About Max Surban
Max Surban is known as one of the best novelty singers of the Philippines and the King of Visayan song. He was born and raised in Cebu City in the southern part of the Philippines with one brother and four sisters. He finished high school at the “University of the Southern Philippines ” and then took a machinery course at “Cebu College of Arts and Trade”. After that, Max worked for six months at the Visayan Electric Company. Since singing was his first love, he started to enter singing contests until eventually it became his career. At first, he sang ballad songs in big night spots in Cebu in the 1960's until he decided to move to Manila. He sang at the Olongapo U.S. Naval base for one year and then at the “Seafront” in the U.S. Embassy Family Club for two years. He also joined a band as a vocalist and travelled to Vietnam and Japan.
The first song Max recorded was a novelty [comedy] song titled “Lolang Kunot” released by the Vicor Music Corporation. At first he was not interested in singing novelty songs because he was a ballad singer. But his curiousity about recording prevailed. So he decided to record “Lolang Kunot” and it became a big hit in just one week after it was released. Another one of Max’s hit songs is “Ang Manok ni San Pedro”(St. Peter’s Rooster). It is about a man named Esteban who was murdered by goons. His soul went up to heaven where he met St. Peter at the pearly gates. St. Peter was wondering why Esteban was there and realized that a mistake had been made. St. Peters records showed that it wasn’t Esteban’s time yet. So St. Peter told him to go back to earth. And, as a parting gift, he gave Esteban a white rooster. When he came back to life, Esteban and his white rooster always won in cock fighting tournaments. This song became so popular that the story of Esteban ended up being made into a hit comedy TV series with the same title. From that time on, Max was very busy recording and began to make a name for himself in the music industry.
He has travelled to countries like Norway and Austria. His recording career continues to flourish until this day. He composes and writes his own songs and, at the time of this writing, has made 33 albums. Many of his songs have earned Gold and Platinum Record Awards. He has recorded with several different companies including Universal Records, Vicor Recording Company, Alpha Records, and ABS-CBN Star Records. Some of his top selling albums are “Magparetoki”, “Gihidlaw na Intawon Ako [Mitulo na]”, “Dobol Trobol [with Yoyoy Villame]”, “Nabali ang Krismas Tri”, “Ballroom to D' Max” and a muslim song entitled “ Baleleng”(means sweetheart). Max also has written songs for other local Philippine recording artists like Rico J. Puno, Pilita Corales, Yoyoy Villame, etc.
Most of his songs are original, while others are musical adaptations in which lyrics have been changed to Visayan. His songs inject humor and reflect Filipino traditions especially those of the barrios, towns, and provinces. Max had also released “Ang Harana ni Max Surban”, an album of ballads and more traditional songs. It contains adaptations of all time favorites by the classic Cebuano composers. To many who love his music, Max is and remains, the pride of the Cebuanos. He, who has truly won the hearts of the Visayan people.