Top 10 Most Influential Pinoy Bands of the 90’s

The 90’s was such a blast for the Philippine music industry, most especially for local bands.

Pinoy bands were all around the place at that time. Anyone can go, any time, from Mayric’s to Club Dredd to Yosh Cafe where you can see a band performing.

Pinoy bands also ruled the Philippine airwaves. Radio stations play at least 4 OPM songs every hour. And there was even a radio station solely dedicated to Pinoy rock band scene, and no it’s not NU107.

That being said, let Gigs Manila bring back the nostalgia and list the Top 10 most influential Pinoy bands of the 90’s with their most memorable songs that shaped and paved the way to today’s very rocking  music industry.

1. Introvoys – Line to Heaven


Released in 1993, Line To Heaven was penned and sang by Paco Arespacochaga, one of the forming members and drummer of the band.  In an interview he said that the song was as tribute to his parents he lost tragically. Although, the band had previous hits like “Di Na Ako Aasa Pa” and “Will I Survive,” Line to Heaven was their ultimate ticket to stardom. Due to its success, the song stemmed out to a movie, a commercial jingle, and Paco’s son to his former partner, Geneva Cruz. Introvoys was formed in 1986 by Arespacochaga, Jonathan Buencamino, 3rd G Cristobal, and Ira Cruz.

2. After Image – Next In Line


This song literally controlled both the airwaves and graduations when it was released in 1992. If there’s a category among music awards for best graduation song, Next in Line would replace Raymond Lauchengo’s Farewell. On a more serious note, this Wency Cornejo pop ballad depicts every youth’s dilemma of the future– on what really lies beyond.

3. Teeth – Laklak


Let’s get this straight, Teeth is just Teeth, not The Teeth nor The Teeth Band, just plain Teeth. Laklak was Teeth’s carrier single in their 1995 self-titled album, and most probably the second most recognized song of the 90s trailing Pare Ko. With regards to the song’s success and influence, excellent would be an understatement. The band went into a hiatus but recently re-united.

4. Rivermaya – Ulan


Before Bamboo became one of the most sought after pop rock performer in the country, he was first the lead vocalist of the 90’s local group Rivermaya, and Ulan was their ticket to their status today, specially for Bamboo Manalac and Rico Blanco. Ulan was released in 1994 and had become a phenomenal hit instantly. Due to Ulan and the band’s success, Rivermaya was the closest threat to the then kings Eraseheads.

5. Yano – Santong Kabayo


Yano is the only Pinoy band who only had two members, Dong Abay and Eric Gancio. Unknown to many, Santong Kabayo was not their first single,in fact it was their third. Abay and Gancio earlier recorded the EDSA inspired anthem “Kamusta Na” and “Kaka” a song during the time when 12-hour rotating power outage was prevalent. This was part of their demo recorded at  Joey Ayala’s home studio and was submitted to the now defunct LA 105. The two songs had some airplays but gained little success compared to Santong Kabayo. The iconic song released in 1994, was Yano’s carrier single for their self-titled album. After a couple of hits and series of albums, Yano finally called it quits in 1997 after Abay suffered a fame induced pressure that eventually led him to be inactive for a couple of years.

Pupil Releases 4th Album “Zilch”

After a quasi-hiatus of almost four years from the recording scene, rock band Pupil is back with their latest album “Zilch.” A press conference was held on March 26, 2015 at the Historia Bar and Restaurant in Quezon City for the said event.

Zilch deviates from the typical notion of a studio album since it was not put together entirely inside a recording studio. The group, consisting of Andrew “Dok” Sergio, Jerome VelascoWendell Garcia and Ely Buendia, decided rent a photography studio, put together some matresses and foam, and proceeded with the recording there to offer a new sound to their followers.

According to frontman Ely Buendia, what drove the band into the idea of a makeshift studio was that their desire to look for a distinct sound that is not present inside a recording studio. The former Erasherheads vocalist also quipped that if other musicians were given the chance to record outside the studio, they will do it without a doubt.

When asked how they make Pupil’s sound distinct from the other bands they are with, both past and present, lead guitarist Jerome Velasco was quick to answer that experience plays a big factor. He explained that through the course of time, they have learned and developed a sense of awareness to not sound like Teeth or Eheads or Oktaves or Barbie’s Cradle when they are with Pupil. Drummer Wendell Garcia also added that one has to respect the craft and the instrument and be fair with them whenever you are playing with different bands.

