The Dawn (band)

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The Dawn
File:The Dawn publicity photo late 1980s.jpg
The Dawn ca. late 80's (L-R, front to rear) the late Teddy Diaz (guitars), Jett Pangan (vocals), JB Leonor (drums) and Carlos Balcells (bass guitars)
Background information
Origin Manila, Philippines
Genres Rock, new wave (early work)
Years active 1985–1995, 2000–present
Labels MCA Music Philippines, Sony BMG Philippines, OctoArts International
Members JB Leonor
Jett Pangan
Buddy Zabala
Rommel "Sancho" Sanchez
Past members Teddy Diaz
Clay Luna
Mon Legaspi
Carlos Balcells
Atsushi Matsuura
Noel Mendez (Zorro)
Dodo Fernandez
Francis Reyes
Kenneth Ilagan

The Dawn is a Filipino rock band which first achieved commercial success during the late 1980s in the Philippines. The band broke up in 1995 with lead vocalist Jett Pangan forming another band, the Jett Pangan Group. The Dawn reunited in late 1999. The Dawn is considered the "longest-lived and most prolific rock band in the Philippines".[1]



File:Teddy Diaz guitar solo 1987.jpg
Diaz doing a guitar solo in October 1987.

The Dawn was formed in 1985 by Teddy Diaz (vocals and guitars), JB Leonor (drums), and Clay Luna (bass). The band's name was derived from a portrait of the Holy Spirit that symbolized the dawn of a new day (probably found in a book given by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit to Teddy Diaz,[2] as well as a crucifix which Teddy also received from the same sisterhood), called The Dawning of the Holy Spirit.[3] Diaz, Leonor and Luna initially wanted a female vocalist; but in the course of their search, Jett Pangan auditioned and got the trio's unanimous nod. The quartet began performing in clubs and eventually recorded a demo of a song entitled "Enveloped Ideas", a copy of which they submitted to DWXB 102.7, a now-defunct Metro Manila–based FM radio station that played alternative rock and new wave music. It topped the radio station's charts in 1986, helping the group gain a cult following.[4] While The Dawn was in search of a major record label, Luna left the band to immigrate to the US. Carlos "Caloy" Balcells, bass player of another Filipino group, the Cicada Band, soon replaced him. In 1986, The Dawn signed with OctoArts International (now PolyEast Records Philippines) and, the next summer, released their eponymous debut album, which gained commercial success. Many critics felt that The Dawn would fill the void left behind by the Juan de la Cruz Band when their music slowly faded in the 1980s. Heavily influenced by the new wave genre of the 1980s, "Enveloped Ideas" is distinct for its introductory operatic vocals a la Klaus Nomi.

At the height of their popularity, and just weeks after the release of their second album I Stand With You, containing the title track, "Magtanim Ay 'Di Biro" and "Love (Will Set Us Free)", after that, Diaz was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend's house on August 21, 1988 by two men allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the demise of Diaz, his influence is still felt among many guitarists today and he has become a legend among many Filipino musicians. The Dawn still considers Diaz to be the band's driving force to this day.[citation needed]

The band continued to play, at one time employing the services of a masked guitarist (nicknamed "Zorro" by some fans - is actually rock guitar virtuoso Noel Mendez who will eventually form the band HAYP) in the absence of a permanent guitar player. Atsushi Matsuura, a Japanese guitarist who had earlier released a solo album in the Philippines under Ivory Records, took on lead guitar duties in January 1989 as the band released Beyond the Bend. Matsuura was featured on the music video of "Salamat".

He was later replaced by Francis Reyes, former Afterimage guitarist, who was also a disc jockey at NU-107, a local alternative rock radio station. Reyes also happened to be Diaz's close friend. Classically trained session keyboardist Millette Saldajeno also joined the band in 1990 but was later replaced by Isidore Fernandez in 1992.


In 1995, the band went their separate ways due to Pangan's desire to move on with another career. Pangan then formed the Jett Pangan Group.

The 1997 reunion at the ULTRA brought the band back on-stage and, for the first time, the band employed two guitarists: Matsuura and Reyes. They did another reunion show at the now defunct ABG's along Pasong Tamo, while they were discussing a comeback release through Sony Music Philippines (now Sony BMG Music Philippines). In 2000 they reunited with both Francis Reyes and Atsushi Matsuura on guitars and performed on GMA Networks' 2000 Global Millennium Day Broadcast in Ayala Avenue in Makati City. That year, they also recorded Prodigal Sun, an album that, much like the parable of the Prodigal Son, symbolized their return to the music scene.

2001 saw the band actively engaged in the live circuit, embarking on an 8-city US tour and were in New York City when 9/11 turned the World Trade Center into ground zero. In 2003, Carlos Balcells left the band in order to perform his duties as city councilor in his native Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Wolfgang's bass player Mon Legaspi took his place in the band. A few months later, the band once again parted with Matsuura and returned to being a quartet.


File:Jett Pangan (2372674477).jpg
Jett Pangan performing onstage.

