From Rak of Aegis, Ang Huling El Bimbo, to Buruguduystunstugudunstuy: Ang Parokya ni Edgar Musical, Filipino librettists are penning new stories to be told on the stage using the music of some of the most prominent Filipino musicians. These musicals, through new arrangements and settings, breathe new life into the songs we know so well.

It’s not just the music of the artists that are turned into a musical — recently, the One More Chance: The Musical featured the songs of Ben&Ben. The result was a musical that told the story of a classic Filipino movie with a soundtrack featuring the country’s biggest band.

With so many artists to choose from, it’s only high time that more jukebox musicals pop up soon. Billboard Philippines rounded up our own picks for which Filipino artist should get the musical treatment, featuring the music of Rivermaya, Gloc 9, and more. Check out our list below.


We’ve had the music of Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar turn into a musical, which means it’s high time for Rivermaya to have one too. 9 Works Theatrical had teased a Rico Blanco musical in 2019, with Blanco himself confirming in an interview that the musical was set to happen, and production of the story and setlist were underway.

The production of the musical may have hit a wall due to the COVID pandemic. As a result, there hasn’t been much news since that first teaser. But with a slew of new updates from Rivermaya recently, from their reunion concert earlier in February to their soon-to-kickoff North American tour, the musical can hopefully come back into the picture. A musical adaptation of their discography would definitely include their greatest hits — “214,” “Liwanag Sa Dilim,” (Light In The Dark) “Elesi,” “Kisapmata” (Wink), and it would be interesting to see how their music would be used in a new context and story.

Gloc 9

At a time where Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights and Hamilton marry hip-hop and broadway, it’s only logical that Filipino hip-hop should get the same treatment. Gloc 9 isn’t just one of the country’s fastest rappers — he’s an excellent storyteller. You have “Sirena,” (Mermaid) “Upuan” (Chair), “Lando,” and so much more that deserve to be staged. If In The Heights tackled poverty and gentrification in the ethnic enclave of Washington Heights and Hamilton was a retelling of the story of revolution, Gloc 9’s social conscious rap could create a new musical that would represent the lives of the everyday Filipino.

Moira dela Torre

Moira dela Torre is arguably the queen of hugot, and showtunes are chock full of sad songs. Her music fits well into the contemporary musical vein; think “She Used To Be Mine” from Waitress, “Days And Days” from Fun Home, and “Without You” from RENT. Rearrange dela Torre’s pop instrumentation into the showtune structure and you have yourself a tearjerking story for the stage.

Unique Salonga

Unique’s songwriting is marked by incredibly visual stories, such as “OZONE (Itulak Ang Pinto)” (“OZONE (Push The Door)”), which is based on the tragic Ozone disco fire in 1996; “Sino” (Who); and most recently, “Daisy” off his latest album Daisy. It’s not just in the music itself — his music videos have a clear creative direction and artful cinematography. It would be interesting how a theatre production would incorporate his visual storytelling into a cohesive plot, together with his music.

The Itchyworms

I mean, it’s The Itchyworms. So many of their songs have been used in the official soundtracks for countless films over the years, and it’s only high time that they should be on the stage. Their discography has more than enough material for directors and librettists to play around with — “Di Na Muli” (Never Again) for the emotion-heavy moments, “Gusto Ko Lamang Sa Buhay” (All I Want In Life) or “Penge Naman Ako N’yan” (Give Me Some Of That) for the classic “I Want” songs, and so on and so forth.

What about you? Which artist do you think should have a musical?

Erratum: A previous version of this article included Yeng Constantino and Francis M, who have had musicals created by PETA. The information has since been amended.