Article

Problematizing the popular: The dynamics of Pinoy pop(ular) music and popular protest music

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Abstract

In 1973, the pop music industry in the Philippines, long dominated by the American Top 40, was jolted by the emergence of a new kind of sound that delivered soulful Filipino lyrics in the medium of Western rock. At about the same time the protest movement found, in the popular forms of Western rock and folk, powerful vehicles for cultural resistance. This experimentation within and outside the industry generated great interest across social classes and opened many possibilities for new kinds of popular music, later to be called Pinoy (slang for Filipino) rock or Pinoy pop music. This article looks into the dynamics of Pinoy pop/rock and protest music during the period of authoritarian rule and after, marking their points of intersection and divergence and analyzing the factors that account for the rich popular music production in the 1970s and the 1980s.

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Chapter
Music is a vital art form for expressing and interrogating human interconnectedness with both natural and built environments. However, the capacity of Philippine revolutionary music in demonstrating the relations between local fisherfolk and their marine environments remains unstudied. To Philippine scholars of the radical working-class movement, the conditions of the countryside primarily determine the characteristics of revolutionary art, literature, and media, a category that espouses the underclass’s struggle for social change. Hence, a survey of said works would reveal an imaginary moored to images of farmland and plantations juxtaposed to mountains, the tropic reification of guerilla warfare. Thematically, fisherfolk—a sector of the peasant class—and their site of production—the marine coast—are emphasized less. Bodies of works that take the radical potential of fisherfolk as a central concern include the songs produced by the revolutionary musical group Aplaya. Recordings of the songs enter a fluid transmission from the coast and the countryside to digital platforms in cities. Scored in an upbeat rhythm reminiscent of marches, these songs seek to arouse, organize, and mobilize fisherfolk to participate in the working-class movement. This chapter determines and delineates the hydroaesthetics of selected songs from Aplaya’s oeuvre as a lynchpin for politicizing marine lifeways. I argue that, in these media texts, the littoral zone of production is transformed into the guerilla zone of armed struggle, infusing the aquatic in the otherwise terrestrial aesthetics of protest in the Philippines. By strategically using hydrosocial tropes, Aplaya’s music reimagines fisherfolk’s labor as a means of resistance rather than an input for (capitalist) production. What also emerges from this revolutionary hydroaesthetics is a discourse of the natural environment that subverts the bourgeois construction of water as an exploitable resource, asserting a holistic politics against human and ecological exploitation.
Research
Maituturing bilang representasyon ng isang kultura ang pelikula. Nagiging ekstensiyon ito ng paglalarawan sa umiiral na kaganapan sa lipunan at kung paano tumugon ang mga bumibilang dito (Santiago 2019). Hindi lamang nalilimita ang halagahin ng sinema bilang isang uri ng sining bagkus maaari nitong sakupin ang pangkabuuang kamalayan at kalagayan ng isang indibidwal o pangkat. Gayundin, hindi rin ito isang simpleng pagpapalabas ng mga gumagalaw na larawan (motion picture) bagkus naging tuntungan din ito ng bawat manonood kung paano nila itrato ang kanilang mga sarili bilang kawangis ng mga karakter sa pelikula kahit hindi naman sila naging direktang kalahok dito (Fearing 1947). Kolektibo ang tungkulin ng mga sinema. Sinasakop ng pelikula ang representasyon ng nakararami. Naitatanghal nito ang bawat sentimento, karanasan, at kabuluhan ng lipunan kahit hindi sila magkaka-ugnay at magkakakilala. Maaaring ilapat dito ang konsepto ng imagined communities ni Benedict Anderson (1983). Malinaw niyang ipinaliwanag na kahit hindi nagkakatagpo sa isang partikular na espasyo at pagkakataon ang lahat ng kasapi sa isang lipunan, may tendensiya na tingnan ng bawat indibidwal na may kaugnayan o relasyon ang isa’t isa batay sa kanilang karanasan na siyang nagiging parametro ng pagwawangis (Anderson 1983). Pumaimbabaw sa panuntunan ng konseptong ito ang pagtrato ng mga manonood sa isang pelikulang naglalarawan ng kanilang karanasan. Kasabay ng pagsasatugatog ng mga pelikula ang pagsisimula ng mga akademikong pag-aaral patungkol dito. Katulad ng nasa Pilipinas, mas nauna ang pagsasapelikula ng mga Pilipino bago ito pormal na ilagay