Inspirational songs by Maturan all in one album
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - May 3, 2002 - 12:00am
Here is good news for those of you who might be wondering if any of the recordings of the late Diomedes Maturan is available on compact discs. Alpha Records has reissued De Colores, an album of songs associated with the Cursillo movement and other inspirational tunes. It is just too bad that the cover includes no information regarding Maturan, the composers of the songs or the time when the album was recorded or even about the Cursillo which was very popular in the Philippines about 30 years ago. Still, it is a must for all music lovers to have at least one copy of Maturan’s recordings. Listening to him on CDs is indeed a great way to enjoy Maturan’s golden voice.

Songs included in the album are De Colores, I Believe, Cursilista, Birthday Mananita, Cursilio Way, Que Sera Sera, Welcome Song, Mananita, Christian Spirit, Somewhere My God, Oh My Papa and Cielito Lindo.

I really find it most unfortunate that the recent demise of the great Diomedes Maturan did not result in a deluge of album re-issues featuring his golden voice. In other countries, the death of a singer of his stature would surely result in music lovers trooping to the music stores to get a copy or most probably copies of his recordings and those would be available with new covers containing plenty of information, also remixed, remastered and even with new arrangements. Of course, being businessmen, releasing re-issues was probably foremost in the minds of Maturan’s producers, but sad to say, only Alpha managed to do so. The masters of Maturan’s recordings are probably still in old analog tapes and are not compatible with the new equipment being used in the studios.

I hope that whoever among the other record companies around owns the rights to those albums will soon take the trouble to make new masters of Maturan’s songs and hopefully reissue them on CDs soon. Maturan’s place in Philippine music history deserves that and we will definitely be richer in spirit and love of Filipino culture, if we can have his recordings plus those of the likes of Conching Rosal, Ruben Tagalog, Cely Bautista, Sylvia la Torre and other music greats available on CDs for the new generation of Pinoys.
Lend an ear to Ugoy ng Duyan
I have also received several inquiries regarding Ugoy ng Duyan, the beautiful lullaby composed by the great tandem of National Artists Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. San Pedro and Celerio died only within a few days of each other a month ago. Each of them left a body of work that draws only admiration, San Pedro as a composer of orchestral pieces, masses, chorales, cantatas and other serious works and Celerio as the lyricist of over 4000 songs. But because their deaths occurred at almost the same time, the main focus of events in their honor became Ugoy ng Duyan.

Much has already been told about how the song came to be written. San Pedro and Celerio met on board a ship traveling back to the Philippines. San Pedro told Celerio about how homesick he was and about this little melody that he had written. So would Celerio mind putting lyrics to his music? No he wouldn’t. And the next day, there it was. The melody had become Ugoy ng Duyan.

For those who asked about what versions of Ugoy ng Duyan are currently available, the one that instantly comes to mind is the recording made only a year ago by the boy group Jeremiah. This was used as the theme of the movie Abakada.... Ina and was featured in the soundtrack album. It is now also included in Basta’t Ikaw, the latest from Jeremiah. If I remember right there was a beautiful rendition of the song made by Pilita Corrales and the young Jackielou Blanco some years ago. I do hope that that version still exists and that we will get to hear it again soon. But then here we are again on the issue of old recordings and what can be done to preserve them as part of our heritage.

As for Jeremiah, you might want to check out the foursome’s new album not just because of Ugoy ng Duyan but also because of 12 originals by Filipino songwriters plus a sweet, very boy-band sounding revival of John Denver’s Annie’s Song.

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