Redefining Pogi Rock

Pogi then, still pogi now

Back in the early 2000s there was a flurry of “boy bands” that broke into the music scene. With their own brand of alternative music, they churned out mostly songs about love or the loss of it. A lot of “rockers” dubbed their genre “pogi rock” referring to their music’s pop sensibility and good looks.

For some, bands classified under “pogi rock” means “sell-out” music. What most of these armchair (now keyboard) critics don’t know is that within the music circles, the term is used with much endearment and, well, a little envy—not everyone can sweat on stage, rock it out or sing a breakup song and still look that good.


The quintessential “pogi rock” band, Hale broke into the music scene in 2005 with their self-titled album. It’s the single The Day You Said Goodnight that marked the start of the band’s massive success and popularity. The band broke up in 2010 and reunited in 2015 with their fifth album, Time and Space.


Basti Artadi and Wolf Gemora formed Wolfgang in 1994. They first gained a following through demo submissions to DWRT 99.5 and DWLA 105.9. While you’d think that these mestizos would only do songs in English, one of their biggest hits off their platinum album Semenelin was written in Tagalog.


Few bands can claim an interesting history as extensive as their discography. One of the biggest selling acts in the Philippines, Rivermaya has released 11 studio albums, four EPs, six compilation albums, a live recording and over 30 top hits. 


Stonefree got their big break in 2002 when they joined Monster Radio RX 93.1’s band competition, The RX Band Breakout. Though they didn’t win, their first single Listen was named Monster Radio RX 93.1 OPM Song of the Year and placed #3 on 103.4 K-Lite’s 2003 Yearend Countdown. 


Originally known as “Chico Science,” the band later on changed their name to avoid confusion with a Brazilian singer. A breakout band in its own right, ChicoSci brought about a new generation of rock. Six albums later, ChicoSci still brings their own brand of rock to the stage every time they play.


Sponge Cola, was officially formed in the summer of 2003. Their EP Tambay was the first album to receive the distinction of a Diamond Record Award for selling more than 150,000 units since the Eraserheads.

Other than good looking, pogi can also mean magaling or good. And what these guys have proved is that they are both.

Words by Ene Lagunzad

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