Singer Mike Hanopol set to be ordained as first Pinoy rabbi

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OPM icon Mike Hanopol is famous for his anthems “Laki Sa Layaw (Jeproks),” “Balong Malalim,” and other songs. He formed the trailblazing Juan dela Cruz band with Gonzales and Joey “Pepe” Smith.

While promoting his May 14 reunion concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati, with other music legends Wally Gonzales and Rene Garcia, Hanopol revealed that he is set to be ordained as the first Filipino rabbi in 2016. (Click this link to watch the video of his interview.)

In the ‘70s, Hanopol belatedly discovered his Jewish roots when his father was introduced to the Russian Hanopol family in New York. From Kiev, the family was forced to migrate to the United States due to the persecution of Jews in the 1920s.

For more than a decade now, Hanopol has been teaching Judaism to Filipinos seeking a new spiritual way of life. Hanopol sees no conflict with Judaism and his music, emphasizing that everything is “God’s never-ending creation.”

Text: Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News /

Photos: and ABS-CBN News video screengrab

This article has been re-published with permission from

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