Writer’s Recap: The chorus of stories and rhythms at the ‘Battle of the Bands 2024: Tinig ng Pagkakaisa

From rock to indie pop bands, the Lasallian community witnessed as six groups went head-to-head in a musical battle, as part of the University Vision-Mission Week festivities.

Last June 5, six band finalists took a whirl at the stage at the Natividad Fajardo-Rosario Gonzalez Auditorium for the Battle of the Bands 2024: Tinig ng Pagkakaisa, as the Lasallian community embarked on the much-awaited University Vision-Mission Week. Putting to the spotlight performances of varying genres, this year’s musical showdown continued to showcase the diversity of Lasallian talent.

The roster roll call

Tackling societal issues with the pound of heavy drums and bass, Karilyo provided a dark and immersive musical experience through uniquely combined sonic elements. Karilyo is a four-man band consisting of Joshua Paraguya (vocalist/guitars), Carl Tan (bass), Aldrin Igarta (guitars), and Sheryl Amadea (drums). They played two originals, Alak and Sige Sayaw!, a brand of rock similar to known artists such as Bita and the Botflies and Gloc-9, encouraging the audience to perform along with them.

The Sizzling Sisig was next on the list and a group of friends brought together by their “pursuit of the perfect sisig.” With Rael Cinco, Nathan Dimayuga (drums), Danilo Silva (guitars), EJ Yap (bass), and Mico Imperial (vocalist) onstage, their soundscape was akin to that of Rob Deniel and Juan Karlos. Their set comprised Kalawakan by Juan Karlos and Million Dollar Baby by Tommy Richman, which left the audience hungry for more of their rhythm. The Sizzling Sisig proved that truly, food can bring out both friendship and unforgettable harmony.

Infusing rock, blues, funk, and soul, six-piece band YANCO from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has been paving its way into the OPM scene. Members Calvin Borja (guitars), Francis Ibeas (guitars), Paolo Ytable (bass), Addy Pantig (keys), Sbjörntserne Paras (drums), and Julian Juangco (vocalist) played an original, Okay Ka Pa Ba?. Juangco glided across the stage, deeply attuned to the music pulsing from his bandmates’ strings, who were each a sight to witness. 

Eventually securing third place in the competition, GARACHONG created a transcendental experience of live music onstage. A band for “all sorts of crowds,” GARACHONG is formed of 11 members: vocalists Adrian Albite, Patrick Faraon, Sean Mapalad, Geoffrey Naguit, and Jio Ponce, along with instrumentalists Ramon Mauricio (drums), Kal Jacobe (piano), Pierre Diasanta (guitars), Joaquin Velasco (guitars), Zeke Tolentino (guitars), and Zachary Evangelista (bass). However, Ponce and Tolentino were unable to perform due to the competition’s nine-member band limit. Still, the band’s set opened with Bruno Mars’ That’s What I Like, followed by Eraserheads’ Alapaap. With their synergy of multiple vocal styles, they fit a range of crowd-favorite genres into one entertaining stage performance. 

Tres Por Tres took home the second prize through an engulfing performance from vocalists Ralph Angelo Vital, Mikkel Amico Tanalgo, and Stephen David Del Rosario, as well as Carlos Evan Diamante (drums), Angel III Miranda (lead guitar), Kole Ikee Chan (rhythm guitar), Luis Gabriel Jonsay (keyboard), and Julo Kahulugan (bass). The octet of students from La Salle Green Hills opened their set with Araw-Araw by Ben&Ben and finished with an original, Iyo Pa Rin. The blend of their voices with their instrumentalists brought a reminiscent musical experience in the realm of indie alternative pop. 

A bacon treat! 

Lastly, earning their spot on stage as the new Battle of the Bands champions, The Crazy Corgis is comprised of Uno Ramos (rhythm guitar), JD Jacob (lead guitar), Manuel Lorenzo Muhi (bass), Steven Gershwin (synthesizers), Aisaac Apolinario (drums), and Justin Bulot (vocalist). The alternative pop rock band opened with First Love by Maroon 5, followed by a memorable duet adlib between Jacob and Bulot of their original song Candy Crush. With their harmony and stage presence easily comparable to distinguished OPM bands, the band received roaring applause throughout their performance. 

The Crazy Corgis shared that, for the longest time, they have always dreamt of opening for a big event. Upon discovering the Battle of the Bands, practice and preparation were on full-time; but winning it, on the other hand, was the start of a new story. “Kasi ang vision namin, we don’t just want to be musicians, we also want to be storytellers,” Ramos shared. Not expecting to place, the band was able to achieve what they’ve always wanted: to tie their emotions and experiences with those of the listeners through the thread of music.  

Having climbed their way to the top, The Crazy Corgis established their unforgettable music and charisma before the Lasallian community—and again at the recently held Animusika 2024 last June 21. Amid the congratulatory and anticipating atmosphere, the acclaimed battle of rhythm and music finished with an acquired bacon and tails wagging in harmony.

Lei Ventenilla

By Lei Ventenilla

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