Bakit wala ang Datu’s Tribe sa Tanduay Rockfest?!?

Towards the end of July, I received a text message from (itago na lang natin sa pangalang) Jonas Jejemonias asking me if Datu’s Tribe would be interested in playing 2 songs for a gig on October 15, 2010 at the Mall of Asia. Jejemonias told me that he was organizing the event and that it was going to be a major reunion concert for “old school” 90s bands. Aside from telling me that the talent fee was going to be 15k, no other details were provided.

I was all gung-ho, of course, and decided to give conditional approval for the event in spite of the bare info given. Since the occasions that still provided opportunities for bands of my generation to get together already come rare and far between these days, the chance to participate in one exclusively organized for us “old school” 90s bands was too good to pass up. An element of blind faith was also involved as I knew Jonas Jejemonias to be the manager of another “old school” contemporary we’ve had the pleasure to play with back in the 90s and also even on a number of other occasions (some fairly recent) since we came back into the scene in 2005.

Now, ever since our last manager left us in virtual limbo late last year, I asked Cindy (my wife) to handle booking negotiations for the band. She’s always been very meticulous in her professional dealings and we’ve been quite satisfied ever since at the level of professional savvy she’s always brought to the negotiating table on our behalf.

So when she told me a couple of days later that something didn’t feel right with Jonas Jejemonias’s proposal, red flags started popping up. Apparently, Cindy had been informed that the talent fee would be dropping to 10k, with Jejemonias citing budget constraints and other difficulties as reasons for the drop. My wife naturally took back the conditional approval and reasoned (rightly so) that a new approval now had to be secured from the band before anything can be finalized.

Throughout the ordeal, Cindy kept on pressing Jonas Jejemonias for details such as sponsors involved, set time, transportation and site accommodations, food and drink arrangements, etc., and the all-important performance contract. To her surprise, Jejemonias said that there would actually be no contract: “Kaliwaan na lang” on the day of the gig itself. This led us to suspect that this guy was hiding something, so we decided to withhold our commitment until full disclosure was given.

The amount was subsequently raised to 12.5k after it became obvious to Jonas Jejemonias that we were already having misgivings about the whole deal, but his move obviously still failed to reassure us because it also became obvious to us that there really was something going on here.

After being repeatedly asked for clarifications for the better part of a week, Jonas Jejemonias finally told us on August 9 – more than a week after he first pitched the proposal – that the event was the Tanduay Rockfest. This surprise revelation broke the deal, of course, as I couldn’t allow the band to play in a major event exclusively sponsored by any company owned by the great Lucio Tan. At this point, I was already indescribably pissed off at Jejemonias and decided to just decline immediately before I got mad enough to hunt him down, rip his balls out of his sacs and feed it to anyone who considered stale eggs a delicacy.

But in spite of the refusal, Jonas Jejemonias still bugged us to reconsider and even went so far as going back to the original pitch of 15k, only saying this time that the 12.5k offer will remain as is and that he’ll just personally foot the additional 2.5k to square things off. In spite of the seemingly conciliatory gesture, his tone had actually become condescending at this point, as he was already making it appear that he knew we were just being deliberately pig-headed so that we can raise the stakes.

Two things then crossed my mind: Either this creep was simply being just a monumentally stupid douche bag or he desperately needed us to reconsider ASAP because he’d already done something that could compromise him if we didn’t play. So at this point, I already told him that money was not the issue anymore. Datu’s Tribe will not play the Tanduay Rockfest because supporting this event of this company owned by Lucio Tan will most certainly compromise our integrity as an activist band and make a joke out of the continuing support we give our various advocacies.

Jonas Jejemonias didn’t reply anymore, and I thought that that was that. But then, shortly before midnight on the day I gave the flat-out refusal, I saw the Tanduay Rockfest commercial in all its glory on television for the first time and Datu’s Tribe was the very first name I saw on the third frame flashed onscreen.

Early next day, I began to contact band managers in my network in order to ask who among them had artists performing in the event or knew the production’s OIC. Backbeat’s big boss, Richard Tan, told me he had several bands playing, so I asked him for the OIC’s number after explaining our predicament in general.

Cindy eventually got to talk to Gladys Basinillo, the project head under Mediacom, Tanduay’s media arm for the event. Cindy proceeded to tell her the general situation and Ms. Basinillo was absolutely at a loss as to how such a monumental screw-up could have happened. But then she gave us info that shocked us equally in return when she said that the actual budget pegged for artist’s talent fees was at FIFTY-THOUSAND PESOS EACH.

After apologizing profusely for the screw-up, Ms. Basinillo even volunteered to renegotiate with the band and even raise the artist’s fee just to have us play the event, but before we could tell her that that wouldn’t be necessary, she had to terminate the call as she was driving to work and talking to us at the same time. She said she’d look into the matter immediately and give us a call as soon as she arrived at her office.

