Indie-folk band Munimuni and singing-songwriting duo Leanne and Naara poured their hearts out and played for loyal fans of Fete. Cagadas
The future of OPM: 2 local acts on spotlight from #FetePH25
Euden Valdez ( - July 9, 2019 - 5:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — It was a wet Fete de la Musique last June 28 in Intramuros, Manila, but the rains didn’t dampen the spirit — and musicality — of two young and promising Filipino musical acts.

Amid the pouring rain, Indie-folk band Munimuni and singing-songwriting duo Leanne and Naara poured their hearts out and played for loyal fans of Fete, which closed its 25th edition of free concerts featuring up-and-coming, established and legends of Original Pilipino Music.

Both Munimuni and Leanne and Naara have performed in the festival but it’s their first time at Fete Main Stage. This year, there were three Main Stages: two in Makati City and one in Intramuros, Manila.

The Intramuros Main Stage was set at the Puerta Real Gardens, a beautiful destination inside the Walled City. Because it’s an open and landscaped garden, Fete organizers set up tents to shield concertgoers from the rain.

For Leanne and Naara, there was no complaining about the rain. “There’s something about the rain that makes the mood so warm and cozy,” Leanne Mamonong, the one half of her duo, told

AJ Jiao, Munimuni’s guitarist and vocalist. Cagadas

She added that their soothing songs were perfect for the sweater weather.

Munimuni had mixed feelings about the rain but in the end, agreed that it added a certain atmosphere to the venue.

“Our music is indie folk but in a way, it can be heavy and then soft at times. It’s filled with dynamics,” said band member TJ de Ocampo, guitars.

“Bagay sa mga ganitong panahon, maulan,” added AJ Jiao, the band’s guitarist and vocalist.

‘Makata Pop’

Formed in 2012 by original band members Jiao and de Ocampo, Munimuni’s musical career skyrocketed in 2017 with the release of their independent EP “Simula.”

Since then, their unique and signature music has been branded as “Makata Pop.” This is a result of “crossing folk-pop harmonies and flute leads with guitar-driven alternative rock” according to the band’s bio. Their songs further evoke emotions through the lyrics, which features the band’s adeptness in the Filipino language — making them truly “makata.”

From their EP, the band performed “Sa Hindi Pag-alala,” “Sayo” and “Marilag.” They also played their 2018 hit single “Tahanan,” which was listed in CNN Philippines’ list of 15 best Filipino songs of 2018. Completing the band’s setlist were singles “Kalachuchi” and “Oras.”

“We wish to showcase the message behind the songs and ‘yong experiences namin,” the band said before hitting the stage.

Girl power

Mamonong and Naara Acueza have been blockmates for four years in college. They also happened to form a duo during their time taking up Bachelor of Communication Major in Performing Arts in Assumption College.

It wasn’t something they expected, but they both knew they wanted to pursue music. They have been doing so together ever since and have crafted a sound that harmoniously blends their soulful voices. This is complemented by their electronic tunes and folksy guitar tunes.

Their songs are a mix of stripped-down covers and original compositions. Their 2017 hit single “Again,” an original, has reached worldwide recognition with 13 million streams on Spotify. On the other hand, their 2018 rendition of “Someday” has 7 million streams.

They performed the song at Fete along with original compositions “Run Run” and “Rest.” Also playing that night was their newest and yet to be released song, “Destination.”

Sharing their experience at Fete 2019, “Our previous two years (at Fete) were at Acoustic Stage and this is the first time that we are playing on the Main Stage. The setup of the acoustic stage is something else but now we’ve got to experience playing on a big stage. We just feel so happy to be part of Fete,” said Mamonong.

Fete’s feat

Every year in the past two decades, Fete de la Musique has undoubtedly become the biggest music festival in the country with a series of concerts and gigs featuring all musical genres in different venues spread out in Metro Manila and Luzon. All of which are absolutely free for the public.

Aside from its three Main Stages, Fete 2019 presented over 50 pocket stages that hosted different music genres and styles. As part of its continuous expansion, Fete also traveled to six locations outside Metro Manila namely Baguio, Batangas, Bulacan, Laguna, Palawan and Pampanga. 

Organized by Alliance Française de Manille alongside B-Side Productions and the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Fête de la Musique aims to create a generous cross-cultural experience between the Filipino and French people, forging friendships and building a community.

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