Philippine Music Scene

Allow me to take a blog moment to visit my motherland, Philippines. There’s no time that I visit my homeland without checking out music gigs.

The best one for me is Up Dharma Down. I remember how I Indian-sat in front of the stage looking up and just being in awe on how eargasmic they are. Up Dharma Down is THE Philippine band with the most definitive quality of being globally recognized.

Coincidentally, I came across a nicely uploaded video of an online buddy of mine, purpleheadd. She’s on my blogroll. Here’s  a song with minimal lyrics but grand in delivery, “Blessed”.

Moving on, I love the energy that Bamboo exerts in concert. He  moves like a bee in flight jumping and hopping around the whole stage.  His battery didn’t run down ’til the end. The closing suprise fireworks was explosive, and was fun to see.

Sadly, Bamboo took on a solo flight and the group is now disbanded.

Speaking of which, I had the chance to see Sugarfree perform live before they got disbanded.

I was really sadden when I heard the news. To me, it felt like a death of the whole OPM (Original Pilipino Music), which is also unfortunate to say that it is what likely is currently happening. I’m optimistic though. I believe that Sugarfree was the band initiated the second band break-out of our music history. I think that there will be another band like Sugarfree who will rise up and make the scene lively again.

On the same token, Sugarfree shared the stage that night in SaGuijo Cafe with Itchyworms. 

They are not disbanded. Band member, Jugs [middle in the picture], however, is now hosting a dance contest show called “Showtime”. Itchyworm is an all-member vocals/instruments ensemble.

On lighter notes, these are two more of comedic bands of the Philippines. Parokya ni Edgar and Kamikazee …

What I love about Parokya ni Edgar is they really are THE  people’s band. They are just cool. They make it feel like they’re just hanging out, playing song and the audience are invited to listen or join in.

This band is sprightly energetic as well. The vocalist, Jay Contreras, is such a character. He does all kinds of thing onstage. More so than any other bands I must note. He dances, does comedic skits, sprinkles water all over his body,  flirts, acts, fixes his hair, and all at the same, perform their songs.

I should say, I caught them the first month I moved here in Oxnard. The event was unexpectedly just more or so 5 mintues away from where I lived. They shared the concert with the lovely, gorgeous, sexy, intelligent singer-songwriter Kitchie Nadal.

 She’s so tiny. She’s sweet too. She invited a little girl in front of the stage to sing with her.

I’ll leave you with this song by our poet musician, Dong Abay. Note: It’s in Tagalog.

Jazz-Pop Band Sinosikat?

 Also seen: Paramita, Jeepney Joyride, Matilda, Join The Club, Spongecola (I hate their gig!!!), Featured Photo is Pupil with Ely Buendia as the vocalist


So, who are your favorite pinoy musicians? Who are the active bands/artists in the Philippine music scene of today?

18 replies »

  1. There really is something special with our own OPM songs especially those made by the huge hitmakers.

    As for me, my huge favorite is Bamboo. He has a new song and I’m loving it.

    • I have supported both underground and mainstream Philippine music. “Patronizing your own” is what OPM needs badly right now that it’s meeting its worst.

  2. I’d like you to know I am also a fan of the Filipino Musicians you posted here, especially Bamboo. College days is what I reminisce as I went on this post. I used to watch concerts — a lot — and now I suddenly miss the good old days. I haven’t been into a concert since the last time in my college years. It’s been 6 six years to be exact. Anyway, I’m glad you still have your roots in tact with you.

    • Just embracing the oppurtunity of feeding my longing to pinoy music whenever I visit Philippines.

      I consider Light, Peace, Love as one of my top 10 OPM albums of the last decade.

  3. I was surprised to learn that Sugarfree has already disbanded, sorry, I don’t watch tv these days…

    Too bad Bamboo and Sugarfree had disbanded, they are 2 of the bands I love to see live. I agree with the adjectives you describe for Bamboo, and sometimes, he performs barefoot then I remember during his Rivermaya days, he sings facing his bandmates, not the crowd, haha…

    Very cool taste. I also like Cueshe, Freestyle (FS) and South Border (SB) and just like the rest of the bands, FS & SB often change their band players especially the lead vocals…

    Thanks for sharing my friend, glad to know they go as far as your place to perform there. 🙂

  4. It’s hard for OPM bands/artists to reclaim success, let alone make a name for themselves. That’s why they are just modifying members, reinventing is an exceptable solid excuse.

    • I agree. It’s just sad because they are leaving there fans hanging but that’s how it works, unfortunately. Well, at least we got the chance to see them perform before they even disbanded.

  5. Of the bands you listed here, Parokya gets my vote. No pretensions, no ”we’re-misunderstood-indie-artists” shtick. Just good music that straddles genres, ages and tastes but still very much their own and so Pinoy. Plus I like effortless great humor, so I do love Chito, haha.

  6. Its great to see that you love Up dharma too. I love our musicians and will support them all the way. Btw, Dong Abay just released an album all about the national hero Jose Rizal, i bet you’ll gonna love his new album.

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