Parokya ni Edgar looks to the good old days at 'Alumni Homecoming' concert

Rick Olivares

Posted at Oct 21 2019 09:46 PM

Parokya ni Edgar. Photo provided by author

MANILA -- Twenty-six years ago, all the band Parokya ni Edgar wanted to achieve was to perform at the Ateneo High School’s Dulaang Sibol. 

The Dulaang Sibol is the Ateneo High School’s theater group and the band was formed during their high school years at the Katipunan-based academic institution. 

Parokya ni Edgar never did get to achieve that although they have pretty much performed in other places they collectively never dreamed they would – the United States and Canada, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Furthermore, they also opened for the Eraserheads for a show at the Ateneo college, had their plaque at Eastwood City’s Walk of Fame, and won a slew of awards from the NU Rock Awards to the Awit Awards to MTV, Nickelodeon, Yahoo, Myx, and other award-giving bodies.

“But we did get to Sibol,” corrected bassist Gab Chee Kee. “Except… career talk 'yun.”

That is so Parokya ni Edgar. There is always that last word or something more.

The band made a name for themselves for their zany and humorous songs such as “Lutong Bahay,” “Picha Pie,” Chikinini,” and “Mr. Suave” among many others. Their performances were energetic if not exercises in perpetual motion. 

Even close to 30 years later, they have not slowed down. "Siguro 'yung buhay masyadong seryoso. Mahirap na pati sa mga kanta at tugtog namin, ganyan din kami,” shared guitarist Darius Semana. 

And sure enough this coming Tuesday, October 22, that school boy kulitan and infectious energy will be on full display in a show titled, “Parokya ni Edgar’s Alumni Homecoming.”

The proceeds of the concert that will be held at the Music Museum will go to the Ateneo High School’s Tulong Dunong scholars.

The Tulong Dunong program is a long-standing activity of high school seniors who teach various subjects at public schools in surrounding areas. By the end of the academic year, the public school students take the Ateneo entrance exams. Those who pass are given Tulong Dunong scholarships.

“This was something meaningful for us when we were high school students and of its beneficiaries,” pointed our Parokya lead vocalist Chito Miranda. “This is one way of giving back.”

Aside from the show’s benefit nature, this concert will be the first time in decades where two of the band’s original members – Jeric Estaco and Mikko Yap – will perform with the band since their high school days at the Ateneo. 

Also making an appearance is back-up vocalist Vincent Montaner who recently retired (although he did make an unannounced appearance in Parokya’s recent show at 70s Bistro when guitarist Buwi Meneses came over for a vacation) from the band.

“I think the secret to the band’s longevity is our friendship,” pointed our Miranda. “We were classmates and friends first before bandmates and that helps. But like any other family, we have our disagreements and fights. But at the end of the day, we are friends, former classmates, and now, family.”

Almost everyone has their own immediate family now. Yet in spite of their responsibilities as family men, the band soldiers on.

“Take a look at our schedule for the next two-and-a-half months,” invited Miranda. True enough, for the remainder of October all the way to December, half of every month will find the band performing somewhere. “The band still occupies a lot of our time. The remainder of the month, of course, goes to our families. We know what is important.”

“The band’s schedule can be crazy,” pointed out manager Alan Montero who himself is a musician performing with band such as Soft Pillow Kisses. “We have to make sure that there is a balance for family time and rest.”

Save for Miranda who occasionally performs or records with other singers and other bands, no other member (perhaps save for Meneses who has his own band in Los Angeles with former Wolfgang drummer Wolf Gemora and former Sugar Hiccup vocalist Melody del Mundo) has any side band project. 

“We are committed to Parokya ni Edgar,” drummer Dindin Moreno was sure to impress upon us. 

In their entire history, Parokya ni Edgar has recorded 10 albums and released two compilation albums and two live albums. That is roughly an album every two years. “For now, we put songs out digitally,” said Miranda. “When we have a sufficient number of songs, then we will release them physically.”

“Our albums – the artwork, design, and liner notes -- are something we take very seriously,” pronounced Chee Kee. “We know our fans like it. We like doing them.”

“Nung lumabas 'yung mga albums ng Eraserheads, Yano, and others, lahat ng lyrics binabasa namin,” added Miranda. “Kasama na mga credits.”

For now, the band is eyeing a new release come 2021 which will be the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut album, "Khangkhungkhernitz." 

“I think we are having way too much fun to stop,” concluded Miranda. “Malaking trip din to see a new generation of Parokya fans who know our songs and have our albums. While we look to the future, for Alumni Homecoming, we will look to the past and have some fun. Kaya nga tinatawag ng ‘good old days.’”