• Finding the Missing Filemon

      It was funny how this interview came about. I was just hanging out with one iSTORYAn friend and we were talking about people who remain humble no matter what they achieve in life. He was able to mention Missing Filemon, particularly bass guitarist Clarence Mongado. They have been schoolmates way back highschool and one time he and Clarence were casually having a talk. Clarence simply mentioned he has an event with MF. My friend asked him, what’s MF (even jokingly associating it to a famous cuss word). Laughing, Clarence simply replied, Missing Filemon. Dumbfounded, this common friend said, “Day? Sure?!”

      To make the long story short, what my friend is trying to say is that these guys act so normally that they blend in the crowd. Despite having won a Famas award for their hit song, SineSine (one of my personal faves together with Suroy-Suroy and Englisera), these artists do not let fame get into their heads. Needless to say, you may be able to be beside them in your favourite nghohiongan or beer tambayan without knowing that they are indeed actually members of Missing Filemon.

      Sure sure, the band members and even some of you may say that I have set the pedestals too high but Missing Filemon, together with Cebuano rock bands, is synonymous to the upbringing of Cebuano rock music. We at iSTORYA.NET have high respect for these artists.

      Who and where is Filemon?

      No, Filemon is not missing. The band’s name is derived from the popular Visayan Folk song—Si Filemon (Si Filemon, Si Felimon, namasol sa kadagatan… are you singing it??) They considered that song as a representation of a time in the Cebuano history when people sang Bisaya songs and are actually proud of it. Sadly, today’s generation “misses” that experience. Through their music, the band hopes to bring back that time and make Cebuanos, especially the youth, sing Bisaya songs again.

      Brief History

      The band was formed in 2002, when they observed there were no bands who wrote and recorded rock songs in Cebuano. Comparing Cebu to Manila, they wondered why bands there can make really good rock songs in Tagalog and they appreciate it. So, why not write songs in our own dialect, too, right?
      Insoy Ninal, the vocalist/guitarist of the group wrote some demo songs and approached some people in the music scene in Cebu during that time. That led him to Ian Zafra of Sheila and the Insects. He brought in some friends and the band was formed. It was that same year that they released their first self-titled album, Missing Filemon.


      Prior to their “fame” (a word which urged Insoy to say—ha? Fame dyud? followed with laughs), they also had their challenges as a group. Of course, money has always been a big challenge considering they are an independent band. This means they have to invest on their own studio time, recording, album production and all that stuff. The cost of album production is no laughing matter these days so that’s on top of their challenges.
      Another great challenge was coming up with Bisaya songs that people could relate to, considering this has never been tried before so it was quite a big risk. After the release of the first album, the challenge was how to keep going despite the negative reactions of the snobby public to their music.

      Memorable and Painful Memories
      Speaking of negative reactions, the band mentioned that the most memorable memories they had were also the most painful. During their first few years together, nobody listened to them and some of the bands at that time were laughing behind their back, the label “baduy” being thrown at them more often than not. During their set, people would go out of the bar and return only when they were done.

      Still, the band persisted, working on their own songs and practicing at the basement of their drummer, Eimer Tabasa, in Talisay City. They have been doing this for the past 10 years. Looking back, all those hard work paid off and the painful memories are wiped off with the achievements the band has gained—10years, 3 albums, a lot of songs, and a Famas award for Sinesine last 2008. This band has indeed soared high from their humble beginnings and yet they still remain grounded and humble.

      Grabbed from no9lives, this is a music video of the award-winning Sine-Sine, soundtrack to also-winning Indie film, Confessionals

      Some Tidbits
      When not practicing or performing, they say that they go to the beach together and get wasted. The beach is their favourite hang-out. Their songs are inspired with the things, people and events around them. They say for a band to succeed, they should write songs that people can relate to, songs that speak about their experiences, songs that are sincere.

      Support should not be begged, they said. People will support if you don’t give them bullsh*t. Respect should be both ways—artists should respect their listening public by giving them songs they can relate to and in turn, they will respect and support the bands giving it to them.

      Third Album Launch
      A tweet caught our attention by Insoy himself, “We are the Missing Filemon band. We suck but we are launching our third album this Saturday”, or something of that sort. What a coy way to plug but yeah, they really are launching their third album, Kawanangan, at Handuraw Gorordo on September 15, 2012, 9pm. It is unique from the first 2 albums in such a way that there is more collaboration in this album. They have invited local artists to contribute in the album making—from songwriting to recording. Drop by Handuraw and get to see the group perform live! Entrance is free.

