Fresh out of a vacation back home (we arrived back in Indonesia from Manila late last night), I felt a sudden urge to write a weekly Pinoy Pride entry this morning. Basically, once a month, I’d like to write something about my hometown. Whether that’s a vignette of my own childhood, a playlist, a favorite place, good restaurants, pretty parks, lit reviews, or the occasional political position paper (hehe); I’d like to start getting more in touch with my roots and sharing little pieces of my country with the rest of the world.
For a first post, I’d like to share my latest At Work playlist, which is 100% Filipino. So here it is. 10 artists currently keeping me company as I go through the motions in my day to day workload.
#1 goes to the lovely Clara Benin, her dreamy voice, and dreamier lyrics and melodies. This song reminds me a lot of the soundtrack of About Time (one of both mine and Jay’s favorite rom-coms). It’s got that bittersweet tone that fills you with wistfulness.
#2 is all QUEST and their incredible song, Walang Hanggan. I’m linking in this version of the song, because it’s a more stripped down arrangement. However, if you haven’t seen the original video, you need to do that ASAP (like yesterday), because it’s amazing. Again, this song is full of wistful melancholy. Maybe dramatic songs fuel my creativity or something when at the office haha. Whatever it is, it’s great. The melody itself is very simple, as are the chord progressions, but it’s the unique lyrics and phrasing that really make this song special. (And seriously challenging to sing if Filipino is your 2nd language instead of your first)
#3 goes to Julliane’s Minahal Kita (which, like QUEST’s “Walang Hanggan” is one of the songs on the soundtrack of a movie caleld “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa” – which I haven’t seen yet, but maybe I will for the music). This one’s not very different than the usual acoustic Filipino songstress creations, but it makes for sweet background music when you’re working on decks.
#4 goes to Up Dharma Down’s Indak, which I actually only discovered last month – even though I’ve always loved every song I’ve heard from them. You will see them feature on this list again towards the end when I include Tadhana on a playlist for the gazzilionth time.
#5 is all for Reese Lansangan. In general. Who has that folksy, Lucy Rose/Kate Nash/Laura Marling quality to her voice and melodies while maintaining this kind of cute Eliza Doolittle/Lily Allen sweet/light/young heartedness to her lyrics.
#6 goes to BP Valenzuela for her indie pop electro folk fusion. I made that last bit up, but that’s what her music calls up in my mind.
#7 is for CRWN (feat Jess Connelly), which kind of reminds me of Frank Ocean, and Miguel, and the WEEKND, but…a little less intense maybe? In any case, I enjoy it. It’s the kind of music that’s chill with a hint of swagger. When I’m really in the groove at work, this kind of music – with the prominent, unique beats, and sultry voice, are great background fodder.
#8 goes to the folksy cutesy Ransom Collective and this video in particular that was directed by my buddy Sarie Cruz. This is actually not new to my playlists, but I’m leaving it here anyway. Doesn’t the video remind you of Wes Anderson?
#9 is MOONWLK’s Prefer, which is a cool, quirky video over MOONWLK’s trademark electropop sound. Gabbi and I were part of the same church group long ago (she always led the worship/praise singing, and was one of the “shepherds”/mentors for the youngins). It’s nice to see her and her bandmates really succeeding in the scene! In general, I love their upbeat, dynamic music, and I like that the lyrics aren’t the usual “oh ah oh ah” between a catchphrase or two like a lot of pop is these days.
#10 last but not the least, here is my favorite cover of Up Dharma Down’s Tadhana. It’s by Anj Sulit, who I don’t know personally, but my friend Karen Ramos shared this cover with me maybe 6 years ago now, and I have never stopped loving it. Lovely acoustic rendition of an already incredible song.
And there you have it! The list is done! If you have favorite Filipino songs and/or artists, please do share them with me. I’d love to discover more. 🙂