Out of Control” is Pupil’s first single from the album. “Zilch” is composed of ten tracks that fit an array of different moods. The album is released by MCA Music and can be bought from Astroplus and Odyssey. Zilch can also be downloaded via spinnr.ph and iTunes. The album can also be streamed through spinnr.ph, Spotify and Deezer.

Air Supply’s Most Used and Abused Songs in Videoke

It has been a long day, and you want nothing but to crash into your bed, forget about the day and just sleep. You deserve it, right? So, you turn off the lights and get ready to sleep. Just about your head hits the pillow you’ve been longing for, your neighbor starts his videoke and blasts the top hits of Air Supply. As much as you want to kill said annoying neighbor, something inside you just wakes up and starts singing along with the string of Air Supply songs.

Videoke machines are a big part of our lives as Filipinos. You’d be hard pressed to find a videoke with not a single Air Supply tune. I would bet it’s impossible even. To commemorate the band’s 40th anniversary, we have listed six of their most used and abused hits that have been massacred one time or another in a videoke session.

Without You

Air Supply released this in 1981 and became the second artist to cover this Badfinger 1970s rock ballad. Sure, Mariah Carey’s 1994 version is also popular but Air Supply’s rendition is most probably the one playing from the videoke machine.

Having You Near Me

This song appeared on Air Supply’s 1980 album “Lost in Love.” This song is usually keyed into the videoke machine to stretch those vocal cords in preparation for a more difficult song from the Australian duo. If you aren’t an 80s kid, you most probably know the song from one too many videoke sessions.

Now and Forever

Released in 1982 from the album “Even the Nights Are Better” is a song that showcased Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock’s vocal blending. In a semi-drunk state, people have attempted to recreate this harmonizing. Let’s just say they were singing under the influence.

Making Love

One of my favorites, this song takes me back to when I was about 6 or 7 years old. We were inside a makeshift circus tent made out of an old parachute, and the performer was at everyone’s eye level. This Air Supply hit song was played in a loop as the magician was cutting the female assistant in half while inside a box the size of a huge fridge. The kicker was that it took him forever to finish the trick using a carpenter’s hand saw. Just imagine how many times I’ve had to listen to the song as a kid. And if that weren’t enough, someone somewhere just has to massacre the song in videoke.

All Out Of Love

This song placed 92nd in VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Love Songs in 2003. If Air Supply was paid a centavo for each time this song was sung in videoke sessions, they would undoubtedly make it in the billionaires list.

Here I Am

This is the song that goes “Here I am, just when I thought I was over you” and not the “Here I am, the one that you love” (the proper title of which is “The One That You Love”). It seems even Air Supply got confused and made another song out of the first one. This track was released in 1981 was ranked number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981 and remained in the top 40 for 15 weeks. WOW! And to top it all of, this song has probably been sung out of tune in each of the countries’ more than 7,000 islands.

As much as people hate listening to other people committing musical murder with Air Supply hits, their alcohol-induced concert is just proof that Air Supply has become ingrained into popular culture. What other Air Supply songs do you think should make it on this list?

Comment away in the space below.

Youth groups denounce Parokya ni Edgar over controversial photo

Akbayan party list and Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) blast Parokya ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda over a photo showing him in a pose similar to that of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the background.

The controversial photo was taken during a gig at the celebration of the former henchmen’s 97th birthday coined as “Marcos Fiesta” at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena this month.

Akbayan’s statement was released via their website urging Miranda to “be part of the crucial task of educating young people on the atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship.”

According to their Chairperson Rafaela “Paeng” David, it was a big concern for them that Miranda’s photo, as well as the band’s participation at the Marcos Fiesta, might be interpreted as a stamp of approval of the Marcos dictatorship.

“Marcos apologists are already busy using the band’s participation in the event to present the Marcoses as being benevolent to the youth.” he said.

The chairperson went on by saying Marcos is not someone to be lauded or emulated by today’s younger generation, and his dictatorial regime has yet to account for its “crimes against the Filipino youth.” “We should not forget that under Martial Law, many youth and students were tortured and killed, democratic institutions were abused and bastardized, the nations coffers were plundered and our debt skyrocketed – indeed, we witnessed the death of democracy under Marcos,” he added.

