memory's sacred domain

moments mundane and magical

with 3 comments

Ang Huling El Bimbo

I first heard their music in a humanities class at UP. One or two of them ( I don’t remember anymore) happened to be in the same class as I was. The professor was the wife of their very first manager. The man played for the sole pleasure of the class a demonstration tape (CDs were largely unknown in those analog days) of what would soon be their first big hit –“Pare Ko”. Back then, I was a promdi who didn’t know a thing about urban popular culture and who couldn’t care any less about a band of virtual unknowns called the Eraserheads.

“Ugh,” I muttered to myself, “how vulgar could a song get!”

I now hazard to say members of that humanities class were most probably among the very first ones to hear the song just before it was released in the market. But it went on to conquer the Philippine music world by storm, heralding a new gilded age for Filipino youth bands and earning for the Eraserheads the monicker the Philippines’ Fab Four.

And it didn’t even matter to me that one of them also stayed (or squatted) in the same dormitory as I did, the venerable Narra Residence Hall. Some mornings, I’d run into him in the hallway as I headed for my wing’s common showerstalls. Often, he’d have a girlfriend’s tight embrace as he made his way to the canteen.

The Eraserheads was just one of the many bands that made Narra a venue for their jamming sessions. It was the height of Narra‘s infamous free-wheeling decadence (a contemporary act that also made a name in the local music scene was Yano, whose members also proudly called Narra their home sweet home).

At Narra, the Eraserheads existed happily with a professor named Bading Carlos, pre-final examination week X-rated expositions, open house celebrations that featured a raffle where the top prize was a night in the company of a prostitute, fraternity rumbles, pot sessions, drinking binges, among many other adolescent excesses.

Looking back, I couldn’t believe I survived the Eraserheads and all that!

Written by Romel

March 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm

3 Responses

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  1. during my time at narra ’76-’77, it was the reign of the great heber bartolome there. his masteral thesis recorded in a cassette taperecorder was stolen along with the player. there was piano at the receiving room near the TV and sometimes heber would play there while waiting for one of his girlfriends. 🙂

    Gilbert Yap Tan

    March 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

  2. yes, Heber was a Narrehan as was Gary Granada (heard him talk about his days there at an intimate concert just three sundays ago…apparently, human nature doesn’t change as his stories show)…


    March 11, 2009 at 10:24 am

  3. I was in 4th grade i think when Pare Ko hit the charts. You actually heard the song before the entire country did! That’s so great! =)


    April 17, 2009 at 8:16 am

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