On November 23, 2010 – during a climb on Mt. Akir-Akir in North Cotabato – a group of climbers who happened to be music lovers as well decided to perform together. After that climb, Bobot Vergara, who became the Bass guitarist, invited the others to play for a party.
At that time, Vergara said they only had “simple drums and guitars, until I slowly invested on the instruments.”
The band was eventually formed.
Named The Herbs Band (no, don’t read too much in the name, as “it’s just a name”, smiled Vergara), it became the only local band in Cotabato City to play reggae music.
There were five original members of the group, though the number subsequently grew.
So aside from Vergara, the other members are: Rod, Mheng, Jhoe and Al for the vocals; Led for the keyboard; Moks and Helmi for the drums; Raffy and Mheng for the guitars; Sab and Bobot for the bass guitars; and Jhe for the percussion.
“Because we really love reggae – its melody, and its message of peace, love and unity – that’s why we… are ready to spread it,” Vergara said.
Vergara admitted that playing reggae in Mindanao may sound peculiar, but “reggae is actually big in some parts of Mindanao, even if not that big yet in Cotabato City. We think that we are the first band in the city that is focused on the reggae music.” And again, the focus on this genre is because “because we love its rhythm and the message in the lyrics.”
The Herbs Band can, by the way, also play pop, RnB and jazz.
More than helping spread reggae and its message/s, The Herbs Band is also glad to help bring to the fore arts and culture in Cotabato City. “As artists, we want to cultivate a culture of art in Cotabato, and for people to be educated and appreciate other music genres,” Vergara said.
The Herbs Band has performed at Tati’s Resto, Avenue Grill and Cafe Florencio. On March 28, the band will perform in Koronadal City for the Hulag Ka Liso II (Art and Music for a cause) together with other bands from Davao City, General Santos City, and Koronadal. |Mikee dela Cruz for Fringe Mag and interviews from Jim Casamayor Ofonda
For more information on The Herbs Band, contact Bobot Vergara at (+63) 9277965888; or Jim Casamayor Ofonda at (+63) 9055752696.