On the other hand, the group Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) believed that Parokya ni Edgar should be part instead of spreading awareness to today’s generation about the truth of Martial Law “to deepen their appreciation of the values of democracy and human rights.”

SCAP Chairperson Francesca “Iska” Dalangin stated she is hoping Parokya uses its unique position as a ‘pop icon of this generation’ and being idolized by a lot of young people, to be the ambassador of truth.

“They should not let themselves be used to whitewash the Marcoses’ dark and corrupt past,” she said.

“We hope the band will joins us as we further educate the young generation about what really happened during the Martial Law and meaningfully contribute in this campaign for truth and democracy.”

Finally, the groups said they would want to meet Miranda and his band to talk about the issue and “clear the air” about what happened.

As of this writing, Parokya ni Edgar has yet to issue a statement on the controversy.

Playlisted: Gilas Pilipinas

About a year ago, Philippines finally got out of the Korean Nightmare. After 30 years of heartaches after heartaches, Gilas Pilipinas ended the curse and was finally able to enter the FIBA World Championship in Spain.

Gilas Pilipinas is ranked 34 and is expected to finish on the tail-end of the delegates around the globe. The Philippine team’s first task was to face Croatia with two NBA players. It was expected that Croatia will cruise easily behind Gilas, but the boys definitely proved them wrong. Although finishing behind them, Gilas Pilipinas put on a good show. The game went into overtime and finished with Croatia ahead by just three points at 81-78. It deserves mention that Gilas was able to make an amazing play to come back from a 15-point deficit.

How fitting it is to give a tribute to our Gilas Pilipinas who are representing the entire nation and showing the world how big the Filipino heart is.

Sige lang – Quest

Keep on pushing forward. Be daring and aggressive in pursuing a dream or goal armed with hard work and the right attitude. An impossible goal, in no time, will not be far from reality. Gilas’ FIBA World Championship bid is like an impossible dream. Giving up was never an option and these men moved forward whether it was a defeat or a win, they moved forward with one goal in mind. After 36 years, the dream became a reality.

Song Review: Balikbayan (Ngayo’y Nandito Ka) – Uppercase Band

Nostalgia. This song brings back memories from the mid to late 90s band explosion. This song would have been perfect for the Tunog Kalye series, a series of compilation album released by a local radio station featuring local bands.

In a time when bands are going wild on electronics and synthesizers, the Uppercase Band went back to the roots by going with an acoustic feel. Simplicity is their strength. This added a certain transcendence to the song.

A song about friendship and the feel of seeing each other again and going back to the good old days, the song starts slowly. It’s like drinking wine. At first you might find it damp, but it gets better and better as you go with it. It starts to build up after the first stanza. This may be a long build-up for a song, but it works well for them in this particular song.

The only caveat is that new ears might shy away due to the long build-up. Nonetheless, even with a slow start, it managed to end strongly. Just like good wine, you might not like it at first, but it kicks you if you hang on to it up to the last drip.

The Uppercase Band is composed of Canada-based Filipino musicians wjo are proud of their roots. They are Jason Alba on piano and keyboards, Allan Lagat on bass guitar, Mark de Leon on guitars and vocals, Joey Giagonia on lead guitars, and Geoffrey Vitug on drums.

Song review: Salamat Po – Parokya ni Edgar

“Salamat Po,” as the title obviously declares, is a tribute song. The song is a tribute to the higher power and to Parokya ni Edgar’s followers. Although not as catchy as their previous songs, the simply-put lyrics and the toned-down melody will hit a thing or two for die-hard PNE fans.

The four-chord progression and simply-penned lyrics are PNE signatures. These have done wonders for them in the past and continue to do so in this track. The band’s simplicity and down-to-earth demeanor are their biggest strengths.

It becomes apparent that Parokya ni Edgar likes the sand. The music video for “Salamat Po” is probably the band’s fourth beach- or at least water-themed video. Unlike the previous ones though, “Salamat Po” seems like a clip they took spontaneously during one of their trips.

Nonetheless, Salamat Po is neither a poor song nor a great one. Like the band’s hits “Gitara” or “Inuman Na,” this song is intended for drinking sessions or hangouts.