sa mga diskursong pang-akademiko. Gayumpaman, kahit sabihin pang marami na ang naipapalabas na pelikulang Pilipino, nanatiling limitado pa rin ang kabatiran ng kasalukuyang panahon ukol dito. Malinaw ang mga dahilan sa ganitong suliranin. Posibleng tingnan na limitado ang mga literaturang maglalahad sa kasaysayan ng sinema na kung minsan pa’y hindi matatamo sa Pilipinas ang mga datos na magsasalaysay dito o mas pinahahalagahang pag-aralan ang kasaysayan ng mga pelikulang pinilahan sa tabing kumpara sa mga pioneer film (Lumbera 2003; Deocampo 2017). Kaya’t maituturing bilang pamulat-kamalayan, halimbawa ang mga piling akda ng batikang direktor at historyador na si Nick Deocampo (1985, 2003, 2011, at 2016) ukol sa komprehensibong kasaysayan ng pelikulang Pilipino sa iba’t ibang panahon. Liban pa rito, tila itinuturing ng ilan sa atin na nakaangkla ang mga pelikulang Pilipino sa pamantayan ng Kanluran (Nolledo 1964; Hawkins 2010; Dissanayake 2017), sa halip na angkinin ito bilang direktang representasyon ng lipunang Pilipino. Kung ilalapat ito sa mga pelikulang Pilipino, tila nahuhumaling ang karamihan sa atin sa mga kwentong pag-ibig at paghahapbuhay. Mababakas ito sa paulit-ulit na tema ng mga pelikulang tinatangkilik ng mga Pilipino. Dahil sa siklikal ang daluyan ng ating mga interes at panlasa hinggil sa mga temang ito, tila naging markado na ang diskurso ng bayan na ituon na lamang sa mga ganitong naratibo ang karanasan ng mga Pilipino. Maituturing bilang ambag sa mga larangan ng kaalaman ang rebyung ito. Magsisilbing tuntungan ang pagtatalunton sa historikal na kahalagahan ng mga pelikulang tumuon sa naratibo ng manggagawang Pilipino sa ibayong dagat. Batikan sa mga ganitong uri at tema ng pelikula ang mga direktor na katulad nina Chito Roño, Rory Quintos, at Olivia Lamasan (Tolentino 2009). Mas piniling bigyan ng pagsusuri mga pelikulang nilinang ng huli.
Article
The performance of cover songs in popular music has long been a subject of critical discussion and debate due to the artistic, social, cultural, and commercial issues that covers raise. In non-Western societies, most popular songs covered by artists are Anglo-American, a situation which implicitly privileges Western music and reinforces both the “west and the rest” trope and the cultural imperialism thesis. Taking American amateur artists and their online videos performing Filipino popular music as case studies, this article examines how social media platforms facilitate and problematize center-periphery relations in popular music through a diffusion of cultural products “from the rest to the west.” Moreover, we show that more than the promise of audience reach, the phenomenon reflects how these cover artists embody cultural and social situatedness in Filipino culture. As they mimic the mimics, they also embody an identity in motion.
Article
Full-text available
Ang lokalisasyon sa mga piling aralin sa Filipino ay tutugon sa isa sa mga misyon ng batayang edukasyon na base sa kultura. Kagaya ng pagtataguyod ng ibang bansa sa kanilang wika ay siya ring pagtataguyod ng mga Pilipino sa sariling wikang Filipino. Ang pinulungan sugbuanon ay isang estratehikong kanya-kanyang kakayahan na ipabatid sa kahit sinoman ang kausap nito. Pinatotohanan ito ni Pesirla (2012) nang sinabi niyang: “nilangkub ang kahanás istratikahun sa mga istratihiya nga pangpakigpulungay nga gisulti ug wa gisulti”. Nangangahulugan lamang na mayaman ang sa sariling lokal na panitikan ang kultura ng mga Pilipino. Marami ang paraan ng paghahatid ng mensahe sa kapwa, ito ay maaaring sa pamamagitan ng mga berbal at di-berbal na komunikasyon. Isang halimbawa ang musika tungo sa tagapakinig nito. Ang pagkaunawa sa damdaming nais ipabatid mula sa napakinggan ay naaayon sa mga karanasan. Isa sa mga epektibo at makapangyarihang kasangkapang pandamdamin ay ang musika. Ayon kay Cabangon (2016) isang kilalang kompositor sa bansa na lumilikha ng mga awiting nasusulat sa Filipino na sumasalamin ang awiting Filipino sa buhay, gawain, kultura, pakikibaka, inspirasyon, pangyayari sa kapaligiran, at sa nararamdaman ng mga Pilipino. Anumang awitin mapaluma mapabago hangga’t naisasapuso ang kahulugan ay malalim ang mapaghuhugutan at ginagamit sa paglalahad ng isang karanasan ukol mga pangyayari sa bawat paligid. Localization in selected Filipino lessons will address one of the missions of basic culture-based education. Just as other countries promote their languages, Filipinos promote their own language in Sugbuanon pinulongan to use as a strategic assembly for an individual ability to use it. The study uses descriptive research and the use of selected popular Visayan songs to achieve the aforementioned using the institutional linguistics of Halliday (1964) which discusses the