Cebu City Council praises Missing Filemon

THE Cebuano band behind the Bisaya rock (Bisrock) hits “Sinesine,” “Inday,” “Prinsipal” and “Suroysuroy” was endorsed by the Cebu City Council as one of the nominees for an award during the city’s Charter Day celebration on Feb. 24, 2020.

The City Council commended Missing Filemon and endorsed to the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac) as one of the nominees for the outstanding institution in the field of music.

The band was credited for starting the Bisrock scene and influencing local artists to write music in Cebuano.

The endorsement pushed through after the resolution authored by City Councilor Joel Garganera was unanimously approved by the City Council.

Garganera said the band, considered the Bisrock pioneer in the early 2000s, played a big role in the promotion and exhibition of Cebuano talent.

“The promotion and preservation of Cebuano arts such as music writing and composition bring forth pride to our identity as Cebuanos and contributed to the growth of Bisaya culture,” said Garganera in his resolution.

Surprised

Lorenzo “Insoy” Niñal, the band’s chief songwriter, said he and his bandmates were in Leyte for a gig when they learned about the endorsement made by the Council.

“We were surprised and happy because this is totally unexpected. It’s not every day that a rock band gets an endorsement from the City Council. We are happy because the endorsement somehow lends legitimacy to what we’re doing,” said Niñal in a text message to SunStar Cebu.

Niñal said they will continue visiting Cebuano-speaking areas to perform their songs.

The Superbalita Cebu columnist said the band has new materials and they will be producing an album, and he is hoping it will be completed soon.

Missing Filemon’s current lineup is composed of Niñal, who is the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist; Gumer Entero, the lead guitarist; Ronald Capio, the bass player; and Eimer Tabasa, the drummer.

The band members are also engaged in different business ventures—Niñal and his wife Rei are involved in propagating their Sinugbang Sugbo shirt brand; Capio is into retail; Entero owns a music store; and Tabasa is a pizza shop franchisee. They also own a bar in Talisay City, Cebu.

Albums

The band’s eponymous debut album was released in 2003. It was followed up by “Sinesine” in 2005 and “Kawanangan” in 2012.

Missing Filemon paid tribute to Cebuano musician Max Surban by releasing an album “We Love our Titser Max Surban” in 2015.

In 2008, the band received its first national award as Best Movie Theme Song for its song “Sinesine” in Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences. The song was used in the movie “Confessional.”

The band’s deep respect for the Cebuano language is evident in their songs, combining the poetic and conversational Cebuano. (JJL)