Words by Joey Dizon
Photos by Anne Jordan Apolinar


Though local bands traveling to represent the Philippines at music festivals abroad is definitely not a new thing, it’s always extra special when our finest heavy bands do it—especially these days when the country’s biggest festivals/shows like PULP Summer Slam have ended their decades-long run, leaving a lot of heavy acts with even more limited platforms and places to play.


Metalcore outfit ARCADIA has certainly paid their dues, having steadily released material and gigged relentlessly for the past decade or so in and outside the metro, while landing prime gigs as openers for everyone from EVERY TIME I DIE, THE ACACIA STRAIN, SICK OF IT ALL, to ALL FOR NOTHING, to name a few. Though the band has undergone numerous personnel changes, it seems that the current incarnation—featuring vocalist Enrie Estevez, guitarists Ariel Lumanlan and Rommel Enriquez, bassist Keith Francisco, and drummer Kenneth Bryan Abad—is the strongest and most focused.


That’s probably the reason why they were chosen to represent the Philippines at this year’s Hammersonic Festival in Indonesia, held last May 4 and 5 at Carnaval Ancol in Jakarta, Indonesia. Playing alongside big names in the worldwide hardcore and metal game (including the likes of LAMB OF GOD, CONVERGE, AS I LAY DYING, SUICIDE SILENCE, VENOM, and MADBALL, to name a few), the band’s videos online proved that theirs was a memorable set for both Filipinos and foreigners in the region.


Aside from that, the band recently released a new single “Life We Know,” which can be heard here.


PULP managed to catch guitarist Lumanlan online and fired off a few questions.


PULP: Arcadia has been on a steady trajectory post-pandemic, playing large festivals and gaining traction with bigger crowds. Where do you attribute this success to?

AL: I guess the main reason is that we really never took a break; sometimes we slowed down with the live gigging, but we made sure that the band was always active elsewhere—that we were still relevant.


PULP: Your recent single “Life We Know” definitely has elements that vary from the traditional Arcadia song. What brought about this evolution?

AL: We’re consciously trying to make music that will obviously highlight our influences, and at the same time, we’re trying stuff we haven’t done before. We feel we always have to add stuff to our sound that we can enjoy playing live.


PULP: Tell us about the experience of playing at Hammersonic.

AL: The whole experience was surreal; we were definitely anxious at first because we were playing around the same time as Bleeding Through, who were on a separate stage; so we were wondering if people would actually show up and catch us. But we did pull it off, we got a big portion of the crowd to watch and mosh to our set. Since the time that this band was formed, it has always been the band’s dream and goal to play shows with bands that we look up to.


PULP: What’s in the immediate future for Arcadia?

AL: The new album is almost done… just a few tweaks with the tracks, and we’re finalizing all the collaterals needed. We’re just going to keep going: we just want to maximize whatever it is we still have in our tank right now… the plan is basically to keep making records for as long as we can. PULP


For more updates, you can follow Arcadia here: