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#Pinoy: Filipino rock star Bamboo takes Arabic challenge

Rock icon meets us backstage as he takes on this week's Gulf News #Pinoy Challenge

Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
Filipino singer-songwriter Bamboo in Dubai.

Dubai:  After his recent high-intensity concert in Dubai, Filipino rock icon and The Voice of the Philippines coach Bamboo met with us backstage as he took on this week's Gulf News #Pinoy Challenge.

Since he's a regular performer in the UAE, we wanted to test how much he knew of the local language. This was his ninth gig in the emirates, after all.

“I'm gonna crush this,” he said, psyching himself up for the difficult task ahead.

Did he? Watch the video.

On Thursday, the award-winning Filipino rock star regaled his Dubai fans once more at the recent Fluid Jam 2018 concert.

The 42-year-old Pinoy rock icon, whose real name is Francisco Gaudencio Lope Belardo Mañalac, didn’t disappoint his most avid followers, by dishing out a high-energy performance at Zabeel Park.

The singer-songwriter began his career in 1993 as the vocalist and frontman of the band Rivermaya. He later fronted an his eponymous band, Bamboo.

When Bamboo disbanded in 2011, Mañalac then pursued a solo career and released his first album, No Water, No Moon.


Who wouldn't recognise and love his songs?

Ulan, 214, Kisapmata, Himala, Awit Ng Kabataan, Hinahanap-hanap Kita, Elesi, Hallelujah, Noypi etc. -- they have all become anthems of a generation of Filipinos who grew up in the 1990s and in the new millennium.

According to a Philippine Statistics Authority survey, more than half of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) belong to the 25-39 age group, which fits the profile of those who grew up listening to Bamboo's songs in the past two decades.

This, perhaps, explain his continued strong following among UAE kababayans.

The 42-year-old Pinoy rock icon didn’t disappoint his most avid followers who turned up in droves at Dubai's Zabeel Park. — Gulf News

With Eraserheads having done a rare reunion concert in Dubai, many fans have also been clamouring for Bamboo to do the same with Rivermaya.

Unfortunately, that is not something he is keen on doing.

“No, I don't think so,” he said during an interview with Gulf News #Pinoy right after his performance on Thursday.

“I love the guys, but I'm not built like that. I always think of pushing forward. Now, in a different form, why not? That's what I think, but with the same unit to do like a reunion tour and just play all the old stuff, it doesn't get me excited. It gets people excited, I do understand that.”

While a reunion concert with his former Rivermaya bandmates isn't happening soon, one thing fans can count on is for Bamboo to continue writing good music.

“My belief is once you record a song, once you do a song, it doesn’t belong to me anymore, it takes a life of its own,” he said during a previous interview with Gulf News.

'Our anthem'

“So just like Noypi, it’s not my song anymore, it belongs to you guys, especially to Filipinos all over the world — that’s sort of our anthem, our song,” he said.


With inputs from Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor – Property Weekly