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A few days ago, Up Dharma Down vocalist Armi Millare clued her 63,500 Instagram followers in, on how “Tadhana” was written: up Mt. Sto. Tomas in Tuba, Benguet, on her smart phone, in 2010.

2010, Mt. Sto Tomas where Tadhana was 'written' and recorded on my phone.

A photo posted by armimillare (@armimillare) on


“I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be in a place where I didn’t know anyone,” Armi begins to tell MB Life. “At the time, Baguio was that place, so I would frequent it often.”

In 2010, she and seven of her friends made their way back up to the mountains in the north. “We went to all sorts of unpopulated places. From the old Diplomat Hotel way before the film was shot, we went here.” Mt. Sto. Tomas was part of the itinerary.

According to the singer, some of her friends stayed in their pickup truck, while others went around and explored the area. “I took the liberty to find a quiet space.” She sat herself on the edge of the mountain, pulled out her phone and made good use of its voice recording function. Thus “Tadhana” was born.

Sounds like a scene taken out of every writer’s dream book, no? Sure, you can try and do an Armi, but you’ll have to pick another mountain because Mt. Sto. Tomas is closed.

“Because of environmental issues, bawal na umakyat diyan,” she tells us.

Which is fine. Because at the moment we’re feeling nothing but gratitude to the mountain for inspiring Armi to write one of our favorite OPM songs OAT.

“Tadhana” is one of the singles to come out of 2012’s Capacities, Up Dharma Down’s third record. It gained more popularity in 2014 when it was used in the breakthrough indie movie That Thing Called Tadhana.

Incidentally, a bulk of the movie was shot in the mountains up north, too! Remember how it made all of us aware of the Kiltepan viewpoint in Sagada?



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