Philippines 80s Hardcore

Have you ever wondered what the Philippine Hardcore scene looks like in the 80s? Well, there is this great website that have detailed what was going on here in MANILA in the aspect of HARDCORE as we know. This KABAYAN of mine have written what was really happening in terms of the Underground scene here in the Philippines that would mezmerized you enough to reflect on it. I remember back in High School when there was this controversy regarding Satanic Groups that were spreading around bad vibes. One group in my vicinity was named "HAVOC" and this created rumors and deception back then. YUP!! I know someone who was even called on the Principal Office just to shed light on the HAVOC's matter. I may say it was one controversial issue indeed especially for Catholic Schools. Good thing it was resolved. Hmmmp!! There's was even a joke that time that "HAVOC" means HABA BUHOK (Long Hair in English). He He He!! So let's deviate for a while about NEW WAVE and let's travel back again to the late 70s and 80s but this time with a "KISS ASS" attitude". So for my blogpost today I decided to share this article to you guys from that very comprehensive website I'm talking about. PROUD TO BE PINOY!!


1978 A wave of wealthy teenage Pinoy expatriates brings punk to Philippine shores from Britain. Filipino punkdom, however, would derive most of its features from punk fanzines from the U.S. DZRJ-810 AM, the Rock of Manila, radio jock Dante Howlin Dave David introduces punk rock to stunned Manila listeners via the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the U.K.. RJ also got the rights to air BBC-Londons Rockline which regularly featured the music of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Boomtown Rats among others. The awareness becomes apparent.

1980 Manila is treated to more punk and new wave releases from the Sex Pistols, Ramones, XTC, The Cars, The B-52s, Devo, The Police, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, and The Clash. / Channel 9s noontime TV show Eat Bulaga launched Punk Rock Philippines, a dance contest participated in by weird-dressed couples. Howlin Dave and wife Delilah were among the judges during its grand finals. / The very first BRAVE NEW WORLD concert was organized at the conservative Philippine Trade Exhibits grounds . It saw the debut of CHAOS, a teenage punk quartet led by concert organizer Tommy Tanchanco. Music is just part of the punk lifestyle. What bothered me was that bands were just copying foreign pop music... I got bands to submit original music. They could only play at the concert if they did, so they were forced to write. -- explained guitarist Tommy. The BNW Movement was born.

1983 Formed in BNW Part 5 and dubbed the fastest band in the land, Betrayed -- a quartet composed of U.P. jocks -- introduced hardcore to euphoric punk concert goers as gigs became more violent than ever.

Now it is 1984...punks organized themselves into regional or area tribes (or armies) with names like the Two-Tones, Slabs , Mess, Nazi-Haters, Wasted Youth, Exploited, Criminals, Dead Paranoids, Rebels (Philippine Rebellious Youth), Abnormals, Hazards, S.A.D. Army (Search And Destroy), and many others, each supporting a certain band or musical style. Dyna signed CHAOS to an unprecedented five-year contract under the Tower label. Anyway its just a piece of paper for us. -- was Chaos say on the deal. The group released their first and only album New Move for Error under the name THIRD WORLD CHAOS The LP suffered from poor promotion and minimal radio exposure, thus finding its way into the bargain bins of record stores. DEAD ENDS debuts as a HC trio at the Crappy Halloween concert organized by the promoters of BNW at the Pasay City Sports Complex. Dead Ends was the Philippines answer to the Dead Kennedys. And though they started out as a heavy metal band (Traffic Jam) practicing in their home studio in Navotas, their lyrics were probably the most thought-out in the scene.

Punks declared war against preppies (also called chongs or new wavers) and breakdancers (rappers), and vice versa. The Glorietta in Makati became the most frequent battlefield. Tommy Tanchanco of CHAOS forms Paralyzed Body Inc., an indie entrepreneurial company. TWISTED RED CROSS, an underground cassette label, was his first business venture. TRCs first release Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade was a compilation of sample recordings from the Urban Bandits, Wuds, Betrayed, Dead Beat, Private Stock, Sex
Militants, and Public Scandal.

Punk becomes a profitable business for T-shirt and RTW manufacturers based in Cartimar, Recto.These shops made a killing in selling punk and new wave gear and clothing. Likewise, the stairways of Tandem Cinema became the favorite hangout of punks and hardcores, and the nearby Dapitan Sports Complex, the favorite concert place. The coming of the 90s, however, saw these shops closing down and going out of business, and the stairs of Tandem, vandalized and deserted. Imported vinyls and cassettes of locally unreleased punk and new wave albums, as well as their pirated pre-recorded counterparts, proliferated in the underground market. Tape piracy was born. DWXB-102 FM, the Capital Radio, became the station that dares to be different. 102 Music to the stations listeners meant the music of New Order, Joy Division, The Cure, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and occasionally BETRAYED, URBAN BANDITS, and PRIVATE STOCK. TWISTED RED CROSS released more UG cassettes: Brave New World Live! Part 3 featuring the live acts of Betrayed, Wuds, TRASH, Sex Militants, Dead Ends, Dead Beat, Urban Bandits, Private Stock, Public Scandal, Excommunicate, Ethnic Faces, and rockabilly group Zoot Suit at BNW Parts 8 & 9; Dead Ends debut Complaints ; Urban Bandits debut Independence Day; Wuds debut A.R.M.S.T.A.L.K. and the Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade second compilation, Fatal Response, featuring Dead Ends, G.I. & The Idiots, Wuds, Urban Bandits, and Zoot Suit. The tapes, mixed and recorded at Jim Sarthous Studio Z, were sold cheap at 33 pesos each and generally have poor sound quality. Lyrics sheets were also provided to enable the listeners to relate to words uttered in a rapid half-yelp, half-bark, half-scream. The bands, with producer Tommy, also dropped by mainstream TV shows like the Big, Big Show and Eat Bulaga to promote their cassettes to the public. BETRAYED released their long-awaited self-titled debut under the DMZ label. It was the fastest selling indie recording at that time.

