The Eraserheads, in their long and illustrious career, have written, produced, and performed a lot of songs, many of which speak about the time and circumstance in which they were written in. Most of E-heads’ songs talked about love and its many facets; from a crush, to heartbreak, to rejection. But many of their songs also subtly contained their collective views toward the serious issues on society at that time faced: from rape, to poverty, to communal apathy. But no matter how serious or how jovial the themes in their songs were, E-heads were always able to inject their signature vibrance to it. So no matter how sad or sober the lyrics were, it still sounded happy to the undiscerning ear.

And “Ang Huling El Bimbo” is a great example of one such sobering song.

On the surface, it seems like any old love song, taking a sad turn at the end, at the demise of the narrator’s first love (his “Paraluman”). He chronicles their would-be love story, from the time they were children, to the time they parted, and finally to the time when he catches wind of her death.

However, if one were to look at it deeply, one could see the sensuality in the narrator’s description of his Paraluman, especially how the narrator stressed specific words ("Nakakatindig", "Naninigas", "Dumudulas") to describe how she made him feel. It makes one begin to imagine a young innocent boy’s first foray into sexuality, likely brought about by puberty.

If one were to follow this thinking throughout the entire song, you’ll begin to see things that don’t really add up toward the end of the song, specifically at the third verse.

It describes the narrator’s horror upon learning how terrible his Paraluman’s living conditions were, and his surprise upon catching news of her death. But one line in the last verse really sticks out: “…at nasagasaan sa isang madilim na eskinita.” Such a narrow passageway couldn’t have possibly been able to accommodate a 4-wheeled vehicle, and even if it were a motorcycle, it’s too light and couldn’t have been traveling fast enough in order to kill someone. And so this specific line in such an iconic song has sparked so many heated debates, both in college classrooms between student and teacher, as well as in bars, between drunken friends.

So, what does the line mean? For a lot of people who overthink as much as me, and who look at the song as something sexually-charged, that specific line could mean that Paraluman was passing through a dark, narrow alleyway one night, where she was raped and murdered. It’s a surprising twist to an otherwise sober song. And, unsurprisingly, many of E-heads’ songs contain very subtle double meanings, imploring you to listen to it again, and maybe you’ll eventually catch the meaning.

But, of course, I might just be overthinking all these, and it’s really a simple song about love and love lost. Ely Buendia has been quoted as saying that Paraluman was run over by a pizza delivery service, albeit jokingly. But what do you think: how do you think Paraluman actually died? And which E-heads song is the most cryptic to understand? Tell us in the comments below!