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by Lionel Emil Javier |

by: Miguel Mosuela


Art & Layout by: PINS & kidillus


So, okay. Two things:

One, MANILA VIBE as we know it is constantly reshaped. Culture is fluid, and so is music. But for the volumes, we’re sticking to hip-hop. With that said…

Two, we’ve figured that this is the perfect season to feature a different edition of MANILA VIBE. That’s right, we’re doing an ACOUSTIC EDITION this time and it’s exciting to talk about the artists that bring the emotions out of you by serenading you through and through.

You know, when I think about it, it really is perfect. Acoustic tunes are always great for rainy days. Kinda like pandesal with black coffee. And the best people that write those kind of songs are people who write heart-wrenching lyrics about their experiences! And what do you know, they come in threes. And this bunch have recently performed in a concert with thousands of people watching!

Of all the amazing performers out there, we’ve decided to give extra emphasis on the excellent trio, one of the best acoustic collectives out there right now. That’s right, people. We’re talking about the legendary 3D: Ebe Dancel, Johnoy Danao, and Bullet Dumas.

Consider this your treat. Let’s get started.

Ebe Dancel

Being the frontman of the legendary Filipino band Sugarfree, Ebe Dancel have been making waves ever since his entrance in the industry that dates roughly back to two decades ago. After going through his journey of perseverance no matter what life may throw at him, he has shown that he is forever adamant to share the music he has to the world. Although admitting that he has quit music too many times, he kept on going out of sheer love for music and pushed through with a solo album entitled “Bawat Daan”.

See how this forward-thinking music icon fared the tides and created ripples that stormed not just the Philippines, but also the world.

Bawat Daan

A song you need to hear if you want to get to know how Ebe Dancel writes his songs. Perfect for drives in the countryside that talks about going back to where love is. Very fitting for his album that has the same name.

Prom (with Yeng Constantino)

This song is the ultimate throwback song for people who want to look back on their prom nights, because what the song paints is a perfect picture of how it is: “a night you can never forget.”


Written for the film called “Kid Kulafu”, the song is all about determination and hard work. Very fitting for a film that’s all about Manny Pacquiao, someone who paved the way for his career punch by punch.

Halik sa Hangin

Written for a movie that bears the same name, it’s a song that reminisces a past love, and speaking in a tone that wishes the relationship worked out. It’s a song for remembering someone special that didn’t stay in your life.


For this artist, we’re topping it off with one of my personal favorites. This song was written off of a fictional love letter of Andres Bonifacio to Gregoria de Jesus, placing a big “what if” in the two historical figures. This song is, in itself, full of hope, love, and courage.

Johnoy Danao

From singing serenades and breaking hearts, Johnoy Danao has been tugging at the nation’s heart strings since the early 2000s. Showing no signs of aging desire to play and write for his audience, he has released album after album for Filipinos to listen to. He’s a legend in the making, and have proved that time and again with 3 albums and years of performing live to boot this claim.

Contest the buckets of raindrops with your buckets of tears by listening to a full Danao set!

Two to Tango

A great song to start off Johnoy’s list. Talking about how love is not always what you would expect from each other, he muses his thoughts about love being “a game of give-and-take”, much like a round of tango-dancing: its complexity, spontaneity, passion and push-and-pull.

Right Time (ft. Clara Benin)

A song about being ready to love again “in the right time”. Collaborating with Clara Benin, Danao employs a familiar vibe for this song, tailored-fit for people that is waiting for the right time.


What would you feel if you knew you had the chance in a relationship, but because you didn’t say anything, you missed your shot? This is the song for that. Being bittersweet, this song is about chances not taken and words not said.


A song that Johnoy dedicates as a goodbye and acceptance. If you want something to listen to as a reminder that the most loving thing you can do for someone is to “let go”, this is the one. Make sure that you listen to the full band version included in “Samu’t Sari” if you want the full scope of emotions. You can listen to the acoustic version, too.

Ikaw at Ako

This song is all about love, and the title is pretty self-explanatory: it’s about Johnoy and his very significant other. If you study the lyrics carefully, it sounds like he is making a vow: he’s drawing the boundaries and promises commitment.

Bullet Dumas

Last, but definitely not the least, we have the math-teacher-slash-singer-songwriter-prodigy Bullet Dumas. The 32-year-old is a graduate of the Elements Music Camp, a songwriter’s camp that has been organized by a lot of the music industry’s figureheads, with Ryan Cayabyab to spearhead the project. Making “chop-suey” music – a style that is influenced by a lot of genres and mixing some of their elements to his songs — and have made beautiful noise with the songs he’s written.

Get lost in these songs and see, feel and hear things in “bullet time”.


A song that starts slow, then flushes your whole being with its sonic awesomeness. “Limguhit” being the lines that you see in a music sheet (a staff), this song is picturing music as if it was a woman: perfect in every way.


A song that you would have to hear for yourself. Talking about the perpetuation of anger inside a family, this song talks about a topic not given too much thought by the community.

Put To Waste

A song about his students. Bullet admitted that this was the saddest song he’s written to this date. This is a song about goodbyes and lifetimes that is perfect for humid mornings with coffee in hand if you just want to be filled with feels.


A classic love song that he’s written. All the while talking about dreams, heart and coming to the end of themselves, this is a song that fills you with emotions that demand to be felt.


The first ever song he’s released in his Soundcloud account, which was re-produced to be a part of his self-titled EP. The song, while being rhythmic and natural in his wordplay and guitar-playing, displays the lack of awareness to Mother Earth’s gift to us: Nature.

Bonus: 3D

If you thought that I would leave out the trio performances in this article, well, you thought wrong. You’re missing out on a LOT if you haven’t checked this out yet.


This rendition of Sugarfree’s song was used in “I’m Drunk, I Love You”, an indie film that the song is really perfect for. Its solemnity, peace and heart is what makes this version much more heartbreaking than the band’s rock ballad.

This list only gives you a gist of what their music is all about, spearheading the movement of the local indie music scene. There’s so much you can discover, and this is only the beginning. There’s lots of great local music out there!

Given that their songs are art, it’s pretty much open for interpretation. Think one of the songs in our list could be interpreted in a different way? Leave a comment and show this to your friends!

Stay tuned for the next volume that will definitely blow you away.