Diving deep into Olongapo’s metalcore through Palepaths’ Maki Dela Cruz

The term “local music scene” in our country isn’t limited to Manila-based musicians alone. But not a lot of people know this. Every region in the country houses a different sound in their respective bars and watering holes every night. It can get rowdy real fast or mellow you down when you least expect it.

“Metalcore always has something fresh to offer.”—Maki Dela Cruz

The beauty of these different scenes is how different they are from each other and how indicative they are of the place’s subculture. In this piece, we caught up with Maki Dela Cruz who’s part of Lungkutan Collective and the vocalist of Palepaths.

Palepaths is a melodic hardcore band heavily involved in the underground scene of their hometown of Olongapo. They refer to themselves as “sadcore.” Get ready to hear “screamo” vocals combined with double and half time tempos within their tracks. They’re spreading the sound of Olongapo’s metalcore throughout their bar tours around the country, from Pampanga to Quezon City.

We chatted with Maki about their turf in Olongapo and how metalcore captured the underground scene in his hometown.

Tell us more about who you are and the band/collective you are a part of.
I’m Maki Dela Cruz, I do vocals for a Melodic Hardcore band called Palepaths and I am also part of Lungkutan Collective which puts out most of the underground local shows here in my hometown, Olongapo.

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“Olongapo is a very tiny municipality in Zambales and that fact makes the scene here really intimate.”—Maki Dela Cruz

What is the music scene like in Olongapo?
Genres here are extremely diverse, but I could say that Olongapo is a big metalcore city. Since back then when I started to really be involved in my local scene there’s always been a good number of metalcore bands playing in every show I went to.

We at Palepaths couldn’t help but add some significant amount of metalcore leaning elements to our music. And it’s because we grew up in a scene where the genre is highly appreciated.

How’s the community of the music scene there?
It’s fantastic! Every person involved values camaraderie. Although we’re lacking some DIY ethics, we still try to keep the scene alive by putting up shows and supporting each band/artist. We’re like brothers and sisters by chance. It’s beautiful.

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Why do you think metalcore is popular with the locals?
I guess because metalcore always has something fresh to offer. And I’m not talking about Asking Alexandria’s “Stand Up And Scream” metalcore with 30 minutes of just 0-8-10 breakdowns. I’m talking about ‘90s to early ‘00s metalcore influenced bands like Counterparts, Knocked Loose, and Modern Day Collapse.

I think the exciting drive of metalcore is what attracted the locals here in Olongapo. That’s why it’s the most dominant genre of the city.

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“I think the exciting drive of metalcore is what attracted the locals here in Olongapo.”—Maki Dela Cruz

Who are the local bands that frequent the lineups there?
Most notable bands that are frequent in the shows’ lineups (and some that I personally enjoy listening to/seeing) are senior bands like Drastic Intent, Defecator, Imbue No Kudos, The 21st Fever, Antheia. There are the ones who got involved in the scene around the same time as I did. Bands like Hiraeth, Manmeat, For Better For Worst, Aera, and my bands Palepaths and Expound. Also the new breeds Fovea and The Noogles.

How is the scene in Olongapo different from Manila?
I noticed that because Manila is a really big place, the scene there tends to divide into several smaller scenes. Olongapo is a very tiny municipality in Zambales and that fact makes the scene here really intimate.

What’s the one unique aspect of this scene that Manila will never have?
Manila will never have EJ Dela Cruz!

Want to recommend or suggest a scene that you’ll like to explore more? @ us @scoutmagph

Image courtesy of Palepaths

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Rogin Losa
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