“I dare you follow me.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Manila Girl” by Put3ska | First off, yes, this is apparently the official music video, churned out by the record label many years (decades?) after this version of the song was first released. We wrote about the original version of “Manila Girl” in the blog’s early months – it was performed by punk band Urban Bandits, whose vocalist, Arnold Morales, was also part of the band – really meaning to write about this version, the version that exploded onto the airwaves in the mid-90s. Were they a one-hit wonder? Arguably, although Put3ska really just slinked back into the background, enduring some line-up changes (original vocalist Myra Ruaro exited, to be replaced by, among others, the comedienne Tuesday Vargas). But the fact that their faithful ska sound broke through and provided a clear point of difference – and attracted enough mainstream attention to become an Eat Bulaga staple – and, perhaps, introduced a big chunk of Filipinos to the beauty of ska. That scene is still alive today, with Put3ska’s former members – counting Ruero, now a David, now performing as Skarlet; as well as Bing Austria, last of Juan Pablo Dream – pushing the sound to a dedicated audience. [NB]

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