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When Bamboo leaves Rivermaya


Here's an article from an old site:
BAMBOO leaves RIVERMAYA, gets hitched, and other soap stories
After months of public speculation following Rivermaya's late '98 US tour, the band has finally come clean with the admission that "Bamboo" Manalac - erstwhile lead vocalist for the group - has quit the band. In the wake of the publicity campaign cranked out for the new album "It's Not Easy Being Green", which now features Rivermaya as a lean trio, the band made their first official statement announcing his departure at a press conference for the new album held at Hard Rock Cafe in Makati.

As described by Rivermaya management, Manalac cited family concerns, a desire to continue his education, and romantic involvement as his reasons for staying behind in the US, where he is a citizen.

"These are some the reasons Bamboo gave while he was explaining to us why he wanted to stay in the States," wrote manager Lizza Nakpil via e-mail. "First, his family is there: his dad is getting old, his sister is growing up without his spending time with her, his lola and lolo are there -- in
short he misses them."

"Secondly, he'd like to finish school, something almost impossible for him to do here in terms of scheduling and a certain reticence about being a 'celeb' in a classroom. For a while he was enrolled in I-Aim and then we tried to get him into De la Salle but there were so many requirements that he never got organized (transcripts for both local and American schools)."

"Last we talked, he was planning to go into film school. Co-manager Chito Rono seems to have been a major influence here, and he always was interested in our videos and TV appearance productions, also in the making of the Beer-na-beer commercial."

"Thirdly, I guess it's no secret that he had his girlfriend along on the U.S. tour. That's also what I mean about 'romantic complications.' I guess -- and mind you, again this is a GUESS -- that there is something about touring the States that makes it more conducive to these romances."

"Bottom line is," concludes Lizza, "It was Bamboo's decision, not Rivermaya nor its managers to let him go. There was simply nothing we could do about it -- and I don't believe in forcing people to stay when they want to go."

"I would like to add that it was not an easy decision for him to arrive at," Lizza Nakpil further explains, "And there were many moments of his flip-flopping one way and then another. Ths is the reason that I could never honestly say one way or the other."

"I said this in the press conference: that I have always regarded Bamboo -- and so has he -- as an 'accidental' vocalist. Music has never been a be-all for him -- unlike with Rico, Nathan, or Mark -- who in any other band, or any other time in their life, music would still be a cornerstone. Perhaps, in the end, that is the reason why he found it easier to walk away."

"I hope this finally puts the matter to rest and we can all move ahead," noted Lizza with definite finality.

Meanwhile, reactions monitored on the band's Internet mailing list have been quite lively, with responses to fans' comments made directly by plugged-in bandmambers Rico Blanco and drummer Mark Escueta. Blanco, who has recently assumed the lead vocalist role on both studio recordings and live performances weighed in with probably the most poignant response, which has since found its way to the mainstream media. The letter is reproduced here in its entirety:

Statement of Rico Blanco:
Good day.

First of all I'd like to thank you for giving me a chance to explain. There are people who make up their minds about other people without hearing them first. I decided to forward my reply to the whole mailing list to prevent such erroneous impressions.

About Bamboo. Nathan, Mark, Lizza and Chito (co-managers) will tell you that I was extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY disappointed and devastated when I learned of his plan to stay behind in the US.

Bamboo and I had spent so much time together trying to perfect a certain bond between songwriter (me) and interpreter (Bambs). For years we have actively exchanged views and philosophies re: music, our tastes, visions, etc.

Above all, Bamboo is a very dear friend. Almost like a brother to me.

In fact when we were about to depart from the US, it was his very brotherly advice and encouragement that gave me strength and confidence to do what I am doing now. I was scared as hell about my new "role". He gave me courage.

I will forever be thankful to him.

Although the challenge gives us tremendous drive, at times I still get a little scared. Which is why, in behalf of the rivermaya family, I would like to ask for your continued understanding and support. the road ahead is rough, but together kaya natin 'yan.

Thanks again and may god bless all of you...

Rico Blanco

Drummer Mark Escueta also had something to say in response to a fan comment about Bamboo's importance to Rivermaya. A Bamboo fan had written that 90% people were attracted to the band primarily because of Bamboo's vocals, a comment that drew criticism from other subscribers on the list.

"Do you think if we released a version of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' with Bamboo singing instead of 'Himala' or 'Kisap Mata' or any of our other songs for that matter," asked Escueta, "We would have made the same impact on the people who we now proudly call our supporters and friends? Sorry, I don't think so... and I'm sure a lot of you will agree that the songwriting is what gets people to respect bands that they like."

"But don't get me wrong," explained Escueta. "Bams had a great voice... one of the richest, most emotional, and most unique voices ever to hit the Filipino music scene, and a voice that we miss too. Pero okey din naman ang boses ni Rico at Nates di ba? Pang romansa espesyal."

"Rivermaya lives! Things will be GREAT," concludes Mark. "We don't just think so, WE KNOW... and how, you may ask can we be so sure? It's because Bamboo himself told us so."

As to where the clean shaven former rock star has gone off to - various reports have come in that place him working in a branch of Macy's. Other reports place him in a "Barnes & Nobles in the Bay Area". Furthermore, we have learned that wedding bells - in the land of Elvis impersonators - may have rung for the bald one in a Las Vegas wedding.

Writing in the Rivermaya mailing list, Lizza Nakpil relates, "Bamboo told me that he was planning to marry his girlfriend in she could be petitioned to stay in the U.S... The other day, the girlfriend's mom called my office and confirmed this with my staff. I missed talking to her directly though."

So has Rivermaya finally closed the book on their former lead singer? "Yep, in a way, that's how we all feel about the B-issue," notes Lizza. "It's a closed chapter in our history. A pity, but there it is. No choice. Well, to satisfy the curious, I'm not sure when Bamboo actually got married but it's a done deal...meaning to say, all done and finished."



2007, Bamboo Unofficial Site is Created by: Iris_France