Why Visayan Pop rocks!

A day before we went to an out-of-town trip, my office mates and I decided to sleep in one of the guestrooms in the office for the night. We borrowed the office projector and my personal laptop to watch a Star Cinema movie called Etiquette for Mistresses as a part of our “big screen” movie marathon

It’s a movie about mistresses (if the title fails to convince you) and it stars big names like Kris Aquino, Claudine Barretto and Kim Chiu. Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the entire movie nor I want to share my two cents about it. There’s this just particular scene where Kim Chiu’s character, a spirited and cheerful young lady hailing from Cebu, sings a Cebuano song for her lover over the phone. It’s a pretty song called Labyu Langga, a piece written by Jerika Teodorico for VisPop 2.0. Check it out here:

And then I surprised my office mates by singing along with it, word by word, like a fluent Cebuano speaker would. They were like “Naiintindihan mo ang kanta?” but of course, their exact words are: “Hoy Feeling Cebuana!”

I said I know some words but not entirely the song. I’ve been listening to it on Spotify along with other Vis Pop songs which are also nice to hear, considering my Cebuano vocabulary is more or less limited to a Tagalog’s common knowledge of basic phrases (Maayong buntag, Daghang salamat, Ano nimo ngalan?) 

I’ve been vocal in my support for the empowerment of other Philippine languages aside from Tagalog in mass media. For months now, I’ve been trying to learn Cebuano, along with Spanish, as an added weapon to my language arsenal. Needless to say, I was also pleasantly surprised that Cebuano songs have found their way to mainstream media, especially in a Star Cinema movie. Hopefully, this is just the start.

Since I’m learning the language, I’ve been drawn to Visayan songs on YouTube and Spotify. I learned that Cebuanos have really good voice, their songs are catchy and their music is reflective of their warm and loving culture (If you can’t understand the lyrics, you will enjoy the beat)

I recently discovered a rock band called Missing Filemon (which falls under the genre of Bisrock) I would love to hear them live one of these days! Check out their songs here:

And the band ‘Phylum’ is also worth knowing about.

Bisrock or Bisaya Pop is such an interesting phenomena to study, especially with the prevailing music scene in the country. Since Tagalog is the predominant language (in mass media), it’s quite difficult to ‘sell’ music to the larger audience and be a break-out artist. To learn that these folks in the South have a thriving music scene of their own is truly admirable. I believe that producing songs in a regional language is also for the enrichment of OPM (Original Pinoy Music) and we, as Filipinos, should be proud of it.

I would like to commend the organizers and sponsors of VISPOP 2.0 for their efforts in promoting Vis Pop. I hope other regions would follow. I look forward on hearing songs from other Philippine languages as well.

In a more serious note, it is sad to see that most of the Youtube comments in the video above is an internet flame war between Tagalog and Bisaya. Moreover, I’m interested how the ‘rivalry’ between these two languages (or people) seemed to manifest every now and then as far as the issue of a national language is concerned. Any thoughts why? 🙂




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