Francis M & The Smiths in ukulele

Edgar O. Cruz - The Philippine Star
Francis M & The Smiths in ukulele

Mash-up of Francis M’s Tayo’y Mga Pinoy/Mga Kababayan was performed by Ukulele Underground Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Over 150 fuchsia-topped Ukulele Underground Philippines musicians from three generations in different levels (beginners/ intermediate/advanced) performed together the rousing mashup of Heber Bartolome/Francis M’s Tayo’y Mga Pinoy/Mga Kababayan and covers of Sugarfree’s Hari ng Sablay, Aegis’ Halik, VST & Company’s Tayo’y Magsayawan in Pasinaya 2018 last Feb. 4 at the CCP open grounds.

Kawayan 7 rendered two original compositions, Ewan Ko Ba and Ako’y Pinoy Ika’y Pinoy, plus two covers. Himig ng Pag-ibig in reggae version and Kaleidoscope World. Para sa Sining (Alpas/Adinkra Lumads Djembe Community/Pintig) also presented spoken word with original world music songs with the audience joining in the sing and dance along.

A sub-genre of the acoustic idiom that evolved in Hawaii, the ukulele sound is now the acclaimed music trend of millennials in the metro. Millennials feel cool and cerebral playing the handy nylon-stringed, easy-on-the-fingers guitar.

With Moira dela Torre’s Titibo-tibo, the ukulele-driven fun track as plucked by Lolito Go bagging first prize at Himig Handog 2017 and Eugene Domingo spotted strumming and/or holding a “ugelele” every chance in her GMA 7 shows, this revival is really up with us.

Christi Fider’s(lower left) new ukulele video blog release is The Smiths’ Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want(above); and Eugene Domingo(lower right) has claimed the ukulele as her own by giving it a pet name ‘ugelele.’

Perhaps a reaction against loud music, “Pagod na ang tenga ng tao sa booming music — pagod na ang soul natin kaya we seek for an alternative form,” theorizes acknowledged jazz guitarist Bobby Fider.

No doubt death metal guitarist Rio Bertillo Mata of Neverending band, a regular source of music details for this writer, has no input on this issue.

But not Bobby. “Music, as in all art, is a matter of action and reaction. Good art transcends spacetime. The uke has been around since... forever. And its revival attests to the rightful place in world music history,” he shares.

In his case, its soothing sound serves as “a great stress reliever,” especially when played by his daughter, the self-efficient singer/musician Christi Fider, who just released a ukulele adaptation of LANY’s Yea, Baby No Way.

We’ll find out soon enough if Christi picks dad’s offer to coach her in uke-playing.

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