Admit it. However you try to resist it, you still often find yourself uncontrollably lip-syncing to one of their songs, complete with passionate hand movements. On the first beat, your senses awaken and your mouth immediately opens as if having a mind of its own, compelling the music to come to life with your most vocal cord-shattering rendition of their songs. You cringe in your seat as you try to reach the high notes while releasing all the emotions of pain, sorrow, devastation and anger inside you. As the song ends, the chaos slowly subsides and on the last notes, the only existing feeling is relief. Relief that it’s over, that smug look that signals you are ready to move on. It’s done.
These are lines from one of Aegis’ hit songs, “Basang-basa sa Ulan”, a masterpiece written by the musical genius, Celso Abenoja, who wrote most of their songs. We are most certain that while you read it, you ended up singing it. Indeed, there is just something very compelling with the melody and the lyric is on point. The pain emanated from this song is so powerful, that anyone who hears it, can feel the emotions and relate it with their own experiences.
Aegis’ members came from different bands, brought together by AG Talent Development Management, to form a Pinoy band that will reintroduce and redefine OPM Rock music. “Pinoy“ band apparently turned out to be apt as their genuine Filipino talent came from all over the Philippines with their members coming from Misamis Occidental, Manila, Pampanga, Southern Leyte, and Cagayan De Oro. Though they started with the name AG’s Sound Trippers band, they were later renamed to “Aegis”, rooted from Greek Mythology which means “shield” or “protection”, a more appropriate name as the band’s goal is to protect their listeners from feeling lonely in this emotional rollercoaster ride called “love”. Their members, Juliet Sunot, Mercy Sunot-Borjal, and Kris Sunot on vocals, Stella Maries Galindo-Pabico on keyboards, Vilma Goloviogo on drums, Rowena Pinpin-Adriano on bass guitar, and Rey Abenoja on lead guitar, are the masters of the hugot songs that accompany us as we mend.
A chat with Aegis made me realize their humility and the reason they connect with their audience. They described their band as “mga simpleng tao”, and surprisingly, the more I talked to them, the more I saw that stardom has not prevented them from being that. They talked about their musical influences and how their families serve as their inspiration, inserting humor every now and then. They candidly shared the collaboration they had with the Philharmonic Orchestra, and how it was a dream that almost did not come true, as the difficulty posed by having two extremely different genres made them rethink if it was even possible to do. It was one of the biggest challenges and performances of their career, but the level of musicality and artistry in both parties prevailed, making it one very successful event.
And of course, what is talking with the hugot gurus without asking them about love? They are hopeful, and they believe in how we should all “Live, love and laugh”. Their love advice for the broken-hearted? “Unahin mo ang sarili mo para maibigay mo din ang love sa ibang tao. Do not give up. Kasi may darating din na ibang tao na para sa `yo na tunay na magmamahal sa `yo.”
Having a chance to watch one of their late-night gigs is an entirely different story. This is when I realized that there is a real reason beyond the hype. Music and singing are just as natural to them as breathing. After the show, I understood why they have that kind of staying power, leaving me wishing that I can belt out even half of the notes that they can.
Their songs are more than just songs, as each one reflects love and life. They might be known more for being masa, but that is just a dysphemism to something that truly means being relatable, genuine, and soulful. The undeniable fact that people are drawn to their music is that we have all been in that hugot moment at one time, and their songs are the perfect walling-while-in-the-shower music. Believe it when someone says, “no one can elude the hypnotic powers of Aegis’ songs”. It is true. A piece of unsolicited advice, please stop evading it. Give in and just embrace the fact that this Pinoy rock band has invaded the music scene and they’re here to stay.
Interview- Jenette Vizcocho and Dane Raymundo
Video- M Espeña & Cris Legaspi