Posted January 25, 2016 by Ica Hontiveros-Cheng in Community

One Ok Rock Holds Successful Manila Show


Taka of One Ok Rock, in a sea of lights at the Mall of Asia Arena. (c) Julen Esteban-Pretel @julenphoto

It’s been almost a week, since Japanese rock band, One Ok Rock played the Mall of Asia Arena, as part of their 35xxxv Asian Tour and I am currently going through PCD, what is PCD you may ask well it stands for Post Concert Depression. It usually sets in after a concert, because you remember every second in that arena, with the music blaring loud and the audience screaming in your ears. Fans are singing to the lyrics, both in English and Japanese, you see kids dancing and banging their heads to the songs (okay-I was also dancing on my spot-no shame there). 

Flashback to a couple of years ago and I am signing surveys and petitions to bring the band to perform in Manila. I’ve always been a Japanese Girl at heart, ever since I was a kid and now that Korean Beauty Products, Korean Boy bands and Celebrities are popular, I’m more than glad to see a true class Japanese Rock band make noise on Philippine soil. It’s important to note that they are the first mainstream Japanese Rock Band t0 hold a major concert in the Philippines, in a premiere concert venue, none the less.


Make Some Noise. Taka, Toru, Ryota and Tomoya conquer the stage. (c) Julen Esteban-Pretel @Julenphoto

 The band sang a total of 12 songs, including the three songs from the Rurouni Kenshin movies. I remember, the first time I heard the band was right after the first Rurouni Kenshin movie (I’m a big fan of the anime) and as the credits were going up there was this catchy song that was playing and I thought ‘Hey! This is a pretty good song!’ and I literally had that song on repeat for three days – I kid you not! It’s ironic that the song is entitled ‘The Beginning’ as it was also how I got to know the band, in a sense it was a beginning  in itself.  

When the cast and director of Rurouni Kenshin came to the Philippines for the premiere of the second movie, Kyoto Inferno we were in SM Megamall to see them and it was One Ok Rock’s ‘Mighty Long Fall’ which was also playing on repeat (for a couple of hours I would say) before the event started. There was much mystery for the last movie’s (The Legend Ends) song ‘Heartache’ but Filipinos, who are naturally romantic by nature loved the ballad and to hear all of these songs live in a concert just made my heart burst with joy. I couldn’t help but feel that the band has long been sowing their seeds in the hearts of fans and are now reaping a bountiful harvest.


Taka and Toru during their intimate acoustic performance. (c) Julen Esteban-Pretel @julenphoto

After their 12 song set, the audience asked-nay-demanded for an encore, aside from the screaming and shouting there was also stomping of feet.

The band obliged and not only sang an encore but performed three additional songs. They must have really enjoyed performing that night.

I’m really impressed and proud with the fan groups (Philippine One Ok Rockers and Amuse Philippines) who worked tirelessly and with such passion to say ‘Hey! We want you to perform in our country!’ the Philippines is not usually a part of Asian Tours but these groups passed out surveys, gathered signatures in campaigns, knocked on doors, reached out to the band’s management, spoke with Concert producers, they never gave up and now, we all experienced a concert, we could only dream about and now, we all have that bitter sweet Post Concert Depression but beautiful memories nonetheless.

See you soon One Ok Rock! At least now, there would be no need for online petitions or signature campaigns!

Thank you to PULP Live World and Amuse Asia for making this all possible.

Ica Hontiveros-Cheng

Geek mom to a little Jedi. Freelance writer. Writes and vlogs thoughts, and reviews on movies, series and pop culture.