Supertyphon Hagibis breathes new life into Filipino disco band

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MANILA (Reuters) – For a four-decade-old Filipino disco group, the namesake supertyphon that is taking down Japan has sparked a sudden interest in its macho act.

Sonny Parsons (right), frontman of Filipino boy band Hagibis, poses for a photo with fans at a fast food restaurant in Manila, the Philippines on October 11, 2019. REUTERS / Jerome Morales

Known as the “Village People” of the Philippines, the all-male group Hagibis has been around since 1979. Although some members have changed over time, they have kept their number with tight black pants, leather jackets, shirts. open, sunglasses, mustaches and suggestive clothes. dance movements.

“Hagibis receives indirect publicity around the world,” said Jose Parsons Nabiula, 61, who bears his stage name Sonny Parsons and has been with the band from the start.

“It reminded everyone of the existence of my band … Some don’t care, others are very serious.”

Typhoon Hagibis is expected to make landfall on Japan’s main island Honshu on Saturday as the most powerful storm to hit the capital in six decades.

Google Trends showed that search interest had increased this week in the Hagibis group as well as the Typhoon.

Hagibis means speed and strength in the Filipino Tagalog language.

Tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific Ocean are given their identities in a sequence based on the names provided by 14 countries in the region.

People had joked about the strength of Typhoon Hagibis and compared it to the group, Parsons said.

Parsons said he hoped the inquiries and pat-downs that were pouring in for Hagibis would translate into bookings for a group that currently performs about twice a month in the Manila area.

Former elected, he now also juggles between his performances and the cinema and a construction company.

“Maybe after a month or two, I’ll expect a lot of concert deals,” Parsons said.

Typhoon Hagibis appears on track to strike Japan a month after another destructive typhoon and Parsons has expressed concern about the damage.

“I hope the storm Hagibis show takes place in the middle of the sea,” Parsons said. “Certainly people will absorb the wrath of Typhoon Hagibis and I feel bad about that.”

Hagibis is best known for the macho image of its members and songs extolling the beauty of women. The band’s hit songs include “Katawan” (Body), “Legs” and “Babae” (Woman).

Although the storm did not penetrate Philippine territory, its spread caused scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in the central and southern parts of the Southeast Asian nation.

Hagibis had used his renewed fame to warn Filipinos in Japan before the storm landed, Parsons said.

He hoped the group would have the chance to go to Japan after the typhoon.

“We will eliminate the grief and depression that people experience,” Parsons said. “If the singing group is lucky enough to go to Japan, we’ll help you forget about the typhoon.”

Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Shri Navaratnam

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