#TalkThursday with Gary Granada

Rappler speaks with singer, songwriter, activist and teacher Gary Granada.

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler speaks with singer, songwriter, activist and teacher Gary Granada.

A gifted artist known in the mainstream for his folk and pop songs “Salamat Musika“, “Kahit Konti“, “Saranggola sa Ulan“, and “Tulad ng Dati“, Granada’s decades-long body of work includes two full-length musicals and half a dozen albums. 

As an artist and an activist, he bookmarked landmark moments in Philippine history with songs of the Filipino experience.

Twin songs “‘Pag Natatalo/Nananalo ang Ginebra” capture the sentiments of the Filipino basketball fanatic. “Bahay“, is a raw ballad about society’s failure to take care of the poor. “Dam” is a heart-wrenching melody on the Chico dam controversy in the 1980’s. “Kanluran” chronicles the historic end of the US bases in the Philippines.  

In 1996, Granada wrote the libretto and music for the rock opera Lean, based on the life of murdered youth activist Leandro Alejandro, and first staged at the UP Theatre in 1997. His other musical is about the life of national hero, Jose Rizal.

Today, Granada works as a high school teacher and a professor at the University of the Philippines. He teaches a range of subjects including  Development Communication and College Algebra. He says, “The real battleground for change is the classroom.” 

In commemoration of Independence Day, Granada writes the song, Minsa’y Isang Bansa. To a somber melody he sings, “Minsa’y isang bansa any nangangarap na sana’y mahalin mo na ngayon.”

(Once there was a country that dreamed you would love it.)

Granada will speak to Rappler about his new composition, teaching, and his insights into how the Philippines has changed over the years

Watch the interview below:

Listen to an excerpt of his song Minsa’y Isang Bansa below, with images from Independence Day 2013.

– Rappler.com

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