Ten minutes or so later, Cindy received a text from her. It was a forwarded message that contained the last text I sent Jonas Jejemonias before I saw the tv ad and it was the one that explained the primary reason why we declined. Needless to say, it became clear to Ms. Basinillo at that point that there was no need to renegotiate with the band anymore.

When she called again soon after, I asked Cindy to let me speak to her directly to clarify everything. It was during this conversation that I gave her the details – how we were contacted, how we were informed (and misinformed), how we never gave any kind of final commitment to the gig, how we eventually pieced together this idiotic middleman Jonas Jejemonias’s attempt to scam us, and how it’s now at the point where the band’s credibility is now under threat as a result of our name’s inclusion in the ad campaign.

She immediately gave me her personal assurance that all advertising and promotional materials will be removed, but requested that we give her around a week to do so because of the scale involved. At this point, she still couldn’t get over the shock of the fiasco and kept on expressing concern over the consequences that it would have on their handling of the event. She even informed me that aside from the trimedia ads already in place, the first batch of tickets had already been printed as well, and these had Datu’s Tribe’s name on it, too.

Nonetheless, in spite of the headaches caused on both sides, I did let her know that the band would have no reason to hold them accountable since the advertising pullout would be effected asap. I did tell her though, that if they wanted to sue anyone for the millions they just lost in advertising expenses, they should go after Jejemonias and hit him hard with fraud and misrepresentation charges. All things considered, I guess Cindy and I were just thankful to have finally gotten the chance to talk to somebody in authority who was honest and rational and intelligent enough to settle the matter with finality.

I immediately sent texts to Jonas Jejemonias informing him how his moronic middleman’s scheme to make a quick buck at the expense of Datu’s (and others which he may have also attempted to swindle) had just been uncovered. In a pathetic attempt to cover his ass, he feigned ignorance and claimed how he was also a victim in all of this because he was just contracted by another person to look for acts willing to play the event. He claimed to have been given a budget of only 20k per band for this purpose and that he had no idea about the 50k per band earmarked by the organizers.

BUT THEN he told me na sa tagal ko na sa industriya, alam ko na raw dapat na marami talagang kumi-kickback pagdating sa ganitong mga usapan at pati mga radio stations, network people, atbp. ay talagang involved sa kalakaran. Wala raw siyang alam sa 50k, at kung nabawasan man yun, ang ipinarating lang sa kanya ay yung 20k, so malamang kumuha na ng cut yung ibang kung sinu-sino pa. (I informed Ms. Basinillo about this claim of his especially since he mentioned the name of a person who turned out to be one that Ms. Basinillo tapped to do legwork for the project. I was never able to get any subsequent updates on the results of her investigation.)

In spite of having told him that I had just clarified everything with the event’s big boss, Jonas Jejemonias remained adamant. Providing one logical fallacy after another in his pathetic defense, he continued to claim to be just another clueless, kind-hearted victim out to simply champion the cause of deserving artists in the corruption-infested world of Pinoy rock, yada, yada, yada. And though I was fuming the whole time we exchanged texts, I did have fun shooting his arguments full of the following logic-laden bullet holes:

  • He claims having been given only 20k to work with per band, Even if we assume that he’s telling the truth here, he took advantage of our lack of inside info in order to try and get a whopping 50% cut (!!!) off of the whole deal. Getting a 50% cut would only be justifiable if he happened to be band manager, guitarist, and maybe an emergency man-whore for sex-starved fans – all at the same time;
  • He offered to bring the talent fee back up to his initial pitch of 15k, but made it appear that 2.5k out of that would be personally raised by him as a show of good faith and commitment to the band. The fact is his subsequent claim to having been duly covered beforehand by the sponsor FOR UP TO 20K just shows how much of a scheming jackass he is;
  • Even his initial pitch of 15k meant that he intended to pocket 25% of the supposedly earmarked amount. At the end of the day, he still would have earned significantly more than each of the actual members in the band. The standard commission for these kinds of bookings is just around 10 percent;
  • He knowingly committed us to the event EVEN WITHOUT OUR APPROVAL. This alone already speaks volumes about his integrity, or lack thereof.


Jonas Jejemonias still claims to be the victim even after he had already unwittingly exposed himself as co-conspirator in the corrupt backdoor business dealings he ironically and oh-so-idiotically points to as the evil that preyed on his good intentions.

Yan, mga kabarangay, ang tinatawag na ganap na POSEUR.

