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Counter Culture

Summer Peace Festival 2013, Cagayan de Oro Apr 26-28, 2013

Summer Peace Festival 2013, Cagayan de Oro

GPS waypoint: N 08 16.882 E 124 35.390

I was tagged in Facebook about a counter-culture event happening right in my backyard at Ki Bathala Garden near Cagayan de Oro - the Summer Peace Festival. Like many of the grassroots events happening across the country, focus is on art, music, environment and local culture. As a highlight, an iconic figure from Woodstock will grace the event - Fantuzzi. Yes, he was there at ground zero in 1969 where it all began. I've always felt I was born too late for Woodstock. At least I could talk to someone who was actually there. Additionally, the counter-culture scene is where I am in my elements. Whether it's Burning Man in Nevada or a regional 3-day outdoor rave like the annual OM Festival in Ontario, I find time and make an effort to be there to soak-in all the good vibe that's there for the taking (and giving).

map location Summer Peace Festival 2013

One Sound Stage, One Bonfire, One Eating Area
I've attended festivals with several sound stages, many bonfires each offering its own kind of drum circle. These are things that happen when the numbers inflate. It still works, but you lose the intimacy. Here at SPF, I have no doubt the numbers will rise over the years. But at least, for now, the event is 'contained' enough to be intimate. There is no feeling of fragmentation. You all come to the same sound stage, same bonfire and eating together in one area. That was a nice touch.

Like many festivals that have come before this, I come away from it with lingering thoughts about people I've connected with. Yes, I did connect with a few interesting characters but there were lapses too when I couldn't feel the Flow from others. I'm sure it's me. But from a people perspective, I relish my highlights as follows:

Todd GrannisTodd G.
The last time I saw a mirrow-image of my thoughts, sentiments, persuasion and insight from another person was still in 2003 at Burnming Man when I met Johannes Frazier. He would say something that mirrored my thoughts exactly and I would say something that would resonate the same way for him. This just went on and on and it was uncanny. We even had the same super hero - the Silver Surfer! We parted as soul brothers. At SPF, I met Todd and we hit it off as we talked about things covering a wide spectrum - the Federal Reserve's fractional monetary system, quantum mechanics, spirituality, fitness, life, women, consciousness, etc. We only differed in one aspect - he was a Superman fan. I bumped into him again as I was leaving the event, as he was leaving too, so we rode the jeep together where I ended being his breakfast guest. Later that night, as I went to a restaurant for the first time, he was also there! In Casablanca parlance, "this is a start of a beautiful friendhip".

ReneeRene K.
I just squeezed myself in a table and went on a spontaneous conversation with the guy beside me, and it was awhile until I realized he was the owner of the farm. I told him it was like attending Woodstock and I get to talk to a guy who happens to be Max Yasgur (the farm owner of Woodstock). We both had a laugh. He was a hippie whose heart is in the right place. He is lucid about his thoughts. He said a few things...carefully chosen words, I guess, that came from a profound experience. After that, I told him I would support his efforts through my web machinery...on a no-cost basis...a hippie kind of love. He is good energy and it's that kind of energy I want within my orbit.

Yes, he was at Woodstock and had been in the counter-culture scene the last 40 years, attending festivals, raves, be-in gatherings, etc. Through his rich life experience in the hippie world that spans decades, I fantasize that he was at ground zero during the most significant moments that shaped, mobilized and saw the demise of the counter culture movement. Perhaps he smoked with the Grateful Dead, attended Timothy Leary's turn-on, tune-in, drop-out psychedelic odyssey, stopped one the National Guards from shooting peace rally students at the Kent State University, witnessed the Hell's Angels' melee at the Rolling Stones' Altamont concert, slept overnight at Charles Mansion's hippie commune, and attended Live Aid. His thoughts and words are reflective of the idealism of that era - peace, love and harmony.

As much as I admire him for all the things he went through, the skeptic in me couldn't help but speculate, "how can you be doing this for 40 years and still feel it under your skin?". I mean, as poignant and poetic the song, "Bridge over Troubled Water" is, after Art Garfunkel has sung it a zillion times over the years, does he still really feel that song when he sings it? Or you've done it a million times all you need to do is turn on a switch in your head? I bet even Jesus wanted a break from his divinity and live a day putting his pants on one leg at a time.

I was at the bonfire and began a chat with a this Canadian guy. He offered to buy me beer and what followed was a very relaxed conversation of life, struggles and triumph. It wasn't like anyone was proving a point. It just flowed as long as it needed to - perhaps until the glass was empty. I offered to make it my round but we both had things to do.

Ending Thoughts
Counter-culture events...I'm glad it's happening more and more in this country. I believe such off-the-grid experience gives faith in a horizon far broader than what's visible.

Ki Bathala Garden is private property and not open to the public.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover your event for this website (product launch, art show opening, ribbon-cutting, etc.), email me.

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Cagayan de Oro Blogs by TheLoneRider

More Travel Info About Cagayan de Oro

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Reader Comments:

NandinniNandinni Philippines
(May 18, 2013) The festival looked so vibrant. Did it feel like Burning Man in Phils?

"Did it feel like Burning Man in Phils?" -- Marie Roman
(May 18, 2013) True, the festival was vibrant. But no, it wasn't like Burning Man. I don't think there is anything on the planet that comes close to it.

AmaliaAmalia Philippines
(May 2, 2013) Thank you so much! You're wonderful!!! Your vibe will be hard to forget. Blessings!

"your vibe will be hard to forget" -- Amalia Misa
(May 2, 2013) ...many people at the event I wish I could have jammed with, beyond a passing 'hello' and 'see you''re one of them I'm sure we'll cross paths again. Apr 26-28, 2013

»» next story: Goodbye Cagayan de Oro
»» next Counter Culture story: PechaKucha Night at Gilt (Artisan Lounge), Cebu
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