8 Songs by Filipina Acts to Empower and Inspire Pinays Everywhere

Mar 8, 2021

She may be struggling, but her heart simply won’t surrender. She may fall down, but she’ll keep rising up and marching forward to her own beat. 

Every March 8, we celebrate the things — the simple, the great, and the in-betweens — that make women wonderful beings. Dubbed as International Women’s Day, this day is dedicated to remembering and appreciating the achievements of women in different fields.

In this article, we at Wish 107.5 are turning to music — to songs by Filipina acts, in particular — to empower, inspire, and spark an emotional connection with Pinays, wherever they may be during this special day.

“Shine” – Regine Velasquez

As stellar as Regine Velasquez’s vocal runs and riffs, the message of this piano-driven piece penned by Trina Belamide is heartrending. With a lullaby-like melody, “Shine” is embellished with a soaring arrangement and takes flight both as a song that pays homage to a role model — and a paean that inspires its listeners to be a heroine in their own way.  

“Tala” – Sarah Geronimo

“Tala” was first released in 2015 as part of Sarah Geronimo’s “The Great Unknown” album. It wouldn’t become a pop culture phenomenon until more than four years later — with its resurgence significantly credited to dance covers mainly coming from the LGBTQ+ community. And while this hit is about what it feels to be in love, its charisma goes beyond what an ordinary love song exudes. It’s a celestial musical number, complete with a metaphoric success story, that can shower doses of empowerment to women — and women at heart.

[READ: Sarah Geronimo Goes Unplugged in ‘The Great Unknown’ Show]

“Basang Basa sa Ulan” – Aegis

“Basang Basa sa Ulan” — one of the many power ballads that cemented Aegis’ place in the annals of OPM — is as dramatic as it can get. It doesn’t only showcase the famed vocal theatrics of their frontwomen, siblings Juliet, Mercy, and Kris Sunot; it’s also pouring with metaphors about soldiering on despite the struggles, especially those that we’re keeping to ourselves.

“Bulong” – Kitchie Nadal

The OPM landscape in the early and mid-2000s wouldn’t be complete without Kitchie Nadal. One of the more prominent female rock acts during that time, the former Mojofly vocalist-turned-solo artist dished out tracks that knew just how to hook their audience. In “Bulong,” she sings “Hoy, kaibigan ko!” with much vigor in an attempt to give a wake-up call for the downtrodden and distressed.

“ayaw” – syd hartha

In keeping with its title that’s bold and straightforward, “ayaw” sees syd hartha transform into a women’s rights advocate as she takes a strong stand against sexual harassment (In the Philippines, one in four Filipinas aged 15 to 49 is said to have “experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence by their husband or partner,” according to a 2017 survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority). A 17-year-old at the time of the song’s release, the singer-songwriter has never sounded more mature, strong-willed, and urgent than in this bluesy tune. Check out her Wishclusive performance here.

“Marupok” – KZ Tandingan

“Marupok,” penned by Danielle Balagtas and interpreted by KZ Tandingan, is a fresh take on the clichéd term that refers to a person (commonly a woman) who is easily swayed by someone’s sweet words or acts. During her Wish Connect interview, Tandingan shared what makes the tribal elements-infused track different: “‘Yung story na ‘to, imbes na hayaan niya na maging weakness niya lang ‘yung pagiging marupok niya, ginamit niya ‘to to her advantage — para alam niya na kung paano niya aalagaan ‘yung sarili niya in the future.” (In this story, the narrator doesn’t let her vulnerability be her weakness; she uses it to her advantage — so that in the future, she’d know how to take care of herself better). 

“Tenderfoot” – Reese Lansangan

In true folk fashion, Reese Lansangan’s “Tenderfoot” tells a message that appeals — and deserves — to be heard. As soothing as the song sounds, the words in this track permeate the skin and reach the heart: They serve as a tender reminder about body acceptance, self-love, and grabbing each new day as an opportunity to do better. 

“Wrestle” – Clara Benin

“Wrestle” is the kind of song that you wouldn’t mind playing on repeat during the wee hours of the morning. With Benin’s delicate vocals and songwriting on the helm, this piece implores anyone who’s having self-doubts to take a step back and see things with a clearer mind. It’s contemplative, but more importantly, cathartic; it’s a great listen, especially for women who want to wrestle their worries away and be more confident about themselves.

[READ: For the Fragile and Fighting: Clara Benin Unveils New EP, ‘I Rose Up Slowly’]

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