Written by Bianchi Mendoza
Photos by Psalm Malabuen
The SM Mall of Asia Arena was abuzz with anticipation and swelling with positivity as the second-ever Saved Festival took place there last Friday, October 26. Feel-good music with a message filled the 20,000 seating capacity arena. Concert-goers enjoyed Christian Music, which unbeknownst to some, has many genres.
From rock, pop, rnb or even, rap, Christian Music offers something for every type of audiophile. The beats and melodies may vary but the message remains the same, a unified harmony and a desire to share their beliefs with the world. The atmosphere within the arena was solemn, celebratory and at times, reflective. The spiritual lyrics were as powerful as the message they longed to share. Manila-based band Gloryfall kicked things off. This 7-member band also conducts seminars on worhip-leading and music mentorship throughout the Philippines. They were followed by Cebu-based band Paglaum who played their original Visayan Christian Music. Paglaum has toured all over Cebu with their concert, Awit sa Kasingkasing (Song for the Heart).
Abandon, an alternative rock band from San Antonio, Texas, took the stage after a brief intermission which was punctuated by the occasional shriek of excitement. Abandon premiered their single, “Let Go” (which many may remember from last year’s Saved Festival Intro Video).
The Katinas, who last visited the Philippines in 2008, came next. Made up of five biological brothers: John, Jesse, James, Joe and Sam, The Katinas have played almost everywhere, from their home country American Samoa to different churches and countries all over the globe. They recently released their first album in three years entitled Collage. They stopped mid-set to pay tribute to the women in their lives and in the audience by singing Bruno Mars’ hit “Just The Way You Are” while delighting the audience with family photos. Desperation Band also known as DBand, ended the concert with their well-known worship songs like “Rescue” and “I Am Free”.
Midway through the concert, Pastor Joey Bonifacio took the stage for a few minutes. He shared insights from the Bible and from his newly published book entitled, The Lego Principle. The book illustrates loving God and loving others by using Lego bricks. Pastor Joey shares how we can make a difference by connecting and embracing our purpose in the grand scheme of things regardless of how small or insignificant we may feel at times. Each of us is valued, each of us has the power to shape and change the world.
Last year’s Saved Festival focused on themes of living a life without any compromise—living an authentic Christian Life. This year’s festival focused more on learning to guard against false teachings and to hold on the truth. Saved Festival 2012 was a triumph for the organizers (Becca Music Inc, etc.) performers and audience. It served as a reminder that there is hope for the Philippines and that there is always reason to be thankful—reason to celebrate.