Retired: Ian Cabanilla
New Drums: John Manalo
The late 90s saw the gradual decline of the “alternative” music scene as the supersaturation of the fickle local market with rock bands with rock brands of all types mutated the music into an experience that was just too much of a good thing offered too much. Along with the decline, the continued existence of Datu's Tribe was becoming questionable primarily because two of its members (Del and Mel Visperas) were still based in Los Baños. The cost of performing mostly in rock bars in Manila soon became prohibitive and major gigs were coming fewer and farther in between. Although the drive to perform was still present, financial and domestic pressures eventually forced the band into early retirement.
Then, like sprinklings of ash on a death anniversary cake, Club Dredd closed its doors on Independence Day, 1998 to bring the era to a somewhat ironic close.
Cabring went back to fulltime teaching at UP.
Del went into part-time teaching, played in a retro-band and found a new love in tennis.
Mel eventually went into full time work at DOST.
John played in a blues band for a while before leaving for the US.
August 2004 – March 2005
After being haunted for 7 years by ghosts of dead-at-a-young-age-through-suicide musicians who prophesied that if Datu's Tribe was not given another chance, its members would die of frustrated stardom syndrome, Cabring & Del decided to bring the band out of retirement and began work on tentative projects while searching for a new crew.
Cabring eventually hooked up with bass player André Umali who in turn asked Dax Padiernos (his batchmate in UPIS & part-owner of Purple Haze Resto & Bar) for help in acquiring a new drummer for the group. After a couple of try-outs, the group finally decided on Dax Padiernos as the new drummer. Mark Noval, guitarist of hardcore thrash outfit Genital Grinder, was added to the final mix in March.
Starting with “feeler” performances at Purple Haze, the revitalized band eventually played successful gigs at the UP Integrated School, the UPLB Fair, Gweilo's Eastwood, the Megamall Arts@Music Festival, Rockista Reloaded, Music Museum, and the Rock Salad concert in Bulacan State U. Internet fansites, radio guestings at NU 107's Gweilo's Hour, Tapsi Rock, plus a new generation of listeners and supporters all coalesced into a surprisingly refreshing realization: Parang hindi nawala ang Datu's Tribe.