On the other side of Filipino music
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2015 - 10:00am

Though the going has been difficult these past years, the other type of Filipino music continues to prosper in its own quiet way. When I say other type, I mean music created not for the hit charts or performed by pop idols. Well, it would be nice if these songs make it to the top that way or to have a video play on MTV or to have an arena of fans in delirium over the music. 

I do not know what it will take for those things to happen. Maybe you can help. If you can, take a listen to the following. For all you know, you might even be moved by the efforts, the sentiments and all the emotions that went into creating this other type of Filipino music.

Miguel Castro by Miguel Castro: How nice to find out that kundiman songs continue to be written to this day. Well, not everybody will admit to it but the plaintive mood and dramatic highlights of the kundiman are ever present in local pop music. But this case is different. Here are songs really composed as kundiman.

The album by theater and TV actor and classical singer Miguel, who also produced it, is made up of kundiman compositions that I have never heard before, two Italian songs, and two in English, all of them written by Filipinos. See, the kundiman is alive and well.  We should just find the right places to look into like Miguel did. I will list down the titles and the composers hopeful that knowing where to look might encourage young singers into trying out new kundiman songs. 

Kundiman Ng Langit and Canzone D’Amore Per Dio by Augusto Espino; Ikaw Ang Mahal by Ricky Sanchez; Kailan Ka Magiging Akin by Camille Victoria; Ang Pag-ibig Ko’y Sa ‘yo and For All The World To See by AJ Villanueva; Ika’y Lupang Hinirang, Perlas Ng Silangan by Percival Icban; Song Of A Wounded Heart by Arnel de Pano and Miguel; Isang Kundiman, Mamma in Italian translated to Nanay in Tagalog by Gerry de Leon. 

Then for those who might want to hear Miguel do familiar sounds, he included a medley of immortal Filipino songs like Kundiman Ng Luha, Nasaan Ka Irog, Bituing Marikit and Madaling Araw. Miguel is best known for his appearances in the all-Filipino TV series Aawitan Kita that starred Armida Siguion-Reyna.

Ginugunita Kita & Kammerchor Manila at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Sept. 3.  The concert will feature poems written by Maningning Miclat set to music by the award-winning musical director Jesse Lucas together with the 2015 Maningning Miclat Trilingual Poetry Awards featuring the Kammerchor Manila, the Absolute and Grand Prix winner at the 42nd Festival of Songs Olomouch, in the Czech Republic. Also performing will be singer and dancer Banaue Miclat-Janssen, cellist Renato Lucas and Jesse Lucas on the piano with singer AI Gatmaitan and artist Delphine Buencamino.

Maningning was a poet and writer in English, Chinese and Filipino and a painter in both Western and Chinese styles. Her Chinese poems made her famous in Beijing. The Maningning Miclat Foundation, Inc., was founded after her death in 2001 to encourage creativity and to recognize and nurture outstanding poets and artists 28 years old and younger. Maningning was 28 years old when she passed. The painting contests are held on even-numbered years while the poetry competitions are done during odd-numbered years. 

Find out this year’s poetry results on Sept. 3 and enjoy the music in Maningning’s poetry and other numbers in Ginugunita Kita. Call 0917-8478489 or 0936-7097154 for inquiries.  Tickets are available at the CCP 832-3704 or Ticketworld 891-9999.

Speaking of Jesse, his music will be featured in Full Range, a one-night concert that will be held on Aug. 20, 8 p.m. at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino. his is a production by the CCP, in line with the Triple Threat Series on Filipino artists. 

Jesse is a Hall of Fame FAMAS awardee for Best Musical Score. He has also been similarly honored at the Gawad Urian, Young Critics’ Circle, Gawad Tanglaw and Aliw Awards. His music has been performed by Tanghalang Pilipino, Dulaang UP, Dramatis Personae, Gantimpala Theater, Ballet Philippines and the Philippine Ballet Theater.  Among films that he scored are When Love Begins, Bulaklak ng Maynila, Bayaning 3rd World, Babae Sa Breakwater, Jologs, Donsol, Inang Yaya and Dekada 70.

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