Sugarfree (Filipino band)

  (Redirected from Ebe Dancel)

Sugarfree is a Filipino rock band composed of Jal Taguibao on vocals and bass guitar, and Kaka Quisimbing on drums. Former members include Ebe Dancel on vocals and guitars, and Mitch Singson also on drums.

OriginManila, Philippines
Years active1999–2011, 2020–present
LabelsEMI/PolyEast Records
Associated acts
MembersJal Taguibao
Kaka Quisumbing
Past membersEbe Dancel
Mitch Singson

Sugarfree had five albums throughout the course of their career: Sa Wakas (2003), Dramachine (2004) and the repackaged version of Dramachine (2006), Tala-Arawan (2006), Sugarfree Live! with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (2008), and Mornings and Airports (2009) --all under PolyEast Records (formerly known as EMI Philippines). After a disbandment in 2011, the band returned as a duo in 2020.


Active years (1999–2011)Edit

Sugarfree was a pop-alternative group that was formed in 1999. Their sound was heavily influenced by the likes of Popsicle, Eraserheads, Oasis, and Radiohead. The initial line up had The Pin-Ups' and Ciudad's Mitch Singson on drums. Singson left the band in August 2006 for personal reasons. Quisumbing immediately took over.

They were signed to Viva Records but their album was shelved. By 2003, with the help of Tracks Studio's Angee Rozul, their freshman offering was picked up and released by EMI Philippines (now known as PolyEast Records).

Sugarfree has worked with a some of the Philippines' premier record producers such as Angee Rozul and Rico Blanco for Sa Wakas (2003), Buddy Zabala and Raimund Marasigan (members of the Eraserheads) for Dramachine (2004), Robin Rivera (also an album producer of the Eraserheads) for Tala-Arawan (2006), and Buddy Zabala and "Sancho" Sanchez for "Mornings and Airports" (2009). These albums have produced more than a handful of hit songs. "Hari ng Sablay" and "Makita Kang Muli", in particular, are the songs that brought Sugarfree into mainstream.

In 2007, Sugarfree held their first major concert at Music Museum. They shared the stage with the Manila Symphony Orchestra.

In 2008, Sugarfree created and released the song "Pugad" as endorser of Dencio's, a local restaurant chain. In the same year, Sugarfree revived the song "Bawa't Bata", an APO Hiking Society original, as endorser of the milk brand Alactagrow. The band continues to endorse San Miguel Beer and Converse.

In August 2009, Sugarfree returned to the Music Museum with "Dekada: Sugarfree with the Manila Symphony Orchestra" which was a two-night concert in celebration of the band's 10th anniversary.

In 2010, Sugarfree together with other young musical artists sang ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs MTV for the 2010 Presidential Elections which is entitled as "Ako ang Simula". And at the same time they also sang "Panata Sa Bayan" for the theme of ABS-CBN's arch rival GMA-7 Presidential Elections MTV, 50th Anniversary & its theme song of the GMA News & Public Affairs.

In a tweet early January 2011, Dancel has stated that he will be leaving the band by the end of February. He is also set to record his first solo album under Warner Music Philippines.

Ebe Dancel also sang the OST for TV5's "8 Kingdom", entitled "Hanggang Sa Dulo".

On March 1, 2011, Sugarfree held their farewell concert called "Paalam Pilipinas" at Eastwood Plaza, Libis, Quezon City.

Post Sugarfree (2011–2020)Edit

After Sugarfree has disbanded in 2011, former frontman Ebe Dancel is now a solo artist. Dancel sang the song Purihin Ka, a finalist in the UNTV's 1st Gospel Talent Show, ASOP: A Song Of Praise in 2012. Other former members of Sugarfree had moved to another band since they disbanded in 2011, as of 2012, Dancel still performs on both music and TV. Recently, he launched his album "Bawat Daan".

Jal Taguibao, the band's bassist, has moved on from the entertainment industry to the academe. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in the University of the Philippines Diliman.[1] In June 2018, Taguibao received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Political Science from the same university.

Sudden return (2020–present)Edit

On February 25, 2020, or 4 days before Dancel's upcoming concert on February 29, the band made a surprise return as a duo of Taguibao and Quisumbing. The band released a new single "Nagkita Muli" on radio station Jam 88.3. In an interview with GMA News Online, Taguibao decided to resurrect it because "they missed it". The surprised return was met with mixed reactions, with Ebe's brother and lawyer Vin Dancel stating that PolyEast Records owns the exclusive rights to the band's name under the 2002 artist agreement.[2][3]


  • Sa Wakas (January 2003)

(Singles : Telepono, Mariposa, Burnout and Taguan)

Sa Wakas (Eng: At Last) was launched at Freedom Bar in 2003. Sugarfree's first two singles "Telepono" and "Mariposa" became staples on every pop-alternative station in Manila and it wasn't long until they hit the mainstream with the hit song Burnout. Within the same year, Sugarfree won Best New Artist, Album of the Year, and Best Alternative Recording for "Burnout" at the NU Rock Awards. They also won Best Rock Recording for "Mariposa" at the Awit Awards. The song was inspired by Ebe Dancel's brother, Ian Dancel who is a professor.

