ASIN was formed in 1977, the nucleus of which was the duo of Mike Pillora Jr. and Cesar Bañares Jr., who were playing at folk joints and pub houses in Manila as 'Mike and Cesar'. A year later, Lolita Carbon was recruited by the duo to fill in the missing middle voice and eventually became the third member. Pillora named the trio 'Salt of the Earth' after the song recorded originally by The Rolling Stones and later by Joan Baez, written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Other than the song title, Pillora also based the name of the group from the Biblical metaphor salt of the earth which represents the humble and sincere masses. In 1978, the trio (who were all songwriters, composers and arrangers) signed their first recording contract and localized their name 'Salt of the Earth' into 'Asin ng Lupa'. They ultimately became known simply as ASIN. Simultaneously, the members had adopted local names for themselves and they were later known to their fans as Nonoy, Saro and Nene. In the same year, their eponymous debut LP "Asin" was released, giving birth to an alternative form of music which was different and distinct from what was mainstream. Their songs conveyed a message that had instilled awareness into the vast majority of Filipinos and became a rallying call for emancipation. In the last quarter of 1979, they launched another album called Himig ng Pag-ibig ("Hymn of Love"). The group's break-up abruptly followed. However, their absence from the music scene did not hamper their growing popularity.

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