CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebuana singer and songwriter Jerika Teodorico said she was “elated” to hear her 2016 Vispop hit Baklay (to go out on foot) sung on The Voice Kids on ABS-CBN on Saturday, October 6. (READ: Lea Salonga on Season 4 of ‘The Voice Kids’: We have a good crop)
Jeirald Bantilan, Dexsel Plaza, Vera Jagape, and Rhed Tabar of Team FamiLea, who are from different parts of Mindanao, sang their own version of Jerika’s hit song on Saturday night’s episode, surprising the 22-year-old songwriter.
She wrote the hit as an entry to the now defunct Vispop songwriting competition in Cebu City.
“The kids were adorable and it’s a really happy song, I think it fit perfectly for them,” she told Rappler in Cebuano. The tune is a theme song for the wanderers and a dedication to Cebu, she explained.
“I wrote Baklay to preserve the memories of walking the streets of Cebu with a very dear friend,” the young songwriter said.
Bisan asa man manglupad tang laagan
Payts ra na basta magkuyog tang duha
Kung mahurot na ang pliti
Ug di na ta makasakay
Magbaklay lang ta bai
(Wherever we wanderers end up
It’s gonna be alright as long as we’re together
If we run out of money
And we can no longer afford to ride
Let’s just go by foot, my friend)
The country and folk-inspired tune also mentions a number of places they would go to across the island.
Kung mamista ta’s Argao
Kuhaon tika sa Bulacao
Pero kung didto’s Balamban
Manukad ta’s Talamban
Ayaw lang sa Inayawan basin masugatan
Ta’s akong ex nga hawod ka tampalasan
(If we’re going to the fiesta in Argao
I’ll go and get you in Bualacao
But if we go to Balamban
We’ll start off from Talamban
But let’s not go to Inayawan
Because we might run into my wicked ex)
The song is often played on the radio in Cebuano-speaking cities all over the Visayas and Mindanao and has been streamed over 471,000 times on Spotify.
On Saturday night’s episode, Team Familea head coach Lea Salonga it was fellow coach Bamboo’s idea to have the Visayan contestants do a Cebuano song, considering the number of Cebuano-speaking contestants this year.
“I have to give credit where credit is due,” Lea said during the episode. “Napansin namin ang daming nagsasalita ng Bisaya. So sabi niya, puwede ka bang gumamit ng isang song na Bisaya, ikumpol kumpol mga batang Bisaya? (We noticed there were many Bisaya speakers. So he said, can you use a Bisaya song and group the Bisaya kids together? ). ”
Coach Lea said she was happy with the energy and performance of the kids rendition of the song.
Jerika said she was honored to have her song picked by Salonga for the kids. “I kept listening to the part where she said my name because I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
Baklay was also recently covered by another well-known Cebuano band called The Wonggoys.
Baklay is not the first song of the Cebuana artist to be used by an ABS-CBN production.
Her 2015 hit and Vispop 2.0 winner Labyu Langga, was recorded by Kapamilya actress Kim Chiu for the Star Cinema film Etiquette for Mistresses in 2015.
Jerika’s recording of that song has been streamed over 1.8 million times on Spotify.
While Vispop started out as a songwriting competition in 2013, it has sparked an interest for songwriters across the Visayas and Mindanao to write music in regional languages again. Jerika encourages Bisaya and non-Bisaya speaking audiences who enjoyed her song to check out Bisaya music by other artists on Spotify.
Check out her Spotify profile here: