Monday, January 17, 2011

Do we leave Pinoy Rock to die?

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NU 107, the greatest rock station to ever grace the airwaves, has signed off permanently last November 2010. Bamboo, one of the greatest rock bands that embodied Pinoy pride, disbanded two months after NU's end. Sugarfree, a band that best captured the nuisances of love and heartache, has been left by their frontman Ebe Dancel. These are sad times for Pinoy Rock. We have lost two long-time veterans of the Pinoy Rock scene and also the home in which their music can be fully played in the airwaves.

Oh no!

What do these events entail? Well, for one, it ushers in a new era for Pinoy rock. An era where it is no longer in the mainstream which is very much unlike in the 90's when such bands as Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar and Rivermaya were the king of the airwaves. Today, our radio stations now play endless stream of songs that hail from other cultures. Our airwaves are filled by the voices of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Korean pop bands. This is the reason why NU107 ended its glorious run. It is because Filipinos often dismiss their own rock bands in favor for other foreign musicians because they are more hip and cool. Foreign artists are dressed in designer brands while our own artist wear the staple t-shirts and jeans.

In my belief, Filipino music has so much to offer compared to these mainstream foreign artists. Our own bands do not resort to catchy music, cheap lyrics, and exfoliated faces in order to gather an audience. They rely on the Filipino experience and take materials from our own culture to express themselves and bare their souls out as they sing. They do not bend to the trends that can disappear in a flash. Our bands make songs that can be immortalized and express emotions that are timeless. Songs like 'Firework', 'Baby' and 'Nobody' cannot hold a candle against 'Ang Huling El Bimbo', 'This Guy's In Love With You, Pare' and 'Noypi'.

It is true, however unfortunate it may be, that there are numerous Filipino artists that follow the trends of the foreigners. These artists sacrifice their national identity in exchange for fans and money. One example of the trends that plague our music scene is the creation of P-pop groups (a copycat of the K-pop trend) that, in my opinion, is surely the lowest form of music that the Filipinos can offer to the world. Groups such as xlr8 and 1:43 that spout out trash like this and this. This is an effect of our idolization of foreign cultures. It is evident in the music of these 'P-pop' bands that they sacrificed their music and they just sing songs without heart and soul but put so much effort in making themselves visually attractive just like their Korean counterparts.

Where is our 'so-called' Filipino pride? We are so proud to declare our pride for Manny Pacquiao when he wins his bouts, we are filled our Facebook walls with shouts of pride for our national football team even though we do not know a thing about football, and we are quick to defend our motherland when she is under attack from bad comments made by foreigners and yet we change stations or switch channels when a local act is playing in the radio or television. We brand our own artist as 'jologs' and yet we revere foreign artists like gods. This idolatry of foreign music while dismissing our own artists as dirt is the manifestation of how we are gripped with colonial mentality. In order for us to move forward as a nation, we must embrace what our nation has to offer and be proud of it.

This coming February, we have a chance to show our support for our bands. We can attend the UP Fair 2011 and shout our lungs out in support for our homegrown bands that embody our Filipino identity. Let us gather in droves at the UP Sunken Garden this February and let us not allow Pinoy Rock to die at the hands of these foreign artists.


  1. Yo Music lovers! Check out indie band Radar from Manila,Philippines.