Bamboo (band)

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Bamboo band.jpg
Bamboo during a live performance. From left: Nathan Azarcon, Bamboo Mañalac, Vic Mercado
Background information
Origin Manila, Philippines
Genres Rock, Pinoy rock, Indie rock, Alternative rock, Jazz fusion
Years active 2002-2011
Labels EMI, PolyEast
Associated acts Passage
Rico Blanco
Past members Francisco "Bamboo" Mañalac
Nathan Azarcon
Ira Cruz
Vic Mercado

Bamboo was a Filipino indie band founded in 2002 by Francisco "Bamboo" Mañalac, Ira Cruz, Nathan Azarcon and Vic Mercado.

Band origin[edit]

Francisco "Bamboo" Mañalac serves as the band's frontman. The band's guitarist claimed that the name of the band was derived not from their vocalist's name but from the word bamboo, the characteristics of which are associated with strength and durability with an island feel to it.[1] Also, it's very Filipino and Asian at the same time.

Two of its members, Bamboo Mañalac and Nathan Azarcon, were formerly part of Rivermaya. The other two members, Ira Cruz and Vic Mercado, were former instrumentalists of another band, Passage. Cruz and Azarcon were also former members of the band Kapatid during that time.[2]

Four years after their departure from Rivermaya, Mañalac and Azarcon caught up again with each other, during which Azarcon introduced him to Cruz and Mercado.

Music career[edit]

Bamboo's debut album, As The Music Plays, was released in February 2004 where it received positive response from fans and critics alike. The album also won numerous awards at the AWIT Awards, NU 107 Rock Awards, and MTV Pilipinas 2004.

Their second album, Light Peace Love, which was released in 2005, consists of ten songs with differing moods and subjects, and took only 3 months to record. This album has a softer sound with both its lyrics and delivery. For this album, the band added more strings and a variety of other instruments, including trumpets. The band admitted that this album had a personal feel to it. They experimented with several new styles that may please new listeners, at the risk of disappointing fans of the more conventional rock of their first album.

Their third album, We Stand Alone Together, was released in 2007. It contains covers of local songs such as Buklod's "Tatsulok" and international songs such as Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", from different generations. It also includes bonus tracks like unplugged versions of their hit songs from previous albums such as "Mr. Clay", "These Days", and "Hallelujah". Once again, opting to do away with the conventional rock image that was attached to them, they produced sounds which were more jazzy than expected.

Star Records--backed up by ABS-CBN TV Production and MYX--produced and created the official soundtrack for the tele-epiko "Rounin", wherein the title track "Argos" was performed by Bamboo. A new avenue was opened to the band, as "Argos" is said to be the band’s first venture to record a song for a primetime television show. It is also the first time for the multi-awarded band and Star Records to work together.[3]

The band was also part of the "Days of Peace" Campaign by UNICEF with Gary Valenciano.[4] The band's fourth album, Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday achieved platinum status on September 28, 2008 - just two days after its release.


News circulated on January 9, 2011 that Bamboo had "allegedly disbanded." DJ KC Montero of Wave 89.1 confirmed the breakup on Wave's The KC Show[5] and via Twitter. Montero clarified that all the members of the band "have decided to move on," and that he does not know why they called it quits. The group has not released an official statement on the issue, according to[6] On January 11, 2011, Bamboo's lead vocalist Francisco "Bamboo" Mañalac finally confirmed the breakup of his band in an official statement posted on the group's website.[7]


A few months after the band disbanded, the group reformed without the vocalist (Bamboo Mañalac) and formed the band Hijo. Nathan Azarcon (vocals & bass), Ira Cruz (guitar & back vocals), Vic Mercado (drums), Junji Lerma of Wahijuara (guitar) and Jay-O Orduña of Cauio (keyboards).

The band's frontman Bamboo Mañalac pursued a solo career and released his first album as a solo artist in November 2011.




  • Full Volume:The Best Of Pinoy Alternative (2005 EMI Philippines)
includes As The Music Plays (Jam Version)
  • Rounin OST (2007 Star Records)
includes Argos
  • Astig...The Biggest OPM Hits (2008 Universal Records)



Philippine Radio Music Awards

  • Won: International Artist Award (2009)

Awit Awards[8]

  • Won: Best Performance by a New Group Recording Artist - "Noypi" (2005)
  • Won: Best Rock Recording - "Noypi" (2005)
  • Won: People's Choice Favorite Song - "Noypi" (2005)
  • Won: Best Performance by a New Group Recording Artist - "Hallelujah" (2006)
  • Won: Album of the Year - "Light Peace Love" (2006)
  • Won: Song of the Year - "Hallelujah" (2006)
  • Won: Best Ballad Recording - "Much Has Been Said" (2006)
  • Won: Best Rock Recording - "Hallelujah" (2006)
  • Won: People's Choice Favorite Song - "Hallelujah" (2006)
  • Won: Best Performance by a Group Recording Artist - "Tatsulok" (2008)
  • Won: Best Rock Song - "Tatsulok" (2008)
  • Won: Best Musical Arrangement - "Probinsyana" (2008)
  • Won: Best Engineered Recording - "Probinsyana" (2008)
  • Won: Music Video of the Year - "Probinsyana" (2008)

