StreeXB Global Talent SearchFrom the slums of Manila to star-spangled hysteria.

Arnel is just as good as Steve, if not better. He is one tough cookie. For the first time in years, Journey is hot again.

Indtroducing its newest member, who is a Pinoy (Filipino), with incredible talent. His name is Mabuhay Arnel!

Don’t stop believing!

His mind boggling story of misfortune, survival and possible achievement helped produce a bond with his band mates that remains as solid as ever. Schon sent an e-mail to Pineda inviting him to audition for Journey. Pineda initially dismissed the e-mail as a hoax and didn’t believe that he was talking to a founding member of one of the biggest bands in rock history.

The documentary tells the story of how Journey found lead singer, Arnel Pineda.


Arnel Pineda was born in the Philippines, in the Sampaloc area of Manila. His mother instilled his love for singing at an early age, encouraging him to sing along with her to songs from his favorite singers like Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand on the radio.

Growing up, his parents entered him in many singing contests. His parents were both tailors, and Arnel, the oldest of four boys, always knew when his father walked towards him with a tape measure, it meant new clothes for another singing contest.

His mother, who had been suffering from heart disease, died when he was thirteen. Her illness had left their family deep in debt. Being 6 months or one year behind on their rented apartment and unable to sufficiently provide for the family, his father decided to move out and ask relatives to take in Pineda’s siblings. To ease his father’s burden, Pineda quit school and volunteered to strike out on his own.

About two years of his life were spent out on the streets, sleeping wherever he could: in public parks, or on a narrow bench outside a friend’s crowded house. He earned meager money by collecting glass bottles, newspapers, and scrap metal and selling them to recyclers. He would also go to the pier with his friends and take on odd jobs like cleaning scrap metal and docked ships. Arnel would hang out with his friends in the street and they would make him sing in exchange for food. He didn’t have much to eat, sometimes rationing a small package of Marie biscuit as his meal for three days.








In 1999, Pineda caught the attention of Warner Bros. record label and flew back to the Philippines on his days off to record a solo album, the self-titled Arnel Pineda. Most of the album’s ten original songs were slow ballads, with only two upbeat numbers, one of which carries a Latin style. One of the songs, Iiyak Ka Rin (You Will Cry Too) became a karaoke favorite in Asia, while another song Sayang (Too Bad) became a radio favorite. Pineda wrote and arranged several songs. Pineda continued to perform with New Age while making his album and for several years thereafter. In 2001, Pineda sang one song, Looking Glass, with Filipino band, South Border’s album The Way We Do. Earlier that year, Pineda formed a new band, eventually called 9mm, and played around the city’s top bars including The Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City.The band played a three month stint at The Edge in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong in 2002.








In 2006, encouraged by well-respected Filipino talent manager and TV director, Bert de Leon, Pineda moved back to the Philippines with Monet Cajipe, the guitarist who had been in all of Pineda’s previous bands. They formed The Zoo with Emil Bondoc on bass, Edgar Mendoza on keyboards, and Mckoy Alcantara on drums. They signed on with de Leon’s company, Sundance Entertainment Corporation. The Zoo performed several nights a week at clubs in Manila and Olongapo during 2006 and 2007. Shows regularly spanned 3–5 hours. The Zoo’s first album Zoology was released by MCA Universal in September 2007 featuring 12 original tracks and one cover song (“Pain in My Heart,” originally recorded a decade earlier by Second Wind), five of which were penned by Pineda, and another was co-written by Pineda and Mark Valliente.


On June 28, 2007, Neal Schon was about to give up searching for a new vocalist on YouTube when he stumbled upon a clip featuring then-unknown Arnel Pineda performing with his cover band at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Philippines. Journey – Faithfully

After watching all the available videos he could find with Pineda, Neal made an excited midnight phone call to share the news with his bandmate Jonathan Cain.

Neal Schon then contacted Noel Gomez, a longtime fan and friend of Pineda who uploaded many of these videos, to ask for Pineda’s contact information.

Six weeks later, after spontaneously singing a Journey song for Philippines immigration officers to prove the reason for his trip, Pineda arrived in San Francisco to meet with Journey. Within a few songs, he had secured the job.

Journey introduced Pineda to the world as their official new singer with the release of their 14th studio album, Revelation, which marked the band’s biggest first-week sales in more than a decade, debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200 in June 2008 and taking the top spot on the Independent Albums chart. Revelation earned the band their 11th Platinum album certification to date, leading The New York Times to declare that “the band…feels alive.” Journey toured the world for two years in support of Revelation, with more than a million fans attending the shows.

One of the most emotional highlights of that tour took place on March 14, 2009, when Journey performed in front of nearly 30,000 people in Pineda’s hometown of Manila, Philippines. While the singer was welcomed as a hero by the Filipino people, the rest of the band members were equally affected as they connected with the roots of their new lead singer. Pineda took the guys to his old neighborhood and school, and even the park where he slept as a 13-year-old homeless child, after his mother passed away.

StreeXB would like to extend Special Thanks to Arnel Pineda Rocks to have this documentary.

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