BIKOL MUSIC has definitely moved on from folk song “Sarong Banggi” and the Bikol chacha, any outsider would readily conclude after attending Tanog Bikol: Musika asin Literatura.
A variety and wide range of original Bikol songs, from the kundiman to a bawdy song, to folk, rock, slow rock, pop, to reggae and rap were performed in Tanog Bikol: Musika asin Literatura last Saturday, Feb. 10, in Naga City. The Bikol music makers showcased their talents both in music composition and performance in this event subsidized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Organized by composer Romulo Prado Jr. with the assistance of broadcaster Don Amador who served as emcee, three individual musicians and seven groups presented an assortment of music/ literary work in this first ever celebration of music makers in Bikol’s celebration of National Arts Month, Tagbo 2018.
Common themes of the pieces were love, including love of mother, social critique, the ecology, and pride in being Bikolnon. Allusions to folk songs Si Nanay si Tatay and Sarong Banggi were notable in some of the lyrics.
The proud Nagueños of 4k Barrel fired the first salvo with their hit songs “Pungaw ako Saimo” and “Proud Ako (Magin Nagueño),” plus a new rendition of Prado’s tribute to the river “Salog Naga.”
Finalists in the 2017 Bicol Music Festival Reloaded of radio station BBS also performed their pieces. Ivy Temporal belted out the first prize winner “Kugos,” with lyrics by Imelda Nardo and music by James Reburiano. Balatan rap artist John Benedict ‘Trykz’ Mangente sang “Paralawod” reggae style about the life of fisherfolk in his hometown, and rapped “Dayaday sa Puso,”a tribute to fallen military and police.
Moi Fernandez sang a drinkers’ bawdy song, “Ulod,” in a paradoxically operatic manner, inviting laughter from the audience. Up-and-coming singer-composer Ajan Dolorical sang his Rinconada song “Kin Ako Migraan” and the all-instrumental rock piece “Capricorn” along with his band, The Chopping Board. Joey Santiago did a far throwback to two Bikol angsty kundiman, one of
them “Mga Bangging Bulanon,” now unfamiliar to the present generation.
Movie and drama scorer Jireh Pasano of Albay performed his musical rendition of two poems by Vic Nierva, as well as his own composition. Jennelyn Bujo and Ken Romero accompanied by Khryss Arañas on the guitar rendered two more songs by Pasano from the river advocacy play “Mga Aninipot sa Tahaw kan Salog.” An original Spoken Word feature, well applauded by the audience, was performed by Melissa Basmayor, “Kun gusto mo maging maogma” which ended in a timely homage to cultural workers.
Other numbers were by one-band Noyz Dotillos, rock band Zultanite, Wowie Nabua and Jojo Peconcillo, and Siglo ni Abiel.
Tanog Bikol: Musika asin Literatura is part of the continuing effort of local music workers to arrive at a distinctive “Bikol Sound” via an increase in the production and preservation of original Bikol music. The concert was held at the Burabod Grill on Dayangdang Street in Naga City. –Doods M. Santos, with Muloi Prado