I heard the rumor around the Metro Manila that the Eraserheads were going to have a reunion concert. I didn’t take it that seriously at first. But then, it didn’t seem far from probable. Some memorable flashbacks brought me back to circa 1996 or 1997 when the Eraserheads were formed in the University of the Philippines and began gaining huge popularity in the music scene for that wonderful hit Pare Ko – the song still an anthem on many drinking sessions with any barkada. Eraserheads members Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro would become household names and eventually reach rock star status.
I can imagine it now. It would be an awesome reunion concert for sure because the Eraserheads know how to rock! And the fans of the E-heads – they know how to party! The buzz about the reunion concert was getting louder, but there was no real confirmation of what was going on. Well, not until today.
Miggy Matute, one of the geniuses of OdysseyLive.net sent out the news on the availability of tickets to the Eraserheads reunion concert on his blog. Details say that it is a free concert which will be held on August 30, 2008 at The Fort Open Field, and that the concert will be a 45 song set that will play for hours. There will be no opening acts – just the Eraserheads blasting their music the entire time. What a treat!
While the concert is deemed free, there is a catch. Apparently, the free tickets are by invitation only, or something to that effect. I still don’t know the exact details, but then there really haven’t been any official announcements about the Eraserheads reunion concert, or when it’s really going to be. According to Miggy Matute’s blog at OdysseyLive.net, there will be an official announcement by August 18th.
Anyway, from what I understand, those who want tickets have to sign up at Marlboro.ph , and just follow the details. They’ll be needing a valid ID and some verification that you are at least 18 and older. They give you a tracking number, and then some other stuff happens. I have yet to check what happens really.
Anyway, apparently Marlboro is the sole sponsor of the Eraserheads reunion concert. But then, the big buzz around this is that Marlboro isn’t allowed to sponsor any kind of event like this. Undersecretary Alexander Padilla of the Department of Health (DOH) issued a warning against the involvement of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI) in supposedly being the major sponsor of the event.
The DOH cited Republic Act No. 9211, otherwise known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. RA 9211 prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring sports, cultural, and artistic events of individuals or team athletes, artists and performers, since any sponsorship endeavor would practically entail some sort of advertisement or promotion for cigarettes. It is clearly stated in RA 9211 that it is illegal for “advertisement or promotion of any cigarette or tobacco company, tobacco product or tobacco use, name, logo or trademarks, and other words, symbols, designs, colors or other deceptions commonly associated with or likely to identify with a tobacco company.”
Well, maybe the reason why the promotions haven’t been as loud, or the details of the Eraserheads reunion concert are still blurry is due to the fact that Marlboro is keeping quiet about it. Or maybe because it would be an “illegal” concert to begin with.
Dr. Maricar Limpin, the chairperson of the Council on Tobacco or Health and Air Pollution appealed to the members of the Eraserheads to disassociate themselves with Marlboro.
Public Affairs and Communications Manager for PMPMI Dave Gomez released in a statement:
“The event is not open to the general public. Access to the event is age-restricted, strictly by invitation only and intended for members of PMPMI’s adult smokers’ database, trade and business partners, and selected adult guests. Invites to the event will be distributed exclusively through PMPMI’s website, http://www.marlboro.com.ph, which is restricted only to persons 18 years old and above. Invites will be issued free of charge, with a corresponding control number, and will be non-transferable. For admission to the event itself, invitees are required to present the personalized invite containing their name and birth date and a corresponding government-issued ID for verification. The event will be held on August 30 at the Bonifacio Global City open grounds in Taguig City.”
“Promotions must be directed only to persons at least eighteen years old. No person below eighteen years old or who appear to be below eighteen years old may participate in such promotions. The participants in promotions must be required to provide proof of age.”
“RA 9211 allows tobacco promotions with restrictions. On the other hand, tobacco sponsorship is not allowed,” noted Gomez.
The statement further added, “Aside from the provisions on promotion that clearly allows us to stage the performance, we are not making a contribution to a third party. We are organizing the event ourselves and the event will not take place without the support given to it by PMPMI.
“The Eraserheads performance is not a form of sponsorship. PMPMI’s participation in the event is not as a sponsor, but as a promoter. And this promotional event is open only to persons 18 years old and above. If any person will present or try to present a falsified or fake invite or government ID, PMPMI will not hesitate to criminally prosecute the offender to the full extent of the law.”
Wow. Big words. To quote the E-heads “O Diyos ko, Ano ba naman ito!” There is sure a big play on the interpretation of legal definitions. But then, I’m sure the whole hoopla over the concert is going to get ugly and louder as the date of the Eraserheads reunion concert grows near. I only hope that the music of Eraserheads will be much louder than the bickering of the politics and policies of the government vs Marlboro. Whatever happens – I know that a lot of people are excited in anticipation of the Eraserheads. In any case, the audience won’t be arrested. The organizers might get a rough shakedown from law enforcement. But what happens if the Eraserheads get arrested? Hmmm. Riot na ito!
For a brief look into what’s in store, I found this old clip of the Eraserheads. Feel free to sing along.