Mike Hanopol to become first Filipino rabbi

By Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2015 06:23 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2016 05:12 PM

MANILA - OPM icon Mike Hanopol revealed that he is set to be ordained as the first Filipino rabbi in 2016.

On the sidelines of his May 14 reunion concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati with other music legends Wally Gonzales and Rene Garcia, Hanopol revealed the culmination of his life with excitement.

In the ‘70s, he belatedly discovered his Jewish roots when his father was introduced to the Russian Hanopol family in New York. From Kiev, they were forced to migrate to the United States due to the persecution of Jews in the 1920s.

For more than a decade now, Hanopol has been teaching Judaism to Filipinos seeking a new spiritual way of life.

More famous for his anthems “Laki Sa Layaw (Jeproks),” “Balong Malalim” and other songs, Hanopol started as a band member and later formed the trailblazing Juan dela Cruz band with Gonzales and Joey “Pepe” Smith.

His prolific career also includes the ‘70s disco album of the macho group Hagibis, which he produced and recorded with his own vocals.

Hanopol sees no conflict with Judaism and his music, emphasizing that everything is “God's never-ending creation.”