Chito Miranda on Parokya ni Edgar songs used in musical

Chito Miranda amazed at how Parokya ni Edgar songs are used in musical

/ 12:15 AM March 28, 2024

Chito Miranda amazed at how Parokya ni Edgar songs are used in musical | Chito Miranda (right) takes a selfie with lead actress Tex Ordonez de Leon and other cast members.

Chito Miranda (right) takes a selfie with lead actress Tex Ordonez de Leon and other cast members. —CONTRIBUTED photo

Alfonso “Chito” Miranda Jr., vocalist and main songwriter of the three-decade-old rock band Parokya ni Edgar (PNE), plunges into new ventures as long as they don’t cause sleepless nights or raise his blood pressure level. It could be a new restaurant, a real estate investment he and wife Neri Naig agree on or something related to his career as a musician.

“It’s having not much stress. Partner-partner lang ako with people who know what they’re doing,” he said, referring to the business ventures.


Now comes the Parokya ni Edgar musical titled “Burugudunstuytugudunstuy,” the original new production by Full House Theater Company that will be staged at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) from April 26 to May 25.


Since it was announced in July last year that this was the follow-up to the massive hit “Ang Huling El Bimbo” (“AHEB”), which used the songs of the Eraserheads, Miranda has been hounded by inquiries.

Those who’ve been to PNE’s live gigs would know Miranda’s endless spiels in between songs. He tirelessly cracks jokes, gives background stories for each song, and sometimes picks an audience member, usually female, to join him onstage for a duet and so on. A show won’t be complete without poking fun at his bandmates: drummer Dindin Moreno, rhythm guitarist Gab Chee Kee, second vocalist-mascot Vinci Montaner, bass guitarist Buwi Meneses and lead guitarist Darius Semaña.

To put it mildly, Miranda is one of the chattiest lead singers among local rock bands from the 1990s, only surpassed at some point by the inactive Wency Cornejo of After Image (“Next in Line,” “Habang May Buhay”). To work the crowd, their spiels could sometimes last longer than their actual performance; you could go to the toilet to answer the call of nature and still not miss a song.

So it was a breeze for some media members who cornered Miranda after the official Q&A portion with the cast during the media call at the NPAT vestibule a few days ago. One question and Miranda would answer starting from the book of Genesis.

No meaning

“First, the title “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy” doesn’t mean anything. I invented it on the spot. We had just come back from an out-of-town gig, I think, in Iloilo. At the airport, my brother fetched me and asked me if I had learned any new words. I just blurted it out. My bandmates laughed and it became part of our private jokes,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Later, they all agreed to use it as title for their second studio album, released in 1997.


“Even the title of our first album,‘Khangkhungkherrnitz,’ it’s all made up. It’s a challenge, a prank for radio hosts, DJs, TV noontime show hosts, if they can pronounce it correctly. We’re happy that up to now, it’s still a joke, a part of discussion, if you can pronounce it or not. It worked out well,” Miranda said.

With regards to the PNE musical, he said he was apprehensive at first, wondering how the Full House creative team would be able to weave a narrative using their songs.

Playwright Rody Vera said he listened to 10 of the band’s studio albums in order to create what he calls “Parokyaverse.” “I skipped the Christmas album.” He described the story that he came up with as something akin to an acid trip.

Many scratched their heads. A millennial-looking reporter beside me thought Vera meant acidic stomach and that Vera was on antacids.

“I’m 63 years old. Regarding [having experienced] acid trip, secret,” Vera told the Inquirer days later in an online message. Vera was a teenager in 1970s and as he kept saying at the media conference, he was from another era and grew up listening to the likes of VST & Co., Hotdog and Cinderella (“Ang Boyfriend Kong Baduy”), or those groups that started what is dubbed the Manila Sound. Incidentally, those bands wrote catchy tunes with funny lyrics like PNE does.

