Sunday Lifestyle

What is your favorite Eraserheads song and why?

WORDS WORTH - Mons Romulo - The Philippine Star

The Eraserheads really need no introduction, but to quote my brother Erwin Romulo, editor-in-chief of Esquire Philippines: “They are the greatest rock ’n’ roll band this country has ever produced.” They first formed at the University of the Philippines in Diliman in the late ‘80s,  a few years after I graduated. Even then, I would hear their music and am proud that I come from the same university as they.

The group disbanded in 2002 but reunited in 2008 for a concert, which set an attendance record for a local act in the country. Since then, they’ve been playing sold-out shows all around the world, bringing joy to Filipinos everywhere they go. Still, fans wanted more and hoped that they would record together again.

And last week, they got their wish when Esquire Philippines launched their September issue. The theme was travel and it documents their recent gig in London. Each copy of the magazine also contained a CD with two new singles from the band, Sabado and 1995. (The magazine sold out all its copies in a week and is now on its second printing.) All four members of the Eraserheads—Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro — were there. No less than filmmaker Erik Matti, fresh from the success of his last film On the Job, directed two new videos for the band’s songs, a first for the acclaimed director.  But the real stars of the evening were the band members themselves. As each member was called up on stage, everyone got so emotional, from the “hip” kids to public officials, that there was not a dry eye at the Dusit Ballroom. The Philippines’ most-loved band was back together again, even for just a moment.

Though not reunited as fans had hoped, the Eraserheads will live on and on and their songs will be loved forever. Read on as some personalities shared with us their favorite Eraserheads songs and what it has meant to them.

Quark Henares, director

My favorite Eraserheads song is Balikbayan Box, which is ironically  from one of my least favorite E-heads album, “Sticker Happy.” It’s sad, sorrowful and sweet all at the same time, it captures the OFW experience so perfectly without being overtly emotional. I love it so much that I used it as a credits song in my most personal film, Rakenrol, and I still tear up every time I hear that song.

Atty. Amy A. Avellano, resource development director, Child Protection Network Foundation, Inc.

Huwag Mo Nang Itanong. It’s a pleasant and happy reminder of my younger years when spontaneity, clumsiness, and obstinacy ruled my life. With the current amount of responsibility and level of stress, the song can take me back to those carefree days and the tempo can calm my nerves. Yes, the song’s charm remains but its effect on me is more positive.

Theodore Te, Supreme Court spokesperson

There are just too many songs but if I have to limit it to one it would be Para sa Masa, no personal meaning to me, it is just the most sincere and personal song that E-heads made.

John Lloyd Cruz, actor

Alapaap. When I hear it, I normally just enjoy it and let this trippy song affect me. But when I hear this song and I’m alone, I hear oppression. How society and conventional thinking control the real concept of freedom, I think Alapaap is brave and powerful song born from the creative minds of bored and brilliant artists.      

Senator Bam Aquino

The E-heads’ songs are the songs of my generation. I’ve been a fan since the ‘90s and will continue to be one for decades to come. My favorite  Eraserheads song is Alapaap. We even used this in our wedding video.

Jun Sabayton, actor, director, TV host/TV 5

Ito yung isa sa gusto ko sa Eraserheads, yung tula nilang Punk Zappa and ganda ng pag kagawa na document through words yung generation ng ‘90s saka napaka philosophical dahil dito nag bago ang pananaw at understanding ko sa buhay .

David Guerrero, BBDO Guerro

I would say Overdrive. We used it on a Pepsi commercial back in 1996. I’ve liked a lot of their songs since. But that was my first introduction to the band. And working in the Philippines.

Rajo Laurel, designer

This was a very difficult question for me as I am a huge fan of Eraserheads! Each song that they produced and created resonates within me as this defined my generation. Eraserheads captured my state of mind during that time and directly influenced my taste in  music and perhaps my life. I chose Alapaap  as my favorite song from the Eraserheads as it speaks of soaring and flying the ability to reach  greater heights and encourage others to join in the journey.  It also speaks of breaking out of the mold, getting out of the shadows and being fearless.   It’s a personal anthem  for me because it tells you to break free from what society dictates and just follow, reach and believe in your dreams.

Sarge Lacuesta, multi-awarded writer

In Balikbayan Box, they convincingly captured the shuffle and the squalor of the kababayan who sees home as an almost inescapable box—that swallows clothes, toys and hard-earned money. But there is, at least, the possibility of a reprieve: “Sandali, magpapahangin lang,” Ely sings, and by the time he concludes with “Umuwi na tayo dahil wala nang sense ang ating mundo,” he has offered the only real way out: music.

Samantha Lee, filmmaker

I think the reason why I love Pare Ko is because you can play it anywhere in the Philippines and everyone just sings along to it and in between shouting “tangina” and professing your true love to someone, everything just falls together. You realize that you’re going to be okay because everyone is going through the same thing too.

Moira Lang, producer, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

Spolarium. I’m not sure what the song means, and I like to think of it being about that — not always being sure. Maybe it speaks about ephemeral youth. Maybe it’s about us ordinary people constantly trying to make sense of it all and constantly failing at it — and maybe, just maybe, that’s okay.








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