Ely Buendia Expresses His Sentiments on the ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ Plagiarism Issue

Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia has joined the commotion surrounding the alleged plagiarism issue against CJ Villavicencio, the winner of The Pop Stage.

For his performance that features Eheads medley, CJ Villavicencio was crowned champion at the recently concluded online talent search, which was hosted by Matteo Guidicelli and sponsored by fastfood chain Popeyes. CJ won 1 million pesos and an artist contract with Viva Artists Agency.

On August 2, Myke Solomon, the musical director of “Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musical,” took to Twitter to call out CJ for allegedly ripping off their arrangements in the hit musical without their permission. “He won 1million and an artist contract. I feel bad for the other contestants,” he emphasizes in the tweet.

The following day, theater actor Jef Flores posted a video discussing the striking similarities between AHEB: The Musical’s arrangement of Ehead’s ‘Pare Ko’ and CJ’s version in his finale performance.

In his caption, Jef puts a disclaimer stating, “I am not affiliated with Ang Huling El Bimbo, I do not work for them, however many of the cast are close friends of mine.”

“I am a musical arranger, and a theater actor and that’s why I’m upset and disheartened. At the same time I don’t speak for all people, I only speak for myself. And I chose to make this video because I feel like this is not right.”

Ely Buendia is dismayed

In an August 3 Facebook post, the OPM icon expressed his disappointment towards the alleged plagiarism that took place. Reposting Jef’s video, Ely starts his caption saying, “AHEB’S ROTC Pare Ko was by far, among all the brilliant arrangements and choreography in the show, the most striking and original renditions I had witnessed and enjoyed during its original run, and easily became my favorite.”

Ely adds: “It took something old and was INSPIRED to make it NEW and FRESH. Therein lies the difference. Which is why it is disheartening that there is still a culture out there, not just in entertainment, that somehow makes it okay to take credit, and be rewarded, for someone else’s work.”

He then voiced out his sympathy towards AHEB crew, who “poured all their hearts and souls into creating something that was true to the material and their craft.”

“In our day to day struggles against this oppressive life, the temptation is always there to take the fast route, the shortcut, the easy way to success. But we are human.”

Ely ended his statement with, “I hope this matter is resolved soon and credit is given to those who deserve it.”

As of this writing, the public has yet to hear from CJ’s side.

What do you think about this plagiarism issue?

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