Beyond the Tunes: Agusan Del Sur’s White Caps on Their Formation as a Band, Creative Process, and More

Jan 10, 2020

“Beyond the Tunes” is a series of interviews and features that aims to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming singer-songwriters who have earned a spot in the Wishcovery Originals grand finale. Get to know the top musical acts who will be vying for the championship tilt in the third edition of Wish 107.5’s very own talent search.

It has always been Valerie Cubillas’ dream to sing and perform with a band. Working as a nurse in Agusan Del Sur, the aspiring musician got to fulfill this wish to some degree when she and a colleague formed an acoustic duo called White Caps — the name being a nod to their profession.

When the other half of the newly-formed duo had to leave, it did not stop her to put her dream on hold. Instead, she recruited other members to officially make it a band. Their first competition stint was a local battle of acoustic bands with original compositions.

While she admits that she is only new to songwriting, she — together with her bandmates Sweett Sykaye Himo, Dandee Cornell, and Jordan Amplayo — is determined to go after her passion for performing and sharing self-penned tunes. This determination, coupled with their tight harmonies and infectious melodies, has landed the acoustic pop outfit a spot in the Wishcovery Originals grand finals.

In this Beyond The Tunes feature, Cubillas shares more about her band’s creative process, handling their differences, and more.

What made you pursue music? How did White Caps come to be?

Music has always been my passion. I have been singing since I was two years old, I think. It’s my dream to play and sing with a band.

White Caps started as an acoustic duo. I do the guitars and the vocals and I have with me Christine Monray, our former member. When she left, I decided to invite more instrumentalists to make White Caps’ sound livelier. Jordan and Dandee joined the group. Eventually, we invited Sykaye to also join our group.

We took part in a battle of the bands last May 2019, and there we were able to create original songs. We’re still fairly new when it comes to songwriting.

How’s your creative process like?

As the main songwriter of the band, I usually write the song alone. I’m a spontaneous type of songwriter because wherever I am, as long as I’m in the mood, I will try to finish the song I’m composing in one seating only. Otherwise, I won’t be able to finish the song.

And then, we try to make time together so we can get ideas from each other. We also make sure that each member has a highlight in our songs’ arrangements. For instance, since Sykaye has a powerful voice, we give her a part where her voice soars.

How do you handle your musical differences in your band?

Surprisingly, the differences we have aren’t a big deal for us. As we like different genres individually, I get surprised when they throw in ideas to make our songs — the arrangement of our songs — become more beautiful. If it weren’t for them, our songs wouldn’t that be good. 

What do you think is your edge over other contenders?

We try to make sure that our song is relatable to the audience. We want them to sing with us. Our goal is to craft songs that can be sung by anyone, anywhere — songs that have an appeal to the masses.

During the weekly eliminations, you performed “‘Di Na.” What’s it all about?

When I wrote “‘Di Na,” I drew my inspiration from long-distance relationships, which I have experienced myself. Someone I love was based abroad. In the song, I wrote about my longing for that someone to stay with me once he returns. I also injected this fear, that somebody else can come into the picture. What if someone else fetches my loved one when he arrives?

Throughout the song, I wanted to share a narrative of yearning for someone who might even never return. This is why I also have the line “Sana kung ‘di ako naghintay/ Sana ‘di na ako nalumbay” (Perhaps I wouldn’t be lonely if I never waited), which is all about having regrets.

For the monthly finals, you performed “Ayoko Na.” What’s the story behind this one?

The song is actually a sequel of “‘Di Na.” We call it “Ayoko Na” because, in this song, we want to end the relationship already. It’s a closure song; a way for us to tell the other party that it’s already enough — I have been hurt many times for the same reasons. It’s enough. Let’s just be happy for each other, move on, and live life to the fullest.

Through this song, we want to tell the audience that there’ll come a point when you should stop being a martyr for love. You need to learn when to stop, and that you need to value yourself.

Watch White Caps’ Wishcovery performances below:

‘Di Na:

Ayoko Na:

Watch the December Monthly Finals of Wishcovery Originals below:

ALSO READ: Beyond the Tunes: Meet Wishcovery Originals’ Alt-Folk Up-and-Comer Peniel Roxas

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