The Dawn (band)

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]

The Dawn
The Dawn ca. late 80's (L-R, front to rear) the late Teddy Diaz (guitar), Jett Pangan (vocals), JB Leonor (drums) and Carlos Balcells (bass guitar)
The Dawn ca. late 80's (L-R, front to rear) the late Teddy Diaz (guitar), Jett Pangan (vocals), JB Leonor (drums) and Carlos Balcells (bass guitar)
Background information
OriginManila, Philippines
Years active
  • 1985–1995
  • 1999–present
MembersJB Leonor
Jett Pangan
Francis Reyes
Mon Legaspi
Rommel Sanchez
Past membersTeddy Diaz (deceased)
Clay Luna
Atsushi Matsuura
Kenneth Ilagan
Buddy Zabala
Carlos Balcells


Formation and early years (1985–1988)Edit

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.

Diaz's death, new guitarist, later albums and disbandment (1988–1995)Edit

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).

Reunion, US shows, Prodigal Sun and Harapin (1999–2005)Edit

On December 31, 1999, 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.

Jett Pangan performing onstage.

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.

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 October 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").

Tulad ng Dati, Later Half of Day (2006–2009)Edit

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 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.

Reyes' departure, Sound the Alarm (2009–2013)Edit

Francis Reyes, who had been with the band for the last 18 years, left on April 16, 2009 after what Jett Pangan called a "hard meeting". Pangan also went on to state that Reyes was welcome to rejoin the band. He was replaced by Kenneth Ilagan, days later.[7] In July 2009, the band launched their eleventh studio album, Sound The Alarm. The album features Kenneth Ilagan, formerly of True Faith and Xaga (a precursor to Rivermaya).

Sancho's arrival, Simulan na Natin EP (2013–2015)Edit

In 2013, In a interview, Pangan will make a new material with the band. He stated, "I think I'm gonna write more songs".[8] On July 14, 2014, they released a new single entitled "Habulan".[9] Guitarist Rommel "Sancho" Sanchez, known as a member of Cynthia Alexander's band joined the band on August 8, 2014. Sanchez's first performance with The Dawn was at The Music Museum. This event marks the launch of their new single "Landmarks".[10] On December 9, 2015, The Dawn was awarded the Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino in the 2015 Awit Awards held at the Music Museum.[11] They had released their first EP, Simulan Na Natin on December 16, 2015 at record stores nationwide and on January 10, 2016 through iTunes.[12] On February 10, 2016, the band launched their YouTube channel which also launched a new music video for "The Way It Turns".[13]

Band members' return, anniversary shows, and upcoming 12th studio album (2016–present)Edit

On June 7, 2016, the band underwent another line-up change as bassist Buddy Zabala left the band due to unknown reasons, while bassist Carlos Balcells and guitarist Francis "Brew" Reyes were brought back, thus returning as a quintet for the first time since 2004.[14][15] By the later dates in June and July 2016, former member Mon Legaspi briefly returned to the band filling bass duties for Carlos Balcells who was unavailable at that time. Legaspi would begin touring with them months later and would eventually be the band's regular bassist due to the dissolution of Wolfgang and Balcells being mostly pre-occupied with their family businesses. This year would also mark the band's 30th anniversary. In line with the celebrations, they held a concert last September 17 dubbed The Dawn Trenta at Craft BGC in Taguig City.[16] They would later perform at the Trenta Repeat concert on November 5, 2016 at the Music Museum. They would perform a follow-up to their 30th anniversary concert dubbed "Trenta y Uno" on March 31 and also announced they will be having a US and Canada tour on the third quarter of the year.[17] On October 11, 2017, vocalist Jett Pangan made a Facebook post that the band had begun writing and recording for their upcoming 12th studio album. As of 2018, the band released the songs "Merry Go Round" and "Segurista" as well as the album Ascendant by way of a major concert at The Music Museum last July 28, 2018 with the newest song being "Made of You".[18]


Studio albumsEdit

Compilation albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit

Extended playsEdit

  • Simulan Na Natin (2015), Solstice Ventures Inc. (CD, iTunes)

Band membersEdit

The Dawn line-upsEdit

Year Lineup Releases
January - December
January 1990 -
January 1995
December 1999 – 2003
  • Simulan na Natin EP (2015)


  1. ^ "Filipino Rock band The Dawn releases its 10th studio album". Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  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.
  3. ^ Jay Taruc (2008). i-Witness:Salamat Teddy (Documentary TV-Series). Philippines: GMA Network.
  4. ^ Villanueva, Val A. (2009-02-22). "Audiofile: "Mr. DJ"". Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  5. ^ Dimaculangan, Jocelyn. ""Tulad ng Dati" to be screened in SM digital cinemas starting April 25". Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  6. ^ Resty Odon. "Titik Pilipino Album Review". Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  7. ^ Panaligan, Jojo (2009-08-25). "'Francis Reyes is welcome to rejoin The Dawn' – Jett Pangan". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  8. ^ "JETT PANGAN Back To Song-Writing In 2013". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  9. ^ Borja, Feliz. "THE DAWN Releases New Single "Habulan"!". Retrieved 4 Sep 2016.
  10. ^ Vizcarra, Karen. "The Dawn that Keeps on Giving". Radio Republic. Retrieved 4 Sep 2016.
  11. ^ "28th Awit Awards winners". Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Simulan Na Natin EP". iTunes. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  13. ^ "The Way It Turns". YouTube. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  14. ^ Sallan, Edwin P. "The Dawn bares major line-up change, brings back Francis Reyes, Carlos Balcells". Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  15. ^ Arcega, Adrian. "Francis Reyes, Carlos Balcells return to The Dawn". Radio Republic. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  16. ^ Pangan, Jett. "The Dawn shall sweat off calories onstage here and..." Facebook. Retrieved 2 Sep 2016.
  17. ^ Antonio, Psylocke. "The Dawn to Light Up Privé's Stage for 31st Anniversary Concert". Billboard Philippines. Retrieved 2 Sep 2016.
  18. ^ Jett, Pangan. "The Dawn to Light Up Privé's Stage for 31st Anniversary Concert". The Dawn (via Facebook). Retrieved 2 Sep 2016.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
New award
NU Rock Awards
Best Live Act

Succeeded by