Words by Cris O. Ramos Jr.

Promoting their new single and synching it with an anti-bully campaign, the ‘Wag Kang Halimaw mall tour was a beast with a purpose.

“I would say that bullying is something that you will regret later on in life. Eventually you’ll think kung ano napala mo dun? Wala, ‘di ba? You only get some people to laugh at the expense of somebody else and who knows how long those scars are going to be. Hopefully someday people would spend more time building up other people,” Firefalldown frontman Jon Blaylock said of his anti-bullying stance that was his band’s advocacy of choice during their ‘Wag Kang Halimaw Mall Tour that was launched last July 9, 2017 at SM City East Ortigas.

Firefalldown at their ‘Wag Kang Halimaw mall tour kick-off at SM East Ortigas | Photo by Lee Caces

It was a fun show highlighted by great performances by co-headliners Bob, Maryzark, and, of course, Firefalldown, but Barbie Almalbis brought it to an incredible close. Firefalldown jumpstarted a tour that will span more mall stops and some campus legs along the way in support of their second album Halimaw, the title track of which is now bannered by a music video directed by Nico Lopez. Halimaw is also Blaylock’s first release since he based himself here in Manila from London and with the band’s revamped lineup comprised of drummer Paulo Mendoza, bassist Ronnie Ropal, guitarist Andy Sauner and synthesizer veteran Eric Tubon.

“I loved playing with the original lineup, but expanding from a three-piece to a five- piece – now with synths – brought a new dimension to the band,” said Blaylock.

Firefalldown members Eric Tubon, Ronnie Ropal, Jon Blaylock, Andy Sauner, and Paulo Mendoza | Photo courtesy of Firefalldown

When asked to further comment on the band’s campaign and whether he himself has experienced it during his early years, Blaylock relates “I did. I wouldn’t say I was a regular target. I got into sports, so I guess I was kind of fortunate in a way that people who are into sports aren’t usually a target, but there is always someone out there who really is nagpapasikat lang talaga and who needs to be on the spotlight and do so at the expense of other people. It was a horrible experience for me, but it wasn’t something that happened to me a lot, so I can’t imagine how it feels like for people who go through this from grade school to high school, so hopefully people will see bands such as Maryzark and Barbie taking a stand and saying ‘No, that’s not cool.’ That’s very helpful, I think.’”

Watch the rest of the interview with Jon Blaylock here:

Check out more photos from the ‘Wag Kang Halimaw mall tour kick-off at SM East Ortigas, with guest performers Barbie Almalbis, Maryzark, BOB, Kaizen, Myst, and Last Section: