"But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it....All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common. "(John Stuart Mill)

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The Formative Years (1987 to 1995): Metro Manila Fan/Zine History (part 2)

The story began in 1978. It was the time when a courageous DJ known as Howlin Dave— or Dante David first played Sex Pistol’s music in DZRJ (Ramos, 1992). From then on, Punk came and was set to conquer the east. But the total invasion was felt more when the station obtained the rights to air BBC London’s Rockline. Rockline featured top UK punk bands such as The Clash, The Damned etc.(Ramos, 1992). Due to this, a legion of devoted followers was formed.

In 1981, Tommy Tanchanco formed a punk quartet band known as Chaos (Ramos, 1992). This would not come as a surprise since Tanchanco was already exposed to the music due to his travels in Europe (Ramos, 1992). A series of Brave New World Concerts were then held at the Philippine Trade Exhibit Grounds (Ramos, 1992). Such paved the way for several Filipino punk bands such as The Zoo, Betrayed, Lost Boys, Urban Bandits, Dead Ends, George Imbecile (G.I) and the Idiots etc. Jingle Magazine also started to cover the thriving punk scene (Ramos, 1992).

When 1984 came, Tanchanco decided to form his own music label. He named it as Twisted Red Cross (TRC) (Ramos, 1992).

By the time 1985 came, DZRJ yielded its avant garde programming (Ramos, 1992). On the other hand, there was DWXB to continue what DZRJ has started (Ramos, 1992). The legendary Katrina’s also opened during this year. It provided venue for several punk gigs in the metro (Ramos, 1992).

But in 1986, DWXB was sequestered by the government (Ramos, 1992). Katrina’s also met its requiem (Ramos, 1992). Lastly, Ces Rodriguez who was covering the scene left Jingle (Ramos, 1992). These series of unfortunate events were big blows to many punk enthusiasts. However, more than anyone else, it was Tanchanco who is most likely to suffer the most. Why? It is because TRC artists will definitely lose their publicity (Ramos, 1992). His music label was sure to come to an end even before it has already started. As a result he came up with the idea of making a publication similar to what he has seen abroad—a fanzine (Ramos, 1992).

Thus, in 1987,the so-called zine godfather Herald X was born (Ramos, 1992). Tanchanco previously named it as Six X (Ramos, 1992). Yet due to the insistence of Arnold Morales (Urban Bandits), the publication was named as Herald X (Ramos, 1992). The term herald seemed to capture the publication’s (objective)—to report about the scene (Ramos, 1992). On the other hand, the X represented TRC's logo.

Herald X is the first fanzine in a newsprint format. It was patterned after Maximum Rock & Roll and Flipside (Ramos, 1992). In June 1987, the fanzine was finally distributed along the Recto stands (Ramos, 1992). A total of 2,000 copies were released (Ramos, 1992). The second issue came out in December. 5,000 copies of the publication were distributed (Ramos, 1992). Herald X holds the record for the highest number of copies produced.

In every issue of Herald X, it made sure that two to three pages were allotted to New Wave ( the so-called refined version of punk) (Ramos, 1992). Primarily, this was done to attract the Chong Market in order to support the fanzine’s survival (Ramos, 1992). Obviously, financial constraints were the publication’s inevitable foe. But despite of this, the third issue of Herald X was still made in January 1988 (Ramos, 1992). However, the lack of financial means prohibited Tanchanco from releasing it in the market.

Tanchanco had a plan to make the fanzine more commercial (Ramos, 1992). No longer would it solely tackle punk. Half of the fanzine will be devoted to mainstream bands. The other half would focus on punk. There was the intention to tap a bigger market and at the same time, retain its original patrons. However, the plan did not materialize (Ramos, 1992).

Herald X is said to create a major influence in terms of fan/zine production. But the fan/zine godfather title cannot be totally attributed to it. Garbage, another fanzine is believed as the (legitimate) Metro Manila fan/zine godfather. It is assumed that it was a few months older than Herald X. The man behind this publication is no other than Xeres, former front man of the band Intoxication of Violence (I.O.V).

Meanwhile, during Herald X’s second issue, another fanzine was created. This was Manila Oi. Dennis de Vera and Jon Jon Gonzales (Bad Omen) initially decided to make a newsletter for their tribe alone. But according to De Vera, the fanzine has progressed. From a simple tribe newsletter, the publication began to address the general public of the underground punk scene. As a result, 6 issues were produced. In 1996, the fanzine became dormant. But a decade of inactivity was not an excuse for them to stop fan/zine making. In 2006, Manila Oi’s 7th issue was finally completed and soon to be released.


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This site's main purpose is to somehow educate you about the Philippine fan/zine scene. I DO NOT DISTRIBUTE these fan/zines. If you want to have your own copy, the DIRECTORY is here and the LINKS are already provided so you can contact the zine editors directly. BAWAL ANG TAMAD. If you are too lazy to contact these zinesters, then you are giving me the impression that you are also too lazy to read. Enough of spoonfeeding. I don't have time for sluggish protozoans.

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