BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The founding member of the Pinoy folk rock band, ASIN launched a book he wrote about the band’s biography at the Negros Museum in Bacolod City Saturday.
Miguel Pillora Jr., also called Mike or Nonoy, said he started writing the book titled “Kasaysayan ng Alamat ng Grupong ASIN” about 20 years ago. It narrated about how their group was established and the issues and struggles they had faced since it was formed in 1977.
The group was originally composed of Lolita Carbon, who is from Luzon, Cesar “Saro” Bañares, who represented Mindanao, and himself who represented the Visayas, all singer-composers, before they were joined by Pendong Aban, Jr.
ASIN, which means salt of the earth, popularized songs like “Bayan Ko,” “Masdan mo ang Kapaligiran,” “Cotabato,” “Ang Magnanakaw,” among others, which raised social awareness among Filipinos.
Pillora said the group was at the peak of its popularity for about 20 years before it broke up in 1988. They later held a reunion concert at the Folk Arts Theater in 1992 and at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod in 2017 before finally disbanding following the murder of Bañares.
His book mostly focused on the mistakes they made and how this could have been overcome. It deals more with the solution, he said.
The book launching was followed by a documentary film of Pillora’s life in Israel after the group broke up. This was followed by a free concert at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon in celebration of Earth Day.
The documentary film portrayed Pillora’s life not as a musician but as an ordinary father who did odd jobs just to be able to send his daughter to school. His daughter, Lal’el, now 22, is a professional dancer and dance instructress and had performed abroad in places like Holland and Italy, among others.
Pillora said he only left Israel when his daughter finished high school to join the Israeli Army. But while in Israel, he took up Teacher’s Training Course specializing in Early Childhood Education.
After he left Israel, he proceeded to the U.S. where he conducted workshops and organized Filipino singing groups who used to be their fans before in the Philippines, he said.
Pillora has finally decided to settle here in the country and still continues to compose songs. He was joined during the concert Saturday by Ronabel Comawas, Krisna Bawiin and Marlon Sipe.*