Tag Archives: Original Philippine music

#227 Bayan Ko

Bayan Ko (My Country) is one of the most recognizable patriotic songs in the Philippines that, because of its popularity, is sometimes assumed to be a folk song and the unofficial national anthem of the Philippines. It was originally written as a poem by José Corazón de Jesús in 1929, and set to music by Constancio de Guzman.

Written as a protest song during the American occupation of the Philippines, it is often sung in protest rallies and demonstrations throughout Philippine history, notably during the funeral of Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. and the ensuing People Power Revolution of 1986 where Freddie Aguilar led the crowd to sing the song’s chorus.

Due to the song being used against the Marcos dictatorship, the Martial Law era saw the banning of most public performances of the piece; anyone who dared to sing or play it in public was deemed a dissident and could potentially have been incarcerated.

The song has also been re-arranged and recorded by different composers and singers, notably by Lucio San Pedro (National Artist for music) and Freddie Aguilar. Aguilar’s cover is one of the most famous renditions of the song; an often overlooked detail is that the instrumental section of this version is actually another Filipino patriotic hymn: Pilipinas Kong Mahal. (From: Wikipedia)

Long live Philippine music!

Link to Freddie Aguilar’s version at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtLWCY8O0us&feature=related


Filed under Arts and Culture

#80 Manila

Manila, the song by the 1970s Pinoy pop band Hotdog is a bouncy light disco music that topped Philippine charts in the 1970s.

The opening lines of this song alone (Maraming beses na kitang nilayasan…) is a sure draw to remind any expat Filipino of what he or she misses back in the Philippines– namely, the effervescent spirit that prevails in this crowded metropolis and the lightheartedness of the average Pinoy despite personal and societal woes.

The band Hotdog sings the refrain with gusto and tongue-in-cheek humor and with an exaggerated drawling, Americanised accent, perhaps to poke fun with the homesick balikbayan (homecoming expat Pinoy). Manila jeepneys and the typical Pinay beauty are cited in the song as among the charms of Manila.

With their chart success, Hotdog’s Manila became what is known in the 1970s as the ‘Manila Sound,’ establishing the popularity of original Filipino music in Southeast Asia. Manila was a big hit that the national carrier Philippine Airlines played or used the song it in the late 1970s during their on-flight announcements.

For nostalgic (1970s) retro pop, nothing beats Manila by Hotdog.

Mabuhay ang Manila!

Follow the You Tube link below to sample Manila.


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Filed under Arts and Culture