Cebuano Act ‘Intertwined’ Wins San Miguel Wanderbattle Finals

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Cebuano jazz band Intertwined lit up the stage with harmonies that evoked a dazzling disco flourish. Photo by KARA MORENO

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — The anticipation for this year’s Wanderland Festival is higher than ever following the San Miguel Wanderbattle Finals, which took place on January 19 at the Vertis Tent, Quezon City.

The event followed two semi-finals in Manila and Cebu, each bringing forth four finalists, who came face to face in a final battle for hometown glory. When they weren’t singing along or cheering for their favorites, guests enjoyed the classic and original beer, San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-732081.jpg Fans sang along to their favorite songs with a San Miguel Pale Pilsen in hand. Photo by IYA FORBES  

The San Miguel Wanderband Champion title is a huge deal — the competition recognizes fresh Filipino talents with diverse sounds and global flair. It catapults local movers and shakers from being virtual unknowns to owning the limelight.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-730526.jpg Three Legged Men. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-730585.jpg Three Legged Men. Photo by IYA FORBES

Funk band Three Legged Men were the first to take the stage, quickly enchanting the crowd with their rousing yet laid-back grooves and riffs. Its six members dedicated their performance to their hometown of Cebu.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731270.jpg Nathan & Mercury. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731063.jpg Nathan & Mercury. Photo by IYA FORBES

Next up were slick soul-pop purveyors Nathan & Mercury from Manila, who seamlessly fuse their R&B with explorations of jazz, hip-hop, and funk. They are masters of sonic and lyrical dissonance.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731542.jpg Kremesoda fans showed up for support for their favorite Wanderbattle finalist. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731530.jpg Kremesoda. Photo by IYA FORBES

Kremesoda, also a Manila finalist, who played a fantastically arranged cover of “Mamma Mia!” before ending with a heartfelt message about how much being up on that stage, and playing for anyone who might listen to them, means to them.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731868.jpg Intertwined. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-731991.jpg Intertwined. Photo by IYA FORBES

Finally, there was jazz band Intertwined, the second finalist from Cebu, whose stage set-up and harmonies evoked a dazzling disco flourish.

During the sets, six San Miguel Wanderartist finalists were on a stage of their own, performing live art and creating beautiful magic-themed paintings pretty much on the spot — which is basically magic in its own right.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-732009.jpg On display were works of Wanderartist finalists. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-730303.jpg Six San Miguel Wanderartist finalists were on a stage of their own. Photo by IYA FORBES

To cap off the night, the crowd was treated to more brilliant performances from guests Mellow Fellow, last year’s Wanderband winners Basically Saturday Night and Carousel Casualties, and Unique.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-732868.jpg San Miguel Wanderbattle finalists share the stage. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-732597.jpg (From left) San Miguel Wanderartist finalists Vena Martinez, Frances Dandan, Shanel Salcedo, Raco Ruiz, Aya Bongato, and Joshua Panaligan. Photo by IYA FORBES

Intertwined was hailed the champion and officially became this year’s San Miguel Wanderband (the first Cebuano act to do so), while Nathan & Mercury was declared the runner-up. Vena Martinez, Frances Dandan, Raco Ruiz, and Joshua Panaligan were declared as the San Miguel Wanderartists of the night.

Wanderbattle 2019 by Iya Forbes-732317.jpg The San Miguel Wanderband Champion title is a huge deal — the competition recognizes fresh Filipino talents with diverse sounds and global flair. Photo by IYA FORBES

Wanderland Music Fest will be the biggest iteration of the festival yet, with acts from the Philippines, Asia, and the rest of the world, creating different sounds that are sure to please everyone. And if the San Miguel Wanderbattle Finals are any indication, it’s sure to be an awe-inspiring and wonderful two nights of great music in the company of great friends and great beer.

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Wanderland Music Fest will take place on March 9 and 10, 2019 at the Filinvest City Events Grounds in Alabang. Headlined by Two Door Cinema Club and The Kooks, it will also include performances from San Miguel Wanderbattle Champion Intertwined, Honne, Masego, Alina Baraz, Gabrielle Aplin, Clairo, JMSN, SG Lewis, Mac Ayres, Joan, Prep, Sandwich, Unique, Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, Autotelic, Charlie Lim, Adoy, and Dayaw. Tickets are available via the festival’s website and SM Tickets.