It was a fickle-weathered Thursday when Wish 107.5 capped off its anniversary month last August 31.
At one time, I would be covering my laptop with my arms to avoid the drizzle from wetting the screen and the keyboard. The next minute, I would be wiping off beads of sweat, and cooling myself with a fan I improvised out of the extra program sequence guide that I have. It was a six-page stapled print-out of what would happen for the rest of the day: a stellar concert-for-free featuring a total of 17 OPM acts, all performing live on board the Wish Bus; the press launch of the radio station’s own online singing contest, WISHcovery, as well as the unveiling of its WISHful 20.
Sitting near the Wishing Wall area located on the southwest side of the Eastwood Central Plaza, I had a panoramic view of what went down during the event fittingly dubbed as Wish 107.5’s “THREEmendous Thanks Anniversary Party.”
From all sides of the park, scores of Wishers came in droves, beaming with excitement to experience a musical feast unlike any other. Passers-by, too, dropped by to casually check out what the buzz was all about.
On my far left was the Outback Steakhouse, which housed the press conference for WISHcovery. In front of me were people who continuously came and went by to share their wishes and get copies of our Wish Magazine teaser. The Wish bus — the main attraction of the revelry — was parked along the Eastwood Citywalk, beside the stage-and-screen set-up that was located on my far right.
Wish 107.5 brings the coolest musical experience — the Wish Bus — to Eastwood for its third anniversary bash.
On my back were the new media staff of Wish, with eyes glued on their gadgets as the social media counterpart of the festivity has already started. At around 10:30 in the morning, cheers sprang up from the team as the anniversary’s official hashtag, “#Happy3rdWish1075” has finally entered the local Twitter trends list at no. 4 (The hashtag would later peak at the second spot and trend for at least 11 hours, according to social media statistics provider, Trendinalia).
The good news came just in time when the crowd in attendance and on-air listeners welcomed the first cluster of artists for the day.
The musical affair was off to a chill start as rising pop songstress Janelle Jamer showed off her singing chops with her singles, “Di Na Maibabalik” and “Sana Bukas“. Lady belter Milla Poblete kept the smooth, mellow vibe coming with her performance of “Paano“, then inched the mood higher with her take on Jessie J’s “Domino“. OPM darling Mela (of ASOP Year 5 fame) wowed with her sweet-sounding stripped-down covers of The Eagles’ “Love Will Keep us Alive” and Bic Runga’s “Sway“. Ending the easy-listening sweep was acoustic singer/songwriter Sabrina who dished out cuts from her “I Love Acoustic 10.1” album — her versions of the sultry Bruno Mars track “Versace on the Floor” and the Coldplay-Chainsmokers collab, “Something Just Like This“.
Acoustic star Sabrina returns to the Wish Bus to promote her latest effort, “I Love Acoustic 10.1”.
By the time synco-pop punk act Gracenote has started their band set up on the bus, Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) executives Mr. Bong Etorma and Mr. Jay Eusebio, and Wishcovery “reactors” Annie Quintos of the CompanY and Jungee Marcelo have already taken their seats on the second floor of Outback Steakhouse.
The panel was tasked to welcome questions from 20-or-so press people and bloggers who witnessed the very first public appearance of the WISHful 20. These singing hopefuls will star in the online competition, which starts airing on September 9, 9 PM, on Wish’s first YouTube channel.
The Wishful 20 pose with BMPI CEO and President Kuya Daniel Razon, and Wishcovery reactors Jungee Marcelo and Annie Quintos.
Outside the restaurant, the weather was still unpredictable. Nonetheless, the unpleasant mood brought by the scorching early afternoon heat and the intermittent rain was overpowered by the high-energy music of Gracenote and legendary rock band The Youth.
Gracenote, helmed by the charismatic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Eunice Jorge, performed “Bilog” and “Pause;” the rock stalwarts of The Youth delivered their classics, “Tao Po” and “Basura.”
Sick beats from the hottest names in today’s local urban music circuit followed and resonated throughout the event venue. Partners in Rhymes invaded the bus with “Magandang Tanawin” before bringing in guest collaborator, OPM diva Zendee for a superb performance of “Superhero“. FlipTop stars Flict-G, Curse One and Dello also tagged along fellow acts from the hip-hop movement — M-Zhayt and Yumi — for their respective performances of “Rapper Po Ako“, “Paglisan“, Kahit Di Na Tayo“, “Masaya Ako Sa’yo“, “Sana Di Na Lang“, and “Hari ng Palusot“.
OPM band Gracenote together with DJ Alice of “Wonderland”.
Before serving yet another full-flavored musical treat, lady jocks Alice and Faye turned up the mood on-ground by hosting a fun-filled game — they had Wishers sing their favorite WISHclusives, and rewarded them with limited Wish merchandise items.
It was a hair-raising moment of some sort as people from different walks of life candidly volunteered to sing a line or two from the music videos that are up for viewing on Wish’s YouTube channel. Seeing them enjoy the activity from my humble space in the corner, and knowing that these individuals are complete fans of what the station is offering — it’s just gratifying.
And this is just one reason behind our tremendous thanks.
