Fed up of hearing all the  ‘OPM is dead’ cliches, SPONGE COLA braved the music scene once again with an EP Album – DISTRICT, to make some kind of a statement.


Similarly to what happened to their previous album ARAW, ORAS, TAGPUAN that reached the Diamond Record Status, DISTRICT has gained nationwide recognition through their first single XGF, featuring a collaboration with Chito Miranda of Parokya ni Edgar and Los Magno of Out of Body Special which topped the www.mymusicstore charts for six weeks.

Only a week after its release, Sponge Cola’s District EP topped the Odyssey Music Charts (November 5 to 11).  District was launched at the Eastwood Central Plaza, where fans of the Diamond Recording band packed the venue and enjoyed the mini-concert prepared by Sponge Cola for them.

Yael explained that the EP is different in the sense that it has a certain hiphop flavor in it.

“This is TedMarks 2nd album with the group and litaw na litaw ang influence nya dito sa EP na to, I guess mas lumabas ang personality ng bawat members sa album na ito.  Iba-iba ang sound ng bawat tracks.  Lumawak ng konti and dumami ang mga ingredients.”

Here’s my copy of DISTRICT:

Sponge Cola DISTRICT Track List:

  1. Mahaba Pa Ang Gabi (Gosh)
  2. Pick Your Poison (Yael)
  3. Fireworks (Yael)
  4. XGF (Yael, Chito, Los Magno)
  5. It’s About You Girl (XGF What She Said REMIX)  Featuring Los Magno & Sitti
  6. Twelve (Yael, Armo)

TRIVIA: Don’t turn off your player after the last track for a cool surprise – a hidden track.  🙂

I personally love the track PICK YOUR POISON, it’s so 90’s rock!  I love all the tracks, each has their own styles like Twelve which is more melancholic than the rest and of course the awesome beat of their latest release Mahaba Pa Ang Gabi.  I love the arrangements on this song.  


Last Tuesday (November 27) at Universal Tower, I was able to meet with the band again composed of birthday boy YAEL (vocals/piano/guitar), ARMO (lead guitar), GOSH (bass) and TEDMARK (drums and percussion) for the launching of their follow-up single and the music video for MAHABA PA ANG GABI currently climbing the charts on MYX.

Mahaba Pa Ang Gabi is the first track in the album, written by Gosh Dilay.  The music video features some of the biggest names in the music industry playing ZOMBIES  like Noel Cabangon (aka Noel Babangon or Noel Kabaong), Diego Castillo (aka Deadgo Castillo), Teddy Corpuz (aka Teddy Corpse), Jed Madela (Aka Undead Madela), Tanya Markova (as themselves because they look like zombies already), T Vergara, Nestor Abrogena and actress Annicka Dolonius.  Make-up and cosmetic special effects by Genie Ranada-Babista (Outbreak) and directed by Seth Topacio (Tambay).

Sponge Cola has been in the music industry for ten years already and the ever bubbly Yael explained the secret to their successful team-up:

“We’re all friends pero magkakaiba kami kaya merong space.  We compliment each other.  Dahil we’re so different, alam mo na ang mga gusto ng bawat isa kaya walang room for ‘AWAY’.  Halimbawa, may nagbigay ng sapatos, isa lang tapos pare-pareho ang size ng paa namin – alam mo na pag black with white trimmings kay Armo yun, pag brown kay Gosh dapat yun, pag urban ang style kay TedMark tapos pag colorful sa akin.”

Aside from this, the band Sponge Cola has a lot of team building activities together.  They enjoy watching movies from Gosh’s ipod collection and playing basketball.  They always add humor in their relationship and enjoy each other’s company always.  As a form of band ritual, Sponge Cola prays before doing anything and they also have a team word for the day that is usually something humorous to set the  mood and to bring everybody into the moment.

Yael also said that one of the band’s dream collaboration is with singer and theater actress Lea Salongga and also hopes to do an album that don’t involve any band instruments.  Most likely, an album that has orchestral accompaniment or something to that effect.

In the course of the press conference, Universal Records surprised Yael with a birthday cake.  

Sponge Cola proved that they are indeed one of the most revered bands of their generation with a series of international victories in 2012, which include sold-out performances all over Asia and the Middle East, represented the Philippines in the Du World Music Festival in Dubai, and its much -talked about performance at Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis as the only Filipino band to be featured alongside Al Green, Evanescence, Pitt Bull and Wiz Khalifa, among many other international artists.

The band will have several mall shows starting January next year and a possible US show during the first quarter of 2013.

OPM is definitely not dead if you ask me and with albums like this one, I can deduce that the problem is really not the lack of local talents (from songwriters to performers) but sadly, it is the lack of local support that’s making it hard for local talents to compete in the global arena.  I am changing my playlists right now!

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