NU Rock Awards[9]

  • Won: Guitarist of the Year - Ira Cruz (2003)
  • Won: Artist of the Year (2004)
  • Won: Song of the Year - "Noypi" (2004)
  • Won: Vocalist of the Year - Bamboo Mañalac (2004)
  • Won: Drummer of the Year - Vic Mercado (2004)
  • Won: Listeners Choice Awardee (2004)
  • Won: Album of the Year - "Light Peace Love" (2005)
  • Won: Vocalist of the Year - Bamboo Mañalac (2005)
  • Won: Listeners Choice Awardee (2005)
  • Won: Artist of the Year (2007)
  • Won: Guitarist of the Year - Ira Cruz (2007)
  • Won: Bassist of the Year - Nathan Azarcon (2007)
  • Won: Drummer of the Year - Vic Mercado and Mark Escueta of Rivermaya (2007)
  • Won: Listeners Choice Awardee (2007)
  • Won: Best Live Act (2007)
  • Won: Music Video of the Year - "Last Days On A Cruise Ship" (2009)

MTV Pilipinas[10]

  • Won: Favorite New Artist in a Video - "Noypi" (2004)
  • Won: Favorite Song - "Noypi" (2004)
  • Won: Favorite Group Video - "Noypi" (2004)
  • Won: Guitarist of the Year - Ira Cruz (2004)
  • Won: MTV Ayos! Best Commercial Video - "Fiestamazing" (2005)
  • Won: Best Cinematography in a Video - "Much Has Been Said" (2006)
  • Nominated: Favorite Group Video - "Masaya" (2005)
  • Nominated: Favorite Group Video - "Much Has Been Said" (2006)
  • Nominated: Favorite Pop Video - "Much Has Been Said" (2006)
  • Nominated: Best Production Design in a Video - "Much Has Been Said" (2006)

93.1 RX Year End Awards

  • Won: Song of the Year - "Noypi (2004)
  • Won: New Local Artist of the Year (2004)
  • Won: Group of the Year (2004)

89.9 TM Year End Awards

  • Won: Song of the Year - "Masaya" (2004)
  • Won: New Local Artist of the Year (2004)
  • Won: Song of the Year - "Noypi" (2005)

SOP Music Awards

  • Won: Strictly Alternative Category Winner - "Hallelujah" (2005)

SOP Pasiklaband

  • Won: Best Rock Band (2006)
  • Won: Vocalist of the Year - Bamboo Mañalac (2006)


  • Won: Most Promising Entertainer (2006)
  • Won: Best Major Concert-(Group) (2006)


  • Won: Most Clickable Band (2006)

Box Office Entertainment Awards[11]

  • Won: Most Popular Recording Group (2007)

Commercial endorsements[edit]


  1. ^ "Parokya, Bamboo to rock NJ, NY this weekend". GMANews.TV (GMA Network Inc.). 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  2. ^ Gil, Baby A. (2007-08-10). "Bamboo goes on tour". ABS-CBN News Online (ABS-CBN Interactive). 
  3. ^ Glorioso, Bot (2007-04-19). "The sound of Rounin". The Philippine Star via ABS-CBN News Online (ABS-CBN Interactive). Retrieved 2008-06-17. [dead link]
  4. ^ Ayson, Jim (2007-04-19). "Days of Peace: Gary Valenciano and Bamboo sign up for UNICEF campaign". Archived from the original on 24 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  5. ^ Concepcion, Pocholo (12 January 2011). "Rock band Bamboo disbands". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bamboo reportedly disbands". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  7. ^ Bamboo's breakup confirmed by an official statement
  8. ^ "Bamboo humakot ng tropeo sa 2006 Awit Awards". ABS-CBN News Online (ABS-CBN Interactive). 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2008-06-17. [dead link] (Tagalog)
  9. ^ "Bamboo wins 6 of 15 awards in the 2007 NU Rock Awards". Philippine Entertainment Portal (via GMANews.TV) (GMA Network Inc.). 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  10. ^ Jorge, Rome (2006-08-11). "Our MTV Awards champions". The Manila Times (via ABS-CBN News Online) (ABS-CBN Interactive). 
  11. ^ "Vic, Kris, Claudine are 'Box-Office King, Queens'". GMANews.TV (GMA Network Inc.). 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 


External links[edit]

Year Single Album
2004 Noypi As the Music Plays
Mr. Clay
2005 Hallelujah Light Peace Love
Much Has Been Said
Peace Man
2006 Argos Rounin OST
2007 Tatsulok We Stand Alone Together
So Far Away
2008 Kailan Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday
2009 Last Days on a Cruise Ship
2010 Kalayaan
Bagong Sigaw