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Up Dharma Down, FrancisM tribute rule NU 107 Rock Awards

Ely Buendia leads Pupil, 2008's Artist of the Year awardee, in its performance at last night's NU Rock Awards. Jam Sisante
There was a different kind of storm at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on Friday night. Even though Metro Manila had been placed under Storm Signal No. 3, hundreds of musicians and their followers trooped to the World Trade Center for the 16th NU 107 Rock Awards, arguably the Filipino music scene's biggest rock show. The trip through the rain was worth it. The event, themed "High Definition," brimmed with incendiary musical performances by both well-established bands like Greyhoundz and Razorback, as well as the new kids on the block. Relative newcomers, however, ruled the night. Up Dharma Down - which only rose to prominence roughly three years ago - bagged the top plums: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for their second album Bipolar, and Vocalist of the Year for Armi Millare, who tied with Sugarfree's Ebe Dancel for the category.
"My God, this is so weird," gushed a surprised Millare as she and the rest of the band accepted their Artist of the Year plaque. Former Eraserheads bandmates Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan and Buddy Zabala "reunited" once more to present the award. This year's Best New Artist awardee, the Vin Dancel-fronted Peryodiko, also got two more awards: Guitarist of the Year for Kakoy Legaspi, and Producer of the Year for Robin Rivera who steered the band's self-titled debut effort.
Members of the night's big winner, Up Dharma Down, accept their Artist of the Year plaque. Jam Sisante
While NU 107 celebrated the future of OPM, it also took time to glorify the pioneers. Master Rapper Francis Magalona, who passed away last March after a long battle with leukemia, was posthumously inducted into the NU Rock Awards' Hall of Fame. "He made it cool to be Pinoy," an energetic Pia Arroyo-Magalona said as she received the award for her husband. Prominent musicians led by Buendia, himself a Hall of Fame awardee as one-fourth of the Eraserheads, then ripped into a rousing performance of "Higante," his collaboration with Magalona before the latter passed away. This time, however, the King of Pinoy Rap's young son Elmo Magalona took the mic for his dad, and, while moments of stage shyness would surface every now and then, ably delivered to the energetic crowd. The night's hosts, actress Iza Calzado and hilarious music scene staple Ramon Bautista, kept the audience entertained. Ramon kept up a steady stream of not-so-subtle passes at the beautiful women, while Iza quipped gamely throughout the program.
Raimund Marasigan, shown here, and the rest of Pedicab go on full Halloween mode for their performance. Jam Sisante
The complete list of the 2009 awardees: Artist of the Year - Up Dharma Down Album of the Year - Bipolar by Up Dharma Down Vocalist of the Year - Armi Millare of Up Dharma Down and Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree Guitarist of the Year - Kakoy Legaspi of Peryodiko Bassist of the Year - Ivan Garcia of Hilera Drummer of the Year - Allan "Bords" Burdeos of Kamikazee Best New Artist - Peryodiko Song of the Year - Antukin by Rico Blanco Best Album Packaging - Sugarfree by Inksurge Producer of the Year - Robin Rivera for Peryodiko In the Raw Award - Dimmerswitch Video of the Year - Last Days on a Cruise Ship by Bamboo Smart/U-Rock College Band of the Year - The Charmes (UST, PSBA, and FEU) Listeners' Choice Award - Chicosci Best Live Act - Hilera Hall of Fame awardee - Francis Magalona - GMANews.TV