The Regular Barkada That Is... JEREMIAH

by: Cecile M. Matutina


They really are just like any other barkada; like the guys who hang out  in the neighborhood clubhouse or the type your kuya plays basketball with. Symon, Olan, Froi, Piwee and Glenn talk and walk like regular dudes.

The "swear" they're still single - all of them - and claim that they're still looking for their dream girls. Of course, Their types are different. Symon wants her to have long hair, white skin, chinita eyes and dimpled cheek's. Froi's requirement is that she be very clean ("mahilig maligo"), malambing, and thoughtful. Olan wants a chubby girl ("yung medyo malaki ang pangangatawan") who's baby faced. Piwee is attracted to girls who are malambing and "maamo ang mukha." Glenn just wants her smart and simple.

Like most barkada's their age, they enjoy burning hours in front of the playstation; contemplate joining the Tamiya craze (the only question is: where to get the space and the money); and love playing billiards.

Regular dude, that is, until they hold the microphone, step on a stage and start singing Oh Babe, Nanghihinayang or Bakit Ka IIyak. Then they stop being just like you and me. Coz then they become the multi-platinum-selling, crowd-rousing, hysteria-inducing phenomenon that is Jeremiah.

Named after the so-called "Weeping Prophet" in the bible because their songs are "nakaka-iyak", Jeremiah claims that they are not as senti as they used to be.

Says Glenn, "Sa second album namin we have some dance stuff, R&B, rap."

Symon continues, "Kaya sa shows, sasayaw na rin kami. Yung may choreo."

Everybody laughs at what Symon just said. "Mag-isa ka!," quips Olan.

Actually, they have every reason to be happy. Their first album is nearing triple platinum status while their second is almost gold. Not to mention that the soundtrack albums that had a Jeremiah song all went gold -- or beyond.

But more than the success -- and this makes them regular guys again -- it is "being recognized by the chicks" that delight the members of Jeremiah no end. Even when they are not together as a group, fans recognize them. Some ask for autographs while others ask for the inevitable picture-taking.

 "Meron ding nanghihingi ng cellphone," reveals Symon.

 "Nanghihingi ng cellphone???," everyone reacts.

 "Yung cellphone number lang naman," Symon corrects himself.

Everyone agrees that being a member of Jeremiah definitely adds pogi points.

 "Akala kasi nila marami kaming pera! Ha-ha-ha," Olan laughs.

But in some rare cases, it could be a disadvantage. "May mga nai-intimidate," says Glenn.

 "Or nag-aakala na masungit ka o suplado kasi sikat," says Symon, "kahit hindi ka pa nila nakikilala."

 Almost three years old, Jeremiah has become a much closer group with pretty similar tastes.

 "Like taste sa music," Olan explains. "We used to like different sounds talaga. Froi likes new wave; Glenn likes R&B; Piwee likes ballads; hilig ni Symon Broadway (really?); ako naman pop."

Adds Piwee, "Pero ngayon nagkakapare-pareho na rin. Kasi we're together talaga almost everyday. Parang nagkakahawahan ng taste." 

Of course, as in all groups, one or two might stand out, especially with the girls. Glenn claims, though, that it hasn't gotten to the point where they would get affected. Even if the fans are screaming just one or two names, "fans pa rin namin yon," he explains. "The success of one is the success of all."

Offers have also started coming in to individuals, instead of the whole group. For instance, Symon has been invited to guest in TV dramas; Glenn maintains a raket as a DJ. "Its OK with us," says Froi, "basta iba sa ginagawa ng group ang gagawin namin as individuals. Ang hindi lang OK yung kakanta kami with another group na puro guys din."

Any message to your fans?

"What else," says Symon, "but...we lav yaaaaa!!!"