The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, September 13, 2013

The First Chapter of the Half Life Half Death Story

The main seed of my former band Half Life Half Death was sown in December 1987, when I (vocalist) with original drummer (Jonathan Mejino), original keyboardist (Edmund Villafuerte), and rhythm guitarist Ruperto de Jesus performed as JARP Band at a school program (Teachers Appreciation Day) at our high school (Santa Clara Parish School). After that gig, schoolmates Rain Paggao (lead guitarist) and Joel Reyes (bass player) soon joined and we performed our first gig as Half Life at a burthday celebration of an auntie of mine held on March 1988. Then, soon after, we met Carol Pobre, who joined us as female vocalist--we changed our name to Half Life Half Death in time for our first big-production gig (Seed of Paranoia) in September 1988.

Before we got into the band scene, we performed regularly first at campus concert series and other big-production concerts, the significant ones of which were the following, performing with bands like Major Minor, Violent Playground, Temper of the Times, Private Image, Mere Mercy, Ardourn Delirium, Athena's Curse, DNX1, Decent Domain, Happy Shrimps, Chanting Wind, Khumb Mela Band, Flee Youthful Lust, In the Dark, Pagan Away, Silos, Wild Child, The Thought, Jukebox, Runaway Boys, Sake, Tribulation, Under Blue Skies, The Youth, Betrayed, I.O.V., Deceased, and WUDS:

The Early Concert Days:
September 1988 - Seed of Paranoia, Makati Sports Club
January 13, 1989 - Rock against Drugs: Creepy Night 1 at Ali Mall Skatetown, Cubao, Q.C.
January 28, 1989 - Rock against Drugs at San Sebastian College
February 18, 1989 - Rock against Drugs at PUP College
March 4, 1988 - Rock against Drugs at University of Santo Tomas
April 16, 1989 -  Rock against Drugs: Creepy Night 2 at Plaza del Dilao, Intramuros, Manila
October 30, 1989 - Mission 2, Santa Clara Parish School, Pasay City
March 3, 1990 - Rock Siege at Liwasang Estrella Circle, Makati
January 11, 1991 - Mission 3, Santa Clara Parish School, Pasay City

The Early Club Days:
April 21, 1991 - first gig at Club Dredd Timog

February 29, 1992 - last gig at Club Dredd Timog
In the intervening period between April 21 to February 29, we played Club Dredd Timog at an average of one gig a month, sometimes twice a month--we played with the likes of Temper [of the Times], Strange Days, X'US, Vendetta, Hayp, Alamid, Color It Red, Eraserheads, Anno Domini, Mutiny in Manila, Ang Grupong Pendong, Introvoys, After Image, The Dawn, and Mariya's Mistress.

August 17 (or 24), 1991 - Yamaha Band Explosion '91 (with Anno Domini, Mutiny in Manila, Ang Grupong Pendong, Mga Anak ng Tupa, The Fly, AMO, and Francis M & Hardware Syndrome)

We disbanded soon after our last gig at Club Dredd Timog. A year passed with the band's members doing their own respective things.

That was the end of the first chapter of Half Life Half Death's story.

The Beginning to the Next Chapter...

In 1993, a Philippine FM radio station known as LA105 began to dominate the airwaves, primarily because it filled a void--it started supporting local Alternative bands by playing their independently recorded and released original songs. Music enthusiasts who were craving for something local and original easily got drawn to the station. I was one of them. Only after a few months of listening to the station, I got inspired to contact my bandmates and convinced them that we record a number of original songs to be submitted to the station.

We hit a recording studio and recorded "Alimango," "Butterflies," and "A Feast in Pastel Castle."

To the musically observant, our songs are not the typical 1,2,3,4 basic Rock songs; rather the structures and the instrumentations of  our songs have that progressive and classical elements--lots of chord changes,  tempo changes, stops-and-starts, and mood changes.

Several weeks after submitting the songs to the station, "Alimango" became number one on the station's weekly Top Ten.

Because "Alimango" became number one at some point on the regular Top Ten of LA105, one of the station's head, Ed Formoso of Lokal Brown, asked us to contribute another original song to a compilation album he was producing--thus born "Kapit-Tuko"--another progressively structured song whose lyrics again dealt with social relationships.


  • At Sunday, September 15, 2013 2:26:00 PM, Anonymous rainbow said…

    The legenday era of new wave and how can i forget . This chapters of your life as rock icon in your right but sometimes soon after at the height of our selected careers we have to move on struggle and work hard .Who would have thought that one day we will change our citizenship in Canada and looking back was a thing of the past ,but deep in our hearts how we wish a time machine was invented more than mobile uploading or high introduction of social media in the human kind to bring back old memories with just a click away ...

  • At Monday, September 23, 2013 1:19:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Yes--those were very memorable days indeed--many happy and some sad--but everything is worth the trip back even if only to recall them.

    Of course, if there was a time machine I would not hesitate to go back to certain moments in my past and relieve them again; and maybe change some of what I did. Why not?

    Some people claim that they wuld never change a single bit. I'm different from them though--personally I would definitely change some of what I did in the past--most likely wrong moves, unwise decisions, and mistakes.

  • At Thursday, January 21, 2016 3:51:00 AM, Blogger markjune said…

    napakabangis ng bandang ito. naririnig ko kayo dati sa LA 105. pero hindi pa ako metal nun.. ngayun ko lang na realized na ibang klase pala ang tug-tugan nyo.

    sana mag balik na ang 90s


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