More TRC releases, including the re-issue of Betrayeds debut, invaded the underground market. Among them were Dead Ends second effort Second Coming, G.I. & The Idiots debut Fascinating World of Garbage; the last Rescue Ladders & Human Barricade compilation 3rd Bombardment which featured the Phil. Violators, Private Stock, Deceased, R.D.A., Chaos, Betrayed, Collision, and I.O.V. (Intoxication Of Violence); and Katrinas Live! (Tamana Away!!!) recorded live during the last gig at the said pub featuring Betrayed, Wuds, G.I. & The Idiots, and Private Stock. More than 700 punks, mistaken for drug addicts, were rounded up by the police during the concert Suicide: The Only Alternative at U.E.-Recto while G.I. & The Idiots was playing. The incident made headlines in such broadsheets as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and tabloids like the Peoples Journal. The drug charges were later dropped by the cops due to lack of sufficient evidence. Well, what were the police supposed to think? All these people in black, slamdancing, the music. Many people don't understand us, even some people in the movement itself. -- George Imbecile on the arrest.

The Philippine National Red Cross threatens to sue Tommy Tanchanco in court for using the international Red Cross symbol on his TRC products and tapes. Tommy, being the son of an influential ex-government minister, just brushed the threats aside. Dead Ends, with G.I. & The Idiots, IOV, Genocide, and others, took their acts to Olongapo City. The gig, sponsored by Tropical Viruses, was marred by skateboard-bashing, bottle-throwing, several knifings, and good old fistfights. The concert eventually ended in total chaos and violence as Manilas punks clashed with Olongapos punks. The tribal war between Manilas punks and Olongapos punks had begun. TRC tapes also found their way into the review section of Maximum Rock N Roll, the U.S. (and probably the worlds) longest-running punk fanzine. Local punk bands couldnt be any prouder. Punk fanzine HERALD X hit the newsstands. Sold at 20 pesos and published by Tommy Tanchanco and friends, HX became known as the alternative music read for the countrys bored generation. Published in newsprint, it became a first of sorts in the local d.i.y. publishing industry and immediately became the official paper of the local underground movement. The Catholic Church and other religious groups, with the help of the countrys leading print and broadcast media, discredited the local punk scene and branded hardcore as satanic. Rumors and black propaganda falsely accusing punk tribes as satanic cults roaming Manilas streets and stalking elementary schools to look for human sacrifice [as in eating childrens hearts and all that shit] struck the scene. Satanism became the main course in most talk shows (TV and radio) and made newspaper headlines, and made punk their favorite whipping boy. In response, some punks reluctantly forbade the wearing of black clothing for a time until the hubbub and rumors died down. How can we be Satanists when some of us dont even believe in a god? -- blurted one devout punkster.

1989 Punk concerts became harder to get by as TRC released Philippines: Where Do We Go From Here?. TRC-19 was a punk-thrash compilation featuring the music of Discant X, Infernal Wrath, MAD, Banned, VOD, Death Threat (not that rap group), Fatal Disguise, Distorted Minds, and UdK. Produced by Benjie Sengson of GI, the compilation became TRCs last as the music that makes headlines and the tapes that tell the story ceased to be. In fact, the question posed by the compilations title is in itself a sad statement on where the punk scene was heading. TRC tapes would later be re-issued in the mid-90s by the bands themselves after ending their long leave of absence.

As the 80s came to a close, many punk/hardcore bands either had to disband or lie low. Some groups pursued the thrash/death metal genre while others joined the core of future mainstream/ alternative acts. As for the average punk-on- the-street, some chose to grow their hair to chest-length and become head bangers while some decided to just cut their mohawks and spikes and live regular lives. Though some may have moved on and forgotten the whole underground scene which they've helped sustain, still, a few brave souls would remain to continue the struggle in the 90s and carry on with what the movement had earlier begun and stood for. Punks not dead!

My personal view on this? Definitely, this is indeed an in-depth and very comprehensive review of the Local Underground scene that have flourished here in the Philippines back then. KUDOS to you KABAYAN for this well written Historical piece that's quite very relevant on the PINOY ROCK culture. SALUDO AKO DITO!! Ayuz!!!

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