The 60s and 70s gave a rapid emergence of boy bands not only in the US and European countries but in Manila, principally. Since music is said to be the universal language, then I would have to say band music, being earsplitting, crashing, and thunderous, has enormously set its trending outcry-style to effectually communicate and ultimately send out the very essence of the message.
During the height of the beatnik and Woodstock era when band members were considered social outcasts because of their ruggedly, stubbly, and bristly looks, mainstream boy bands were exclusively schooled, offspring of affluent families, and musically skilled. They were merely brought together by a common interest in music and their earnest enthusiasm to entertain.
Manila’s nightlife and party scenes during the 60s and 70s overridingly brought to the fore regular performances of very popular all-male bands. Who could forget the supremacy of The Imperials, Dynasouls, The Celtics, The Hi-Jacks, The Jitterbugs, The Lunatics, The Madcaps, Mon Pestano & the Robins, Jose Mari’s Electromaniacs, Bits ‘n Pieces, The Downbeats, The Blinkers, Boy Adan & the Grandeurs, and a lot more. TV shows, whether at noon or nighttime, won’t be without any of these bands on their guest list.
The 80s and 90s bore witness to the birth of even more elite all-male pop groups like TVJ (Tito, Vic & Joey), Apo Hiking Society, and Hagibis, closely followed by Eraserheads, River Maya, Siakol, and Parokya ni Edgar.
Formed in 1993, Parokya ni Edgar, fast-forwardly catapulted to an enviable celebrity status after consistently grabbing top slots in the local billboard charts. The Filipino all-male band is best known for the paramount emergence of original rock novelty and satirical covered songs aside from performing a wide variety of genre like alternative, pop, comedy, and experimental rocks, ska-punk, pop punk and rap rock.
Composed of Chito Miranda (lead vocalist), Buwi Meneses (bass guitarist), Darius Semana (lead guitarist), Gab Chee Kee (rhythm guitarist and vocal alternate), Dindin Moreno (drummer), and Vinci Montaner (back up vocalist & occasional percussionist), the group has effectually collaborated with at least 33 equally popular and established talents and bands and had already won nearly fifty awards and citations from different prestigious award-giving bodies that justifiably earned for them the archetypal tag as the “Pambansang Banda Ng Pilipinas” (The National Band of the Philippines).
Initially labeled “Comic Relief” with Ateneo de Manila University high school students as original members (composed of Chito Miranda, Jeric Estaco, Vinci Montaner, Mikko Yap, and Gab Chee Kee) their break came after performing as curtain raisers during an Eraserheads concert. Their instant “sprouting” into the music scene unavoidably impelled the group to recruit additional members: Dindin Moreno as drummer and Buwi Meneses as bassist, both from Ateneo. The untimely departure from the band of Mikko and Jeric, in pursuit of their respective interest after high school, inexorably prompted the group to take Darius Semana in as lead guitarist. During touring and jamming sessions, Paolo Bernaldo was invited to play bass guitar.
From “Comic Relief,” the group was inadvertently re-christened “Parokya ni Edgar” from a classmate’s comedic response to their Filipino class teacher’s question: “Where was Crisostomo Ibarra (Rizal’s fictional character in Noli Me Tangere) educated?” Bambi Cuna, the class jester instantaneously retorted: “…sa Parokya ni Edgar!” The name stuck on vocalist Jeric Estaco’s mind that he chose to introduce the band as such in their first live performance… and soon after the name Parokya ni Edgar took off with immense aplomb and intensity.
In the late 1990s Parokya ni Edgar (PNE) took the band scene by storm with its most-awaited regular weekend performances at Club Dredd, a youth-oriented watering hole along EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. The rousing escalation of the Filipino rock explosion during the ebb days of the 90s coupled with the strong influence of the western and European rock invasion gave PNE its unstoppable popularity.
Their maiden recordings (courtesy of Universal Records’ Bella Tan who saw one of their live Club Dredd performances), “Buloy,” “Trip,” (Siopao na Special), and “Lutong Bahay” (Cooking Ng Ina Mo), productively achieved immense radio airplay.
Their first recorded album in 1996, “Khangkhungkhernitz,” earned triple platinum after it sold more than 120,000 units. The succeeding annually recorded albums equally reached triple platinum levels: “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy” (1997), “Jingle Balls Silent Holy Cow” (1998), and “Gulong Itlog Gulong” (1999).
The group’s comeback after a 5-year hiatus deliberately sustained their unprecedented stature with the release of their junior studio album, “Edgar Edgar Musikahan,” which included the hit single “Halaga” that further boosted Parokya’s career while fortifying even more their already carved name in the industry.
Hearing the infectious harmonizing proficiency of the band’s vocal capability, whether rendering a sappy ballad or delivering an innovative pop tune, would inevitably bring one to the grove of the beat. There’s indubitably a compulsive enigma and pulsating sensation in every Parokya’s music… be it an original composition, a covered song, or a collaborative rendition.
Their studio album, “Bigotilyo,” (with its carrier single, “Mr. Suave,”) was released in 2003; then their first compilation DVD album, “Inuman Sessions Volume 1,” celebrating their 11th year in the business was released in 2004; in 2010 their 9th studio album, “Middle-aged Juvenile Novelty Pop Rockers,” justifiably added additional laurel to their already multi-decorated cap; in 2013, they released 13th album, “Bente,” a commemorative memorabilia of their 20th Founding Anniversary; and on October 17, 2016 the band released “Pogi Years Old” nationwide in celebration of their nearly two decades and a half in the Philippine music arena.
Interestingly, Parokya Ni Edgar had released 9 Studio Albums, 9 Compilation and Live albums, 23 Collaborative Album Appearances, 29 Music Videos, 44 Singles, and 13 Parodies that consistently hailed them as the Band of the Year.
Parokya, in its 24 years of unswerving incomparability, has had received 14 top recognitions and 10 nominations from the prestigious Aliw Awards while NU Rock Awards duly recognized their unparalleled talent with 9 awards.
Other award-giving bodies did not fail to recognize PNE’s hard-hitting domination among its peers: 1 from MTV Asia Awards, 3 from MTV Pilipinas, another from MTV Video Music Awards, 9 wins and 11 nominations from MYX Music Awards, a recognition from Yahoo! Philippines OMG Awards, another nod from DWLS FM (now Barabgay LS 97.1), 3 awards from the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation, 1 from the 1st Philippine Radio Music Awards, a nomination from Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards Philippines, a win from 1st M.O.R. 101.9 Music Awards, 4 nominations courtesy of SOP PasiklaBAND Awards, and 2 nominations from ASAP Pop Viewers Choice Awards.
The latter years had also given nascence and continued burgeoning relatively popular rock bands like Hale, Sponge Cola, Cueshe, Pupil, South Border, Neocolors, Side A, True Faith, Freestyle, Gloc-9, and Kamikaze but despite these mushrooming and crowding rock entities Parokya Ni Edgar strongly holds on to its mainstream power and remained unperturbed from where it has been deeply rooted…established…unaffected…uncontested!
The tested top-of-the-league group has frequently provided innovative ideas and consistently introduces fresh music genre that induces curiosity while proving Parokya’s versatility and creativity.
The immense popularity and idiosyncratic familiarity of Parokya ni Edgar members brought them not only fortune and fame but their distinctive features are effortlessly recognizable even by silhouette alone.
With such astounding accomplishments, unsurpassed achievements, and wide fanbase no local band had ever attained, it’s but easy to conclude that Parokya ni Edgar is indisputably the band truly deserving to be bestowed the “Pambansang Banda ng Pilipinas.”
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