On this week’s episode of Coke Studio PH, Buddy Zabala steps down from his producer duties and shows us how two seemingly opposite bands can meet in the middle.

Opposites Attract

Moonstar88 is known for their “heartbreak pop” while Jensen and the Flips are the complete opposite—they love their “sexy funk” music. The Flips gave off a very serious vibe during their first meeting, but it soon changed into a carefree and playful session. Their evident chemistry showed soon after as they began to understand each other’s joke.

The idea for their original collaboration sprouted from the Filipino word “gigil”. The world has no literal translation to English, but it can be best described as “an intense emotion, feeling, or urge”. To fuse their signature sounds, Moonstar88 and the Flips settled on a sexy heartbreak song. The song fell together right off the bat; they passed on the continuation of lyrics to each other and the songwriting session turned into a free jam.


Moonstar88’s cover choice landed on “Slow”, a song Jensen Gomez wrote as a reminder to chill out when you’re very gigil. The band showed off their strength of simplifying a song by turning a five-chord song into two and a half. Using a drum pad, an acoustic guitar, an electronic keyboard, and a keyboard phone app (not a joke), Moonstar88 turned “Slow” into a song of their own.


Opting for the Moonstar88 paragon “Torete” might seem like an easy task for the Flips, but the rules of this game don’t allow an easy path. Jensen explains that the lyrics and melody of the song are drilled into people’s heads challenged them to personalize it. The Flips proved to be on the other end of the spectrum as they altered this four-chord song and upped it to five.


Having a total of 11 musicians working on one song in the studio sounds like an absolute nightmare. Everyone’s openness to creating a smooth and fun process is vital in a situation like this.

However, the studio experience of Moonstar88 allowed them to provide a more accommodating, warm, and friendly space. Additionally, they gave a funny atmosphere to help ease the tension. Nerves in this situation are sometimes, of course, inevitable. The anxiety of Flips guitarist Mel Roño got to him but after everyone exited the studio, he managed to nail it in three takes. Mel metamorphosed into his confident self by the time everyone came back in and it was smooth sailing from there.

Man, these Coke Studio PH episodes just keep getting better and better! Stay tuned for next week’s episode featuring Sandwich and BP Valenzuela.

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