The other reasons for our collective feeling of gratefulness were documented in a special audio-visual presentation shown at the plaza chock-full of excited spectators. The one-and-a half-minuter summarized Wish’s milestones that made our third year truly one for the books. (Another video was allotted for our wish-granting advocacy, which is one of our way of giving back to our listeners).
Igniting much more excitement from the crowd, it was announced afterwards that after the remaining artists’ stint on the bus, they will also go up on stage for a WISHclusive meet-and-greet. This news was only the first of the many more surprises that would unfold that night.
Rockoustic icon Barbie Almalbis kicked off the early evening-performances inside the musical bus. Hitting the audience’s soft spot for nostalgia, she sang her well-loved anthems, “Tabing-Ilog” and “All I Need“.
When it was Bugoy Drilon’s turn, the Eastwood crowd only grew thicker. On board the bus, he premiered his newest song, “I Don’t Want To Go“, a reggae/country jam that he recorded in the United States (back when he got the chance to perform with American artist, Matisyahu). He also did a cover of Rodel Naval’s “Muli“.
As if the meet-and-greet was not enough to make his fans go wild, the talented singer further fired up the stage with his impromptu performance of Matisyahu’s “One Day” and Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself“.
Mela then returned to the bus for a chill revival of Michael Johnson’s “I’ll Always Love You” before rendering the ASOP grand prize-winning inspirational song, “Kumapit Ka Lang” live on stage.
Another wonderful surprise took place afterwards: the one-and-only Superstar, Ms. Nora Aunor, dropped by to greet the station on its third anniversary.
Singing heartthrob Michael Pangilinan waves to his fans after performing on stage during the THREEmendous Thanks anniversary party of Wish 107.5.
Bringing in more waves of sonic pleasure, RnB crooner Michael Pangilinan took Wishers to a roller coaster ride of emotions with his Wish bus renditions of Magic’s “Rude” and his original, “Hanggang Kailan“, and topped his performance off with Brian McKnight’s heart-breaking sing-along, “One Last Cry” on stage.
Jake Zyrus further made the crowd’s hearts full as he hopped on the bus for a supercharged setlist. He covered Jay R Siaboc’s “Hiling“, as well as Simple Plan’s “Perfect“. The latter became one of the most poignant highlights of the occasion as he turned the 2002 teenage angst-anthem into an emotional piece that could perfectly pass as his life’s current soundtrack.
Stealing the spotlight from the roster of popular mainstream music acts were the first public performances of the WISHful 20. The aspiring singers conquered the Wish anniversary stage with a medley of RnB tracks, soaring ballads, and catchy pop-rock tunes.
Jake Zyrus delivers an impressive, emotional performance of “Hiling” and “Perfect”.
Then came another impromptu portion of the night — RnB prince-slash-WISHcovery host-slash-birthday boy Kris Lawrence sizzled with his Bruno Mars-channeling performances of “Versace on the Floor” (a clear crowd favorite — he sang it twice!) and “That’s What I Like“.
As the OPM royalty bid goodbye, members of the crowd who are near the Wish bus has begun to unleash thrilling screams; two of the much-awaited guest performers are now on the iconic FM-on-wheels — TJ Monterde and KZ Tandingan.
Real-life couple KZ Tandingan and TJ Monterde take a ‘groufie’ with DJ Alice and the rest of the crowd.
As someone who helps handle the socials of Wish 107.5, I know for a fact that the musicians and real-life sweethearts’ guesting as a pair was one of the most-requested Wish bus appearances. And fans and Wish staff alike were ecstatic to witness a wish-granted moment on that evening when TJ and KZ finally sang their collaborative single, “Ikaw At Ako Pa Rin” right before our very eyes.
Just when I thought I could now cross out the name of the last guest performer off the sequence guide, I was also stunned when a familiar voice embraced the crowd. It was Jay R’s — the voice that popularized the 2003 hit “Bakit Pa Ba?“, and the same voice that Wishers would all soon hear weekly on the Wish YouTube channel as he joins WISHcovery as one of its resident reactors.
The country’s King of RnB amped up the atmosphere with his surprise performances of his original songs, “Parachute” and “Kabilang Dako“.
The evening was still young when Jay R finished his set. Eastwood City, which is popular for its bustling night scene, was just starting to welcome more visitors. But as how they always put it, all good things must come to an end.
Wrapping up the revelry was OPM rock band Sponge Cola. The four-time Wish bus performers returned to the music hub to stage an amazing set which included two of their earliest hits — “Tuliro” and “Gemini”.
Wishers take a quick snapshot of the Wish Bus during the third-anniversary bash of the all-hits FM radio station.
The 12-hour revelry was indeed a fitting way for Wish 107.5 to cap off its anniversary month. Drizzles were felt, beads of sweat were wiped off. Nonetheless, all these are not even worthy to be compared to the thrill of experiencing a one-of-a kind musical festivity.
Allow me to borrow the words of Gracenote’s Eunice when she described their WISHperience on that fickle-weathered Thursday. “Things like this don’t happen everyday. It’s something that we would remember for the rest of our lives.”
(Photos courtesy of Photoville International)
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