Three Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Asin Reunion Concert this Saturday

The legendary Pinoy folk-rock band Asin will hold a concert this Saturday, 7PM, at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum for the benefit of St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy in Punta Taytay, Bacolod City.

Asin’s Mike “Nonoy” Pillora, Jr. and Lolita “Nene” Carbon invite Negrenses during yesterday’s presscon to witness the band’s historic Asin Reunion Concert this Saturday, 7PM, at USLS Coliseum for the benefit of St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy, Punta Taytay, Bacolod City. With them is Fr. Agot Hinayan, chaplain of St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy.*(Butch Bacaoco photo)

Aside from reminiscing the band’s timeless songs, you should not miss the Asin Reunion Concert because:

1. You will witness history, as this is the first time after 25 years that the band will sing together. This is the first time that the band’s surviving duo, Negrense Mike “Nonoy” Pillora, Jr. and Lolita “Nene” Carbon, has reunited after 25 years. The last concert of the Asin triumvirate was in 1992. Cesar “Saro” Banares, Jr., the other side of the trio, was killed in 1993.

2. You will see Saro come to life, as his son Joseph (nicknamed “Koykoy”) will be singing with Nonoy and Nene.

3. You will be helping the St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy in Punta Taytay, Bacolod City repair the roof and ceiling of the church.

Asin’s niche is embedded in the Filipino psyche with songs like “Kapaligiran”, “Tuldok”, “Balita”, “Ang Bayan Kong Sinilangan”, “Magnanakaw”, “Pagbabalik”, “Himig ng Pag-Ibig” and “Itanong mo sa mga Bata”, to name a few. Aspiring teen musicians nowadays still learn strumming the guitar to the tune of Asin songs.

“Kapaligiran’s” message (“Ang mga batang ngayon lang isinilang, may hangin pa kayang matitikman? May mga puno pa kaya silang aakyatin? May mga ilog pa kayang lalanguyan?”) resonates today, as it did when it was released in 1978.

“Ako’y nananawagan, humihingi ng tulong n’yo. Kapayapaa’y bigyan ng daan, kapayapaan sa bayan ko. Bakit kailangan pang maglaban? Magkapatid kayo sa dugo. Kailan kayo magkakasundo? Kapayapaa’y kalian matatamo ng bayan ko?” sounds like the cry of present-day Marawi residents, echoing the lamentations of the people of South Cotabato in the late 1970s.

“Destiny?” Nonoy rhetorically asked yesterday, when a member of the Bacolod media remarked during the presscon that the band’s songs on the environment and on the Mindanao conflict speak of the realities back then but they also appear prophetic, when viewed in country’s present circumstances.

According to Nonoy, Nene is from Malate, he is from Negros while Saro is from South Cotabato. “Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We were brought together to compose and sing these songs with those themes which were reflective of the situation back then. I myself can’t explain how we were able to do it,” he shrugged.

Nene, who was with Nonoy and Fr. Agot Hinayan of the St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy during the presscon, narrated that they used to sing Peter, Paul and Mary songs until Saro convinced Vicor records to allow them to record their own compositions. She also thanked Vicor for agreeing not to change the lyrics of their compositions.

Back then, artists were simply interpreting Western songs or rendering “tagalized” versions of those ditties. The band’s success with “Kapaligiran” paved the way for local artists to record their compositions. In this sense, Asin can be credited with bringing Original Pilipino Music into mainstream consciousness.

Moreover, Asin is the first band to integrate indigenous Filipino instruments into their music, demonstrating that native musical instruments have a place in popular music. Asin diehards would agree that they learned more about indigenous musical instruments from the band who played them than from pictures in textbooks.

When asked if he or the band has written a song about Negros, Nonoy disclosed that “Gitnang Kanluran”, in the song “Ang Buhay Ko” which he wrote, refers to Negros. His genius makes fans believe that the song is an outpouring of a musician’s heart, when in fact it is actually biographical.

“Halos lahat ay nagtatanong doon sa aming bayan

Sa Gitnang Kanluran na aking pinagmulan

Sila’y nalilito, ba’t daw ako nagkaganito

Kung ano ang dahilan, ako lang ang nakakaalam.”

Magulang ko’y ginawa na ang lahat ng paraan

Upang mahiwalay sa aking natutunan

Subalit iniwan ko ang ibinigay na karangyaan

Kung ano ang dahilan, ako lang ang nakakaalam.

Know more about this and other little-known details about the band during the concert, as it will feature a presentation of Asin’s history and evolution. On top of singing along with your favorite Asin hits, you will also hear the band render new songs, including Saro’s composition which was downloaded from his PC after his death. Backing them up is a cast of Negrense local artists who will handle the various musical instruments.

Where else should you be this Saturday night?

Tickets are priced at P1,000, P500, P350, P250 and P150 (for students with ID). Proceeds will be used to repair the roof and ceiling of the St. John the Baptist Chaplaincy in Punta Taytay, Bacolod City. For inquiries, call (0943) 539 9264 / (0956) 917 1482 / 444 1870 / 460 8201.*(Butch Bacaoco)


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