“Maghawak-hawak ng kamay at lilipad tayo.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Kumusta, Mga Kaibigan?” by Maria Cafra | Maria Cafra’s story is emblematic of how the Filipino rock scene emerged in the 1970s. Originally known as the Psyclones, one of the premiere bands of the heavier Olongapo scene – one nourished by the steady stream of American servicemen taking a break from fighting, and the music they brought with them – the band emerged after shifting tastes led to what we now know as “Pinoy rock”, at the onset of Martial Law. Still, Resty Fabunan, his brother Jun and Rollie Averilla made themselves different from the rest – people of a certain age and place would remember Resty channeling his inner Jimi Hendrix in his legendary stage performances. Shifting tastes also led to Maria Cafra being less prominent these days than their other contemporaries: the emergence of the Manila Sound, Resty looking to take a break from the grind of nightly performances, and ultimately, Olongapo fading into view as times changed, leading to the ultimate exit of American forces from the country. But it is in those blistering live performances – and the heavier, drugged-up sensibilities – where Maria Cafra’s legacy lingers, especially as new wave hit the country in the 1980s and those antics were back in vogue. Somebody had to pave the way. [NB]

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