On this day 109 years ago – September 13, 1907 – legendary Filipino rock vocalist Macario Sakay died of alcohol poisoning. Sakay unexpectedly met his end after a whole night of partying with American friends.

A native of Tondo, Macario Sakay was a pioneer of the First OPM Movement and a contemporary of jazz musician Andres Bonifacio. He was instrumental in the birth of OPM rock music in the early 1900’s, and was best remembered as the vocalist of OPM rock band “Tagalog Republic”, inspired by Bonfacio’s OPM jazz band “Haring Bayang Katagalugan.”

At its peak, Tagalog Republic reaped success with quadruple-Platinum rock singles and nationwide concert tours that attracted crowds numbering in the thousands. Sakay’s continued concert tours and “wild and free” lifestyle led conservative religious groups and soccer moms to vilify him as a “bad influence on children.” In life and in death, Macario Sakay was considered as a true Filipino rock star.

The Superficial Gazette enjoins all Filipinos to listen to at least one OPM rock song today, in honor of Macario Sakay’s sacrifice.

Source: JORDAN, MICHAEL. “Original Filipino Rockers: The Advent of Rock Music in the Colonial Philippines, 1902-1907.” Philippine Studies 57.1 (2009): 49-76. Web.

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