      What else will we be expecting from Missing Filemon?
      The group is touring their album in the Visayas and Mindanao in the next few months. A wine company is supporting them on this one. They will also be working on some Cebuano Christmas songs after the launch. They are also working on a live album for release next year. Moreover, there’s an on-going documentary being worked on about the band.

      Missing Filemon’s Message to iSTORYAns:
      To iSTORYAns who support us, thanks for making us feel proud. To those who don’t, thanks for keeping us grounded. To aspiring local bands, try writing songs in Cebuano.

      Before I forget, all the members of the band are iSTORYAns! You might know some or all of them

      Eimer Tabasa – drums
      Archie Uy – Guitar
      Clarence Mongado – bass
      Insoy Ninal – vocals, guitar

      To Insoy and Clarence, thank you for taking your time to answer our questions. To Missing Filemon, congratulations and more power from your iSTORYA.NET family!

      May each and every Cebuano hold on to Filemon and not let him go missing.

      Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MissingFilemon
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/MissingFilemon
      YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/TheMissingFilemon
      Website: http://www.missingfilemon.com/

      You may like...
      Comments 54 Comments
      1. bigbadboy's Avatar
        bigbadboy -
        hala, naa pa diay ning crazy monkey? sila man pud to ga himo sa launching sa album sa MF sa una, didto sa handuraw nga karaan. kusog kaayo ni sila manghatag ug condoms! hahaha. mingaw lng ko cebu da, sayang wala ko dira.
      1. peertian's Avatar
        peertian -
        congrats missing filemon.. :P
      1. christa's Avatar
        christa -
        i loovveee Missing Filemon.. ! ^_^
      1. benchscream's Avatar
        benchscream -
        1 of my favorite band Missing Felimon..
      1. minus's Avatar
        minus -
        congrats MF & more power.... cebuanos definitely very proud of u guys...
      1. punk hxc's Avatar
        punk hxc -
        congrats mf..padayon..cebu scene..
      1. punk hxc's Avatar
        punk hxc -
        don't forget to say..dili ta maluma kay dili ta uso..-punk hardcore cebu city..
      1. nio1234's Avatar
        nio1234 -
        payter kaayo ning bandaha...
      1. katagzz's Avatar
        katagzz -
        congrats missing.....
      1. Cometburn's Avatar
        Cometburn -
        Rock on MF! \m/
      1. semajko08's Avatar
        semajko08 -
        Congrats! To MF, More albums!
      1. edoy's Avatar
        edoy -
        congrats MF, usa sa akong pinaka paboritong bandang binisaya dinhi sa dakbayan sa sugbo
      1. yui_182_'s Avatar
        yui_182_ -
        still one of the best bands in cebu....
      1. THE SKULLS's Avatar
        THE SKULLS -
        Congrats Missing Filemon..
      1. doorknocker's Avatar
        doorknocker -
        first time nako kita ani nila ahaka gainum ni sila tindahan doul sa amoa ga barog ra sila gawas tindahan gainum kuyug to sila sakong amigo pud.

        naa ra ko gi palit sa tindahan gi tagayan kog kalit sa ilang bahista dawat ra pud ko kay naa man akong amigo pero wa ko kaila kinsa to sila. storyastorya mi kad**** nya nangutana ko ngano espoting man kaayo mo na gabii naman kaayo ana to isa nila gikan daw sila nanukar nya inum inum gamay.

        ni ana bitaw nag kalit akong migo missing filemon bitaw na sila dong.

        toinks na shock man ko wa ko ka tingog, grabeha ka humble aning mga tawhana oi

        nang lingi gud ang mga tao pag ka dungog nila nga sila ang MS

        sige man diay ni silag anhi sa amoa sukad pa saona wa lang jud ko kaila haha
      1. dodong.manuel's Avatar
        dodong.manuel -
        usa ni sa mga power na banda sa cebu. ila kanta saona kay bisan asa ra jud madungog. mingawon mn pd ta sa mga karaang bisrak.
      1. ahkagi's Avatar
        ahkagi -
        congrats sa inyo. nindot dyud kamo ako pinaka favorate sa bisaya
      1. boileroy's Avatar
        boileroy -
        Gi idolo nako ni nga banda.
      1. free_hugs's Avatar
        free_hugs -
        nice nice... uso ayu ni sila adtong college pa ko... go go!
      1. dark_humbz's Avatar
        dark_humbz -
        hehehe! idola oi! booom!

      Facebook Comments

    about us
    We are the first Cebu Online Media.

    iSTORYA.NET is Cebu's Biggest, Southern Philippines' Most Active, and the Philippines' Strongest Online Community!
    follow us