11 Songs We’d Love to Hear in “Ang Huling El Bimbo”


With the new Eraserheads musical Ang Huling El Bimbo set to open in a few weeks, we’ve been happily guessing which songs will be part of it.

The show is about 3 friends who reunite after not seeing each other for 20 years, and we know that the title song and the classic “With A Smile” will be included, with the creative team releasing videos for both. We’ve come up with our own list of songs we’d love to hear in the musical. After all, with a catalogue as rich as the Eraserheads’, there won’t be a shortage of choices. And any excuse to revisit their albums is fine with us.

1. Minsan
(Circus / 1994)

Why it could work in the musical: This song fits perfectly with the show’s premise, encapsulating the intensity and, sometimes, impermanence of friendships formed in the haze of school projects and all-nighters.

Key lyrics:

“Ngunit ngayon kay bilis maglaho ng kahapon
Sana’y huwag kalimutan ang ating mga pinagsamahan
At kung sakaling gipitin ay laging iisipin
Na minsan tayo ay naging tunay na magkaibigan”

2. Huwag Mo Nang Itanong
(Cutterpillow / 1995)

Why it could work in the musical: If there’s one thing the Eraserheads were good at (and they were good at a lot of things), it was their powerful melodies. There’s a certain wistfulness in this tune about the inevitable breakdown of a relationship, so perhaps it can fit in nicely in a key dramatic scene.

Key lyrics:

“Field trip sa may pagawaan ng lapis
Ay katulad ng buhay natin
Isang mahabang pila
Mabagal at walang katuturan”


3. Alapaap
(Circus / 1994)

Why it could work in the musical: If you’re old enough to remember the controversy that surrounded this song when it came out (alleged references to drugs and all that), then perhaps you’ll agree that it would be amazing to hear this in the musical even if for that reason alone. It would be a not-so-subtle rebellion cloaked in pure euphoria. (“Gusto mo bang sumama?”)

Key lyrics:

“Ang daming bawal sa mundo
Sinasakal nila tayo
Buksan ang puso at isipan
Paliparin ang kamalayan”


4. Kailan
(Circus / 1994)

Why it could work in the musical: It’s a straight up love song full of yearning, and there’s always room for a love song.

Key lyrics:

“Kailan ako lalaya
Sa anino ng pag-iisa
Mga rehas lang ang tanaw
Nanginginig sa seldang maginaw”

5. Maselang Bahaghari
(Natin 99 1999)

Why it could work in the musical: This is another one of those gorgeous melodies with profound lyrics that can be interpreted in a myriad of ways (which lends itself to great storytelling). With its haunting guitar, there’s a strong theme of loss as well, and we can easily see this working as an 11 o’clock number.

Key lyrics:

“Paglipas ng ulan ay mapapangiti ang araw
‘Wag sanang mawala ang maselang bahaghari”

6. Huwag Kang Matakot
(Natin 99 / 1999)

Why it could work in the musical: With its message of love and support, we can imagine this being sung by a couple of friends helping each other through the inescapable ups and downs of life.

Key lyrics:

“Huwag kang matakot
Dahil ang buhay mo’y walang katapusan
Makapangyarihan ang pag-ibig na hawak mo sa iyong kamay
Ikaw ang Diyos at hari ng iyong mundo
Matakot sila sa ‘yo”

7. Spoliarium
(Sticker Happy / 1998)

Why it could work in the musical: It would be a nice surprise to hear one of the band’s lesser-played songs included in the narrative, one that’s darker in tone and subject matter, but that still retains a tinge of bittersweetness.

Key lyrics:

“Di pa rin alam
Kung ba’t tayo nandito
Puwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo”

8. Fruitcake
(Fruitcake / 1996)

Why it could work in the musical: It’s a Christmas song, but with lyrics like “It’s alright, a little lovin’ and some fruit to bake, life is a piece of cake”, it has enough heartwarming feel-good vibes that would make for a great sing-along moment.  It’s also one of the most Beatlesque of the band’s compositions and showcases their sheer musical talent.

Key lyrics:

“Take a bite, it’s alright
There’s some brandy and star margarine to make it bright
Take a bite, it’s alright
A little lovin’ and some fruit to bake
Life is a piece of cake”

9. Pare Ko
(Ultraelectromagneticpop! / 1993)

Why it could work in the musical
: It is the iconic song of this iconic band. It’s got to be in there somehow, and honestly, it will work anywhere.

Key lyrics:

“Pare ko, meron ka bang maipapayo
Kung wala ay okey lang
Kailangan lang ay ang iyong pakikiramay
Andito ka ay ayos na”

10. Pula
(Carbon Stereoxide 2001)

Why it could work in the musical: It’s atmospheric and elegiac, coming from the band’s last studio album. It’s thematically similar to Ang Huling El Bimbo, but its inclusion would serve as a poignant acknowledgement of the end of an era and of the lasting legacy left by these great artists.

Key lyrics:

“Napapansin mo ba
Ang ilog ay natutuyo di lang
Pag wala nang ulan”

11. Ligaya
(Ultraelectromagneticpop! / 1993)

Why it could work in the musical: The perfect bookend, it’s the song that started it all for the Eraserheads and that effectively ushered in the next great age of Pinoy music. Sung from the point of view of an avid suitor going after the girl of his dreams, it captures the joy and the pain of pursuit. It’s probably one of the best representations of 90s music, which also makes it a great education for millennials and people who don’t know the band that well, because everybody should learn about the Eraserheads.

Key lyrics:

“At asahang iibigin ka, sa tanghali, sa gabi at umaga
Wag ka sanang magtanong at magduda
Dahil ang puso ko’y walang pangamba
Lahat tayo’y mabubuhay na tahimik at buong ligaya”

Ang Huling El Bimbo opens at the Newport Performing Arts Theater on July 20, 2018, with a book written by Dingdong Novenario and direction by Dexter Santos.

You can buy your tickets here.

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