Ely Buendia

This name uses Philippine naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Basiño and the second or paternal family name is Buendia.
Ely Buendia

Buendia performing at Screen Fest, Eastwood, 2008
Background information
Birth name Eleandre Basiño Buendia[1]
Born (1970-11-02) November 2, 1970[1]
Naga City, Philippines[1]
Origin Naga City, Philippines
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • synthesizer
  • drums
  • bass
Years active 1989–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments

Eleandre "Ely" Basiño Buendia (born November 2, 1970)[1] is a Filipino musician, writer and director who gained fame as guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist of the popular Filipino rock band Eraserheads. His compositions gained success and critical acclaim, topping various music charts, and are now considered classics. Widely regarded as one of the most respected music icons in the country, he currently performs as guitarist and lead vocalist for Pupil, The Oktaves and Apartel.

Personal life

Ely Eleandre Basiño Buendia was born in his parents' home in Naga City at 6:20 AM on November 2, 1970. He is the second child of Ely Revilla Buendia (born c. 1942 in Goa, Camarines Sur) and Lisetta Ruiz Basiño (March 22, 1942 in Caramoan, Camarines Sur - August 28, 2008 in Manila).[1][2] His parents were married on October 30, 1964 in Ragay, Camarines Sur.[3] He first learned Kundiman from his mother while he started playing the guitar at the age of 7 years old. Buendia graduated from Elementary in Pasig Catholic College in 1983 in Pasig City and High School in University of Perpetual Help Rizal. During Elementary, Buendia won in a singing contest where he sang "Doon Lang" by Nonoy Zuniga. Buendia later enrolled to University of the Philippines Diliman where he formed his bands Bluidie Tryste, Sunday School and Eraserheads.[4]

Buendia is a member of the international Order of DeMolay from A. Mabini Chapter, Paranaque City. He was conferred with the highest honor being a DeMolay to the rank of Legion of Honor last November 2015, by the Grand Master Victor Antonio T. Espejo of the Supreme Council Order of DeMolay Philippines for outstanding leadership in his field of endeavor, for service to humanity, for success in fraternal life, including adult service to the Order of DeMolay. The Supreme Council Order of DeMolay is an appendant body of Freemasonry.

Buendia has two children, Una Aurea, with his first wife, Vicky Cayago, and Eon Drake, with Pupil co-manager Diane Ventura. He reportedly also used to date TV5 news anchor and model Shawn Yao.[5]

Eraserheads (1989-2002)

Main article: Eraserheads

In December 1989, Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Marcus Adoro and Buddy Zabala formed the band Eraserheads in their collegiate school, the University of the Philippines Diliman, where Buendia was a Film major at the College of Mass Communications (he started his first year of college in 1987). The band found that they weren't good at covering other people's hits, so they concentrated on writing their own material instead. In 1991,After all, if we committed a mistake no one would recognize it since they don't know the song, right?," Buendia explained. Performing their original songs live soon earned them a cult following in the University, which gradually spread outside the campus. One of the songs, a pop song entitled "Pare Ko", which Buendia wrote, became very popular, partly because of the lyrics which included a few swear words.

Eraserheads eventually signed a three-year deal with BMG Pilipinas. Their debut album Ultraelectromagneticpop! featured no less than Pare Ko and a host of other novelty pieces that had people listening and discovering more about the quartet. The album also brought the underground college rock scene into public awareness. 1993 saw the emergence of "Eraserheadsmania" because of successive hit singles, sold-out concerts and thousands of fans.

Buendia continued to write songs for the band, many of which became hit singles and classics. Eraserheads' lasted for ten years before finally breaking up with Buendia and Adoro's departure. During those 10 years, the band produced eight studio albums along with other EPs and singles. Their gigs took them out of the country, with tours in the United States and other countries. One album, Aloha Milkyway, was released in the Asian region. Eraserheads were also the first ever Filipino artists to receive the "Moon Man" trophy for winning the 1997 MTV Asia Viewer's Choice Award for the video of their song, "Ang Huling El Bimbo." This hit was also written by Buendia, like many others that the band produced.

Eraserheads went onstage for their reunion concert on August 30, 2008 at the Fort Open Field, Taguig City, which was cut short unexpectedly. The continuation of the concert was held at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on March 7, 2009.

