(Editor’s note: This article was submitted to Tinig.com weeks before the Eraserheads concert at the Fort Bonifacio Global City open field. It was also posted at the author’s blog.)

Absolutely no joke about it.

The Eraserheads, one of the most prominent Pinoy rock bands of the 1990s, formed by Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro, will be having their reunion concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on August 30, 2008.

Flashback: In the 90’s, Eraserheads, or Eheads, took the OPM by storm; releasing super-hit songs like Harana, Ang Huling El Bimbo, Ligaya, Magasin and Toyang. The band is just phenomenal, they were even called the Beatles of Philippine Music.

In 2002, rumors have been speculating that the band members are not in good terms. And in March of 2002, the Eheads disbanded. Since then, Ely Buendia had formed two bands, the Mongols (which also disbanded later) and the Pupil. The other Eheads members, Raimund, Buddy and Marcus, recruited a new female vocalist, Kris Dancel. However, a few months after, Marcus also left the band.

End of the Story.

But not quite.

Ricky Lo, in his Philippine Star Column in July 2008, confirmed that the Eraserheads will be reuniting for a one-night concert at the CCP open grounds on August 30, 2008, and that

“It took one big company to bring the former band members together,’ said the source who is keeping the company’s identity ‘confidential’ for the time being.”

The “big company” was later on identified as Philip Morris, the company which produces Marlboro cigarettes. And a hefty 10 million pesos each-member is actually at stake. Some people who are in the music business-know-how, disputed the figure and stated otherwise that the 10M might have been for the whole band, thereby giving the members a 2.5M each payback for the 45-minute show. Ely Buendia, however, said that they are doing it not for the money, but for the loyal Eraserheads fans who have been with them through all the years.

End of the Story.

But not quite.

And what lies beneath?

On July 1, 2008, a new law that bans tobacco sponsorships and all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media, including the Internet, took effect in the Philippines.

Howie Severino, in his blog, entitled, An example for the Eraserheads? , states,

In the Philippines, those seeking tickets to an August 30 reunion concert of the famous Filipino band Eraserheads are being directed to www.marlboro.ph, a web site run by Philip Morris International’s Philippines subsidiary. The Eraserheads have been called the “Beatles of the Philippines” and the reunion concert has generated enormous online buzz that often mentions the Marlboro web site, generating positive publicity for the world’sbest-selling cigarette brand. Philippines authorities should investigate whether marketing for this concert violates a national law that, as of July 1, 2008, bans tobacco sponsorships and all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media, including the Internet.

The buzz on this issue has since circulated in the Internet, and a lot of debates and discussions are still on-going. Howie Severino even created a special documentary, Boses Upos, in connection with the new law on Cigar Ad Ban, and the effects of smoking in people’s health.

This thing about cigarettes is actually a lengthy discussion, considering that a lot of people in the Philippines are into smoking, and that it has been a fact, especially these days, that more and more young people are seen smoking in broad daylight.


Howie shared that one colleague even took the documentary as an ear-opener:

Dear Howie, Medyo nagulo ako coz it’s the first time i’ve heard about the term “ear-opener”.would you please expound?
#3.1.1 hector (Homepage) on 2008-07-31 15:48

hector, a colleague commented on how the unusual audio, and not video, kept him glued to the documentary. He said it was not an eye-opener, but an ear-opener. ; >
# howie on 2008-07-31 16:33

yeah, got it na. kasi it’s the voice (robotics) that’s the issue of the documentary.i hope that the government will also try to look into these issues. parang the advisories posted on the boxes “cigarettes can kill, or cigarettes are addictive, or dangerous to your health” are not working anymore.siguro nga, it is much better if we have those “sin taxes” implemented already.
# hector (Homepage) on 2008-07-31 17:05

@hector. I think “sin taxes” would definitely help. Well basically, only those who can afford pay the hospital bills that chain smoking results to should have access to smoke (if they dare). I think people, especially those in poverty, have better things to spend on than their daily dose of cigarette boxes. @howie: again sir, a very nice documentary. If i heard it right, are cigarette companies not allowed to advertise starting this month?
# Ronin on 2008-08-01 19:21

Ronin, that’s true, the ad ban on cigarette companies started July 1. They are not allowed to sponsor events either, including the upcoming Eraserheads reunion concert.
# howie on 2008-08-02 08:02


The Eraserheads concert is actually making news-not only because of their much-awaited reunion. But because of what lies beneath the big company’s sponsorship issue.

It’s about time for our governing bodies-the lawmakers and the law enforcers-to take a serious look of this scenario.

Now it’s the government’s turn to complete the story.

Hector Olympus

Ipinanganak ang pangalan ko dahil sa hangaring makapagbahagi ng aking kaisipan tungkol sa aking pagka-Pilipino.

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1 Comment

  1. [since the original piece was written weeks before the concert, I feel obliged to do a follow-up]

    so here’s part II:


    Sigawan na ang mga tao. Hanggang sa nagsimula na nga ang intro ng bass ni Marcus. At yung pamilyar na boses na hinihintay ng lahat ay muling narinig.

    May isang umaga
    Na tayo’y magsasama
    Haya at halina
    Sa alapaap
    O anong sarap

    the complete story:http://sonofpriam.blogspot.com/2008/09/countdown-to-unite.html

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