Director Dexter Martinez Santos and Full House coartistic directors Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Michael Williams said they would like to keep the story a surprise for everyone, though they’re one in saying the theme is opposite of AHEB. “I assure you, there’ll be no dead body when the lights open,” Santos said in jest, referring to the opening scene of AHEB. Unlike AHEB, the PNE musical’s lead characters are all female.

Taking from the term Vera used, Miranda joked that PNE’s music is like Eraserheads on acid, though he later withdrew the comparison.

Miranda watches the special performanceof the cast.

Miranda watches the special performance of the cast. —FULL HOUSE THEATER COMPANY


Not wanting to meddle

“We were reluctant to involve our band when it comes to anything this major. They told me I could add inputs, but I told them I didn’t want to meddle,” he said.

On not stressing himself on the project, Miranda said, “When it comes to the band, I’m good with that, I’m OK, but when it comes to theater, I rely more on the knowledge of those who know better to come up with something spectacular like this. I trust them more than I trust myself when it comes to the creativity. More than being a part of it, I want to be one of the audience members.”

And a happy, satisfied audience member Miranda was after he watched the nearly 14-minute medley of songs performed at the NPAT vestibule. The songs included were “Halina sa Parokya” by the whole cast; the essential “Mr. Suave” performed by Pepe Herrera; “Magic Spaceship” sung by Nicco Manalo, Jasper John Jimenez, Felicity Kyle Napuli and Herrera. Noel Comia Jr. and Napuli, who are both teenagers, started a duet mashup of “Gitara” and “Harana” before the others joined in.

But it was the love ballad “Don’t Think” that had a goosebump-inducing rendition performed by lead actors Tex Ordoñez-de Leon, Marynor Madamesila, Napuli and Natasha Cabrera. Personally, the way the four voices took their turns singing the lines took our breath away.

We view it and “Your Song,” which wasn’t included in the excerpts, as two of the best love ballads not only in the PNE discography but among OPM tunes from the ‘90s. Incidentally, both were composed by rhythm guitarist Gab Chee Kee, no doubt one of the most brilliant songwriters of his generation. As of press time, musical director and composer Ejay Yatco told the Inquirer in a follow-up interview they chose 47 songs to be squeezed into the story, but the number could change as rehearsals progress.

Miranda complimented the creative team and cast members. He said he got goosebumps upon hearing PNE’s songs and realizing how good they were if “performed professionally.”

He clarified, “It’s not me who wrote the songs, it’s the whole band.”

“Press con pa lang, naiiyak na ako eh. ‘Di ko naisip na ganyan pala kaganda ‘yung songs namin (It’s only the press con and I nearly cried. I never realized our songs could be that good). Because we’re just a bunch of guys playing guitars and we never view our songs as outstanding or professional like this. Pero noong ganitong treatment… ay, nakakakilabot talaga! (But with this kind of treatment, I got goosebumps),” he added.

“Kathleen and I were elbowing each other, surprised at how beautiful the new versions of our songs were,” he said, referring to Kathleen Dy-Go, managing director, Universal Records, who was seated beside him during the presentation. “Sobrang galing and I’m just thankful.”

He added the reason why their songs were popular and easy to adapt for a musical is because the band only uses simple chords.

Up to now, he said he still can’t refer to himself and the band as musicians despite the two decades since they were kids playing guitars who formed an amateur garage band. But then again, he said that’s the secret to their longevity.

“With musicians, they’ll have different tastes and most times they’ll grow apart,” he said, though not directly referencing what happened to the Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Wolfgang and other groups that came before PNE.

“We stayed together because we’ve been friends from the start. Universal (Records) is asking us for a new album, but chill lang, we’re not rushing it.”

Their last album released in 2021 was titled “Borbolen.” It’s from a Kapampangan word close to “prankster.” And that would best describe PNE, a group of talented pranksters who write happy, beautiful songs.

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“We’re just having fun. Kasi nga, again, it’s about not having too much stress,” pointed out Miranda.

TAGS: Chito Miranda, Parokya ni Edgar

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