Philpop 2013: Joy in heartache
MANILA, Philippines - Heartache was the theme of the 2013 PhilPop Music Festival.
Ask a Filipino musician to write a ditty and it will likely be a love song -– and, more likely, a sad love song at that.
But there were not a few sad songs in this festival that were uptempo numbers, there were sad songs also filled with humor, and there were songs that rocked the night.
While the festival was a reaffirmation of Filipino talent and music, and there was much cheer on this occasion, there was also a tinge of loss and sadness in the songs. Beneath the clever lines and catchy beats, the songs might have been conveying a sad smile.
6 of the 12 finalists in the festival turned in their compositions about regret, longing and pain – an ode to an estranged lover, expressions of unrequited love.
This mood is actually a celebration of music, as only the Filipino can write and sing it – mellifluous, yearning, romantic. But there is a diversity of expression behind this longing, from the classical sphere of the kundiman to the rich, bouncy, sad, cheerful colors of Pinoy pop.
This year's PhilPop was, all told, a celebration of heritage – upholding the past and also pointing to the future, such that one sensed the vibrant soul of the old Metropop, beckoning amid this jubilee.
Listen to top winning entry 'Dati' by Thyro and Yumi:
Besides the themes of love and hurt, there was also nostalgia.
Winning song "Dati" by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana references Filipino childhood favorites that our countrymen can at once relate to.
Listen to 2nd runner-up 'Pansamantagal' by Jungee Marcelo:
Lara Maigue’s “Sa ’Yo Na Lang Ako” and "Sometimes That Happens" by Adrienne Sarmiento and Nino Regalado are instant classics about longing.
Listen to 1st runner-up 'Kung 'Di Man' by Johnoy Danao:
Not all good songs are about pain and loss, but you can spot a great song right away from its deep feeling. That dull ache after hearing a poignant song comes from a rare honesty in the songwriting.
This year's PhilPop revitalizes the institution of OPM and returns this genre, which has also become an industry, to its origins in music.
PhilPop was essentially organized to distinguish the Filipino voice amid a "society full of cluttered and meaningless words," as the competition's primer explained. And this year's competition became an outpouring of passion and excellence. - Rappler.com
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