In 2004, the band released Harapin (Filipino, "To Face"), featuring singles such as Tulad ng Dati ("Just Like Before") and Laging Narito ("Always Here"). In late 2005, bass player Mon Legaspi amicably left the band to pursue other projects and was replaced by Buddy Zabala, formerly of The Eraserheads. Around this time, The Dawn also contributed to the APO Hiking Society tribute album kami nAPO muna with a cover of Bawat Bata ("Every Child"). In 2006, an independent film based on the band's history was released. Tulad Ng Dati (Just Like Before, as entitled in the Pusan International Film Festival) won Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Picture in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. It was also the country's entry to the Hawaii International Film Festival.[5] The Dawn's 20th anniversary album, a two-disc set of the same title was released in October of the same year. Disc one contains re-recordings of their hits through the years and the carrier single Ang Iyong Paalam ("Your Farewell"), while disc two contains videos, including rare footage of Teddy Diaz doing a guitar solo.[6] In October 2006, "Enveloped Ideas" was voted as the greatest new wave song of all time by the listeners of DWXB-FM (now 102.7 Star FM), which was revived on the Internet with its original DJs broadcasting from Manila.[citation needed] In October 2008, The Dawn launched their tenth studio album, The Later Half of Day, their first album in two years since the last released in 2006. It featured Jazz re-arrangements of their old songs. In July 2009, the band launched their eleventh studio album, Sound The Alarm. The album features The Dawn's latest guitarist Kenneth Ilagan, formerly of True Faith and Rivermaya. Francis Reyes, who had been with the band for the last 18 years, left after what Jett Pangan called a "hard meeting". Pangan also went on to state that Reyes was welcome to rejoin the band.[7]


In 2013, Pangan recalls, "I think I'm gonna write more songs".[8] On December 9, 2015, The Dawn was awarded the Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino in the 2015 Awit Awards held at the Music Museum.[9] They had released their first EP, Simulan Na Natin on January 10, 2016 through iTunes.[10] On February 10, 2016, the band has launched their YouTube channel which also a new music video for "The Way It Turns".[11]


Studio albums

  • The Dawn (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1986) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • I Stand With You (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1988) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • Beyond the Bend (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1989) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • Heart's Thunder (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1990) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • Abot Kamay (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1992) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • Puno't Dulo (PolyEast Records Philippines, 1994) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, 8T)
  • Prodigal Sun (Sony BMG Music, 2000) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, MD)
  • Harapin (Warner Music Philippines, 2004) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, MD)
  • Tulad ng Dati (Warner Music Philippines, 2006) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, MD)
  • The Later Half of Day (MCA Music Philippines, 2008) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, MD)
  • Sound the Alarm (Sony Music Philippines, 2009) (CD, LP, CS, DL, DataPlay, Reel, MD)

Compilation albums

Live albums


Band members

Current members
  • JB Leonor - drums (1985-1995, 2000–present)
  • Jett Pangan - lead vocals, guitar, keyboards (1985-1995, 2000–present)
  • Buddy Zabala - bass guitar, backing vocals (2005–present)
  • Rommel "Sancho" Sanchez - guitars (2014–present)
Former members
  • Clay Luna - bass guitar (1985)
  • Teddy Diaz - vocals, guitars, keyboards (1985-death in 1988)
  • Noel Mendez (a.k.a. Zorro) - guitars (1988)
  • Carlos Balcells - bass guitar (1985-1995, 2000-2003)
  • Atsushi Matsuura - guitars, backing vocals, keyboards (1988-1989, 2000-2004)
  • Francis Reyes - guitars, back-up vocals, keyboards (1989-1995, 2000-2009)
  • Mon Legaspi - bass guitar (2004-2005)
  • Kenneth Ilagan - guitar (2009-2014)

The Dawn line-ups

Year Lineup Releases
January - November
December 1989 -
January 1995


  1. "Filipino Rock band The Dawn releases its 10th studio album". Retrieved 2010-04-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Sheryl Garcia (June 18, 2006). "The Dawn remembers founding member in bio-pic". Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2006-11-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Jay Taruc (2008). i-Witness:Salamat Teddy (Documentary TV-Series). Philippines: GMA Network.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Villanueva, Val A. (2009-02-22). "Audiofile: "Mr. DJ"". Retrieved 2009-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Dimaculangan, Jocelyn. ""Tulad ng Dati" to be screened in SM digital cinemas starting April 25". Retrieved 2009-09-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Resty Odon. "Titik Pilipino Album Review". Retrieved 2006-11-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Panaligan, Jojo (2009-08-25). "'Francis Reyes is welcome to rejoin The Dawn' – Jett Pangan". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-10-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "JETT PANGAN Back To Song-Writing In 2013". Retrieved 28 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "28th Awit Awards winners". Retrieved 10 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Simulan Na Natin EP". iTunes. Retrieved 10 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "The Way It Turns". YouTube. Retrieved 10 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
New award
NU Rock Awards
Best Live Act

Succeeded by