  • Dramachine (July 2004)

(Singles : Sinta, Hari ng Sablay, Prom, Kwarto, Tulog Na, Makita Kang Muli)

It earned Sugarfree their first platinum record award (signifying over 30,000 copies sold) and made Sugarfree a household name. Dramachine churned out the hits "Sinta", "Prom", "Tulog Na", "Kwarto", and the massive hit "Hari Ng Sablay" (Theme Song of Comedy Movies Hari ng Sablay Isang Tama, Sampung Mali with Mv Appearance Joel Torre). EMI Philippines decided to release a re-packaged Dramachine album bearing additional tracks such as "Cuida" and the anthemic "Makita Kang Muli" (theme song of the TV series Panday). The AVCD also features a collection of the band's music videos.

  • Tala-Arawan (November 2006)

(Singles : Batang Bata Ka Pa, Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin, Dear Kuya, 'Wag Ka Nang Umiyak (later covered by KZ Tandingan and Gary Valenciano), Nangangawit)

This album, which means "diary" in English, introduced Kaka Quisumbing as the band's new drummer. The first single "Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin" was launched simultaneously in more than 40radio stations nationwide. "Tala-Arawan" turned "gold" by April 2008.

  • SUGARFREE Live! with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (August 2008)

On September 29, 2007, Sugarfree held its first major concert at the Music Museum. This was captured on a two-disc album with the same title, released the following year. The live album (exclusively distributed by Dencio's) comes with a Pugad Dencio's premium AVCD which includes the single Pugad, the Pugad Dencio's jingles edits, and behind-the-scenes footage of the music video and album launch.

  • Mornings and Airports (July 2009)

(Singles : Hay Buhay, Feels Like, Hang Over)

Their 4th studio album and 5th over-all album was released last July 24, 2009. Their lead single was Hay Buhay, their 2nd single and 1st English single, Feels Like, followed by their 3rd and last single, Hang Over. It was the last Sugarfree album before former lead singer Ebe Dancel decided to become a solo artist sometime in March or April 2011.

Studio albumsEdit

  • Sa Wakas (2003)
  • Dramachine (2004) (Repackaged version released in 2006)
  • Tala-Arawan (2006)
  • Mornings & Airports (2009)

Live albumEdit

  • SUGARFREE Live! with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (2008)

Compilation albumsEdit

  • Sugarfree's Greatest Hits 2003-2011 (2011)

Collaboration albumsEdit

  • Ultraelectromagnetic Jam (Sony Music Philippines, 2005)
  • Pinoy Ako! Blue Album (Star Music, 2006)
  • KaminAPOmuna (Universal Records, Inc., 2006)
  • Pugad Dencio's (Single, 2008)
  • I-Star 15: The Best Of Rock & Alternative Songs (Star Music, 2011)
  • A Perfectly Acoustic Experience (PolyEast Records, 2011)
  • Awit Kapuso: Kay Sarap Maging Kapuso (GMA Records, 2011)

Notable songsEdit

  • Hari Ng Sablay (Hari ng sablay: Isang Tama, Sampung Mali OST Movie with MV appearance by actor Joel Torre)
  • Tulog Na
  • Mariposa
  • 'Wag Ka Nang Umiyak (covered by KZ Tandingan and now covered by Gary V. as opening theme for TV series FPJ's Ang Probinsyano)[4][5]
  • Makita Kang Muli (used in ABS-CBN 2's former TV series Ang Panday, now currently used as a 5th theme song from Eat Bulaga!'s Kalyeserye on GMA-7)
  • Kung Ayaw Mo na Sa Akin
  • Dear Kuya
  • Prom
  • Pugad (official theme for Dencio's)
  • Burnout
  • Hay Buhay
  • Batang Bata Ka Pa (originally by APO Hiking Society and Used in Ost of Bonakid Commercial)
  • Bawat Bata (originally by APO Hiking Society)
  • Tikman (originally by Eraserheads)
  • Feels Like
  • Walk Slowly (in memory of Wilfrid "Wolfmann" Hernandez)


In 2013, a musical based on Sugarfree songs was shown at the PETA Theater. Titled Sa Wakas: A Pinoy Rock Musical, it was shown to the public from until April 13–28.The music, which featured Sugarfree songs, plus a composition entitled "Bawat Daan" was used for the play. Bawat Daan later was used by Ebe Dancel for the title and lead single of his album, also of the same name.


  1. ^ UP Department of Political Science, College of Social Science and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman. (2013). Jalton G. Taguibao,
  2. ^ Mallabo, Denise (1 March 2020). "What is up with Sugarfree's return?". GMA News.
  3. ^ Fallore, Renuel (26 February 2020). "NEW SUGARFREE SONG WITHOUT EBE DANCEL DRAWS MIXED REACTIONS". Myx.
  4. ^ "Who's the inspiration behind 'Wag Ka Nang Umiyak'?". Star Cinema. October 14, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Fallore, Renuelle (September 14, 2016). "LOOK: GARY VALENCIANO REACTS TO "WAG KA NANG UMIYAK" MEMES!". Myx. Retrieved May 1, 2020.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Boldstar (band)
NU Rock Awards
Best New Artist

Succeeded by
Orange and Lemons