Filipino Music Makers, Unite!

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I can live without TV, but not without radio. I have always been a music lover, even if I can’t carry a tune. My kids often tease me that, since I have so many singer-friends, I should ask one of them to give me a crash course. But I’d rather not, because they would surely get exasperated with me.

In any case, they have their hands full with the projects of Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM)— like The Pinoy Music Summit 2014: Basta Pinoy, Push Mo ’Yan set March 19 at Landbank Plaza in Malate.

Noel Cabangon, president of Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (Filscap), will act as conference director, fully supported by OPM president Ogie Alcasid.

Aside from listening to all our fave local hits, we should also hear OPM’s pleas. Here’s my tête-à-tête with Noel:

What compelled OPM to organize the summit?

We first thought of holding a summit two years ago. There are a lot of challenges brought about by the advancement of technology, the various digital platforms. There is also the question: Is OPM dead? It is time we talked about Filipino music as an expression of our culture, as an economic driver.

What pressing issues will be addressed?

Based on Filscap data, foreign music has always dominated the media: radio, TV, malls, bars, concerts and lounges. This is a concern because we are perpetuating foreign culture.

As Filscap president, what are your joys and woes?

The joys are the achievements: from changing our policies within and outside the group to changing our attitude in dealing with our licensees and prospective licensees.

Woes are basically meeting and dealing with the expectations of our members [among other things]. Losing hair is a manifestation of all these woes.

If OPM chose an anthem, what would it be?

“Kaya Natin ’To” by Ogie Alcasid.

What message would OPM want to impart to the public?

That Filipino music can make a great contribution to our economy, and that we have to embrace and love it because we are a people who love to sing. We also encourage the public to support it because we will also benefit from it. We need to strengthen this form of cultural expression in order to engage the world.

What’s the stand of OPM regarding foreign artists performing here?

We have nothing against foreign acts. They’re more than welcome. But the government should regulate the influx so as not to deplete the resources that should be made available to local productions as well. An equity has already been recognized to cover any displacement of artists in any form.

In what way is OPM better than foreign music, and in what way should it be improved?

Original Pilipino Music is a narrative of our lives as Filipinos, which foreign music will never be able to capture. There is a need for music creators to come up with great songs that will outlive us. Every generation has its own narrative, but music is an art that requires a certain standard. Maybe you can call that standard “world-class.” But world-class should be defined on our own terms and not as the West would define it.

(For inquiries about the summit, call Camille Miserale, [63 94] 3776275 or e-mail

Hail to teachers

Kudos to PLDT’s comptroller and vice president June Cheryl “Chaye” Cabal-Revilla for being a TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men) awardee in Community Service. She was hailed for  leading the Gabay Guro advocacy. She’s one superwoMA’AM!

“It’s about serving teachers with a heart of gratitude,” said Chaye. “We want to give back by changing the lives of those who changed ours with God’s grace.”

Gabay Guro invited Cesar Montano, Robin Padilla, Derek Ramsay and Anne Curtis to pay tribute to teachers at the Mall of Asia Arena and at the “Pahalipay” shows in Bohol and Tacloban. Aside from those events, Gabay Guro also provides livelihood, computerization and housing/education facilities. Soon they will add a media pillar to equip classrooms with cable/DTH TV, where seminars and lectures can be streamed.

Hail to guru Chaye, who knows what’s best for every guro.


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