Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meeting with one of my favorite Pinoy pride legendary follk singer/songwriter, Mr. Florante

It was a relaxing day yesterday, August 22, I was sitting in the park. I couldn't believe a familiar face passing by right in front of me with his family.It's Mr. Florante the legendary Filipino folk singer, with his long hair again just like good old days. He was just standing a few feet away from me. But since he was with his family I don't want to approach him I might spoiled his weekend time with them. Fortunately, he turned around and there I had the courage to say hi and shake hands. I told him about my YT channel and a lot of fans were asking of any updates about him. So glad to see and talk to him again. The first time was during the US-Philippines Expo. It was also unexpected to finally met Florante and watched him live. Anyway, back to yesterday's meeting with Florante, he was so nice to talk with and has new song a collaboration with Apple de ap of Black Eyed Peas. He is based here in San Bernardino County, California a few miles drive from my place:). Unfortunately, for the second time meeting with Mr. Florante I didn't have my camera with me. I guess next time I should be ready coz you never know whom you meet somewhere.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cesar "Saro" Bañares Jr.- MindaNews

Para ito sa lahat ng mga tagahanga ng grupong ASIN. At sa mga gustong malaman kung ano talaga ang nangyari kay Cesar "Saro" Bañares Jr.Sa mga patuloy na sumusuporta sa grupong ASIN marami din akong natangap na email at nagtatanong dahil marami pa rin ang hindi nakakaalam kung paano pumanaw si Saro. Lalo na sa mga Pilipinong nasa ibang bansa.

Monday, 02 February 2009
Kin of slain Asin band leader hit release of convicted killer
Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews
Sunday, 03 June 2007 13:20

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/02 June) – The family of slain folk music icon Cesar "Saro" Bañares Jr. today decried the reported release from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City on Friday of one of the three suspects who were earlier convicted for the 1993 murder.

Elizabeth Bañares, a sister of the Asin band leader, said they cannot understand why suspect Gualberto Cataluña was able to gain freedom despite only spending 14 years in prison for the life imprisonment earlier meted on him and his two aides in connection with the celebrated murder case.

"This is unfair. I thought we already gained justice when his killers were finally sentenced to three life terms but now it doesn't mean anything to us. Where's justice now?" she said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo here this morning.

Cataluña, who had a promising law career here before the March 1993 killing, confirmed in a telephone interview with the same radio station this morning that he was released from the national penitentiary around noon Friday allegedly on orders from the Court of
Appeals (CA).

He claimed his release came after the CA ruled in his favor on an earlier appeal to downgrade the case from murder to homicide.

Cataluña, who is now back in his hometown in Iloilo, said the court also considered the 14 years he spent at the provincial jail here and the NBP as enough sentence for the homicide case.

But Bañares, who expressed surprise over the supposed CA ruling, said they were not aware about the appeal earlier filed by the suspects and that she could not recall any instance when they were summoned to a hearing at the CA over the case.

"I don't know anything (about that appeal). We don't have any information about it until we received the report that he was released from prison," she said.

Bañares said she will confer with their lawyers soon to check on the reported CA decision and look into other legal remedies.

Cataluña and brothers Joelito and Joel Castracion were found "guilty beyond reasonable doubt" and were each meted with life imprisonment by Regional Court Branch 24 Judge Jose Majaducon on May 26, 2000 for "conspiring in the killing" of Bañares inside the Vision KTV bar here on March 18, 1993.

According to court records, Cataluña and the Castracion brothers "mauled, boxed and kicked" Bañares over a certain misunderstanding.

Cataluña, then 33 years-old, allegedly started the attack by throwing a beer bottle that hit Bañares on the forehead. While the fight was going on, Cataluña moved back and reportedly passed a handgun, which turned out to be unlicensed, to Joelito Castracion who approached and shot Bañares.

The three accused immediately fled after the incident. Several days later, they separately surrendered to authorities and were subsequently charged with murder.

Cataluña, who had maintained his innocence during the seven-year trial of the case, described the appellate court's decision as a big relief for him and his family.

But Cataluña, now 47, said he has held no grudge against Bañares' family for what happened to him during the last 14 years, which he earlier described as the best years of his life.

Cataluña, who reportedly became a lay preacher while in prison, said he initially plans to meet with Bañares' family in the coming days to reconcile with them and settle the civil damages ordered by the court as part of his sentence.

"I will make the first step (to reconcile with the Bañares' family). I consider them as old friends and I even previously acted as their consultant for cases involving their properties. It was very unfortunate that it happened and I consider it as one of the most unwanted moments of my life," he added.

Elizabeth admitted that their family had already forgiven Cataluña many years ago but stressed that it does not mean that the latter was already absolved of the crime.

"We had erased any feeling of hate against him in our hearts because that's what we should do as Christians but he did a crime and there's a punishment for that," she said.

She pointed out that Cataluña also sent a number of similar feelers in the past while he was still at the provincial jail here but that none of them materialized.
Bañares, considered one of the best songwriters in the Philippine music scene, gained prominence as the lead vocalist and composer of folk-rock band Asin in the 80's. He composed most of the group's hit songs, among them "Ang Bayan Kong Sinilangan," "Masdan Ang Kapaligiran," "Itanong Mo Sa Mga Bata," and "Sayang Ka."


