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Smokey Mountain
Years active1989–1995
LabelsUniversal Records, BMG, RCA, Ivory Music & Video
Past membersGeneva Cruz
Jeffrey Hidalgo
Tony Lambino
James Coronel
Jayson Angangan
Chedi Vergara
Shar Santos
Anna Fegi

Smokey Mountain was a Filipino singing group formed by musical director, composer, and National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab[1][2] and executive producer Judd Berlin. The original group was based in Manila, Philippines, and had James Coronel, Geneva Cruz, Jeffrey Hidalgo, and Tony Lambino as its original members while Jayson Angangan, Chedi Vergara, and Zhar Santos joined James Coronel for the second lineup after Geneva Cruz, Jeffrey Hidalgo, and Tony Lambino left the group. Eventually, James Coronel left to pursue a solo career and Anna Fegi replaced Shar Santos during the 1994 tour in Japan.[3]


The group was named after the Smokey Mountain garbage dump in Manila. The concept for their debut album cover came from the idea that they had to be dressed in ragged clothes to depict the then-dire situation of the scavengers living on the Smokey Mountain garbage dump.

In 1989, the group released its first self-titled pop album that consisted of songs revolving around social, environmental, and patriotic themes. The group's first hit, Kailan (When), was number one on national airwaves for eight straight weeks and the album hit gold, platinum, and double-platinum status within months of its release.

In late 1990, the group went on the "Better World" tour, performing at the United Nations World Summit for Children in New York and representing the Philippines at the 5th ASEAN Song Festival in Surabaya, Indonesia.

In 1991, Smokey Mountain became only the second Filipino act (after Gary Valenciano) to participate on NHK's Kōhaku Uta Gassen.[4]

In 1992, the band performed in Paris.[5]

Having to choose between formal schooling and a two-year, two-album contract for release in Europe and the U.S., Tony Lambino and Jeffrey Hidalgo left the group, while Geneva Cruz pursued a solo career & released her first solo album "I Like You". The popularity of the group already reached its peak at the time of the departure of the group's 3 members, however, Ryan Cayabyab held auditions to find new members to fill in the void of the 3 founding members who left the group. Ryan Cayabyab then reformed the group with remaining original member James Coronel and three new members Shar Santos, Chedi Vergara, and Jayson Angangan. This second batch also had successful hits, such as Da Coconut Nut (about the benefits of the coconut tree), Paraiso (literally paradise; about a degrading environment filled with garbage and smog), and their own version of Kailan (boy version). They also won awards for both Paraiso, "Kahit Habang Buhay" and Tayo Na.

The media was very critical of the new members who joined James Coronel. However, in 1992, at the Tokyo Music Festival the new lineup proved their worth as they won the grand prize in the contest. They also joined the Golden Kite Festival & won the 1st Place trophy, & had more tours in Asia and Europe.

In around 1993, the group released its third and international album Know You Will. James Coronel left the group after completing promotional work for this album. The remnants of the latest batch released the fourth album Death Penalty and disbanded a year later. In 1998, BMG Records (now Sony Music Philippines) released the fifth and final album of the Smokey Mountain Smokiest Hits with 12 tracks.

Past band members

Geneva Cruz moved on to showbiz full-time.

Tony Lambino cut a solo album and wrote songs recorded by fellow artists, did musical theatre with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, among others, and anchored an early morning news program on ABS-CBN. He finished his undergraduate studies at the Ateneo De Manila University, cum laude, completed his master's degree at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar, and earned a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Tony Lambino also worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and became head of communication at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). He then became an Assistant Secretary of the Philippine Department of Finance.[6]

Jeffrey Hidalgo completed his Chemical Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines and placed 11th when he took the board exam. In 2009, he studied film making at the New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi. He has written songs in recent years and even competed in the Metropop Song Festival. He currently runs his own company which produces cleaning products.

James Coronel owns call centers in USA, Philippines, India, and Sri Lanka.

Shar Santos auditioned in the fourth edition of the reality TV show American Idol under the name Sharon Galvez, but was shut out of the semi-finals and now she is Sharon Kaylor.

Chedi Vergara also released her self-titled album "Chedi" with some success and she joined in Teatro and she also has a band but now she lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Jayson Angangan returned to his own native land in Ilagan, Isabela.

Anna Fegi joined the group in 1994 for the final tour in Japan as she replaced Shar Santos.[3] Anna has gone on to release 2 solo albums under the Sony BMG label, performed on the hit show ASAP, toured with cruise line Royal Caribbean International, and performed in several musicals for Atlantis Productions in both Manila and Singapore.[7][8] She also owns and operates a successful music school, Brown Academy of Music, in Cebu.

