The new band Cebalo is composed of (L-R) Davey Langit, Panky Trinidad, Yvan Lambatan, and Eman Abatayo. Photo: Nerisa Almo

Philippine Dream Academy (PDA) scholars Yvan Lambatan, Eman Abatayo, Davey Langit, and Panky Trinidad have been tapped to form ABS-CBN's first band called Cebalo. Representing their hometowns of Cebu, Baguio, and Iloilo, these four young PDA scholars landed their first gig during the soft launch of Dish as Club O Resto-Bar last January 10 at the ABS-CBN compound.


"Iba-ibang genre ang music namin kaya naisipan namin na mag-collaborate," says Eman of Iloilo about their newly formed band.


"Kami po pare-parehas kaming songwriter. Maganda yung nagco-collaborate yung ideas namin, pag pinag-merge siya, mas lalong magiging maganda yung produkto," adds Yvan of Baguio.


Panky, a rock band vocalist from Cebu, recalls the origins of the band Cebalo. "We were thinking of it before na," she recounts. "While we were still inside PDA, kahit na dapat nang matulog, jam pa rin kami ng jam. We realized that [the four of] us together we have a different chemistry with each other. If we put it together, it's gonna sound something new."


She also points out their edge over other bands: "Ang advantage siguro dahil kaming lahat nagsusulat."


Relying on their strong songwriting abilities, ABS-CBN has tasked Cebalo to come up with a remake of "Pinoy Ako," the theme song used during the first season of Pinoy Big Brother that was popularized by the band Orange and Lemons.


During their first performance as a band, Yvan, Eman, and Panky switched places with one another to show off their skills in playing the guitar, bass, and even the percussion instrument called cajon. Meanwhile, Davey of Baguio maintained his place and strummed his guitar while his fellow band members switched places.


Panky sang her original composition "Fairy Tale," Davey sang his "Unang Gabi," Eman's work was entitled "Prom," while Yvan tentatively called his song as "In My Dream." 


As the only female in the group, Panky reveals that there are a lot of people who showed interest in joining their band. One name in particular stood out. "Interesado si Chad [Peralta] pero ABS-CBN has other plans naman for him eh. Saka I can't work with Chad around di ba? (chuckles) Nako-conscious ang beauty ko," says Panky with a laugh.


Richard "Chad" Peralta is the PDA scholar from Australia who was touted as a bad boy while he was inside the PDA house because of the two tattoos on his shoulders. In a separate PEP interview, the Australian-based singer reveals that he finds chinita girls "so cute" and that he counts Kim Chiu and Heart Evangelista among his showbiz crushes. 


On February 14, the top six PDA scholars—Josephine "Yeng" Constantino, Ronnie Liang, Eduardo "Jay-R" Siaboc Jr., Fatima "Irish" Fullerton as well Chad and Panky—will be performing in a Valentine's Day concert at the Aliw Theater.