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The only thing that got into my mind at the end of ILVSTRADOS’ Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming March was that I could use another weekend like this… for an entire year.


The moment I unconsciously obliged to Sky Garden’s request to stand up and groove with them, I dropped my pen and paper and opted to just live in the moment. Intramuros Rising commanded me to do so.

Here are the five things I loved the most about ILVSTRADOS’ Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming March:


Serene. Photo from ILVSTRADOS Facebook Page

1. The place
I have been staying (and working) in Manila for five years already and I have never realized it could be that serene. For two nights (and two mornings) it really felt like I was plucked out from the chaos of the city. The green field of Puerto Real Gardens, together with the walls of Intramuros, established a very intimate and soothing vibe for the entire event. It felt like we could do anything and everything.



Strip. Slac Cayamanda from White Wall Poetry

2. The poetry
ILVSTRADOS invited four spoken word groups: The Artidope, Speak Philippines, White Wall Poetry and Lakambini. Their pieces ranged from teenage love to women empowerment and the entire gamut of life in between. While waiting for the next band, we were given beautiful words. We didn’t mind waiting. Time pretty much slipped away.

IMG_20160322_080413Good things come in free cups

3. The drinks
Free rum, anyone? There are some nights when you just have to give in to the fact that drinks definitely make everything better.


Sky Garden



Ourselves the Elves

4. The music
I am confident to say that Intramuros Rising is not a typical indie music brimming with nothing but mellow rock, alternative pop, and everything that falls inside the fine gap between the two. There was metal rock, reggae, and pretty much other genre that has yet to be named. Honestly, I didn’t know most of the bands- and that was the point. More than anything, we were there to discover music, not to revel into over-rated bands or to celebrate a particular international artist we’ve already been listening into ever since.


Sober or not, it’s a good time. From ILVSTRADOS Facebook Page

5. The crowd
Unlike other music festivals, ILVSTRADOS opted to control the number of people. Only 300 passes were released. For people like me who could be easily suffocated with human interaction, we were still able to find our own space in Puerto Real since it was not over-crowded. Also, most bands eventually joined the crowd to listen to other artists. Imagine bumping into Kjwan’s Marc Abaya…
Wait, those five things were pretty much everything. Hope you did see what I did there. Here’s to hoping that ILVSTRADOS’ Intramuros Rising 5 will come anytime soon!

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