The Muziklaban finals is the biggest gathering of rock fans each year, serving the heaviest rock music in the country. For 16 years, Red Horse has helped generations of musicians as their concerts have become rites of passage for amateur bands to make a mark in the rock scene. They have unfailingly lived up to their reputation as patrons of rock, making sure the scene is alive with an unending search for the new generation of rockstars.

What makes this year’s Muziklaban finals different? The performers will include new breed of musicians that will be mentored by the best in the business. The five finalists — Blood Over Matter, Nobela, Ex Manager, Ikaco and Through the Waves will be tested before the finals in a mentorship program called “Building a Rakista”  helmed by Red Horse bands Slapshock, Razorback, WilaBaliW, Greyhoundz and Kjwan.

This workshop is a game changer as the importance of a close student-mentor relationship will be greatly emphasized to guarantee that any band chosen to compete at the Muziklaban finals will deserve to perform in front of thousands of discerning fans, elevating the standard of rock which has always been the goal of Muziklaban.

“Building a Rakista” will be chronicled on social media as they transform into budding artists into contemporaries of this generations young rockstars, following the line of previous champions, Mayonnaise, A Music Theory and last year’s Manila Under Fire. A must see, since this year’s top five were handpicked out of thousands of hopefuls and will be further trained for the finals determined to build their skills from amateur to amazing.

Read more about the five finalists that will be mentored by our five Red Horse beer bands below:

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  • Youtube star with autism receives Merry Christmas gift from Slapshock

Youtube star with autism receives Merry Christmas gift from Slapshock

Slapshock's Jamir Garcia with  Jonas Cano

Slapshock’s Jamir Garcia with Jonas Cano

I’ve heard of Jonas Cano when I chanced upon his youtube videos performing the drum parts of Slapshock & Greyhoundz’ songs using only tin cans. Using tin cans as drumsets aren’t exactly a new thing, yet what’s amazing is that Jonas is a teenager from Leyte who has autism. Songs by the bands he chose to cover don’t exactly have the easiest drum parts and this is what makes this so unique. It looks all so easy to him! Amazing!

Jonas is a teenager from Leyte who has autism.

When Slapshock performed at the Red Horse Beer sponsored Rakrakan Festival last December 20, Jamir called Jonas up on stage and surprisingly the crowd knew who he was. Jonas looked so happy with the fact that he was on stage with Slapshock  oblivious to the massive crowd cheering for him.

As a Merry Christmas gift, the band gave him a real drumset and in turn jammed with them onstage as drummer Chi Evora stepped aside to admire the boy’s talent. An amazing gesture at one of the final gigs of the year reminding us to help one another and be generous this holiday season! Give give give!

A prelude to the coming Muziklaban finals next year, Red Horse Beer artists such as Razorback, WilaBaliW, Pepe Smith, The Oktaves, Kjwan and so much also gave the crowd supercharged performances, giving the last of their stored energies out before the new year!

I found the real ‘Dre of Red Horse Beer, captured Ian’s flip as my last shot of the year (as usual) and spotted Robert Dela Cruz (Skychurch drummer formerly of WilaBaliW and Queso) sitting right behind Jesso Ron Montejo (WilaBaliW’s current drummer) as he was performing. Awkward? Not so! I have a photo of them below (with Nino Avenido bombing it!)

And Pepe Smith doesn’t seem to age. He’s old, but it’s like time stood still for him the past couple of years, must be the music!

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your holidays!

View the slideshow of photos below.



Kimbra photo by Niña Sandejas

I was lucky enough to catch Kimbra at last year’s Laneway Festival. Her performance was all sorts of madness. Her dramatic flair, unique singing style and colorful outfits made her one of the most unforgettable performers in the festival. I was also lucky enough that Gotye was headlining that event and surprised everybody with a performance of their duet “Somebody that I used to know”

This year, JACK TV’s MAD Fest brings her to Manila in a festival with several local acts that’s gonna fill your music quota for the year!

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“I’m sorry I must have been tired. I don’t know, it’s pretty ‘Death Cab’ of me.” Lauren Mayberry said after she was asked by one of the journalists about her ‘not writing about love because you don’t write about what you don’t know’. Lauren Mayberry is part of the Scottish trio CHRVCHES who is about to perform tonight November 26 at the Samsung Hall. Her bandmates Iain Cook and Martin Doherty laughed as Lauren said she vaguely remembers saying the very emotional statement, claimed that she may have been having a bad day.

It’s CHRVCHES very first concert in Manila. Laneway veterans will take delight in this, especially those (like me, who missed the festival early this year). The Scottish trio consists of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. They’re touring to promote their newest album, “The Bones of What you Believe.”

All the questions thrown at them took them by surprise, one of them about their dietary restrictions in a previous interview. They quickly explained that it was just about finding good food to eat. “One of the first things we do is research on great, authentic restaurants,” said the band. Lauren added that it’s just a matter of not eating crap. “If you constantly eat shit at service stations all the time eventually you’re going to die”. If they hadn’t been in a band, they’d be food travelers, they said. Oh good, foodies! THE MEAL WE SHARE!

When asked about their luggage disappearing, “What’s going on? How do you know that?” 

Ssshh… The internet knows everything.

Social media played a big role in the band’s success. Any fan will be proud of helping make that happen. Just like being able to relate and connect to their music on a personal level, we’d love to share everything else with them right? Like food and horrific airport experiences. Or maybe music journalists secretly want to be rockstars too… Look at Lauren! (Oh wait, Francis and Jason are already doing that).

Acknowledging social media’s role, CHVRCHES believes it’s important to be a part of that community, but to separate it from the creative process. “It’ll just be too confusing”, Lauren said.

Well we can still share that experience by being spectators and one of the ways to do that is to watch the concert tonight!

Concert is happening tonight at the SAMSUNG HALL at SM Aura! Check out Vybe Productions for more information

Rest of the band photos below!

Follow Niña Sandejas on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All photos taken using Sony A7

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Happy 24th Anniversary Razorback! Sorry I arrived at your set halfway, but thankfully Manong Guard Pat Pulumbarit pointed us towards the right direction.

Rock and roll has never felt so safe!

I was surprised to see the whole band in security guard costumes with their own security agency BIGOTILYO SEKU AGENCY written on their personalized uniforms. It was weird to see bouncers escorting a group of security guards! Haha!

I didn’t get to take photos of Kjwan dressed up as gangsters, but Marc and Kelley jammed with the band and seeing them side by side with Razorback made them look like a bunch of miscreants at a mall trying to get the ire of the guards, haha!

Wally Gonzales and Sammy Asuncion performed with Razorback as well but they didn’t need costumes, they were already musical superheroes!

All photos taken using Sony A7r with 24-70 2.8 and 135 1.8 Zeiss

Venue: 12 Monkeys Century City Mall

You can view more photos on my facebook at


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My name is Niña Sandejas. Duly educated in fashion but would rather take photos of musicians and go to concerts for a living.

Red Horse Beer Official Rock Journalist | Yahoo! Philippines Celebrity Blogger | Sony A7r


Photos ©Niña Sandejas Unauthorized use is prohibited.

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