ASIN - FOLK/ROCK GROUP LEGEND-Info from wikipedia

This is for all the fans of the group ASIN, who wants to know their history for more info click the image to view their website.

Asin (sometimes spelled ASIN, in all capital letters) is a Pinoy rock and folk rock band from the Philippines. They were formed during the 1970s and originally known as Salt of the Earth from the song of Joan Baez, but later Filipinized their name into "Asin", which means salt in the Filipino language.
Past and present members

* Pendong Aban - current member, who later formed the group Ang Grupong Pendong
* Lolita Carbon - current member
* Saro Bañares - who was murdered in 1993 in a bar brawl in South Cotabato, Philippines
* Mike Pillora - former member
* Boboy Doromal -former member
* Boy Militar -former member


After fronting rock and roll bands during her teens, Lolita Carbon met Cesar "Saro" Bañares, Mike Pillora, and Pendong Aban in Kola House, a folk rock club, and then decided to form their own musical group, naming it Salt of the Earth.

They had signed a major record label and renamed their band to Asin after a record producer was searching for a "female" Freddie Aguilar, taking advantage of the Filipino folk rock boom during the late 1970s. Their eponymous 1976 debut album includes a cover of Freddie Aguilar's "Anak" and the rest are all original works.

Some of their popular songs include the environmental song "Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran" (Observe the Environment), "Ang Bayan Kong Sinilangan" (The Land Where I Was Born), "Pagbabalik" (Return) and "Balita" (News). According to Pendong Aban who grew up in Agusan del Norte, most of their songs were based on the experiences in Mindanao. Because of too much illegal logging and violence in their homeland, they wrote lyrics that hoped for peace and a better environment in Mindanao. They sometimes use kulintang and other traditional instruments of the southern Philippines to give their music a more indigenous spirit.

In 1993, Saro Bañares was murdered in a bar brawl in South Cotabato because he refused to sing for a lawyer, causing the group's members to part ways. Aban had his band Ang Grupong Pendong, while Carbon went solo.

One July evening in 1999, at a concert in Bahay ng Alumni at U.P. Diliman, while waiting for their respective turns to perform in a concert for press freedom, Pendong and Lolita sat together to share about their experiences as each carved a career of his/her own. One of the most common experiences they had in their concert tours is the audience’s reaction when they sing songs of ASIN as part of their repertoire. From children to teenagers to old folks, the same reaction would be observed. It is both of reminiscence and amazement at hearing the songs again and watching an ASIN member performing live.

Later in 2000, they decided to reunite but Pillora backed out later, although Pillora gave his blessings to the new album that Carbon and Aban would release. The record album Pag-ibig, Pagbabago, Pagpapatuloy, the first Asin album after 12 years, features unreleased materials of the late Bañares.

Pendong and Lolita both acknowledged the fact that their songs have transcended three decades and yet the message that each song carries (from the seven albums that ASIN recorded) is still as relevant and as meaningful to the present times. Both recognized the fact that there is hunger for the music that relates to the present situation that Filipinos are in, whether they are in the country of their birth or in some other adopted land across the seven seas; music that tells of every Filipino’s dream, aspiration, desires, even heartbreaks or social commentaries that reflect the true Filipino culture.

Importance of Asin

Asin were the first group to incorporate Filipino indigenous instruments into pop/rock music. They also studied Filipino tribal music and did what they could to be true to the origins of the music. Instead of plagiarising the indigenous music they set about educating people about respecting the origins of the music and representing it with agreement from the tribal sources.

Asin were also important in the political world and although they did not set out to be a political band they reflected the political message needed for the times. This should be seen against the backdrop of martial law during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos. Occasionally their recordings were confiscated as subversive yet on the other hand they were invited to play at the Presidential Palace.

Reference to Asin

The Tagalog lyrics of Black Eyed Peas' "The Apl Song" is based on "Balita" (Tagalog for News), one of Asin's songs. "The Apl Song" tells about the hardships of Allan Pineda, member of the Black Eyed Peas, that he experienced during his childhood in Angeles City, Pampanga. He chose "Balita" because he grew up listening to Asin. Balita' is also sampled in a Gloc 9's 2009 album release Matrikula.


* Best Folksong of the Year for “Orasyon” – AWIT Awards 1984
* Best Album of the Year for “Himig ng Lahi” – AWIT Awards 1984
* Album of the Year for “Himig ng Lahi – Jingle Magazine Awards 1984
* Best Vocal Arrangement for Group in “Lupa” – Cecil Awards 1986
* Department of Environment and Natural Resources Likas Yaman Award for “Masdan and Kapaligiran” 1991
* For Lolita Carbon – Best Rock Recoding for “Paraisong Liku-liko”, AWIT Awards 1990
* For Pendong Aban, Jr. – Best World Music Album for “Ang Grupong Pendong – Dito Sa Lupa”
* Album – Katha Music Awards 1995
* Best Folksong for “Pagbabalik” – Aliw Awards 1979
* Nominated as Best Rock Recording for “Usok” in the 1st Cecil Awards
* Best Musical Arrangement for “Dalawang Dekada ng Asin (Overture)”, AWIT Awards 2002
* Environmental Champions 2004- DENR/WORLD BANK Publication- Environmental Monitor 2004, given June 20, 2005