WHO WOULD have thought a little canteen located across the University grounds would become the cradle of big names in the Philippine music industry?

Nearly three decades ago, Mayric’s was just a household name to students and bank employees who wanted to eat a sumptuous meal and to unwind after work—until a customer, on a whim, started to play an old keyboard left by the restaurant owner lying at the place.

That momentous instance triggered the owner to have a one-man band play on a regular basis, which was eventually replaced by emerging and mainstream Filipino acts, including Thomasian bands.

Original music

According to Sazi Cosino, one of the restaurant’s prime benefactors who later on became its manager, Mayric’s became an underground meeting place for student activists during the 80s.

“I started hanging out in Mayric’s when I became a student activist during the Martial Law era,” Cosino said.

She related that the music bar gained its reputation among student-activists who found self-expression through music. This became a turning point for Mayric’s since it led to the frequent visits of famous bands such as Coco Jam among others.

“Coco Jam started to influence other musicians with their reggae music in Mayric’s. This was then followed by Alamid, Rizal Underground, and Tropical Depression,” she said.

The music bar did not prefer any music genre, but instead encouraged bands to play their original blend of music.

For Cosino, the band’s originality in terms of musicality and performance are the main requirements of the bar in choosing bands that will perform in Mayric’s.

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“Before a band could actually perform, they have to pass our auditions. And one of our requirements is for them to have their original genre and music,” she said.

Starting point

Herbert Hernandez, guitarist of the band Moonstar 88, recalled how he and his older brother Darwin used to frequently visit Mayric’s to watch famous bands like the Eraserheads and Rivermaya perform.

“Talagang pumupunta at tumatambay kami sa Mayric’s para mapanuod sila kasi naandun ‘yung mga sikat,” said Herbert who graduated at the College of Fine Arts and Design in 2002.

He added that Mayric’s catered to new artists and new sound, making the bar popular among Thomasians like him. In fact, it was in Mayric’s that Moonstar 88 established its name with Cosino as its first manager.

“Si Ate Saz ‘yung nagpangalan ng Moonstar. Sa Mayric’s na rin kami nagkaroon ng recording deal,” Herbert said.

Bands like Join the Club, Callalily, and 6 Cyclemind are homegrown talents that were discovered in Mayric’s.

From Mayric’s to Sazi’s

Eventually the bar changed its moniker to Sazi’s after Cosino bought the establishment from the owner’s son, Eric, in 2008.

Although Mayric’s today has adopted a different name, its essence remains unchanged throughout the years.

“Mayric’s went with the flow in the transition of time,” Cosino said.

From time to time, bands like Moonstar 88, Callalily, and 6 cyclemind perform in Sazi’s to pay tribute and gratitude to what they consider as their “home.”

“Doon kami pinapanganak at doon kami nagsimula tumugtog kahit walang tao. Kaya kahit saan kami pumunta, bumabalik kami talaga,” Hernandez said.

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Despite many years of being active, this establishment remains as an iconic place where people go to discover new music.

It is—and will always be—a breeding ground of Thomasian talent. Erika Denise L. Dizon and Maria Luisa A. Mamaradlo

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