How many of us have sat around and fantasized about producing bands and setting up local gigs? While the majority of people will be content with dreams, for some they manage to make it a reality. For Happy Box, like a story or a tale, it begins with "It all happened in the summer of 1997."
     The Philippine alternative pop band The Eraserheads had just done their first ever US tour in May of '97. And for two friends Zaldy and Levan, who got a chance to hang around with them while they were here, the band became friends. Then Zaldy went to the Philippines for vacation. While there he once again hung around with the Eheads and the band mentioned that they wanted to come back to America and perform. When Zaldy came back home to the US that summer of 97, he told Levan about his conversation. They were excited about the idea but clueless as how to go about it. Then in September of 97 when the Eheads was in New York for the MTV awards, Levan got a hold of the band at their hotel and the first thing he heard from them was "Produce us. We wanna play here in the States again". He told his brother Haro and that started the ball rolling. After some thinking, financial calculating and realizing that the Eheads had just won the MTV awards for international artists, their attitude became "why not produce them". They talked to the Eheads ex-manager Earnest who was vacationing in California.They asked for her advice on how to start, what to do and any legal stuff that might come up. After some more research, they told a couple of friends about their plan, who all agreed to lend a hand. So on October 6, 1997, about six months after the first Eheads tour "HAPPY BOX" was officially born and successfully registered with the LA county registrars office. The name was thought of 10 minutes before arriving at the office in tribute to the Eheads song "balikbayan box" (off Sticker Happy album) in which they were forever immortalized in song "...dumating si Allen, Haro, Maida at Levan".

     Technically or legally on paper Haro is Happy Box. But since their inception Happy Box has always been family and friends. They have seen volunteers come and go but according to Levan "Our roster is about 20 people, mostly on stand-by, you usually just see them go active when we do big productions like the Eheads. But for smaller local gigs it's just us... most are here in Los Angeles (we cover LA and Orange County) and some are in Fresno (who cover Fresno & neighboring cities)." Independents that they are, they've never had any major sponsors help them out. When they began they tried soliciting some but as usual upstarts hardly get breaks. So they figured "forget it...let's go d.i.y baby". With conviction they forged ahead and organized the following shows.
     I asked Levan how they find the venues and local Filipino bands that play at their shows. For bands, he says "through word of mouth and networking really works too." For venues it's good old fashion research. At first he tried the Internet but he has given up on that one. Mostly they check the club listings of the LA weekly and "Barnard of Gage Street is actually good at this. He is the one who usually find the venues." 

     Putting the shows together have proven to be hard work for the Happy Box crew. The time and effort they've put in organizing gigs, even for local bands, is very stressful. There are always questions, unforeseen problems and hassles that arise. Three years into producing shows, it's still a lot of stress for them but they've learned since their first venture. Some of the lessons were tough but they've managed to pull through till the next gig. 
     Does their story end with "Happily ever after"? In a sense not really because their still going on. But in a way it also does because they are still around, producing and exposing local Filipino bands "para sa masa" (for the masses).

by Lala "Manila Girl" Briones
"Local Filipino Scene"


ABOUT US: "D.I.Y", Independent, Corporate-free, "Low or No" budget, "Jologs", Rock & Roll
(well, we used to be, hehe!)

MISSION STATEMENT: To serve the pinoy rock-hungry fil-am jolog community until we sell out, least 'til we die.

The HB Crew
Los Angeles/Azusa Crew:
Haro DeGuzman - executive producer *
LeVan "schizo" DeGuzman - assistant, creative, consultant *
Flerida Sapanghila - accountant, box office cashier
Billy Sapanghila - production assistant
Bong Emaas
Glenn Jacinto
Max Acosta
Ali Besin
Dale Bacuno
Jim DeGuzman
Le-Loi De Guzman
Yoghie Aganan-DeGuzman - executive personal assistant
Cristina Sierra - executive assistant, accountant, box office cashier, hotel hook-up
Christian "Gambit" Dizon
Tim Batac
Bojie Yangco [MCY Entertainment]
Jamaica DeGuzman - official kid; VIP
Saint DeGuzman - official kid; VIP
Kailley DeGuzman - official kid; VIP

Happy Box (Manila, Philippines): 2001-Present
Haro DeGuzman - executive producer *
Lennart "Lance" Dagos - associate producer; head runner; promo street crew leader
Romulo "Jopet" Valencia Jr. - associate producer
Archie Saringan - promo street coordinator
Jeffrey "Pikit" Saringan
Pitcho Dagos

Las Vegas Crew/Partners (aka "Peace Sells Productions")
Jason "Basti" Zafra
Marilee Lenon-Zafra

Happy Box (San Francisco, CA) (then became "RedCheese Production"): 2004-2016?
Paul "Idol" Dizon
John Dizon

Former Volunteers / Members:
Edwin "Attorney" Chua *
Jun-Jun Chua *
Einar Chua *
Jay Jamoral * (r.i.p.)
Louie Borjal
Katz Sibug
Andrew Taruc
Mark Rarang
Waynard Lakan-Ilaw
Bobie Yap
Janice Maniquis
Russel Tan
Reginald DeGuzman
Barnard Panuga
Albert Vivar
Rey Delmando
Weng Flores
Mike Reyes
Cherry Binuya
Vincent Valbuena
Czara Jane Dela Llana
Janina Dela Llana
Mike Bernabe
Lorie Binuya
Lizette Cortez
Lindsey Cortez
Corie Querubin
Koo-Koh - official HB dog / mascot (r.i.p.)
Moooning aka "Moondog" - official HB dog / mascot (r.i.p.); 2005-2012

* founding members

Happy Box (Manila, Philippines); Former Members
Julie Pacanas (2001-2002)
Edwin Garcia (2001-2002)
Gary Alvarado (2001-2002)

Past Volunteers (Philippines):
"Joko" Rodriguez, Isaias "Junior" Saringan, Jiesan & Austin Saringan

Site maintenance by schizo for Primitive Graphics Online since September 10, 2001 // This website is part of The Schizo Archives