He was asking me to massage his hand and was asking me if I saw Ms Heide on the beach and gave me a few pointers on how to approach someone (which is quite awkward).
At that moment, things were sinking in. It was the last night, the last time we will have fun together, the last day of my summer. I wished for the time to stop and cherish the things that happened over that weekend. It was short but all worth it especially if you have friends there to share it with.
To be honest, I never really heard of Summer Siren, until it was mentioned by Melvin, and I thank him for that. I thank him for making me realize that it’s not a crime to have some fun and enjoy life. We always work hard to make a living that we forget to live our lives. I may not have an income for two days, but it was all worth it. At least I had fun. At least now I have a life.