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Jesse, Heber, Levi

Pioneer and exponent of socially relevant songs

I started writing Pinoy Rock songs in 1974, however,
Banyuhay was born only in 1975 when I called my brothers
Levi and Jesse to form a group and join a band competition called
"Battle of the Bands". The word BANYUHAY means metamorphosis and
literally, it transformed the attitudes of the music industry from
foreign to local music.

Banyuhay made history in the local music scene.

will tell you the truth about my country

Well, I wrote them in my native tongue and wish I can translate them to you. The songs will help you understand the Filipino soul. Here is a song about the coming election:

ni Heber Bartolome

Intro:Tempo con gusto

Am7------------------ Em
Eto na naman ang eleksyon
Am7------------------ Em
Eto na naman mga pulitiko
------- C -------- G
Nangangako sa publiko
Nangangako ng kung ano-ano
Ngunit laging bigo pa rin ang bayan ko

(same chords)
Sangkaterba ang tatakbo
Lahat gustong maging pangulo
Puro mukhang milyunaryo
Puro mukhang ilustrado
Merong mukhang sinungaling
Merong mukhang di mananalo

Meron kayang mukhang tapat sa bayan ko?

Pause: (Tempo ala Eleanor Rigby)

Dalang-dala ka na ba?
Sawang-sawa ka na ba sa pambobola nila?
Punong-puno ka na ba?
Sawang-sawa sa mga puro pangako?
Iboboto mo ba ang taga-Kongreso?
O ang mga talangka doon sa Senado?
Magnilay ka, O bayan ko

Kailan makakatagpo
Magalang na pinuno ang mga Pilipino?
Sino'ng makakalutas
nitong mga problema ng Pilipinas?
Marami sa opisyal ng ating gobyerno
Kinukurakot nila ang pera ng tao
Magnilay ka, O bayan ko

Sino nga kaya, kailangan ng ating bansa?
Sino ang may pakundangan sa buhay ng mga maralita?
Sino kaya? Sino kaya ang magwawagi?
Pag-asa ng ating lahi


Marami sa opisyal ng ating gobyerno
Kinukurakot nila ang pera ng tao
Magnilay ka, O bayan ko

(repeat Refrain & 1st stanza)

May justice prevail in our country...

the P h i l i p p i n e s


Banyuhay is Heber, Levi and Jesse Bartolome.---
Three brothers who perform live with a session drummer
and sometimes a keyboard player.
Banyuhay means "metamorphosis" in english.
Their songs pioneered nationalism in Philippine contemporary music (1974- to-present).
The group is best remembered with their hit songs "Nena" and "Tayo'y Mga Pinoy".
The song phrase “Tayo’y mga Pinoy, tayo’y hindi kano,
h’wag kang mahihiya kung ang ilong mo ay pango”
became a folk philosophy. "Nena" is now a movie.

Most of their songs are materials for doctoral thesis of students
from Ateneo and University of the Philippines.
Heber writes all the songs, strums the guitar and does the vocals.
Levi plays the lead guitar. Jesse, plays the bass while singing
the higher notes in some stanzas and refrains.
In some songs, Levi and Jesse play the mandolin.

Banyuhay has five long playing albums, "Tayo'y Mga Pinoy", Kalamansi Sa Sugat",
Katotohanan Lamang", "Kung Walang Pag-ibig", and "Tatlong Kahig Isang Tuka".
All original Filipino songs, produced and arranged by Heber.
They have won major awards like The Catholic Mass Media Awards,
Awit Awards, KBP Musicfest, Metro Manila Song Festival, etc.

After the numerous concerts and performances all over the country
in their 23 years of existence, the group is considering an international
tour before they truly become old folks. Although Jesse have performed
in Japan and Korea with other groups, Levi in Malaysia and Brunei as classical
guitarist, they never performed together outside the Philippines.
Because sponsors can not accomodate round trip tickets for the whole group,
Heber traveled alone and made several performances without his brothers
in Europe and Scandinavia. To bring his whole band in a world tour is
a dream for Heber.

Some Lyrics of Other Songs:

Kung Walang Pag-ibig
Bahala Na


Heber Bartolome started writing and performing original Filipino songs,
when the U.P. Writers Club mounted a fund-raising concert for the flood victims
in Central Luzon.

Formed Banyuhay with his two brothers Levi and Jesse to participate
in a Battle of the Bands competition. Pioneering socially relevant songs,
the group became the favorite of the crowd in every concert.
First heard on Pinoy Rock radio DZRJ.

Contracted by a record company, first single “Buhay Pinoy” was a hit. TV shows.

Concerts. Many songs where written this year.

Finalist, First Metro Manila Pop Music Festival.
The song “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy” impressed then First Lady Imelda Marcos,
invited the group in Malacanang the same night of the finals.
Released first album of the same title.

Regular performances in pubs, clubs, restaurants, shows and concerts.
Recorded “Ayoko na Kay Santa Claus” with another record company.

Preparing songs for the next album, Banyuhay members stayed together under one
roof, but problems delayed the making of the 2nd album when Heber was linked with
a beauty queen turned NPA guerrilla.

Concerts in many parts of the country. Most peformances were sabotaged by the unknown.
Banyuhay songs were banned on the radio. Heber started teaching literature in
De La Salle University.

Inactive year, as Heber became busy with his paintings and teaching.


1984 Year of the Rat. Changes. Heber resigned from the academe. Changed residence. Parted ways from his live-in wife and kids. Re-conceptualized the unfinished 2nd album.

1985 Released independently “Kalamansi Sa Sugat”, Banyuhay’s 2nd album, which was distributed later by a record company. Hits include the songs “Karaniwang Tao”, “Almusal”, “Ako’y Mang-aawit ng Aking Panahon”, and “Inutil na Gising”. More TV and radio shows.

Peak of career. Concerts everywhere.

Released 3rd album “Katotohanan Lamang”.
Finalist, KBP Song Festival

Local Concerts

1992 Sep
"Mga Awit ni Heber" performed by Banyuhay, Francis M, Rico J. Puno,
Joey Ayala, Lolita Carbon, Sampaguita, Coritha, Racel Tuazon, Levi Celerio,
Edru Abraham & Kontragapi, Singing Cooks & Waiters, Inang Laya, Dulce,
UP Cherubims, atbp.
Cultural Center of the Philippines, September 18&19, 1992
TV ABC Channel 5

1993 Dec
SA PINOY NAMAN featuring the best of Pinoy Music: Banyuhay (Protest),
Mike Hanopol (Pinoy Rock), Hotdog (Manila Sound), Francis M (Pinoy Rap),
Edru Abraham & Kontragapi (Ethnic)
Folk Arts Theater, 1993

1993 Dec
Bistro Amoranto, with 50 other artists including Eraserheads, Joey Ayala,
Mike Hanopol, Grace Nono, Francis M, etc.

May 1st
Labor Day concert at Luneta Park.

Inactive as a group

Lucena Concert

Palawan Town Plaza (free concert)
Biggest attendance ever in Palawan

U.P. Theater with other bands
Visaya's Avenue, People's Concert
DAR (Agrarian Concert) QC Circle