Kayanihan: One nation, one song

Ira Agting

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'The Kayanihan Project: Bayanihan para sa Awit ng Filipino' seeks to unite the nation through one song

THE KAYANIHAN PROJECT. Uniting the nation through music. All photos from The Kayanihan Project Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – If there is anything to be said about Filipinos, it is that we are a nation that loves to sing. Whether in competitions or karaoke sessions, music bridges gaps and allows Pinoy talent to shine through.

What better way to mobilize the nation than through the universality of music?

The “The Kayanihan Project: Bayanihan para sa Awit ng Filipino” aims to unite the Filipino people in the spirit of optimism and creativity, in what would be the first song written by the nation.

The name “Kayanihan” brings together two concepts that embody the Filipino spirit of unity and perseverance — the term bayanihan and the phrase “kaya natin gawin kahit ano.” (We can achieve anything.)

“The simple message with ‘Kayanihan’ was that, ‘unti-unti, nabubuo na ang pangarap nating Pilipinas.'” the organizers said in a statement. “If we could band together to pull this off, we could do anything.”

Ultimately, the project is aimed at “creating something huge out of everybody’s small but meaningful efforts.”

Industry veterans Maestro Ryan Cayabyab and Songbird Regine Velasquez, along with Pinoy Rap Icon Gloc-9 and pop act Itchyworms, will work on piecing together lyrical entries gathered through the project. 

The best entries will be patterned to Cayabyab’s 70s hit “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika,” which was the winner of the first Metropop Song Festival in 1978.

“By using the song ‘Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika,’ we have a campaign that hinges on Pinoy music history too,” Cayabyab told Rappler.

Mr. C, Gloc-9 and the Itchyworms are to begin sorting through entries on Tuesday, June 18, where they will work on giving the song a contemporary and upbeat twist. Regine Velasquez will serve as the standard bearer of the song.

ONE SONG, MANY VOICES. Watch out for the first song created by the Filipino people

Cayabyab told Rappler that he immediately said yes when asked to take part in the project. “No ifs, no buts.”

“I believe that our present situation merits being mentioned, trumpeted or talked about. I can only contribute in a sector where I know I can give my best, and that is communications — through music and song.”

Mr. C believes this endeavor is an effective way to inspire a positive attitude in the community. He likens the project to “music therapy,” wherein singing and swaying to rhythmic beats lighten the heaviest of burdens.

“If music can fan the flames of revolution, it can also help create an atmosphere of wellness and happiness.

“Personally speaking, it is not a ’cause’ or an advocacy but more of a happy coming together of friends, family, community and hopefully the entire nation, grateful for the positive spirit enveloping the country.”

MAGANDA ANG BUHAY. Kayanihan celebrates optimism and faith in the Filipino's future

One need not be a professional lyricist or musically inclined to contribute to the project. The only requirement is a positive attitude.

To the tune of Cayabyab’s “Kay Ganda ng Atng Musika,” participants must answer the question; “Paano mo nasasabing gumaganda na ang buhay sa Pilipinas ngayon?” (How do you think has life improved in the Philippines?)

All Filipinos, whether by blood, by law, or by heart, are encouraged to join.

Mr. C assures the selection process is “free-flowing” and exciting. “The most inspiring lyrics will surely jump out at us.

“We would love to try to pick up lyrics that will tell stories people will strongly relate to. There is a plan but the process right now is pretty free-flowing because like the proverbial box of chocolates from Forrest Gump, we don’t know what we are going to get, which makes us nervous, but in an exciting way.”

The organizers say they wish to someday see this project becoming a tradition, passed on to different groups, collaborators and “everyday Filipino lyricists and singers.”

“We want the song to live a life of its own, for people to take it and do their own versions of it, if they wish.”

“We could come up with many different co-created songs in the future with relevant messages that will continue to inspire unity, pride and positivity.”

Know more about Kayanihan here:

Those up for the challenge may also be featured in the song’s music video

Deadline of submissions is June 16. – Rappler.com

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