from the blog.

The Whole Rico Blanco vs Bamboo Fiasco

So I was browsing through several videos on YouTube and I saw the old channel of sir Perf De Castro active again. This got me into old RiverMaya videos – circa 1990’s.

It was fun to watch 90’s rock again on YouTube. But it was inevitable to see various discussions about the old and new Rivermaya lineup. Rivermaya for me, is now dead. Its essence is gone. Rico was able to pull off a Lazarus several years ago. But their current gay vocalist is just well… not enough to fill in the space a Bamboo Manalac and Rico Blanco left.


The most noticeable of all Rivermaya discussions will always be Rico vs Bamboo. Who was better? Who contributed more?

The argument is stupid.

They can’t be compared. They shouldn’t be compared.

Bamboo was an excellent front man for Rivermaya. He provided the on-stage presence and power that was required for a band to flourish in the 90’s. As a performer, he is one of the best in the country. Arguably, he can also be considered as the best vocalist / front man. Very few people can disappear, come back and sell a whole act using his name. He is getting a lot off respect and he deserves it.

Rico is a different story. Rico was the man behind it all back then. Whatever Bamboo was driving that everyone was riding, Rico was supplying the fuel. He was like a third-man with the popularity of Bamboo and Perf. But Rico was much more. And he proved it. He resurrected Rivermaya. There was even a point when it was just Mr. Escueta, Rico and Nate but they kept going. After Nate left, (who, might I say is also an excellent musician) someone or something kept Rivermaya going.

If someone is to be credited for RIvermaya’s return, it has to be Rico. Aside from filling in the hole left by Bamboo, he was supplying the same juice he did back in the 90’s. People kept listening. People kept tuning in. Rico wasn’t as flashy as Bamboo was but he is getting the job done and more.

When Rico left, I started thinking Rivermaya was done. But a part of me was hoping that there will still be some form of magic to help keep the Rivermaya name alive. But no magic this time. Rivermaya is dead. No more Himala this time.

Real comparison can’t be done on Rico and Bamboo. Their areas of expertise are not the same. While Rico did not provide the same stage presence that Bamboo was, his contribution to the band is nothing less – if not more.

Who am I rooting for? Neither. Both are excellent musicians and both have very significant contributions to the music that we used to and still enjoy today.


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