With all the news of the devastation Filipinos are facing now, I thought it might be appropriate to feature some Filipino Music. We hear lots of K-Pop, J-Pop got big in the 1980s, but not much Filipino music is heard outside of the Filipino community. But with so many filipinos working outside of their homeland, there are plenty of online stations.
What is Filipino music? Good question. Named after King Philip II of Spain in the late 1500s, The Philippines have been colonized for so long that the music, rather than evolving from indigenous forms, has reflected the ruling culture. The harana is the Filipino bolero which derives from the Spanish influence. The American occupation that began in 1898 along with the American bases in Subic Bay during the Vietnam War created the demand for American rock music. There is the Filipino diaspora with people going out of the country for work. Filipino musicians travel outside of their homeland to find work in hotels and bars in countries surrounding the Philippines. In 2000, I was staying in Lombok, the Muslim island of Indonesia, on a scuba trip. After the first day, everybody got together for a drink on the beach. The bar band was Filipino and their first number was “Clandestino” by Manu Chao, which recently had become a huge hit in France, Spain, and Latin America.
On this show we feature the unofficial Filipino anthem, “I Am Filipino”, a harana or love song by Filipina Jazz singer Charmaine Clamor, a pop song from a big star named Kuh Ledesma, and some field recordings by indigenous hill tribes and some kulintang gong music that was recorded by Eleanor Academia-Magda, a talented musician based in LA. The show wraps up with two lullabies gathered by TV star Chin-Chin Gutierrez from many of the 1000’s of islands that make up the Philippine archipelago. She did this to try to preserve the many indigenous languages spoken in some of the 7,000-plus islands that make up the archipelago.
If you would like to help with the disaster relief effort in The Philippines, don’t forget to contribute to your favorite charity: UNICEF, Philippine Red Cross, Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, etc.
Rhythm Planet Playlist: 11/15/13
- Charmaine Clamor / Ako Ay Pilipino (I Am Filipino) / Single
- Charmaine Clamor / Oh Star / My Harana / Free Ham Records
- Bayang / Nasaan Na Tayo Ngayon / Makulay / Universal
- World Kulintang Institute / Duyug 1 / 3rd Century Gong: Ensemble Music from the Southern Philippines / WKI Records
- Kuh Ledesma / Lover’s Journey / Precious / KZK
- Various Indigenous / Kulilal At Pakpak At Manuk / Philippines: Palawan Highlands Music / Musee De L’Homme
- Various Indigenous / Lute, Child Yhears For Its Dead Mother / Utom: Summoning The Spirit / Ryko World
- Women Artist of Lake Sebu / Chant Lingon / An Altamira Project / Buda
- Chin-Chin Gutierrez / Uyayi Ni Nena (Tulog Na Mahal Ko) / Uyayi: A Collection of Philippine Lullabies / Ncca
- Chin-Chin Gutierrez / Mendang Na Kon Mendang / Uyayi: A Collection of Philippine Lullabies / Ncca