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The Five Best Pinoy Bands of all Time

by Culture Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

What is the best Pinoy band of all time?

One of the favorite topics you and your friends discuss, as you all circle a glass of Empi Lights and an assorted array of pulutan. The subject of much-heated debates on Internet forums where hard-core OPM fanatics freely highlight evidence that their band is the greatest and occasionally bash anyone who says otherwise.

Google the very phrase yourself and you'd find an overabundance of lists made by people to let the world know their personal favorites. What's surprising, though, is the lack of a definitive resource on which of the Filipino bands that ruled the OPM industry rule the OPM industry in history.

Well, even if there is one, it doesn't really matter because it's almost a crime to compare bands from different generations. Just like the classic "who's the best NBA player of all time" argument. Odds are, the man, or the organization, behind the list will be subjective to some extent, and therefore biased to some degree.

Depending on the age, the musical preference, or the exposure to different music of the person you'll ask, the answer is unique. Lists like this feature polar opinions because that's really how people enjoy music.

Now, Manifesto dares to create its own list to end all lists. At the risk of disappointing some OPM diehards, we present you five of the local bands we think are the best in their own right and all deserve to be called the greatest.

Juan de la Cruz Band

This band started it all. Juan de la Cruz Band gave Pinoy Rock its identity and owns the distinct honor of having many firsts in the industry. Formed in 1968, the band headlined the country's first open field rock festival, performed in the first rock opera production, and spearheaded the first Golden Age of Pinoy Rock, known as the Rock & Roll Revolution.

The so called grandfathers of the Filipino rock genre gave birth to classics, such as Himig Natin, Beep Beep, No Touch, and Titser's Enemi No. 1, which are still widely recognizable even by younger audiences after nearly 50 years.

The Dawn

Back in the post-Martial Law Era, after a long stretch of oppression from the dictator, Filipino rock fans were a part of the underground scene with only a few artists to listen to. The Dawn's Enveloped Ideas saved their lost souls and gave them a source of inspiration in the form of a band that share their angsts and sentiments.

From 1985 until today, they changed faces countless times, recorded timeless hits - such as Love (Will Keep Us Free), Iisa ang Bangka, Salamat, and Dreams - and stayed intact, along with its legendary frontman, Jett Pangan, to continue what they've started up to this day.

Millennials have no idea, but they were a godsend to a nation that is trying to get back on its feet and embrace the taste of democracy after over a dark decade. That's why The Dawn's significance in the history of Filipino music is undeniable.


It may raise some eyebrows, but this female-dominated band is phenomenal with their impressive ability to sing the ultimate theme songs of the masses. The unbelievably high-belting vocals, the spot-on lyrics, the electricity of the performances; Aegis has made thousands of videoke businesses rich and millions of Filipinos genuinely entertained.

If there's still a trace of doubt in your heart why they should be on this elite line-up, well, your grandchildren are probably going to sing one of their hits when they first break their hearts.

Parokya ni Edgar

One of the most award-winning and likeable bands of all time, Parokya is a fusion of genius musicality and sheer entertainment. Their music is magical that no matter what they do - be it serious or purely just for laughs - people can't help but love their guts. They turned a stupid mustache into a masterpiece and performed the best parodies you will ever hear. Their lyrics are either ridiculous or profound, but always catchy, relatable, and beautiful to the ears.

Although the lack of quality material as of late is evident, Parokya ni Edgar's ability to reign supreme in the mainstream is undoubtable and contributions to the OPM is matchless.


Hailed as the Filipino Beatles, Eraserheads is the consensus favorite as the best Pinoy band in the annals of history. The Fab Four has become larger than life because of their excellence in reshaping alternative rock in the country. The most significant, most influential, most popular 90s band; they deserve all the superlatives to describe their achievements.

Hard-hitting lyrics, captivating melodies - the ghost of each of their songs is going to haunt you wherever you go and live in your consciousness forever.

The absence of the likes of Rivermaya, Bamboo, Slapshock, and many other premier local bands say nothing about their greatness. The OPM just has too many gems to mention. If you don't agree with anything on this list, it's okay. No one can ever really get it right.