Filipino bands

‘Tatlong Buwan’: Sponge Cola dishes on new single inspired by hit K-drama ‘Queen of Tears’ 

Juno Reyes

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‘Tatlong Buwan’: Sponge Cola dishes on new single inspired by hit K-drama ‘Queen of Tears’ 
'Tatlong Buwan' was a spur-of-the-moment creation. Sponge Cola had been working on an entirely different song when the idea for it hit the band's frontman, Yael.

MANILA, Philippines – By now, the impact the Korean drama Queen of Tears has made on viewers all around the globe is already common knowledge. Even those who weren’t fans of K-dramas before were immediately drawn to the series – perhaps from all the positive reviews it was getting from those around them. 

The K-drama had clearly struck a chord with countless people – including Yael of the OPM band Sponge Cola. After finishing the 10th episode, the lead singer immediately began writing a song inspired by Queen of Tears, and sent the demo to the rest of the band members that same night. 

The song, now known as “Tatlong Buwan,” dropped on April 24. It was a perfectly timed release – just four days before the K-drama’s finale aired. Come the last episode, then, viewers would already have a fitting song to listen to as they process their emotions on how Queen of Tears came to a close. 

Rappler spoke to Sponge Cola’s Yael, Armo, Gosh, and Tedmark, about how exactly the K-drama-inspired track came to be, and what each of their favorite lines from the song are. 

Reel to real-life track

Like many great things, “Tatlong Buwan” was a spur-of-the-moment creation. The band had been working on an entirely different song when the idea for it hit Yael. As a huge fan of Queen of Tears, the vocalist knew he had to get to work right then and there. 

“When Yael sent that audio note, the week prior, we were actually trying to finish a song. So, akala ko, noong sinend ni Yael, ‘Ah, ito ‘yung song. Tapos, ‘Teka, ibang song ‘to, ah. Bago ba ‘to?” Sponge Cola’s drummer Tedmark told Rappler. 

(When Yael sent that audio note, the week prior, we were actually trying to finish a song. So, I thought, when Yael sent it, “Ah, this is the song.” Then, “Wait, this is a different song. Is this new?) 

“Tatlong Buwan” is aptly titled to describe the life expectancy of Kim Ji-won’s character, Hong Hae-in. 

According to Yael, the song tells the story of wanting to be with someone while the hurdles of life in all directions get in between the love you have for each other. 

“There’s a constant pull of so many things happening. Like, why can’t we just sit down and be together, and communicate and enjoy simple things. I think ‘yun ang may nag-resonate sa story: the idea na if only the characters communicated more… masosolve ‘nyo ‘yung problema ‘nyo [more easily] (I think that’s what people resonated with in the story: the idea that if only the characters communicated more… your problem would be solved [more easily],” Yael explained. 

When Sponge Cola headed to the recording studio the next day, Yael was asked by the band’s sound engineer Angee Rozul to sing the last chorus in a more joyful tune, because he thought the song was supposed to end that way. But with Hae-in’s three-month life expectancy in mind, Yael admitted that he felt a pang of grief then – even tearing up while singing. 

‘Pag naiiyak ka while singing, ‘yung note, hindi kaya isustain ng throat mo. Parang tinutulak ka away from it (When you feel like crying while singing, your throat can’t sustain the note. It’s like you’re being pushed away from it), which is exactly what crying sounds like. It’s like your voice being pushed and pulled away from a note…. We had to pull it back with digital tech, Yael explained. 

“I’m all about the emotion. When I record, I’d rather feel than be correct from a note standpoint. A lot of times, mas may effect pa sa tenga ng tao ang note na hindi wasto. ‘Pag may bangga, mas may tension. So again, babalik ka doon sa pumapalag ‘yung sa note. So it just made perfect sense. It was accidental, because I was given technically correct advice at maling advice at the same time,” he added. 

(I’m all about emotion. When I record, I’d rather feel than be correct from a note standpoint. A lot of times, there’s more of an effect on people’s ears when the note isn’t accurate. When there’s a hit to it, there’s more tension. So again, you go back to the note that fights back. So it just made perfect sense. It was accidental, because I was given technically correct and wrong advice at the same time.) 

Choice to love

We also asked the band members what each of their favorite lines from “Tatlong Buwan” were, and why these were their top picks. Here’s what they had to say: 

Yael:Minsan, minsa’y pumapalag ang saya sa pighati’

“I’ve always wanted to use the word “pumapalag (fighting back).” And pumapalag is such a Filipino word na parang alam mong (you know) there’s tension. Kaya parang ang saya at pighati, may tension ‘yun eh (That’s why happiness and grief have tension). That’s life. You take the good with the bad. Not everything is a rainbow. Sometimes, it gets stormy. Tapos (And then), you just kind of pummel through,” Yael said. 

Gosh: Palusot na makasama ka sa umagang ‘to na kay ganda’

“Kasi normally, ginagamit ‘yung palusot for comedic purposes. Pero, nagamit [ni Yael] ‘yun sa story na ‘to,” Gosh explained. 

“‘Yung idea ng palusot can be used [like], I’m faking this so we get to spend time together. ‘Yung parang, “Traffic kasi eh. Papalipas ko lang yung traffic.” But in truth, you just wanna be with the person. And that’s exactly what happens in episode 10,” Yael added. 

Tedmark: ‘Pasensya na’

‘Yung first line pa lang (The first line itself) is very vulnerable. Kasi (Because) usually, may mga taong defensive agad. Magtatanong ka lang, [tapos] parang palaban ‘yung tone. Ito, pasensya na (Because usually, there are people who are defensive right away. You’re just asking a question, but their tone is really defensive. Here, though, you’re saying sorry). [It’s] very vulnerable for me,” Tedmark shared. 

Armo: ‘Ika’y pipiliin’ 

“It just resonates so much about the gravity of choice, na kahit feeling mo ubos na ubos ka na, or kahit feeling mo wala na ‘yung lahat, (that even though you feel so drained already, or you feel that everything’s turned to nothing), you’re just choosing it when it comes to returning to that commitment to a person. It’s not just based on feeling or something fleeting. It’s a choice you actively make,” Sponge Cola’s guitarist Armo explained. 

“You’re there because you want to be there, and you choose to be there with all that you are,” he added. 

The band also just released the song’s music video, which was shot across the K-drama’s key filming locations. 

‘Tatlong Buwan’: Sponge Cola dishes on new single inspired by hit K-drama ‘Queen of Tears’ 

“Basically, it’s really an homage. At the end of the day, when you do a music video like that, mas lumalabas ‘yung lyrics eh (the lyrics are highlighted further). Kasi ang mas kakapitan mo na ngayon (Because what you’ll hang onto now) is [how] it really supplements the lyrical content,” Yael shared. – Rappler.com

‘Tatlong Buwan’ is available to stream on Spotify. 

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