Today, Filipinos commemorate the 122nd anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day. And as it always has, music is here to help us navigate through our feelings as we ruminate on the relevance and significance of this occasion.
In this feature, we’ve listed down seven Wishclusives — ranging from the anthemic to the contemplative — we recommend to include in your Independence Day playlist.
The Dawn – “Salamat”
Salamat at tayo’y nagkasamang muli
Salamat at sa pagpawi ng uhaw
Ay may darating na araw
The Dawn’s “Salamat” is an enduring anthem of comradeship. The opening track of their 1989 album “Beyond The Bend,” the high-energy song encourages its listeners to be appreciative of those who stick through thick and thin.
But apart from gratitude, “Salamat” exudes optimism. According to vocalist Jett Pangan (who recently released a mellow version of the tune in line with the current pandemic), the main driving force behind this OPM piece is the band’s intent “to express hope in any situation.”
In this Wishclusive, Color It Red’s Cooky Chua lends her distinctive vocals to offer an acoustic spin to the Tropical Depression classic. Despite being stripped off of the song’s signature reggae elements — and running only a little over half of the original version’s length (which is about five minutes) — her take on “Kapayapaan” is still as groove-inducing as it is effective in delivering the song’s core message.
Blaze N’ Kane (feat. Pow Chavez) – “Pilipinas”
I’ll get some lovin’ from my motherland…
Nowhere can be ever sweeter
So I’ll stay and never leave her
Drawing inspiration from the plight of being an Overseas Filipino Worker, “Pilipinas” is an ode to the Philippines — and all the big and little reasons that make the country a place unlike any other.
The lyrics of this collaborative piece from Blaze N’ Kane and Pow Chavez are aptly peppered with all things Pinoy: from the dried fish-and-scorched rice meal to the perpetually summer-like weather to the scenarios that portray the Filipinos’ piety and devotion to family.
CLR – “P’s Song”
Kukunin nila lahat sa’yo kahit pa piso man yan
Hanggang sa wala ka nang madudukot sa iyong bulsa
Kundi ang iyong dignidad pati pamato’t panabla
Hangad ko lamang ay makilala ka
Bakit ba kailangan papahirapan pa
“Ako?” Biglang tumulo luha mo sabay punas,
Sabi mo, “Pangalan ko pala ay Pilipinas”
Unlike the Wishclusive above, this offering from hip-hop act CLR takes a different approach in relaying thought-provoking sentiments about the Philippines.
Lifted off his “A Starving Artist” album, “P’s Song” is an open letter to the country masked under the guise of a rap piece about the narrator’s feelings for his muse. Despite the frustrations and resentments thrown by the rapper throughout the track, his admiration still beats stronger — as evidently shown in the repetitive use of “Kapit lang” (Hold on) and the perfectly injected “Mahal kita, Pilipinas” adlib in the end.
Wency Cornejo – “Next In Line”
So I sing this song to all of my age
For these are the questions we’ve got to face
For in this cycle that we call life
We are the ones who are next in line
Nearly three decades since its release, “Next In Line” is still emotionally resonant whenever heard. As timeless as Wency Cornejo’s voice in this Wishclusive, the song remains a relevant plea for the youth — the next generation — to take action, leave their own mark, and make a difference for the better.
Elmo Magalona – “Kaleidoscope World” (Francis M cover)
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world
One of the legacies of Francis Magalona is successfully injecting Filipino pride in his body of work. While “Kaleidoscope World” may not be the most patriotic among his tracks, it is one of the most significant OPM tunes that call for solidarity while appreciating diversity and individuality.
In this Wishclusive video, the Master Rapper’s son himself, Elmo Magalona, performs the song and reminds everyone that while we have differences, we all still live under the same sun.
Clara Benin – “Do You Wanna Be Free?”
Take my hand and leave it all behind you
We’ve got a whole new world to see
You know, you know
You’ve more than enough to offer
We’re better together
You and I got each other
An original collaboration among Clara Benin, Janine Teñoso, and Bea Lorenzo, “Do You Wanna Be Free” radiates with words of encouragement for the downhearted. The studio recording merges the three acts’ unique artistic stylings, and in effect, successfully conveys the track’s theme of breaking free from inhibitions.
Benin’s solo Wishclusive performance, on the other hand, strikes a more pensive chord as she offers a stripped-down rendition of the song. The video reaches its climax as the indie powerhouse chants “laya” (free), inviting viewers to ponder on what it really means to be free.