relationship of language and its user where the style voice, audience, register, and Brown’s (2016) purpose or VARP that facilitates language teaching and learning from audible and readable information. This study ensures that linguistic content will be answered using 1) Voice- words, phrases, parables: 2) Audience - vocabulary, style of speech; 3) Register- formal and informal: and 4) Purpose - genre and message of songs in society. The study found that the use of local and contextualized lessons is rich in linguistic content in songs translated in the local language and is now trendy music especially in the interest of students because the lyrics of the songs are their vernacular facilitates learning and human relations. Keywords: voice; purpose; register; audience; content style
Research
Integral ang ipinahihiwatig ng mga pelikula sa Pilipinas na direktang tumutuon sa kuwentong pag-ibig at pakikibaka ng mga Pilipino sa malalayong bayan. Layunin ng artikulong ito na ugatin ang pagiging aparato ng mga pelikula sa pagtatampok sa kalagayang sosyo-kultural ng mga manggagawang Pilipino lalo na sa pagpasok ng dantaon 21. Sa siglo ring ito, posibleng mas nahumaling ang balana na tangkilikin ang mga pelikulang tumutugaygay sa pag-ibig. Maaaring kinasangkapan din ng industriya ng pelikula ang kagustuhan ng mga parokyano sa ganitong tema kung kaya't pinaksa na rin nila ang mga tala ng mapapalad o kaawa-awang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa ibayong dagat. Sa pamamagitan ng pagtataluntong ito, masusumpungan natin ang multi-relasyunal na ugnayan ng mga pelikula sa umiiral na reyalidad ng lipunan. Upang limitahan ang pag-aaral, magiging pokus ng papel na ito ang ilang pelikula ng Star Cinema na sumailalim sa direksiyon ni Olivia M. Lamasan lalo na ang yaong itinampok ang Estados Unidos at Europa bilang espasyo ng kanilang produksyon. Dadalumatin din ang mga samu't saring hulagway, reyalidad, representasyon, at saysay ng "pag-ibig" at "paghahanapbuhay" batay sa mga lugar at tauhang itinatanghal ng mga pelikula.
Preprint
Despite the disparity of forms of state violence—from the killing of farmer-activists and peasant organizers in haciendas to the state-endorsed shooting of suspected drug addicts and pushers—protest songs and protest music continues to face the bullets of the state and respond to the issues of the times. This paper then attempts to examine the depiction of state violence in selected post-Marcos protest songs, ranging from folk songs to rock and the newly-emerging protest rap genre, and compare and analyze the trends and motifs employed by these songs despite the differences of the issues they depict.
Article
Rank-and-file supporters of the Bangsamoro rebellion (1972-1977) articulated their personal sentiments about the war in a genre called "rebel songs." The lyrics reveal that fighters' personal aspirations often diverged from the official aims of separatist leaders. This article examines how rebel songs transitioned into "Moro songs" in the post-martial law era and why they came to more narrowly reflect the movement's official goals of Moro unity and Islamic renewal. While Muslim separatists hinged their ideology on the concept of a shared religion and history distinct from the rest of the Philippines, the musical vehicle they approved to convey aspirations for political and religious autonomy was not, however, indigenous genres, such as tudtol or dindiken. Rather, Moro songs set Magindanaon lyrics to the melodies of American folk, country and rock ballads—such as Bryan Adams's "Straight from the Heart"—to frame protests against the Philippine government's incursion into the homeland, the fight for religion and calls for Muslim unity. By endorsing this hybrid genre to broadcast separatist goals, the movement opened up a communicative space for its message to internal and external audiences, across cultural and national boundaries.
In “Dahil Sa Iyo: The Performative Power of Imelda's Song,” Christine Bacareza Balance articulates the role of musical performance in the shaping of the “spectacular politics” of the former Philippine first lady. The article argues against depoliticized aesthetic and critical practices that attempt to separate art from politics. Instead, the article suggests that it was the deployment of musical art forms in Marcos’ performance of self that could bolster the execution of the Marcos’ political agenda, characterized by corruption, extra-juridical violence, and human rights abuse. Thus, the article concludes with a turn to artistic renderings of Marcos, arguing that such performances map the relationship between US imperialism, Filipino history, and the intimate sphere of Filipino America.
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