Changing of the guards
Yuli Baquisal (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A couple of household names underwent some facelift, loudly announcing their crucial moves which echoed within their respective playing fields. On one hand, a pop station was put off and taken over, not by a rock station but by one with technically similar format plus some interesting twists. On the other hand, a premier ’90s band act somewhat realized what it needed to do to really capture the present generation and save its act from extinction: Change its vocalist. Read their stories. 

One of the more popular FM stations, Energy FM (91.5) is currently signed off after its frequency was renamed Big Radio by veteran programmer Manny Luzon. Big Radio began airing last June 1, with people in charge of Energy FM promising to move to a higher frequency soon.

In an interview, the influential radio executive who is also on top of turning the home of rock NU 107 into the pop Win Radio, noted on the takeover, “We’re providing the same format in Big Radio as we have in Win Radio, only that our playlist here has more recent hits. We hope to be champions of OPM without the dirty talk which I think has become a favorite formula on FM these days.”

Luzon is EVP/COO of Progressive Broadcasting Corp. owned by Atom Henares. This paved the way for the reformatting of NU to Win Radio which is said to be now ranking seventh in listenership survey made by Radio Research Council.

Interestingly, Luzon was the same man who created and popularized Energy FM in key provinces beginning in 1996. By 2006 Energy took over DWKY in Manila, immediately making waves and reaching as high as No. 2 among Mega Manila stations.

Last year, the former DZMB station manager who helped conceptualized Love Radio decided to set up his own broadcast management and left Energy. When he made a return trip to FM radio at the year’s tail-end, Win Radio would be born.  

On being strict about dirty language, Luzon argued, “Kasama natin ang radyo sa sala, sa kwarto at kotse kaya we have to sound wholesome because children maybe listening. Hindi natin palulusutin anything na may sexual undertones.”

Somewhat putting emphasis on the “big change” is Big Radio’s delightfully sounding jingle now being heard almost every hour. The two-minute piece with a high-register bass line intro includes a line that says, “Enjoy akong nakikinig sa playlist mong astig.”

Alamid, a popular local band in the ’90s, formally reenters the music scene with a new track that has the earmark of its signature song Your Love. More than that, it’s back without Gary Ignacio, the frontman behind the said classic and others like Sama-Sama and China Eyes.

The new song is It Was You, penned by lone original member Dex Facelo and engineered by ace producer Angee Rozul. The new vocalist is Carl McFly, a former DJ (disc jockey) and events host with a previous album record of his own.

Carl, who replaced Gary after the band’s fallout with the latter, joined the band May last year as the group has been performing the digitally release song (downloadable at in gigs here and abroad.  

The former DJ whose version of Your Love is being hailed as competently different, shared, “What many people don’t know is that I started out as a musician, as a singer in bands during my younger years. Then my radio career took over and I found my niche there. But I wanted to be more than the one who plays the songs on radio. I wanted to be that someone singing the songs.”

Alamid, named after a wild mountain cat, was discovered in November of 1993 by Warner Music executives. The band’s self-titled debut album was released the following year and produced Your Love, China Eyes and I Just Wasn’t Brave Enough. Its second album, Panaginip, brought the anthemic Sama-Sama, a rock version of Batibot theme, and the inspirational Hesus.

The group recently guested on the radio program Showbiz FM anchored by Jeff Fernando and MJ Marfori and aired over 92.3 News FM.

Band producer Leigh Bool revealed they decided to drop Gary because “it was already unhealthy working with him” and that he “lacks that personality to carry the band in live gigs, especially overseas.” The former Alamid singer has reportedly formed his own band.

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