Leaving Eraserheads

After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed that Buendia had left the band in mid-March 2002 for "reasons unknown." However, in subsequent interviews, Buendia pointed to business matters as the cause of the band's break-up.[6]

In an interview, Marasigan said he was eating in SM Megamall, a local shopping mall, when he heard of the news (how he heard of it, was not clear). He said he was "semi-surprised" and wondered if Zabala already knew about it.[7] Adoro told of the story now famous among Eraserheads fans about Buendia's cryptic text message. He said Buendia stated in the text message that it's already time to graduate. Adoro quipped in the same interview that Buendia being the first to graduate was natural, since he was in batch '87 in their school (UP, Diliman), while they were in Batch '88.[7]

Zabala confesses in an interview that disbanding had not been that far away from the members' minds. He said that there were so many occasions where they could have disbanded but they did not.[8] Adoro expressed the belief of some people that the band was getting too old and that it was "selfish" for the band to continue, likely referring to comments about how it's time for other bands besides Eraserheads to shine.[8] The band made it clear, though, that Buendia's departure from the band wasn't in any way violent and there was no shouting (sigawan) or any confrontation.[8]

Without giving up, the three remaining original Eraserheads decided to continue on. Within just a few weeks, the "new" Eheads debuted at Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City on April 19 featuring a female singer-guitarist, Kris Gorra-Dancel from the band, Fatal Posporos. However, after a few months, Adoro also quit the band. The remaining members of Eraserheads added Diego Mapa and Ebe Dancel to their lineup and renamed their band, "Cambio."


The Mongols

After Ely left Eraserheads, he would invite musicians and jam together. He had no definite line-up at that time, "I have, like, 10 members in the band right now. I have two drummers, two bass players...", according to Ely in an interview with Martin Nievera. This jamming together with friends would eventually evolve into The Mongols. It was composed of guitarist J. Astro (also known as Jerome Velasco) (of The Teeth), bassist Yan Yuzon, drummer Bogs "Boga Man" Jugo (of the indie pop band Daydream Cycle), and Buendia on guitars and vocals, under the stage name Jesus "Dizzy" Ventura. The band was managed by Day Cabuhat, one of Eraserheads' former managers. According to one of Eraserhead's event producers, Ely's "Jesus" stage name was from an inside joke during Eraserhead's USA Tour. Ely and Marcus bought replica sheriff badges at the Universal Studios Hollywood and Ely got a badge with the name "Jesus" while Marcus' was "Cesar".

The Mongols released a self-produced underground EP in CD-R format with factory-printed sleeves in April 2003, "A Fraction of A Second". It contains five tracks, "Case Logic", "No", "Tomorrowland", "KSP" and "Abstraction of A Second". It was released under "Redrum Records".

After a few months, the Mongols decided to have their self-produced album distributed by Neo Records Inc. under the major label VIVA Records. The result is a thirteen-track album called Buddha's Pest (tracks are: "Keeper", "Bulakbol", "Bakit Nga Ba?", "Pony", "Teka Muna", "Candy Flip", "Heroine", "Wig Out", "It's Over", "Irish Spring", "Odd Even", "Your Bushido", plus an untitled instrumental track). It was produced by "The Genghis Klan" under "Criminal Records".


Main article: Pupil (band)

Shortly after The Mongols' guitarist, J. Astro, left the band, the remaining members renamed their group Pupil. Buendia chanced upon the band name while reading a medical book. The band is enjoying more mainstream popularity, in contrast to the Mongols. Bogs left the band after their 1st album Beautiful Machines. Wendell is now the drummer of Pupil. Recently, Pupil's guitarist Yanny Yuzon also left the band in this year 2013. Day Cabuhat Pupil's Manager said that "Yanny is no longer. Transitions and changes are normal within any band structure and we all thank you for the understanding and continued support of all of our projects..."

The Oktaves

The band is composed of Ely Buendia as the frontman, Nitoy Adriano as the lead guitarist, Chris Padilla also in Guitars, Ivan Garcia on bass and Bobby Padilla on drums. “Nitoy Adriano is a former member of quintessential Filipino rock band The Jerks. They are the original alternative and blues band of the Philippines. Current and past members are considered icons in the local music scene,” MCA MUSIC INC. said. “Chris Padilla, Bobby Padilla and Ivan Garcia are actually a three piece rockabilly group called Hilera. They may be new players in the scene compared to the other two members but they have already made quite an impact by winning the Nescafe sound school competition in 2005 and by being nominated and winning various rock awards,” MCA added.

How the band was formed, MCA MUSIC INC. said, “The members have collaborated several times before most notably when Hilera took part in the production of Buendia’s project with Francis Magalona entitled ‘In Love and War’. However, the band was officially formed almost exactly a year ago when they first went onstage as “Oktaves” when they performed at the inaugural Esquire (magazine) ball.” “The collaboration turned into a headlining band which now plays in the best rock venues in the country. They now have a repertoire of original songs and also perform a good number of classic rock anthems. Oktaves’ brand of music is straight up rock n’ roll. Their music is very relatable to various audiences of different generations. Whilst their sound is classy and sophisticated, they are also very appealing to the mainstream crowd,” MCA MUSIC INC. said.

