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‘Let’s dance,’ so said Bowie (or ‘sumayaw, sumunod,’ so said the Hotdog)

Music Evolution Manila is back and it only asks that you get on your feet and have a hella good time

Portrait by Jim Guiao Punzalan

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  • PARTNERS IN FUN Tourism Promotions Board COO Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III teams up with MTV country manager Dinna Zaratan once again for Music Evolution Manila 2016

    PARTNERS IN FUN Tourism Promotions Board COO Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III teams up with MTV country manager Dinna Zaratan once again for Music Evolution Manila 2016

  • OneRepublic

    OneRepublic

  • Apink

    Apink

  • James Reid and Nadine Lustre

    James Reid and Nadine Lustre

  • Far East Movement

    Far East Movement

  • Bebe Rexha

    Bebe Rexha

  • DANCE ROYALTIES Father and son Gary and Gab Valenciano

    DANCE ROYALTIES Father and son Gary and Gab Valenciano

If last year’s hugely successful first serving of MTV Music Evolution Manila was dominated by male testosterone and showcased a stellar, practically all-male lineup of local and international hip hop artists and MCs, this year’s edition of the live music event is slated to be not only more far-reaching and universally fun, but also invigorated with relentless fan-girl screaming and some major ’80s and ’90s throwback moves care of our favorite titos and titas.

MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016, happening tonight at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, wants fans and concert-goers to experience and discover the evolution of pop music and its dance influence that keeps us moving and having a hella goodtime no matter where we are in the Philippines. The one-night only concert event will headline international hitmaker OneRepublic, LA-grown electric dance trio Far East Movement, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano and son Gab Valenciano, singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, and K-pop female group, Apink. Also taking the stage are James Reid and Nadine Lustre, collectively known as Jadine, which explains the probable relentless fan-girl screaming.

What to expect from this year’s installment, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III says, “More fun, of course.” TPB reprises its collaboration with MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc., to attract a younger audience to Manila and the Philippines through music and help them experience the destination in a different light.

“This year’s theme is dance, which we believe to be an even more popular genre that can attract people of all ages not just the young ones. From those who follow Jadine to the older set who danced to Gary V’s ‘Hataw Na,’ from the fans of OneRepublic to Apink, everybody can identify with the dance and pop genre each music artist represents. It’s going to be a wonderful evening where you just dance the night away,” Enerio says.

MTV Music Evolution is also a chance for TPB and the Department of Tourism (DoT) to reinforce to the youth that fun can be clean and fun can be had without any excesses. “This is an opportunity for us to tell our youth that you don’t need alcohol and drugs to get artificially ‘high.’ You can be clean and sober, and still have a wonderful time with your friends just enjoying the music. Because this is what we’re about, it’s in our DNA, Filipinos are just fun-loving people,” Enerio says.

Viacom Inc. Philippines country manager Dinna Zaratan adds that steps have been undertaken to ensure that proper and beefed up security is in place. MTV worked closely with the local government of Pasay City and the Philippine National Police to double perimeter fencing and in searching the bags and pockets of those coming in. “There’s no alcohol being served during the concert. It’s very wholesome. It’s just really food, softdrinks, and water.”

Going back to the music event, Zaratan says MTV Music Evolution is a franchise specifically created for Manila in partnership with TPB for its Visit the Philippines calendar. “The event is all about bringing the experience of music, the evolution of a genre to young people. From the way it started, to the current form that it is today. So like in hip hop, where we started it off, we showcased contemporary artists and iconic rap artists on one stage. As for dance, here in Manila, a lot of people know dance music as purely EDM but we want them to experience a different kind of dance, more from the ’80s to the ’90s so they’ll see it on one stage. That’s why you have Gary V and the likes of Bebe Rexha who is very young and up and coming, and then we have OneRepublic who’s been around for at least 10 years.”

Music is also a great tool to bring people together. This is why Enerio is steadfast to develop and project the Philippines as a music festival destination. “It’s all in keeping with the ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign. When you say it’s more fun here, you showcase the vitality of the people, the way we enjoy ourselves, and how foreign guests are infected by our happiness and they become our partners, they become part of the joy and experience of it all.”

Over 26,000 people are expected to troupe to the concert grounds today to get their groove on. And everybody is invited to come. “It’s a free event. The only way you can watch it is if you participate in the promotions of MTV, TPB, and our other partners. Last week, we had a roadshow where we gave away mosh pit tickets and meet-and-greet passes. MTV has always catered to the youth and the young at heart so we don’t want to be exclusive, everyone’s invited. We’ve never really charged for any of our events. The youth can get access to it if they engage with the sponsors or MTV,” Zaratan says.

Recorded live for global telecast under the MTV World Stage global series, MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 will reach an international audience of more than three-quarters of a billion households in over 160 countries. “It’s really an investment in marketing,” Enerio says. “And the way it is, we’re really getting a lot of very good publicity not just locally but internationally.”

For updates on MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 and how to score last minute tickets, http://www.mtvmusicevo.com/