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Herbert Hernandez: Our Favorite Family Man and Rock Star

Herbert Hernandez has been a staple of the Filipino music scene for almost a quarter of a century. In 1999, while he was a student at the University of Santo Tomas, he founded the band Moonstar88 - you know, the one with hundreds of millions of downloads, that everyone chooses for karaoke. We know and love Herbert for writing songs like “Sulat” and “Migraine,” and we’ve come to expect this level of talent and skill from him. And somehow, he never disappoints.

A man of many talents, Herbert actually splits his time between being a rock star and his full-time advertising job. In 2017, he co-founded the advertising agency GIGIL with one of his idols, so he’s busy enough to leave music - but lucky for us, he hasn’t. When you add in his family (a wife and three children), it’s pretty amazing that he finds the time to play guitar and write songs, especially since these days Moonstar88 isn’t his only band.

Since 2010, Herbert Hernandez has also taken on the role of lead guitarist for 6cyclemind, performing with them around the Philippines. Herbert’s older brother Darwin manages both Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind through his music and events management and production group, Soupstar Entertainment. Herbert and Darwin are both accomplished musicians, and Darwin has written some hit songs for both bands as well, like Moonstar88’s “Torete.”

Both of Herbert’s bands blend pop music with alternative rock and have huge followings. Their songs have topped the charts, leading to sold-out shows and some lucrative endorsement deals. They’ve also faced some lineup changes over the years, but the quality of the music hasn’t been compromised.

One of the most impressive things about Herbert is his ability to write and compose creative songs, blending multiple styles together. Whether it’s hip-hop, R&B, pop, or rock, he finds a way to incorporate them all and still put his own spin on things. His songwriting is so impressive that he’s been recognized by FILSCAP (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) as one of the best in the country. This has given him access to other musical talents in songwriting and composing camps, further fueling his creativity. For someone who spends his days focused on visual arts, he’s equally as talented in the musical arts.

Fans love Herbert not just because of his talent, but also because he includes them and recognizes them whenever and however he can. He’s active on social media, and frequently posts footage from behind the scenes, including songwriting sessions and live performances with both Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind. Fans are welcome to give their feedback on the music and to interact with Herbert online, which only adds to his appeal and accessibility.

As he continues to push himself to create new and exciting music, the fans are eagerly awaiting the next albums from Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind. Neither has released a studio album since 2012, but Moonstar88 has their vinyl release “Lourdes 2088” coming out in 2023. Hopefully, there will also be more tour dates released soon.

Herbert has talked openly about how rewarding his music career has been for him. Not only does it serve as a creative outlet and stress reliever from the advertising industry that he’s part of from 9-6, but the love he gets from fans is not lost on him. Music can heal people in a unique way, and Herbert is proud to have given people hope at times when they didn’t have any. The positive feedback that he receives is enough to keep him coming back even when other people might feel that they don’t have the time. Knowing that God blessed him with these talents, Herbert Hernandez feels compelled to use them in ways that bring happiness to the world.

If you’re not familiar with Herbert Hernandez yet, his songs are worth a listen. The lyrics can tell a familiar story in a new way, and the music will stay in your head all day (in a good way).

In addition to his two careers, Herbert stays busy with his family, which is always really nice to see. He and his wife, Heidi Borja Hernandez, a makeup artist and former Binibining Pilipinas pageant candidate, have three children together. They’ve also been married for more than 15 years and still go on regular date nights, which is kind of amazing given Herbert’s busy schedule.

In almost every interview, Herbert mentions that his family comes first for him. He has lunch and dinner with them every day, brings them to work whenever he can, and takes them on international trips. He and Heidi play Mobile Legends every night before bed, and he wakes her up each morning to give him fashion advice before he leaves the house. It’s really admirable that Herbert stays focused on what’s most important in life because lots of really successful musicians don’t. It’s just another thing to love about him.

Even though Herbert is now in his 40s, he seems to have unlimited energy and ideas to share with the world. It’s looking good for us to still have many years of new music from him. Even when he isn’t creating music with Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind, he still finds ways to incorporate it into his life. For example, he created Lakihan mo Logo (“Make the Logo Bigger”), one of his most beloved pet projects. Lakihan mo Logo is a concert series featuring bands made up of Manila-based ad agency talent, giving his fellow ad agency people an outlet for their stress. Since their founding 12 years ago, they have performed 58 concerts, and some of the participants have been signed as professional recording artists. Herbert also put together 12 “Rockovery” concerts to raise money to cover the medical bills of seriously ill members of the advertising industry.

Next up for Herbert is more about his advertising job than his music career, since GIGIL has really taken off in the past six years. There’s talk of international expansion of the agency, and Herbert is serious about putting Filipino talent front and center on the global stage. After all, he knows that the country is full of incredible talent, and he’s always ready to celebrate his fellow artists.

Even though advertising is a huge part of Herbert’s world, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever leave music behind. When he was starting GIGIL, he used his earnings from gigs to replace the advertising executive salary that he left behind. Having such a lucrative (and fun) fallback career seems to work for Herbert, at least for now.

There are no tour dates on the horizon for 2023, but fans have their ears perked up for news of some bookings at festivals or other events. In the meantime, we’ve got our favorite songs queued up, and hope that you do too!

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