Their 1st album was the self-titled album The Oktaves it has 12 tracks including their 1st single "K.U.P.A.L (K.P.L)", their another single "Paakyat ka pa lang, Pababa na ako" and the song "Bungo Sa Bangin" by Ely Buendia feat. Turbogoth and Pepe Smith from the album Rock Rizal, an album tribute for José Rizal, it consist of Various Artists including Ely Buendia.


In 2016, Buendia launched a new band with Jay Ortega (of DRT, Gnash, Wally Gonzalez, and Tres), which is primarily focused on Soul music, RnB, Funk, and Jazz. Buendia met Ortega during the latter's launch of his bar and cafe called Spin Cafe. The two later collaborated and started to form a group, with members and contributors Pat Sarabia (drums), Coco Coo (guitars), RJ Pineda (keyboards), Redge Concepcion (guitars), Louie Talan (bass), Carissa Ramos (bass), Deej Rodriguez (percussion), Roxy Modesto (saxophone), Wowie Ansano (trumpet), Pards Tupas (trombone), Joseph Cabanero (saxophone), Donna (harp and backup vocals), and Ramonne Rodriguez (backup vocals). Buddy Zabala (bass), Nitoy Adriano (guitars), Cooky Chua (backup vocals), Wendell Garcia (drums), and the group Bras Pas Pas Pas (horns), also shared their expertise to the band's album tracks. [9] [10] Entitled "Inner Play", the band's first album was released digitally on September 29, 2016. The double album 45RPM vinyl version was manufactured in Japan, and the band opted not to release in CD format due to piracy and decreasing number of CD users, which was released on November 12, 2016 at the HiFi Show, Dusit Thani Hotel. [11] Inner Play will be released under Buendia and Ortega's own record label called Offshore Music. According to Buendia in an interview with Myx, their band name was inspired by the 80's new wave band, The Motels. However, according to Buendia, Apartel's sound is a tribute to 70's music, such as Stax Records, Motown, Manila Sound, APO Hiking Society, VST & Co., and Rico J. Puno. [12] The band launched its first music video for their single "Is It Hip?" on September 17, 2016, in Victoria Court, Malate, and was directed by Marie Jamora and produced by Artikulo Uno Productions. [13] The band also covers songs from its influences such as Sly & Family Stone's "Thank You For Talking To Me Africa".


On Sunday, January 7, 2007, Ely Buendia suffered a heart attack or acute myocardial infarction secondary to arterial blockage. It began when Buendia complained about finding it a bit hard to breathe while they were on the way to a gig in Laguna. But he dismissed it as mere heartburn. After some time, Buendia was reportedly in the middle of a song during a gig in Calamba, Laguna when he felt a sudden pain in his chest and left arm. He was rushed to an intensive care unit at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa. "It turns out that he'd been having a heart attack for the last twenty five hours." according to ex-eheads manager Jessica Zafra. Doctors performed an angiogram on the frontman and it confirmed the heart attack as two of his arteries were blocked. Buendia's condition was confirmed stable after an emergency angioplasty operation headed by Dr. Benjie Luna during the same night. According to Dok Sergio, “Ely is fine, successful yung surgery last night. (Last night's surgery was a success).”[14]

The second angioplasty operation conducted on Ely Buendia on January 10, 2007 was successful and is secured from having heart attack recurrence. “The operation was a super success. He is totally out of danger and heart attack recurrence is not expected.” according to Buendia’s attending physician and cardiac surgeon, Dr. Wilfred Dee.

On behalf of Pupil, Ms. Day Cabuhat and Diane Ventura gave thanks to everyone who called, visited and expressed their concerns to Ely's condition such us fans, writers, editors, media, sponsors, networks, producers, and most especially to local musicians such as Yael Yuzon, Japs Sergio, Francis Magalona, Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Kiko Machine, Menaya, Rico Blanco, Urbandub, Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro and many others.[15]

Buendia was finally released from the Hospital and was allowed to stay at home and rest by his doctors on the night of January 15, 2007. "I’ve got a bionic heart now," joked by Buendia.