So where does this leave us? On the one hand, we’re being treated here to a virtual backstage pass (limited access nga lang) into one of the darker sides of the music industry: Its business side. And on the other, there’s that substantially more resonant issue concerning artists’ rights and responsibilities that now comes to the fore as a result of this hilariously pathetic mix-up.

Certainly, we can’t be expected to just leave it at that, right?

(To be concluded tomorrow.)



25 Responses to “Bakit wala ang Datu’s Tribe sa Tanduay Rockfest?!?”

  1. ganyan pala kalakaran ngayon…kaya pala di nag bloom ang mga banda nung 90’s era…..nawawalan ng gana mga artist dahil sa kasakiman ng iba…..tsk.tsk.tsk…kailan kaya magiging patas lumaban ang mga ibang tao…di tayo uunlad kung panlalamang lang lagi ang nasa isip…..ipagpatuloy ang rakrakan at paggising sa mga tulog sa lipunan mga sir….

  2. datu’s tribe and 90’s bands rule! tunay na pinoy punk!


  3. Konti na lang…konti na lang…babanat na ako oooh…Taenang Jejemon yan demonyito ka…lolokohin mo pa mga IDOL ko…No KATAYIN na ba yang Baboy na yan…Pati pa naman jan sa industriya Pinoy Rock may kurapsiyon…haaaayyyy nakuuu…Pero walang makakapigil sa pagbangon ng PINOY ROCK…rock ON \m/!!!!

  4. Bong Villanueva Says:

    Cabring.. I-poste ko ito sa FB ko ha para malaman ng iba ang tutoong nangyari.. balita ko’y biktima rin ang YANO/Dong Abay…

  5. loko ka tang na muUUU Galit kmi sa bAboy lolokohin mu pa yun mga idol ko sana makarne ka BABOy

  6. cabring my brother, it is so sad that this scam is as old as the music industry itself, ganyan din nangyari sa amin [NUKLUS] before and what you did , i regret that we never have done..i mean coming out kami we kept silent these pigs in the industry wants to play in their sties …thanks for coming out bro!

  7. nolit Says:

    It brings up the fact that we have to organize ourselves (musicians) into one solid union. actually meron na ito currently in the process and hopefully in the future there will be one body that will address to this issues and protect the musicians from such exploitations. Eto na at binubuo na nila skarlet ang Phil Musicians Guild. Kaya tara magsama sama na tayo.

    • cabring Says:

      Yup. One of the points na ilalagay ko nga dun sa conclusion talaga. Sana matapos ko today, haha. \m/@@\m/

  8. nakalimutan ko sabihin kagabi..dapat kayo ang mag-sue sa letseng jejemonias na yan..or better, i-broadcast ang full name nya..para maturuan ng leksyon!

    • cabring Says:

      Haha, CJ! He’s not a public figure and there’s that possibility of a defamation suit kung di ako mag blind item, haha. Also, technically, di kami ang aggrieved party bec Tanduay (through Mediacom) didn’t have any part in the attempted scam but still took the steps necessary to clear our name.

      If there’s anyone here who has reason to sue, it would actually be Tanduay/Mediacom because they’re the ones who incurred additional and unnecessary advertising expenses as a result of Jejemonias’s scheme.

  9. sir repost ko sa fb ha..

  10. Mikehell Says:

    I still believe in the integrity of datus tribe….I sense kahit TY ang Talent Fee papatulan yan ng DT….as long na hindi lihis ang objective ng organizer sa priciples ng DT…

    Hey Cabring…feels like it’s 90’s again…same situation…uso pa rin pala ang “cut” at onsehan..hehehhe walang pagbabago talaga pinoy music scene.

    I remember my former friends band who was booked at the defunct club dredd under one of its production ek ek…ang talent fee ay malinaw na 2K for playing 5 songs at similar arrangement “kaliwaan” ang bigay ng TF…ng matapos ang gig….limang bote ng red bull ang binigay at sabay sabing thank you sa pag suporta sa production nila…bwhahahahahh and the 2K? hindi na sila nakapiyok dahil wala silang alam sa mga ganyang business matters ek ek..

    in short napagsamantalahan sila…nag benta na nga tiket na halos umabot sa 4K…hindi man lang nila nakuha yung share ng TF nila..

  11. buhay na buhay ang diwa ng pagiging taga uplb sa Datu’s Tribe. Mabuhay kayo at kita kits ukit sa set ninyo sa Feb Fair.

  12. Johnnnn Says:

    this is appalling. although, its the way this big prods work. they proposes a budget from the start to tanduay’s ad/creative agency, mediacom. Mediacom gets 15% override from all the expenses and 3% on all the advertising media bought ie TV, radio. I’m guessing that the corp that won the bid was one of the radio networks that packaged the event with a multi-million peso media buy. like say you buy ’10M worth of airtime with us and get this event for free’… a likely scenario paving the way for budget cuts and lower tf’s for the bands… point is corps, also including media and record co.’s are businesses, tanduay wants to be another smb so it can sell more rhum, mediacom assures tanduay that she will be able to earn the override, and event prod will cut cost on everything from the artist to toilet paper…….. this industry is bullshit.