Reunited for charity in 2011 and 2020

In March 2011, all Smokey Mountain members re-united for the first time in 15 years to record a new song for Japan earthquake relief entitled I FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL.[9] The group has strong ties to Japan as some members lived in Tokyo during the peak of their popularity in the early 1990s. Due to the members now being spread out all over the globe, the song was recorded separately and then edited together in a studio.

In May 2020, the members again reunited virtually for a Bayanihan Musikahan special.[10][11][12][13] They performed a "Paraiso/Better World medley as well as "Da Coconut Nut."[14] The performance was shown on ABS-CBN as well as streamed as a fundraising effort for the coronavirus pandemic. There was a rerun on May 9 on the Facebook page of Bayanihan Musikahan. Six of the eight members were interviewed by Iza Calzado during the May 9 special.

The group held another virtual reunion on June 30 for the `World Wildlife Fund.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

Chronology of lineup

Original lineup:

2nd. Lineup

3rd. Lineup


Smokey Mountain (1990, Universal Records)

Paraiso (1991, BMG Music Philippines)

Paraiso (Japan Edition) (1992, BMG Japan)

Know You Will (1993, BMG Music Philippines)

Singles (1993, BMG Japan)

Death Penalty (1994, BMG Music Philippines)

Smokiest Hits (1998, BMG Music Philippines)

A Song For Japan (Single) (2011, Ivory Music & Video)

Greatest Hits (Digitally Remastered) (2012, Ivory Music & Video)

A Bayanihan Musikahan Special (COVID-19) (2020, ABS-CBN)

Covers by other artists

In the 2000s, the song "Kailan" and "Can This Be Love" were covered by singers Sarah Geronimo and Juris and the Philippine acoustic band MYMP in the present generation and has been mostly covered until today by many other Filipino artists even on television especially the 2012 Primetime Series Ina, Kapatid, Anak by singer Bryan Termulo.

"Kailan" was also covered by Gary Valenciano and Noel Cabangon.

"Sabihin Mo" was also covered by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers in 2010.

"Da Coconut Nut" was also covered by a P Pop Female Group BINI in 2020.

Notable singles



Kōhaku Uta Gassen appearances

Year / Broadcast Appearance Song Appearance order Opponent
1991 (Heisei 3) / 42nd[4] Debut "Tayo Na (Come On)" 4/28 Hiroko Moriguchi


  1. ^ Yan, Carrie B (May 2, 2011). "Pinoy Musicians: Ryan Cayabyab". GlobalPinoy. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Martinez-Belen, Crispina (April 22, 2011). "Jessa, Geneva to release new albums". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Lo, Ricardo (January 25, 2003). "What Could Be Anna Fegi's Best Moment?". Phil Star. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "42nd Kōhaku Uta Gassen History". NHK. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  5. ^ "Peak Performance p.28". Gigi S. Oyod. July 19, 1992.
  6. ^ "Lambino is new DOF Asec". Philippine Department of Finance. May 16, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Carballo, Bibsy (April 13, 2007). "Finding Oneself in HK Disney". Phil Star. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "Anna Fegi's Star Keeps Rising". Philippine Headline News. February 22, 2001. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  9. ^ Smokey Mountain I FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. YouTube. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021.
  10. ^ "Smokey Mountain Members Reunite for 'Bayanihan Musikahan' Special". Rappler. May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Obanil, Rizal (May 4, 2020). "Smokey Mountain Reunite for 'Bayanihan Musikahan'". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Obanil, Rizal (April 24, 2020). "Smokey Mountain In Virtual Reunion for 'Bayanihan' Fundraiser". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Arcadio, Ryan (April 26, 2020). "Smokey Mountain to Reunite for Ryan Cayabyab Fundraiser 'Bayanihan Musikahan'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Hidalgo, Jeffrey (May 3, 2020). "Celebrating 30 Years, Smokey Mountain Reunites for a Cause". ABS-CBN Lifestyle. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  15. ^ "Smokey Mountain, Ryan Cayabyab to Hold Benefit for WWF Philippines". Rappler. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  16. ^ Biong, Ian (June 24, 2020). "Smokey Mountain, Ryan Cayabyab Reunite Anew for Fundraising Concert". Inquirer. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "Smokey Mountain, Ryan Cayabyab to Hold Online Benefit Concert". ABS-CBN. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  18. ^ "Smokey Mountain, Ryan Cayabyab To Hold Virtual Benefit Concert Anew". CNN Philippines. June 24, 2020. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Smokey Mountain Celebrates 30th Anniversary Through Online Concert with Ryan Cayabyab". GMA News. July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  20. ^ Severo, Jan Milo (July 1, 2020). "Smokey Mountain Holds Virtual Reunion for Donsol Families Affected By Pandemic". PhilStar. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  21. ^ "The Bandstand finals night at Manila Ocean Park". Manila Bulletin. August 27, 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2012.