Friday, July 29, 2005

U2 Vertigo Tour, 16-07-2005 Amsterdam Arena

As a music lover, a long time wish on my musical activities list was to see U2 perform on stage. They never made it to the Philippines and the only country in Asia they toured was Japan. Could it be because of budget limitations? Or were there not enough fans in Asia back then?

I am more into their old music, circa 1980’s to the early 1990’s and in fact in their newer late 90’s albums, I only liked a few songs.

That’s me in front of one of the entrances of the Arena Stadium in Amsterdam flashing the U2 concert ticket before the show started and the other foto shows litter all over the place!

I guess U2 struck me most amongst the foray of rock bands because they are quite unique. First, I love the distinct U2 tune of the lead guitar, played by Edge, the mutts wearing member. Once you hear the typical screeching tune of the electric guitar, you just know by heart and soul that it’s U2. Secondly, they tackle social and political issues in their music and use their fame as well to advance their social cause. Bono has been very active with these social causes and indeed their songs reflect the struggle in the society but honestly, I thought it was sometimes cheesy.

I think that to a large extent, Bono especially has become overly commercialized in his so-called passion to help save Africa, hobnobbing with presidents and political figures in high places or preaching to a bunch of nerds at Harvard. He is not just a musician afterall, he is a business man as well so I will surely not blink an eye even for a second if I found out that he actually cashes in lotsa money from these socio-political crusades. I bet you. But that doesn’t mean I won’t listen to their music and charge them with hypocrisy. No, Nope, Never. I like their music, just not the cheesy socio whatever they like to portray.

The theme of the VERTIGO TOUR: COEXIST. The people below at the back of the crowd behind those bars are the invalids, they have their own special place. Photo taken using Nokia (oops forgot the phone model?).

To see a short video of the U2 concert playing their latest hit, “City of Blinding Lights”, CLICK THIS PAGE, once there CLICK on WATCH MUSIC VIDEO.

The COEXIST theme has something to do with the ongoing war on freedom and religion. 9/11 in NEW YORK, Osama Bin Laden, the overstated USA - IRAQ and Afghan war (Saddam and Taleban), MADRID bomb attacks, LONDON suicide bomber attacks, Theo Van Gogh (Amsterdam), who filmed a movie on Moslem women oppression and also a columnist known to criticize Moslems was killed by a radical Moroccan Moslem, the never ending ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN war, the CATHOLIC IRA and the PROTESTANTS in Ireland, suicide bombers in the Middle East, the gap and strained relationship between Christians and Moslems, and so on....

Here is a nice bird’s eye view photo of the concert.

I would say that the most wild numbers during the concert were their old popular songs: One, Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Years Day, Pride, Where the Streets have no Name, Lemon, etc... Another nice thing, the group also showed a recap (one song each) of their previous tours. Zooropa and Achtung Baby tours were the most impressive numbers because of the play of lights, the texts, and the themes flashed on stage on screen. Such a rush of adrenalin!

It was quite interesting to note that most of the crowds there were quite older, in their 30’s and 40’s. It clearly shows that U2 fans are from the middle aged generation, haha, including us of course! I must say that Bono still had a good voice even if it was their 3rd day concert in a row.

More PHOTO LINKS HERE of the concert,
scroll down to WHATS NEW and CLICK on the AMSTERDAM PHOTOS. For the story on how we got the tickets, CHECK THIS OLD ENTRY.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My MIL & the “Biscuit” that rocked the nation

How true was it that a couple of years ago, the Philippine senate lodged a complaint against the biscuit manufacturer of “Filipinos” in Spain? If that was really true, then wow, forgive me… that was bloody stupid!!!

Okay, granted they were offended, but with what… because some biscuit manufacturer named his biscuit invention after us Filipinos and simultaneously happens to hold citizenship and establishment in the same country of our past colonizer? Uh, so what?! I didn’t know “Filipinos” is or was patented? Since when? Nor have I heard or knew Dutch was, or Cebuano?

Here is the culprit, the “once” very controversial biscuit that rocked the Philippine nation. They come in different variety of flavors: Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Caramel Chocolate, White Chocolate.

Let’s see. We have a Dutch pizza called Americans and Americans living here buy them with gusto. The French didn’t squeal merde when they were downgraded from Le Cuisine to French fries, though the Belgs claimed to have invented fries. And the Germans always loved being a sausage, right Frankfurters? I guess it’s pretty obvious how oversensitive some of my fellow country men are. But why should our self esteem and spirit as a group of people be tattered by simply a biscuit’s name? I don’t know but that just spells P-E-T-T-Y to me. The challenge should have been this: Stop being onion skinned, look beyond the biscuit!

In fact this would have been a great source of advertisement to delight and take advantage on. Do I have to spoon feed people and say, “Ride on its popularity, be constructive, be a genius, think opportunity!” And if I may add, it is indeed a nice diversion from the flood of Google and Yahoo search results of “Filipinos” (or Filipinas) coughing up on my screen right now.

They’re also not only popular in Spain. They are here in the Netherlands under the Dutch brand name of Verkade, which is a daughter company of United Biscuits, headquartered in the U.K.

I have a sweet story to tell. When my in laws learned that Dutchman is dating a girl from the Philippines, they were of course surprised. Not because I am a Filipina but because I live all the way across the globe.

One time, this was circa 2000, the Dutchman told me that his mother (my mother in law, in short, MIL) dropped him a present in his mailbox that afternoon. He thought it was so sweet of her. I asked, “What was it?” He then told me accompanied with his gleaming white teeth (through the webcam), “A Filipinos Biscuit”!

From then on, his mother would drop a pack of “Filipinos Biscuit” in his mailbox when she has the opportunity to pass by his flat. I guess she’s trying to remind him of the obvious. Now that was really nice.

I bought a bunch of them last week and sent them to the Philippines for my family.

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