The UP Feb Fair started as a protest fair expressing opposition to a dictatorial and oppressive regime of the Martial Law. Decades after, the UP Feb Fair became the festival(-ish) celebration parading various organizations, showcasing famous artists and UP-grown talents. Having studied in UPLB during my undergraduate degree, I was blessed to be part of the UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos. Remembering those days were nostalgic and magical. Now as a graduate student in UP Diliman, I had the privilege of experiencing UP Diliman’s version of the UP Feb Fair and it was quite surprising. There are tons of difference, hence, this face-off.
By far, UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman boasts a much powerful cast of artists as compared to UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos. During my time in UPLB, there were only a handful of famous artists/celebrity entertaining the crowd and usually, it was only on the peak days, Thursday and Friday. In UP Diliman, all UP Feb Fair days offer tons of famous artists that can command throng of fans strengthening its claim as a week-long concert.
Rarely can you see, if not none, families in UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman. Crowd are mostly students and yuppies going back for another dose of the Feb Fair experience. Unlike in UP Diliman, UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos offers a community-oriented, laid-back environment encouraging families to bond.
There is a fee to enter the UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman, unlike in UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos where anyone can freely roam the UP Freedom Park grounds. Mainly because the powerhouse line-up of artists and the limited space of the UP Sunken Garden in UP Diliman, the UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman became a fund-raising event wherein organizers collect revenues from tickets sales.
Due to the absence of any tickets, there are numerous entrances in UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos. Obviously, it is easy to enter the UPLB Freedom Park. Unlike in UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman where tickets are issued, there is only one entrance going to the actual fair. Literally, it sometimes result in a kilometer-long queues which can easily annoy people. But who cares!? It’s UP Feb Fair!
Because of the entrance fees, tight security safeguards the UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman from threats of danger. Barricades are installed around the UP Sunken Garden to shield people from outside threats; though this set-up can arguably lead to risks. In UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos however, there are no security aside from the handful UP Police Force personnel roaming the area. Another thing – due to the sheer number of people, both UP Feb Fair in Los Banos and in Diliman became notorious in nasty commotions. In fact, I know someone who have been stabbed at his back by a butterfly knife.
UP Feb Fairs became business hubs that promoted commerce ranging from food, apparel, accessories and other novelty items for trading. I can say that the UP Diliman’s version of the UP Feb Fair houses more upscale businesses unlike in UP Los Banos. Aside from the vendors outside the barricaded UP Sunken Garden, UP Feb Fair in UP Diliman became a viable channel to promote brands. What UP Los Banos Feb Fair lacks in known brands, it was compensated through the sheer volume of small-scale concessionaires scattered around the vast UP Freedom Park field. Anyone can be dazzled with the array of food and novelty items to choose from.
Aside from the actual event, there are alternatives whenever anyone gets tired of the usual UP Feb Fair stuff. In UP Feb Fair in UP Los Banos, there is a car show for car enthusiasts, lasso’ing for wanna-be cowboys and paintball wars for the extremists. In UP Diliman, there is an another mini-fair in the College of Fine Arts wherein fine arts students exhibit their art creations and create great music through jam sessions of indie, talented bands.
WHICH VERSION OF THE UP FEB FAIR IS BETTER? Comment the best Ferbuary Fair below!