Tarsius – Deathless Gods (Live)

If you’re into electronic music, Deathless Gods is the right piece for you. Although not as catchy or edgy compared to mainstream electronica, it will not bore your ear out. The changes in pattern and beats were baked in perfectly.

The live version is different from the album version. Changing lanes from the studio album is risky but rewarding at the same time. Regardless of changes, you can tell that Tarsius is doing it for themselves and not for the audience or target listeners. They create and play music to enjoy and not to impress which is very admirable.

Deathless Gods is perfect for an intimate kind of party or show. The beat is best felt with a smaller crowd, not heavy, just right. Carrying a conversation with this music will not be an issue. However, Diego Mapa should be cautious in making such beats because there is a big possibility that it might be mistaken for a Pedicab track.

Tarsius consists of Diego Mapa and Jay Gapasin. Both came from local bands Pedicab and Radio Active Sago Project, respectively.

Tarsius’ sound is heavily influenced by electronic music with a fusion of dance, hip-hop, house and alternative dance.

Mapa and Gapasin met in 2006 while touring and decided to collaborate because of their love for electronic music. However, due to other commitments and schedule conflicts, they only reconnected in 2011 and decided to formally conceive Tarsius.

Deathless Gods is the first track of their debut 10-track album, Primate, which was released in 2012.

Playlisted: 12 Songs about Pinoy Pride

Lupang Hinirang (Joey Ayala) – Altering the national anthem is illegal and is a punishable crime but when the legendary musician and lyricist Joey Ayala tampered with it during a TEDEX event, the outcome was perfect and like what he said you’ll never sing the national anthem the same way again.

Guitar Legend Jun Lopito Seeks Medical Attention for Rare Hepatitis

Legendary Pinoy rock and blues guitarist Jun Lopito was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and is in need of immediate medical attention.

In her private message to a certain Tita Maricel, Lopito’s daughter Bebop Lavalan said her father is still “undergoing outpatient workup and to date, a few diagnoses have been established for which further evaluation is needed.”

The music legend has been getting some assistance from Hearts of Music (HOM), a non-government organization founded by jazz and ska singer Skarlet Brown in her desire to fasten and preserve the health and livelihood of Filipino musicians.

Skarlet Brown also known as Myra Rauro, who fronted Put3Ska in the early 90s, confirmed that HOM paid for Lopito’s initial tests even though his ailment had not been made public yet at the time.

Yung iba nga akala hindi ako kumikilos kasi nga discreet lang,” Skarlet shares.

Aside from HOM, the Brownbeat All-Stars also had a ‘pass the hat’ thing at Tomato Kick during a gig.

We managed to raise P11,000 that contributed to Jun’s medical needs,” Skarlet added.

But the need to raise more funds for Lopito’s increasing medical expenses has prompted his daughter Bebop to ask for more help from well-meaning friends and perhaps some concerned fans.

We are reaching out to concerned, kind souls who are interested and willing to offer assistance to Jun. You can get in touch with us at buddhabluesyou@gmail.com where we will continue to forward info, updates, and developments, Lavalan appealed.

As of this writing, there are at least two fund-raising gigs for Lopito. There will be a May 16 gig dubbed as “Blues for a Blues Man” at The Bar1951 in M. Adriatico Street in Malate, Manila. Among the featured performers will be Rolly Maligad of Cocojam, the Bleu Rascals, together with Blue Way, Lagkitan, and Paul Puti-an of Coffee Break.

Brown said that there will also be a June 18 fundraiser at Saguijo where she will be one of the performers.

The 55-year-old guitarist born Wolfrando G. Lavalan Jr. is the son of the late comedian Lopito and is one of the pioneers of Pinoy Rock n’ Roll.

He has played guitar or at least jammed with legendary bands and rock icons like The Jerks, Cocojam, Anak Bayan, Tropical Depression, Blitz, Runaway Boys and Joey “Pepe” Smith, and most recently, Mr. Bones and the Boneyard .

He has released his first and only album “Bodhisattvas” in 1995, which featured equally great artists including Joey “Pepe” Smith, Grace Nono, Cocojam, Spy and late great drummer Edmund Fortuno, who also succumbed to a rare disease.