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Spolarium and Pepsi Paloma – Is there a Connection?

The Eraserheads band is among the best in its generation, though it also figured in several controversies, including releasing songs with hidden meanings that made people in high society squirm in their seats. They even had one song banned by authorities because the lyrics seem to insinuate drug use.

Not a stranger to controversy, the band also figures in one of the most mysterious songs in Philippine history. Eraserhead’s “Spolarium” has long been debated for its hidden meanings, with people putting forward their own interpretations, mostly linking it to the alleged rape of Pepsi Paloma.

How come? Well, for such a simple-looking song, it had a wealth of hidden meanings – or so many people believe. You can watch the video before you read the rest of the article.

What Happened to Pepsi Paloma?

People in the 80s knew a lot about Pepsi Paloma, the beautiful young star who began her career at 13. She quickly shot to stardom after joining the “soft drink” beauties of Rey dela Cruz, a well-known talent manager.

Pepsi’s real name was actually Delia Smith, but most people only knew her by her screen name. A classy beauty whose father was an American, Pepsi mesmerized the world of showbiz with her beauty. Her father abandoned their family while the kids were still small, leading their mother to seek a way to ensure her kids’ future by introducing her to dela Cruz.

Even though she was still 13 at the time, Pepsi’s first starring role was that in a “bold” R-18 movie. This propelled her to stardom.

It was a year later that she met the comedic trio comprised of Richie D’Horsey (Richie Reyes), Joey de Leon, and Vic Sotto. It was later alleged that the three drugged and raped her. The rape and the cover-up which later came have long been a subject of controversy as well, especially now that the key people involved in the issue remain popular and powerful.

So, how was this connected with the song? Let’s try to find out.

“Spolarium” – by Eraserheads ( Spolarium Lyrics )

Even the title has long been debated. Many think the song writer was referring to Juan Luna’s painting with the same title yet others think it was a reference to Joey’s artistic abilities.

Dumidilim ang paligid
May tumawag sa pangalan ko
Labing isang palapag
Tinanong kung okey lang ako
Sabay abot ng baso
May naghihintay
At bakit ba’pag nagsawa na ako
Bigla na lang ayoko na

This section was often linked to a drinking session on the 11th floor [of a building or condo?], though many also said it indicates that Pepsi was drugged. So, was she drugged or did she just get intoxicated for drinking too much?

At ngayon Di pa rin alam
Kung bat’ tayo nandito
Puwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo

At this point, the lyrics seem to indicate that she is too intoxicated that she already feels dizzy and disoriented.

Lumiwanag ang buwan
San Juan Di ko na nasasakyan
Ang lahat ng bagay ay
Gumuguhit na lang Sa ‘king lalamunan

Ewan mo at ewan natin
Sinong may pakana?

At bakit ba Tumilapon ang
Gintong alak diyan sa paligid mo?

In many cases of gang rape, the victim’s systems sometimes shuts off the event so there would be less suffering or because drugs or alcohol clods their mind. Perhaps, at the back of her mind, she was aware of what was happening yet was powerless to do anything because her brain was murky from being ‘high’.

At ngayon Di pa rin alam
Kung ba’t tayo nandito
Puwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo

What’s sad about this affair is that no one paid for the crimes they committed. Did the trio really rape her? No witnesses ever came forward to confirm Pepsi’s allegations yet the trio allegedly went down on their knees during an Eat Bulaga! segment to beg forgiveness for raping her while she was still 14.

You wouldn’t ask forgiveness for something you didn’t do, right? Or were the comedians simply saying sorry so the issue would die down?

Umiyak ang umaga (hmm)
Anong sinulat ni Enteng at Joey diyan
Sa gintong salamin Di ko na mabasa
Pagkat merong nagbura

Ewan mo at ewan natin
Sinong nagpakana?
At bakit ba tumilapon ang spolarium
Diyan sa paligid mo?

Who are Enteng and Joey? Is “Enteng” Vic Sotto? Vic has played the role of Enteng Kabisote for so long that it has become associated with him already. But did the song really mean him? As for “Joey”, it is a fairly common name yet if paired with “Enteng” or Vic, Joey de Leon comes to mind, right?

Tito Sen’s “magic”

Vic’s brother, Sen. Tito “Tito Sen” Sotto, allegedly coerced Pepsi to drop the rape charges she filed against the trio. With the victim and only witness dropping the case, the alleged perpetrators were free.

At ngayon Di pa rin alam
Kung ba’t tayo nandito
Puwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo

Pepsi was still just a child (13 years old) yet she already starred in a sexy flick – however, does that give anyone any right to rape her? No!

When Pepsi died in an apparent suicide 3 years later, it was widely believed that foul play was involved – yet, like the rape case, it was also hushed up.

So, do you think Spolarium was about Pepsi Paloma?

What can you Say?

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