Ang Huling El Bimbo

I wonder if when other radio stations close, they also get this kind of farewell. That (at least) hundreds will be outside their studio, singing along and swaying to their last song. What would even be the last song that they play? If they played a song by Usher, wouldn’t there be another radio station that also usually plays songs by Usher that can claim his songs as their farewell song?

Ang Huling El Bimbo by the Eraserheads.

Can you think of a song more fitting? Sure, the Eraserheads were famous enough back then for their songs to be played in all the radio stations. But let me tell you something, by the time a station other than NU107 started playing Overdrive, we who listed to the home of NURock have already memorized it. We’d already bought the cassette of Cutterpillow while the album cover was still brown and grainy, instead of the cleaner blue that eventually covered the walls of Radio City (this was a record store, it’s also gone now).

It was NU107 that gave life to the OPM bands. And I daresay, that all the people who became musicians because of the Eraserheads, probably wouldn’t even have known about them too well if it wasn’t for NU107.

Is it strange that something like a radio station, something that you don’t even really think about (unless you’re a big music geek, which not most people are) can evoke this much sadness? I don’t think so. But that’s because NU107 wasn’t really just a radio station to me.

I was just a listener, to be sure. I never even called them up to place a song request. But still I felt like it was a part of my identity somehow. If only because it didn’t play the same songs that everyone else was playing.

Back in high school, I would hang out a lot at the school publication office because I worked at the school paper. In the office was a radio, which was one of the few perks that we, the newspaper staff, enjoyed. We could tune into any radio station we wanted, and everyone knew, just knew, that when it was tuned into 107.5, that meant that I was in the office, and that I had tuned it there. Of course, when more people entered the office, they’d insist on tuning into somewhere else, a station “less noisy” as they put it, and I wouldn’t argue with them, but that’s not really my point. The point is that NU107 was connected to me. It was my radio station, and if you walked in and saw the radio tuned into any other station, you couldn’t tell who put it there.

If, just what if, another radio station, whichever other one (except for maybe DZFE98.7 , which plays classical music, or RJ100.3, which plays oldies (70’s music or older)) also closed down, would anyone be as sad as we fans of NU had been when we found out that NU was closing? Maybe they’d also have a street party of sorts outside that station’s studio, but would they really feel the same? Would they really feel as lost as we do? Because when I first found out that NU107 was closing, the first thing I thought of was, “But where will I listen to rock songs anymore?!” But if it was another station, well… Nearly every other station has a clone station, which plays basically the same music.

I’m recently obsessed with Firefly, that Joss Whedon show that didn’t quite get as famous as Buffy and was cancelled after only one season but became a cult classic anyway, and well, I just can’t help but think about how it’s those great ones that leave us so quickly. Firefly, NU107, Cotton Candy McFlurry. And, why can’t I ever like the ones that stick around for a long time? Ketchup. Pop songs with lyrics like “Baby, I love you”. Law & Order. I must have a knack for finding things that can break your heart.

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