This event prompted rap artist Francis Magalona, a longtime friend of Buendia and the other Eraserheads, to state the following in his personal blogsite: "Fast forward to right now, 9:58 am, Jan. 9, a lot of what ifs scenarios pop in my head. What if the E-heads members are back, like long-lost blood brothers? What if "the most significant OPM band of Pinoy Rock" would be in one room, what would happen?" And in postscript he adds, "Para sa akin panahon na para mag-reunite ang E-heads. Sugod na mga kapatid...rock & roll na hanggang umaga.", which roughly translates, "For me, it's time for E-Heads to reunite. Let's go brothers...rock & roll until the morning comes."

Ely's first on-stage public appearance after his heart attack was on Saturday, February 10, 2007 as his band, Pupil, performed at The Music Hall in SM Mall of Asia, in an Animax event called “Love Is In The Air”. The event featured a speed dating event as a welcome celebration for Valentine’s Day and live performances from other local artists such as Callalily, and Amber. Pupil is also part of “Super Proxy Jam”. It is an event that is hoping to spread awareness for the importance of Cardiovascular Health and for the benefit of The Heartist Foundation Inc. Francis Magalona & The Hardware Sydrome, Parokya Ni Edgar, Gloc-9, Dicta License, PiKaSO, and Dice & Mobbstar are also participants in the said event. Heartist Foundation Inc. is another collaborative effort between Ely Buendia and Francis Magalona that aims to help Filipino artists with health problems.

Eraserheads reunion

Buendia joined Marasigan, Adoro, and Zabala for a one-night-only reunion show on August 30, 2008, at the Fort Open Field, Makati City. The concert, however, was cut short after Ely collapsed due to emotional stress.[16] They were already halfway of a planned 30-song setlist as Ely reportedly collapsed backstage during a break and was rushed to the Makati Medical Center. He was, however, reported to be in stable condition. Buddy had checked on Ely in his tent right after they went to their planned 20 minute break and saw that he already was on an oxygen mask with paramedics checking his blood pressure. As he left and came back, paramedics were already taking Ely on an ambulance. Bandmates Buddy, Raimund and Marcus further said that they had no idea that Ely was already having difficulty performing.[17]

Results showed that Buendia suffered from a slight attack and Hypokalemia. The doctors at Philippine Heart Center had found another blocked artery and performed angioplasty right away, which is Ely's third since 2007. On September 5, 2008, Buendia was discharged from the hospital.

Other works


TV and films


Solo projects and collaborations

Commercial projects


Which was burned during their last concert The final set after the band's last song.

On-stage Equipment


Buendia is a supporter of PETA's campaign to free Mali from captivity in the Manila zoo and have her moved to Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand.“I am urging my fans to raise their voices to help free Mali,[She] has been lonely for more than 36 years,” the 43-year-old musician thinks that “a sanctuary can give her (Mali) the kind of life that she needs and deserves.” “If you can’t imagine how that feels, just try to remember what you were doing in 1979. That’s the last time Mali saw another elephant,” Ely added. The frontman of “Pupil” and “Oktaves” hopes that “people will join me in calling for Mali's transfer to a sanctuary where she can finally be free to act like an elephant and engage in the behavior that comes naturally to her.”[22]



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ely Buendia's Birth Certificate
  2. "Lisetta Buendia (born Basiño)". Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  3. 1 2 Ely Buendia and Lisetta Basiño's Marriage Certificate
  4. Radio Interview – Ely Buendia at Jam 88.3 (9-19-10)
  5. http://www.thealphadogattitude.net/2012/05/dog-star-shawn-yao-of-tv5[]
  6. Yugel Losorata (December 14, 2005). "No delusions of grandeur for Ely Buendia". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  7. 1 2 "YOU: The Interactive Youth". Showbizandstyle.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  8. 1 2 3 "The Heads Rock (and Roll On)". Business World. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  9. https://twitter.com/apartelph/status/752461918581846021[]
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAUd9CCzM-o[]
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC9KdhJkB2I[]
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7mbazmYB4w[]
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  14. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=62017. Retrieved January 8, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. "Ely Buendia now out of danger – band manager". GMANews.TV. 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  16. Erika Tapalla (August 30, 2008). "Eraserheads concert cut short, Buendia rushed to hospital". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  17. Concepcion, Pocholo (September 1, 2008). "Eraserheads show cut; Ely hospitalized". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  18. "DeMolay Alumni". DeMolay Philippines. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  19. ""The closest to an Eraserheads reunion" on Ely Buendia's Official Promo Website for the event". Quadboxproductions.com. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  21. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-09-08.
  22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  23. Gaspar Buendía and Gliceria Revilla's Marriage Register
  24. Felipe Basiño and Antonia Ruiz's Marriage Register
  25. Gaspar Buendía's Baptismal Register
  26. Cirilo Revilla's Baptismal Register
  27. Eusebio Rodríguez's Baptismal Register

External links

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