The Huling El Bimbo reunion concert was a surprise coming out of the pandemic; I thought they had disbanded for good. After watching the last reunion concert on YouTube over and over again during the pandemic with FOMO, I decided I won’t miss watching this.
During one family meeting over dinner, ahiya Aidan (17yo) talked about watching LIVE concerts with his graduating batch friends and initially pitched Head In The Clouds Manila and also mentioned Huling El Bimbo.
Originally, I planned to watch with Rache, but asked the Gen Z boys if they wanted to experience a LIVE concert for the first time with their Gen X parents. The Eraserheads is our official road trip playlist on repeat, so one by one they raised their hands to join in—Joshua (15yo), Raphael (12yo) and even Yugi (8yo).
Here’s the story of our first LIVE concert bonding experience with the boys.
Huling El Bimbo was held in the SMDC Concert Grounds, an al fresco open area between SM MOA Arena and Solaire Theatre. Most of the popular LIVE concerts nowadays are held in this area for maximum attendance. We were 6 out of 75,000 people who witnessed the “Huling El Bimbo” Eraserheads reunion concert last December 22, 2022.
The show opened with a DJ act by The Diegos, and the show started at 8:30pm with Super Proxy by the Eraserheads featuring a Francis M hologram, Elmo and Arkin Magalona, and Eon Buendia. The show ran for 3.5 hours, also showcasing an 18-piece orchestra and special guest Gary Valenciano.
My strategy was to park in IKEA, and we walked all the way to the SMDC concert grounds during sunset around 6pm after having a heavy lunch at Olive Garden and dessert at Bambu. It was a nice sunset walk to the concert grounds, and we were ready with any rain eventuality.
There were a lot of restrictions on what you can bring. We brought a small waterproof bag with caps and rain jackets. We also sneaked in candies! We had to buy water onsite using Maya which has a shorter line compared to cash. Since PLDT was the sponsor, they blocked our Globe signal. Water bottles were served without caps because they wanted to avoid these being thrown and hurting someone in the crowd.
We watched at a distance all the way to the back but we could still feel the energy from this iconic band, the electrified crowd, and the awesomeness of the moment—a LIVE Concert experience together with the boys for the first time.
We loved to share the Gen X music of our college days to our Gen Z boys that’s why they grew up with Eheads music from their younger years onward. Sarap ng feeling watching the kids enjoying our music—singing with us, jumping around, and immersing themselves into the moment.
One day soon, the boys won’t be joining us anymore and they would prefer watching LIVE concerts with their special someone. When that time comes, I know they will be able to properly navigate their way into LIVE concerts—be more alert, come prepared and not feel like a noob with their date.
Most importantly, I think it is important for us to bequeath the next generation with our love for Original Pilipino Music and show them how OPM is able to capture the sentiments, the angst, hopes, and struggles of young Filipinos. Eheads is part of Filipino culture. We are proud of it, and it is now cemented in our family history.
We wanted to record every moment but we were limited by the battery life of our phones. We almost drained all our phone batteries with the constant video recording. But also, we wanted to experience the moment and not get lost in all the recording.
We were blessed that it did not rain and there was only the cool December breeze to enjoy. The lines to the portable toilets were not too long and nobody had to poop. Buti na lang. There was a 30-minute intermission around the 10:00pm mark, and the show lasted until 12 midnight.
We waited for 2 hours in the venue and the show was 3 hours and 30 minutes long. Admittedly, the younger boys were tired. Yugi slept on the cement floor and complainingly asked when it will end around 11pm. Joshua and Raphael couldn’t relate yet to the lyrics, so words like “torpe” became a point of discussion. They are bound to know what “alapaap” is really all about maybe not anytime soon.
As I write this blog post, I’m watching Youtube videos about the Huling El Bimbo 2022 concert. I get to relive the moment from those people watching the concert up close. There’s no more feeling of FOMO and I’m just happy that I got to watch the Eheads LIVE.
We were able to share our Gen X music and our Filipino culture and created a family bonding moment that the boys will remember forever. They got to see their parents singing and dancing together with the crowd. I got to see ahiya Aidan doing the same with us. I was tired carrying Yugi who would always say upsies so that he could see what’s happening. It was worth every moment up to the Huling El Bimbo fireworks finale.
Exiting the venue was another learning moment because we taught the boys to be extra careful in large crowds like this where you can’t walk anymore because you are already being forced forward by the people behind you.
It was scary to exit because of the risk of stampede which happened during Halloween in Korea and the soccer game in Indonesia. We kept to the edge of the crowd and tried not to be in the center. Nobody got hurt but the organizers should have opened the gates wider to avoid stampede risks.
Overall, these are the moments we live for in the family. We got to know our kids better, share our Filipino culture on a more intimate level, and celebrate a LIVE concert experience in post-pandemic Manila. The boys were still very conscious about wearing masks but it was useless in a crowded area like this. The al fresco venue provided added safety hopefully. Also, it felt like a Leni-Kiko rally with all of the artists supporting the pink movement that for a while I thought of Ben & Ben appearing in the last part. I was sad because I thought they would sing Toyang in the encore but everything ended with the Huling El Bimbo performance and the fireworks.
Hope to meet the Eraserheads personally one of these days. Good luck with your World Tour in 2023!
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We paid for our tickets. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.