Tag Archives: opm rock

This Gathering: Franco Live in Iloilo City

Well this is sort of overdue. I was not supposed to squeeze my mind of reactions toward that show but this is sort of request.  So Nikko, whether you attended or not, this one’s for you.

You might know Franco as a rock band that plays heavy alternative rock songs with irie roots glorifying the Jah given herb. They are also known as a gathering of the five of the best band musicians, some sort of opm rock dream team. And girls love their long-haired cute guitarist.

The show opened with a handful of local bands from Iloilo Lokal which were relatively enjoyable. You put up a show with a variety of musical styles under the alternative genre, you will surely have something for everyone. Some of this guys I see often, The Liberty Jam got some energy that almost made the makeshift stage collapse, Godchild got the crowd singing along, Breach of Fate got the crowd hyped up, and some other bands which were also remarkably talented.

When Franco took the stage they owned it. A few highlights were: Ocho setting up the mic, Franco talking to the crowd in twanged Cebuano thinking we understood him, the crowd clapping their hands in the air to the bridge of Song for the Suspects and the whole five minutes of This Gathering. It was an intimate show and people were on a sort of collective musical high and I am smacked in the middle of them. There was smoke and sweat exchange which were just plain crazy and fun at the same time. Guys were screaming guy’s names. I tried to sing, more like shout, but the speakers beside us muted the sound of my voice. For the whole five hours, I might have smoked a pack of cigarette all secondhandedly. My feet and back ached but fuck it, this is rock n’ roll.



There is actually a back story to this whole “dying to watch Franco” thing.  Rewind to July 28, 2011, they opened for Incubus in Manila and unfortunately we were not able to catch perform because of a serendipitous disaster.  To read the whole plight, click here.  So it was kind of, here’s the chance of making up a prequel to that.  And we get to hear not just five but eight songs.

Franco didn’t play For My Dearly Departed which might dissolve the crowd’s exuberance.  I didn’t get to see Buwi Menesis (Tuts Calinawan of Queso was taking care of the bass for him).  No shirts were thrown or stripped.  I did not have a photo taken with the band.  Still, for a fan, just being there is worth it.  Music will always be worth it.

With all of these aside, this is what you missed.

PS:  Rooftop as venues may only be good for acoustic type of shows, me thinks.

Photos:  Kristian Guanco

Days of Glory Revisited

I woke up dazed at about six this morning only to realize that it was Tuesday and I should be at work that very moment if I didn’t lose track of days and if my alarm didn’t lose its purpose. No manager would ever consider accepting those unreasonable reasons so I thought of a plethora of other possibly valid excuses. I’m adequately equipped with alibi creation skill but my honesty outweighs it. I called in sick anyway and lie on the couch like a true sick person would do and tune the TV to MYX, the number one music channel in the Philippines, at least that’s what their marketing catchphrase says.

Suddenly, as if I just rode a time warp, I’m back in 2005. I used to sit on the couch the whole weekend despite my mothers plea for me to get a social life. Who needed to go out with friends when there was good music to enjoy. Pinoy alternative rock (I guess we could just call it that) saved me from the elusive dangerous bliss of reality. There were three tsunamis of OPM rock, the 80’s, 90’s and the most recent came in 2005, I was fifteen. Its rise was breathtaking and the climax was explosively glorious. What started with bands that presented themselves as bubblegum versions of Eraserheads, ended with musical maturity of The Dawn. It was an incorporation of the previous opm rock coupled with good looking vocalists and mysterious long haired bassists. Just like a plague it was contagious, every kid owned an acoustic guitar and most bands started making similar music. It became a huge bandwagon, literally, and everybody was riding it.

After four glorious years the tune gradually faded, the tide slowly subsided, all the song had been sung and the people started embracing foreign artists again. OPM rock found its way on a familiar tiresome descent. It has fallen to a coma and a few passionate musicians are hopefully reviving it. The higher it went the harder it fell and the president even mandated radio stations to air four OPM songs an hour. Fewer people come to gigs, far from the shoulder to shoulder crowd before. The evolution of OPM rock is like a big concert, the audience came flooding excitedly for the headline performer, they survived the potential deficient front acts but most left after the show and the loyal fans stayed for the encore. It is somehow bittersweet. Maybe people’s preferences change with time, or maybe every fad have to fade in obscurity.

On a positive note, the songs are still with us, they’re a constant reminder of how divine those days were.

Aural Intercourse with Queso


Cheese was formed in ’94 as something to do after classes.After some change in the band roster, by ’98 cheese was playing regularly in clubs and underground concerts all around the metro(Manila) and in different provinces.The same year they recorded their two-song self-titled E.P. fine and the way, they signed with Warner. They have released two albums under Warner Music Philippines and iand their third album was released independently.  They have garnered awards for album of the year and vocalist of the year and the listeners choice award for their sophomore effort Pilipinas in the Nu Rock Awards 2002. Later they changed their name to Queso. As of now they are busy in the studios working on the next album.

The band is considered underground even though a lot of rock enthusiasts are already familiar with the bands music.  The bands song titles are quiet wierd but they have english lyrics. They dont really get that much recognition because of their genre but their sound is just awesome that it defines the local underground hardcore rock in the Philippines.

Locked and loaded, the band is poised yet again to smash barriers and open minds with their “don’t give a fuck” attitude and music.

Listen to the Inkdah album and see why Filipinos are awesome.