    • cabring Says:

      Thanks for the input, Johnnnn. If I assume correctly, you seem to be an industry insider. If this thing snowballs, we could certainly use input from people like you para mabuwag na itong umiiral na sistema.

      Salamat uli! \m/@@\m/

      • Johnnnn Says:

        cabring, the usual practice is that when a supplier (prod group) bids for a project, they ball park everything to the highest possible figure. say for example 12 bands for 600k. In behalf of tanduay, mediacom negotiates it down to 480k (and might be understood as 40k per pand x 12 bands) with varying talent fees of the bands they will have to juggle the budget accordingly. So what they might save from one band by giving them only 15k they can put into a bigger named band like say the 6cycledballs…. this is a reality and could have been the likely scenario for your band’s predicament.

        I’ve even worked with gladys on some occassions, and yes I WAS an industry insider. Glady’s is very meticulous and professional so I doubt this hoolabaloola originated from mediacom.

        Your name was still on the Tanduay ad until the 15th, I saw it at least 3 times with ‘Yano’ also still there. This is what I think you should run after. I am assuming that they aired their commercial after August 9, wherein you have already declined to play. Claim some money, no harm in that. They used your band’s name to make it appear a nostaligic revival of the 90’s or so… And do not claim the money for the money, claim it to teach them a lesson. Its plain business, if they dont lose money then they’re not at loss. If you are successful claiming a sum, they will point fingers inside and take it out on the erring person/s which hopefully hits Jejemonias. If you have a strong enough case, then for imaging’s sake Tanduay will settle. But, of course you will need to move fast and secure TOA’s from the TV networks that aired their commercial, plus take into consideration that corps will just throw money into this just to save face and wear you out. So probably step up the publicity to this fiasco, this way they will be on the guard. Make it snowball fast. Get Dong on this too. When you get some money, use it to throw a concert with all the bands playing for free. Call it ‘The Real Rockfest’. Heck get everyone to join in on this, and promise the free concert as a reward. Revolution!!!

        As for the TF ‘scandal’, it is already traditional and they (tanduay and co, including Jejemonias’ employer) will just consider this as a pimple on the butt. Not the best battle to fight.

        • cabring Says:

          Thanks! I actually consulted with lawyers after I got to straighten things out with Gladys. I saw the tv ad on the day itself that I gave the categorical refusal, so I really have no idea as to how long it’s actually been airing prior to my seeing it. Anyway, I’m still consulting with lawyers.

          As for the lower TF, Gladys actually volunteered the info right off that it was 50k per band and (as I wrote in the article) she was even willing to do on-the-spot negotiations for even higher just so we’d play. If it weren’t for the sponsor issue, we would’ve negotiated right there and then and we would have quite possibly ended up getting significantly more than what they would have offered a lot of the other bands they got.

          But then again, who knows, right? Right now, the important thing to do is organize and put a stop to these opportunistic schemes that have been putting artists at the mercy of unscrupulous music industry players.

          At any rate, I’d have to thank Tanduay for pegging a 2-song set from us as worth more than 50k. The next time some production tries to lowball us, eto na’ng ipangsasampal namin, haha.

  13. Cabring!

    Kaya mahal namin ang Datu’s Tribe!

    re: Datu’s Tribe will not play the Tanduay Rockfest because supporting this event of this company owned by Lucio Tan will most certainly compromise our integrity as an activist band and make a joke out of the continuing support we give our various advocacies.

  14. lon lon Says:

    grabe sila cut that crup kaya dumadami ang mga activist sa bansa dahil sa kalukohan nila

  15. Panggoy Says:

    Astig ka talaga! Paboritong BANDA ng bayan!

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by noel_colina, amihan euza. amihan euza said: Why Datu's Tribe is not part of Tanduay Rockfest […]

  17. Jessica Fernando Says:

    Que horror!

    Reading this just made my blood boil!ö I can’t believe, excuse my French but, shit like this actually happens! Nakakawalang-gana talaga mga kwentong ganito. I do hope to find myself in the indie scene one of these days, but right now, it’s stuff like these that puts out the (my) flame. :-/

    I salute you, Sir, for your perseverance and Ms. Cindy for her vigilance. Thank you for sharing your story as well. Looking forward to catching one of your gigs soon!

  18. Mas Masarap parin pakinggan ang Musikang tumutugtog para sa musika at hindi para sa pera!
    mabuhay ang banda nung dekada nobenta!

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