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Skabeche: A Band with an Advocacy


The 10-man Skabeche band, from left: Daniel Quintero (bass), Roberto Villegas Jr. (baritone saxophone), Lester San Juan (vocals/alto saxophone), Leonardo Castillo (lead guitar), Mike Santos (vocals/guitar), Noel Salonga (indistinct vocals/percussions), Kim Aries Patawaran (drums), JR Ibanez (trumpet), Roberto Santiago (tenor saxophone), and Billy Adap (trombone)

On its eleven years of being together Skabeche as a band, there is one thing that really makes them united—it is their love for the country and for what is essentially good about the Philippines as a whole as they showcase it in every music video they have.

In their latest music video titled, ‘Good Day’ is one that simply narrates a story of a mad doctor that imprisoned all the rest of the band members, but all of them struggled and got their freedom. The song’s lyrics are not even about love, but it is simply describing the surroundings around them. It’s freeing them and enjoying the new day they all have.

Its lyrics go like: “Wooh, I love the sunshine in the sky / It’s good to hear those birds singing in a rhythmic rhyme / And ooh, I love the warmth that I feel / It’s kinda cool to drink coffee under the tree.

“… Wooh, I love the colors in the sky / Rainbow paints the blue and mighty sky / And wooh, I love the view on the shore / The sun sets and will surely shine tomorrow.”

Their brand of music is a hit to every listener’s ear because it leaves that ‘last song syndrome’ (LSS) appeal.

Intriguing Name with a Filipino Twist

The 10-member band got its intriguing name from a dance music that originated in the islands of Jamaica and that’s the first syllable of their name – Ska. It was famous as a dance music that swept many people around the globe in the 60s. The dance is done by shaking the butts of working and middle-class Jamaicans.

The last two syllables ‘Beche’ is from the dish, a known Spanish recipe called ‘Escabeche’ pronounced as es-kah-BECH-ay, which has been widely accepted in the Filipino dishes due to the country’s influence from Spanish. It is a preparation in which meat or fish is seared, then marinate it in a vinegary sauce loaded with herbs and spices, serve it cold or at room temperature on a hot day. It is ideal with oily fish e.g. mackerel, jacksmelt, and herring or bonito.

Given its name, its audience can expect a fusion of music that will be tasteful enough to the ears and would make them sway with the invigorating beat it creates.

The band consists of Mike Santos (Vocals/Guitars), Noel Salonga (Indistinct Vocals/Percussions), Billy Adap (Trombone), Lester San Juan (Vocals/Alto Saxophone), JR Ibanez (Trumpet), Roberto Villegas Jr. (Baritone Saxophone), Roberto Santiago (Tenor Saxophone), Daniel Quintero (Bass), Leonardo Castillo (Lead Guitar) and Kim Aries Patawaran (Drums).

Creating Music with an Advocacy

The band does not just play music for the sake of playing music.

Though ‘Good Day’ music video was created and treated lightly, they also have music that has more serious undertones, those that have political flavor. With their third, which was titled ‘Lamok’ it features lines: “Hindi na ba magbabago ang taong nakaupo?” Sarap buhay na sumusubo’t walang magawang matino.” They topped it off with a chorus that compares the society’s negative members as a mosquito.

Also, in their latest music video ‘Good Day’ they shot it entirely in Ilocos Norte where they featured rarely seen and visited places in the Philippines—the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and Bangui Windmills.

“It is our aim to incorporate sceneries of our beloved country in our videos; these are beauty spots that are worthy visiting and admiring for.

“We want to be able to contribute to the tourism industry of the Philippines in our own humble way,” shares Mac Bordallo, Skabeche’s manager.

Also, the band’s album ‘Table for Ten’ and part of its proceeds go to its beneficiary, a non-profit organization called Earnest Support for Underprivileged Children Charity Association Incorporated (E-SUCH) that offers formal and non-formal learning opportunities that allow underprivileged children of Bulacan to discover and develop their skills (specially in painting), to help them grow to become responsible individuals, promotes the rights of the Filipino children to the people in the community, especially to the young citizens, and seeks support that will help its volunteers in providing the necessities of the needy children, including food, clothing, and school materials.

Future Plans

Since the group is known for its unconventional setup and its big heart for anything that is Filipino, they push some issues that are indeed relevant.

They also plan of not limiting their audience reach since their brand of music, the ‘Ska’ is known abroad, they want to hit the international market especially in Europe where their music is much appreciated.

There will be more music videos they will be producing that will feature unique and rarely exposed places in the Philippines.

Also, Pineapple Riddims Recording Company, considered as a recording label and member of the Philippine association of recording firms and licensed by the optical media board, the one managing Skabeche will launch a new roster of artists in their fold. It will proves that the music industry is alive and still kicking.

The group has ten members, but when asked Noel Salonga, the band leader was asked if they are still open in accommodating additional members, he said, “If there is such a need, why not? The more, the merrier ‘ika nga.”

Today, they are preparing for their second album. This time, they intend to appeal more to the masses and really make a great impact with their music.

Perhaps, the one thing that makes Skabeche a standout is its huge group contingent. There is no doubt that when they perform, they give an intense one. Its audience will be treated to a supreme percussion player, five-piece bubbly horn section, cool bass player, a guitarist, a drummer, and Mike Santos’s distinct voice that will identify with the band’s image.

Come Friday, April 15 at 8pm in Forest Grill, Timog, Quezon City, the group will be performing live and showcase their fourth single music video ‘Good Day’ directed by Fernan Tadeo and ace photographer-cinematographer Marlon ‘Troj’ Melencio. The single is from their first album ‘Table for Ten’ and distributed nationwide by Viva Records.

Skabeche will be joined by other bands like Collie Herb, Clarabliss, Myka, The Moonflowers, Barrio Morning, Rizal Uno, The Wala. Ticket is at Php150 and with a free beer. For more details contact Mac Bordallo at +639166567551 or email macbordallo@yahoo.com or visit the band’s official website www.skabeche.com.

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About JudeisHere

Writer-Editor-Facilitator, Creative Strategist-Marketer, Publicist and PR Practitioner, Publisher and Social Entrepreneur.

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