by Jose "Joy" Maniquis (San Diego, CA.)
Posted on August 17, 2006
“The Things” were named after that weird hand character called “Thing” on that comedy-horror show on T.V. in the early 60’s. The original members were : Mojie Roman on bass and vocals, Sig Santiago on lead guitar, Spanky Rigor (later became a member of VST and company) on vocals, Jing Maniquis on guitar and vocals, and Joy Maniquis on drums. It was managed by Greg Honasan before he left for the P.M.A. and later became the senator named “Gringo”.
The band played mostly “Beatles”, “Rollingstones”, and “Dave Clark 5” cover versions, riding around town to parties, concerts, and other gigs in an old army jeep with the bass drum tied to the hood. There was even a time when the group showed up at a big “happening” on a real honest-to-goodness funeral hearse. People thought it was a great (but creepy gimmick), but it was actually the only available means of transportation at that time.
Later, after “The Things” broke up, Joy and Jing teamed up with their cousin Jimmy and friends Bill Callueng (vocals), Manny “Boy” Ablola (bass), and Troy Florencio (manager), to form “The Purple People”. The group was named after that wacky 50’s song “Purple People Eaters”. When Mrs. Carmen “Gemma” Vitan took over as manager of the band, new members joined in- Renato “Babes” Tolentino played keyboards and vocals, Nap Flores played lead guitar and Spanky Rigor took over the bass. With the addition of these new personnel and Mrs. Vitan’s social and musical connections (her family was also managing the “Bits and Pieces”, “The Dynasonics” and ‘The Atoms”), “The Purple People” got on the busy track . From discos and clubs around Metro-Manila (like “Pow!” at the Sulo Hotel in Makati and “Blow Up” at the Manila hotel) to concerts and T.V. shows like “Insider”, hosted by Jinnie Pia, and Ed Finlan’s “Nineteeners”, the band seemed to be playing eveywhere.
It was when the excitement over the “British Invasion” started to ebb that Joy and Jing were joined by two more brothers – Eddie and Jess (who played for the Jaime Jose’s “Deltas” and “The Bits n’ Pieces) and formed the folk-rock group “Stagecoach Company”, the house band of the “Powder Keg” club of Bonanza Restaurant in Quezon City.
A few years later, the Maniquis family had settled in San Diego, California. The former “Stagecoach” band is now joined by more brothers- Jim on piano, Manny on keyboards, and Jack, the youngest, on bass. The group is now called the “B.O.B.”, short for “Band of Brothers”, a tribute band in memory of yet another brother, Roberto “Bob”, who passed away in the year 2000.