Parokya Ni Edgar (Parish of Edgar) are the Philippines' reigning court jesters, writing witty pop-punk songs with often strange subject matter. The band was formed in Ateneo High School in Manila, Philippines by six students: vocalist Chito Miranda, back-up singer and dancer Vinci Montaner, guitarists Darius Semana and Gab CheeKee, bassist Buwi Meneses, and drummer Dindin Moreno. Originally called Comic Relief, the group specialized in performing parodies of well-known songs. In 1994, the band began performing at Manila's hotbed for alternative music, Club Dredd. The group's oddball outfits and goofy stage antics made them local favorites. The band was eventually signed to Universal with the help of Richard Tan, the manager of Philippine punk groups the Youth and Teeth. The Youth's Robert Javier produced Parokya Ni Edgar's 1996 debut, KHANGKHUNGKHERRNitZ The Album. The unusually titled album went platinum in six months. However, the success of the song "Buloy" would eventually haunt them later as its troubled protagonist, a real-life friend of the band, killed himself just as the lyrics described after the track was released and became immensely popular. Nevertheless, the group's irreverent antics -- such as taking melodies from tunes by the Clash and Bob Dylan and fitting them with hilarious Tagalog lyrics - appealed to the masses as well as to their underground followers. A year later, Parokya Ni Edgar's second full-length BURUGUDUYSTUNSTUGUDUNSTUY found them venturing into some serious material while retaining the comedic moments of their previous effort. The song "Please Don't Touch My Birdie" was another controversial hit for the band as the lyrics had a sexual double meaning. The group was seen as the next Eraserheads, a Filipino rock group that were superstars in their homeland. In 1999, the band's "Harana" video was selected as the Asian Viewers' Choice at the MTV awards in New York City. The group toured the U.S. in 2002.
Parokya ni Edgar has been referred to by local media outlets and numerous award-giving bodies as "Pambansang Banda ng Pilipinas"
Gab Chee Kee